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54 The PCB Magazine • April 2016 set out loading up her baked potato with but- ter and sour cream and dug in. As I was enjoy- ing my steak, I looked up to see a dour expres- sion on my wife's face, and remember thinking "this can't be good" when she thrust out her little black cup of sour cream and said "Honey, taste this." Being the good husband that I am, I bravely took a taste and must have had that same look on my face as she said she thought it was tartar sauce, not sour cream. With the large amount of fish fry orders be- ing served, the waitress must have grabbed the wrong container. When the waitress brought Nancy's replacement potato and the little black cup of sour cream, she said, "You know, they ought to put the tartar sauce in a different col- ored cup!" I said, "Nice Poka-Yoke sweetheart," to which she replied, "Honey, watch your lan- guage, there are kids at the next table." I quickly explained that Poka-Yoke was a best practices methodology meaning mistake-proof- ing, and that she had just invented a visual aid Poka-Yoke that would keep the staff from mix- ing up the sauces. Best practices are everywhere! It's Only Common Sense During another recent visit with a long-term client, I had a great discussion with Tom, a fel- low old-school manager (and friend) on the merits of best practices. He told me, "Steve, I don't know what all the fuss is about best prac- tices; we have been doing it forever but never called it best practices; it's just common sense," which is the whole point of this article. Best practices truly are everywhere! PCB Steve Williams is the president of The Right Approach Consulting llC. To read past columns, or to contact Williams, click here. best praCtiCes: it's only Common sense When Walt Custer speaks, the IPC APEX EXPo crowd lis- tens carefully. And as always, his annual presentation fore- casting the upcoming year for the industry was much anticipated and well-attend- ed. Publisher Barry matties had the chance to meet up with Walt at the show, to dig a little deeper into the details of his findings. In this year's annual pre- sentation, Walt followed the entire electronics supply chain, tracking the economy, electronic equipment demand, components, EmS and oDm companies, materials and more. leading indicators predict business conditions two to six months in advance, and Walt's suggestion was that business will be nearly flat until at least mid-2016. Another key factor is cur- rency exchange rates; the U.S. dollar is strong versus other currencies which makes U.S. exports more expensive. This has also affected the fi- nancial results of multina- tional companies that report in U.S. dollars. With slowing growth of smartphones, tablets and PCs, there is no big end-mar- ket driver. Automotive is still key with electronic content constantly rising and self-driving cars on the horizon, but it is not yet robust enough to replace the lost volume. markets such as wearables, robots and the IoT could be- come drivers, but are still in their infancy. Read Walt's in-depth interview with Barry here and learn how you can receive a copy of Walt's entire IPC APEX EXPo 2016 annual presentation. I-Connect007 Exclusive: Walt Custer Elaborates on his IPC APEX EXPO Industry Forecast

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