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December 2016 • The PCB Magazine 21 Collection, selection and execution can be thought of as three legs of a stool. Being good at only one or two will make success a difficult balancing act at best. Describing the customer acquisition process with these three segments helps define roles played by various depart- ments and functions. Metrics describing perfor- mance success vary from segment to segment and performance tracking can be insightful. As new part numbers and customers place or- ders, the customer acquisition segmentation helps people understand their critical role in the organization's success. It also helps measure what is done well and where improvement is needed. A good way to view this model is to be- lieve the statement, "In our business, everyone is a salesman." PCB Dave Becker is vice president of sales and marketing at All Flex Flexible Circuits LLC. To read past columns or to contact Becker, click here. CUSTOMER ACQUISITION by Barry Matties With 2016 winding down, Walt Custer shared his end-of-the-year market research data with me at the recent electronica trade show in Munich, Germany. In our inter- view, Walt breaks down his findings and offers insight into the chang- ing trends as we head into 2017. Barry Matties: Walt, it's coming up to the end of the year. It's crazy how fast this year has gone by. Let's hear about the show, and then get into the Walt Report. Walt Custer: First, the show has been great this year. It's been very busy. Yesterday was jumping and there new halls open this year, so it appears Europe is optimistic. Recent data confirms that Europe is outperforming much of the world right now. Not in volume, because that's all in Asia, but in growth rates of its local end markets. Matties: Was that a surprise to you or was this something you predicted? Custe r: Well, a couple of months ago, the Euro- pean leading indicators went down, but then they came way up again. Then October PMI leading indicators for the Eurozone showed virtually every European country was up, and thus the compos - ite Eurozone PMI was also up. Most of the world's manufacturing leading indi- cators are in expansion territory again. I would say there's a smile on a lot of people's faces. A couple of places aren't doing well. South Korea is still strug - gling a little bit, but in October China moved to positive growth and Japan and the U.S. were also positive. So right now, leading indicator results for almost every area of the world are looking a lot better. Matties: It's been a long time since we've seen that, hasn't it? Custer: Yeah. However, they're not booming. Matties: No, but at least we are moving in the right direction. Custer: Sure, going up rather than down is en- couraging. We know electronic equipment pro- duction is seasonal and China and Taiwan hit their seasonal peak either in October or November. That's right before the Christmas season. And af- ter that normal late autumn seasonal surge elec- tronic manufacturing in Asia will decline through the late autumn peak first quarter of next year. So we've hit our peak, and the 2016 peak actually wasn't as high as it was the year before. To read the complete interview, click here. Walt Custer's Global Market Outlook

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