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54 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2024 Interview by Marcy LaRont I-CONNECT007 "IPC's slogan is Build Electronics Better, which is 100% what Validation Services is," says Randy Cherry, who directs the program, now in its 11th year. Having created the pro- gram from the ground up and weathered the COVID drought just when the program was gaining momentum, IPC Validation Services has 165 customers and an impressive 98% retention rate. Why is this program important? at was the question no doubt more than a few IPC members were asking themselves when David Bergman, VP of Standards and Technology, first thought of the idea for a value-added ser- vice that would provide analyses, auditing, and qualification built around specific IPC stan- dards to global manufacturers. is would be the first audit of its kind and would take place on the factory floor. Starting any new system is a tremendous amount of work, but defining, creating, and implementing such a complete system of oversight and qualification took years to gain momentum. As VS took off, it yielded a contin- uous stream of direct industry feedback about what companies most needed and would find most helpful. Out of this, the program grew. In 2016, the Standards Gap Analysis (SGA) program came into being, allowing for a com- pletely confidential pre-audit process for com- panies considering a full VS audit, but want- ing to identify areas for process improvement beforehand. Out of the audit and SGA pro- grams, Technology Solutions became a service offering in 2018, providing technical expertise to help manufacturers solve problems on the factory floor. In 2019, the IPC-1791 Trusted Supplier and Cybersecurity List came to frui- Solving Problems and Validating Excellence

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