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42 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 that's why the enabling technologies are slow to get tested and implemented. There's barely enough engineers to keep up with production demands, never mind trying out new tech. "In general, we are facing an experience gap in the engineering sector of our industry. We've got seasoned engineers who have been on the job since SMT's boom in the '90s, and now we've seeing some bright young talent coming into the business. But there is a crit- ical shortage of SMT engineers in that 10–20- year experience range. I think the talent short- age contributes to the slowed adoption rate of the new tech." To address the experience gap, Shea is work- ing together with the Surface Mount Technol- ogy Association (SMTA) to offer more free seminars, webinars and basic stencil printing courses so that the newer engineers can expe- rience a faster learning curve. Working with Customers Shea works closely with approximately 20% of her customers, from design to assembly. But in her case, product design is not necessarily a circuit board. "It may be a new material, a connector or an IC package," she says. "Not every new idea I test makes it to market, but it is always exciting when I can see one go from concept to customer." For Shea, the most important attribute for customer service is responsiveness and flexi- bility. "That is rooted in my years as a shop floor engineer," she explains. "When a client's line (or their customer's line) is down, helping them fix the problem takes priority." As Warren Buffett says, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it." The same can be said when you do not meet your customers' needs. For Shea, the impact can be translated to losing their business, and potentially their colleagues' business, and compromising the reputation that she has worked so very hard to build. "I won't let that happen," she says. And how does she ensure that customers are satisfied with her work? "With their delight, and willingness to hire me again and recom- mend my work to colleagues," Shea says. According to her, one of the most important pieces of customer feedback is when her train- ing clients tell her how much their yields went up after she trained the people and assessed their processes. Figure 1: Test kit contents.

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