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44 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2023 Brian Wallace, CEO/consul- tant with HR Strategies Now in Houston, Texas, shares a cou- ple of thoughts on the impor- tance of understanding the connection between customer experience and the employ- ees' mindset. "Customer experience drives more business and revenue, but that's only part of it," he says. "It's really all about helping leaders understand how to position their employees to deliver a great cus- tomer experience. It's more than connecting with the customer and delivering that experience; it's about making sure that your employees are prop- erly geared to do that. That's an important issue." Wallace says there are several key elements at play to achieve this. "First, have solid hiring prac- tices so you hire employees with a mindset to be ese are the kinds of questions that rever- berate through my mind daily. I have learned that creating competitive buildup films is a fine balancing act, akin to walking a tight rope: gain one property, potentially lose another. At the end of the day, you're faced with the diffi- cult choices of figuring out what's important. What do customers truly care about, and what can we let go of ? As a newcomer to the PCB field, my job is not only to create new materials but to learn as much as I can from the PCB veterans, those who have been in this industry for the past two to four decades. I am oen regaled with sto- ries from my senior colleagues on what it was like working in the PCB industry in the 1990s vs. today. I've learned that in the '90s, North America led PCB production with 1,500 oper- ating board shops and production valued at $11 billion. Today, there are less than 200 board shops in the United States, and production is valued to be only about $3.5 billion. What happened? How did we get here, and where are we going? ese are the questions I hope to address in this column. How did the industry shi from North America to Asia over the last 30 years? What are the implications of Biden's Defense Production Act, and how will it impact the PCB supply chain? What does the growing integration between chip packaging and PCB technologies mean from both an eco- nomic and scientific perspective? I look forward to investigating these hot topics and sharing the knowledge I acquire from the PCB veterans and pantheon, lacing in bits and pieces of my own perspective as a materials scientist new to the field. Together, I hope to answer the pressing questions: How did we get here? And more importantly, what's next? PCB007 Resource 1. "Comparing PCB Industry in China and the United States, How Small and Medium-sized Enter- prises Can Do Better," PCBA Manufacturers, Sept. 27, 2022. Preeya Kuray, PhD, is a materials scientist at AGC Multi Material America. well positioned to engage with customers. Second, create a safe and innovative work environment where employees can come to you with ideas or challenges they're experiencing with their custom- ers. This will help them figure out a way to exceed customer expectations. Last, make sure that your leadership team continues to promote that mindset and helps manage that customer experience." A pivotal point in determining whether busi- nesses succeed or fail rests in the quality of their middle management, in particular—those people who translate strategy into operational activity and interact with employees. It's a very dynamic and powerful thing to have leaders who understand the connection between customer experience and their employees' mindset. If employees are not working under good leadership, they'll find something else. Today, they have the agency to go look for a good culture. The Mindset Behind the Customer Experience

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