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60 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 As our industry continues to evolve and shape-shift, printed circuit board manufactur- ing continues to shrink through consolidations and attrition. Unfortunately, this trend will most likely continue, albeit at a slower pace than over the last decade. In what has truly be- come a global economy, partnering with world- class suppliers is mandatory, and excluding a sub-set of this dwindling supply base because they also happen to be in a crossover business will severely hinder this effort. Coopetition Although I cannot take credit for coin- ing this buzz word that combines "coopera- tion" and "competition," I have embraced the concept and believe it is good for our indus- try (the term coopetition was coined by Ray Noorda, the founder of Novell). I have noticed a clear movement in our industry away from the arch-enemy mindset to a more collabora- tive methodology, in other words, complemen- tary v. competitive relationships. The value proposition to the customer in this scenario is providing world-class technology and service at a competitive price; the "protect our trade secrets" mentality just won't work anymore. And if we are really being honest, there are not many trade secrets in our business any longer (if ever any existed). Coopetition is not a new concept; the most visible example of everyday usage can be found in the realty industry. Frustrated at man- ually scouring competitive listings when they did not have a property that met the custom- er's needs, the industry banded together and formed the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This allowed them to expand their services to customers and capture a portion of the market that they otherwise could not serve. Isn't that last statement what our business is all about? Other examples are retail and fast food; most have figured out that they will attract more overall customers by geo- graphically locating stores where their competition is The Value of Coopetition The Right Approach by Steve Williams, THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING LLC

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