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34 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Like many circuit board shops, Sunstone found itself climbing out of the deep well cre- ated by shutdowns during the pandemic. But 2022 was a good year, and Vice President Matt Stevenson greets 2023 with optimism. What's on his mind? He's looking closely at automa- tion, price adjustments, a plating line, and the ongoing struggles with staffing. Optimism Andy Shaughnessy: Matt, we're talking about mindset today. What's top of mind for you this year? What challenges and opportunities do you see in 2023? Overall, we're optimistic; last year was good and 2023 is looking even better. Some of the economic factors, customer interactions, and new customer trajectory that we experienced in Q3 and Q4 2022 le us feeling optimistic about 2023. We felt we were still climbing out of the COVID downturn last year, so it's been encouraging to see some good numbers. We're working on attracting those new cus- tomers. People in this industry are always coming and going; there isn't a lot of switch- ing costs, especially in the prototype industry. Tying them to Sunstone's business model, our customer support, quality, and on time deliv- ery—this is how we retain and add more cus- tomers. We've seen some shis in pricing and mar- keting with our competitors over the past cou- ple of years. ey don't seem to be doing the same things they were before, such as spending money with publications and social media. A few have ramped up their presence, but for the most part, competitors are making changes and it may be cost-cutting or a strategy shi. Nolan Johnson: Matt, does that mean that you're seeing participants moving out of your space? at's what it looks like. ey're still quot- ing, and trying to be competitive with their online pricing, but they're not spending the A Goal of Higher Technology Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team

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