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12 SMT Magazine • July 2015 by Barry Matties publiSHEr, i-ConnECT007 The supply chain is a challenging process for many companies to manage. Starting with the wrong supplier can lead to severe consequences. The I-Connect007 team recently set out to look at which challenges and issues are plaguing the supply chain by conducting a survey across our readership. Overall, the results indicated that de - livery time was one of the largest areas of frustra- tion, along with product quality. We also asked specifically what our readers would like to learn to improve their supply chain management. Aside from the role of a supply chain manager, best practices were mentioned many times. We invited a few experts to share their knowledge on this topic, but aside from that, I set out to find an OEM that was really utilizing best practices and would openly share their strategies with our readers. I like to say the universe always provides and, as it turns out, the OEM found me. My good fortune came about on a flight from San Francisco to Shanghai, when three gentle- men sat down next to me. I overheard from an inquiring flight attendant offering preflight bev- erages that they manufactured product for Dish Network and were heading to China for some meetings. When the flight attendant turned her attention to me and asked if I was also with Dish, I told her that I was in the publishing industry. As people always do, she went on to ask what I publish, and I gave my usual answer, "Maga - zines for the electronics industry, but nothing you would know." One of the three guys across the aisle asked the name of the publication and when I told them, they said, "We love that mag- azine!" As we got to know each other, it turned out that not only were they readers of our maga- zines, but they were with EchoStar, the manu- facturing and satellite half of Charlie Ergen's satellite empire, responsible for producing all of Dish Network's satellite set-top boxes, and a company that purchases a remarkable $100 mil- lion worth of PCBs every year. This is how I came to meet Les Beller, Andy Thomson and Micah Moore. They explained that they were on their way to Shanghai to FeAture EchoStar: The Future of Supply Chain Management Done Right

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