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86 SMT Magazine • January 2017 ARTICLE by Jake Kulp MC ASSEMBLY The EMS industry is still considered a young industry, with roots based in the early contract manufacturing days of small harness and PCBA shops. Some folks credit Huntsville, Alabama, as the "birthplace of EMS" when IBM began out - sourcing in earnest while others have differ- ing opinions of when this industry really took root. The intent of this article is not to argue the anthology of the industry but since its birth around 30 or so years ago, discuss how the de- mand creation process has morphed into what we might consider as typical today. Even the statement "typical today" is a bit misleading as no two new business engage- ments follow the exact same path and timeline. So please excuse the generalizing when we "new business development" (NBD) professionals have countless examples where this is not exact- ly how the process flowed. Since both the OEM and EMS should have the same desired outcome, awarding or winning the outsourced available market to a company where the relationship has a good possibility of lasting for many years go - ing forward, the elements of the process should be followed to minimize decisions that both the OEM and EMS may regret. I have broken down the sales process into both phases as well as time frames for each phase, for a better appreciation of the path these deals tend to travel. Discovery Phase This is an on-going phase with no end for the NBD professional. The beginning of any sales funnel must have an appropriate invest- ment of time and all aspects of the individu- al's network must be utilized. Lead generation is critical for anyone making their livelihood in any sales profession; the EMS industry is no dif- ferent. New prospects, or leads, can come from a wide variety of sources including: past rela- tionships, leads from executive management's past, manufacturing representatives (MC As- sembly has had positive results with this mod- el), current happy clients, public domain in- formation (local announcements), supplier re- ferrals, trade shows, EMS web site inquiries, networking with channel partners, trade affilia- tions, and targeting specific industry leaders, to name just a few ways the EMS industr y knows who to call on. The timeline on this phase of the sales process can be rather fast for opportu -

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