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  Articles & Papers Browse PMCI’s articles and conference papers on EMS business models, outsourcing trends, best practices and marketing strategy.

Conference Papers

Risk Mitigation and SIngapore's Supply Base
Medtech GATE Conference, March 2010

Developing a Robust Offshore Program Management Model
SMTA International, October 2009

Taking the Cost Out of the EMS Supply Chain
SMTA International, October 2007



Preparing for 2023
Returning to normal is bringing new and familiar obstacles.
Circuits Assembly, December 2022

Stopping the Spread of Customer Service Mediocrity
Teams are overworked and on the edge. How to combat the slide.
Circuits Assembly, October 2022

Personnel Recruitment and Retention
Strategies for finding a long-term employer-employee fit.
Circuits Assembly, August 2022

EMS M&A: Will Your Exit Strategy Be Customer Beneficial?
Firstronic and Lacroix took a long-term approach to joining forces, eliminating the usual learning curve.
Circuits Assembly, June 2022

Handling Program Management Workload and Material Constraints
Strategic conversations are key to sustaining existing business.
Circuits Assembly, April 2022

Alleviating Stress and the Avoiding the Cult of Mediocrity
Tips to avoid burnout while applying resources to mitigate the impact of two years of Covid.
Circuits Assembly, February 2022


Preparing for the Pivot
Why the “rise of the robots” might be a good thing for workers.
Circuits Assembly, December 2021

Making a Good Business Case When Delivering Bad News
The wrong attitude can send customers shopping for a new EMS provider.
Circuits Assembly, October 2021

Changing Attitudes in the Post-COVID World
It’s time to consider more in-person visits.
Circuits Assembly, August 2021

Finding Employees: The Next Big Challenge
EMS companies are undertaking a range of measures to appeal to new recruits.
Circuits Assembly, June 2021

2021: A Year the EMS Industry Needs
It’s a drink from an educational firehose, but the lessons will pay off.
Circuits Assembly, April 2021

Sales and Marketing in the Transition to Post-COVID-19 Normal
Traditional materials such as whitepapers and articles are solid lead generators.
Circuits Assembly, February 2021


Opportunity Knocks at the Doors of Continuous Learners
Why you should consider a certification program.
Circuits Assembly, December 2020

Hindsight is 2020: The Organizational Stress Test
The big lesson from this unpredictable year is infrastructure planning pays.
Circuits Assembly, October 2020

The COVID-19 Sales Challenge
With travel frozen, rethink and repurpose those marketing dollars.
Circuits Assembly, August 2020

Marketing and the Post-COVID-19 World
Ramp the advertising programs and support them with content tied to sales efforts.
Circuits Assembly, June 2020

Communications Lessons to Learn From COVID-19
Or how not to make a (potential) problem bigger than it is.
Circuits Assembly, April 2020

Gazing in a Crystal Ball
Why the “rise of the robots” might be a good thing for workers.
Circuits Assembly, February 2020


Preparing for the Workplace of Tomorrow
Workers need to understand the “why” of manufacturing and how to manage processes.
Circuits Assembly, December 2019

Is It Time for Manufacturers to Move?
Would you stake your reputation on a new supply chain in a new region?
Circuits Assembly, October 2019

Management 101 from the Production Floor
Do you know the quiet leaders? Often they are the ones who get things done.
Circuits Assembly, August 2019

EMS Industry 2019: Sunny with a Chance of Showers
As we enter the middle of 2019, it appears to be shaping up as a good year for many in EMS.
Circuits Assembly, June 2019

Are You Losing Sales You Didn't Know You Could Win?
If I were to list deadly sins in sales, at the top would be failure to stay in touch with good prospects who are not yet ready to buy.
Circuits Assembly, April 2019

IPC Redesigns EMS Program Manager Certification Program
The revamped online course is supplemented with interactive webinars.
Circuits Assembly, February 2019


Sounding Board 2018
Reflections and Looking Ahead from the MPO Advisory Board
Medical Product Outsourcing, December 2018

Is It Time to Move?
Calculating costs to move physical gear is much simpler than predicting inefficiencies of new locales.
Circuits Assembly, December 2018

How Well Does Your Team Communicate?
A strong communications strategy for front-line employees pays big dividends.
Circuits Assembly, October 2018

A Challenging Market Equals Opportunity
Trade conditions bring “rain” to everyone. Focus on the customer experience.
Circuits Assembly, August 2018

Ten Considerations in the Jump From Job Shop to Full Service EMS Provider
Your customer wants to grow. Are you ready for the transition?
Circuits Assembly, June 2018

Why #MeToo May be a Step Too Far
Is the bigger issue a lack of trust in those who don't "look" like us?
Circuits Assembly, April 2018

The Trump Effect, One Year Later
Businesses are happy, but there is more work to be done.
Circuits Assembly, February 2018


The Value of Consistency in Customer Service
Resolving variances in program management across multiple facilities.
Circuits Assembly, December 2017

Could Foxconn's Wisconsin Deal Actually Materialize?
An more importantly, who will it affect and how?
Circuits Assembly, October 2017

Program Management and Negotiation: Same Rules, but a Different Playing Field
In the OEM-EMS relationship, getting to win-win requires a clearly stated business case.
Circuits Assembly, August 2017

Some Common Sense Thoughts on Finding Assemblers
Service sector businesses have plenty of functional parallels to SMT.
Circuits Assembly, June 2017

Enhancing Recruitment Efforts with Public-Private Partnerships
After more than two decades of a service economy, manufacturing companies have a challenge: recruiting employees.
SMT Magazine, May 2017

Revisiting The Trump Effect: Dealing with the Fear Factor
How EMS companies with plants in the US or Mexico can benefit. 
Circuits Assembly, March 2017

The Trump Effect and Manufacturing
It will be a year of breaking paradigms. It’s about time.
Circuits Assembly, January 2017


Better with Age
Are generational differences impacting your program management team’s performance?
Circuits Assembly, December 2016

Choose Your Marketing Strategy
EMS industry sales and marketing: why strategies vary widely.
SMT Magazine, December 2016

The Service Economy: Today's Training Challenge
When developing recruiting programs, don’t overlook employee integration.
Circuits Assembly, October 2016

Building Bridges With Cross Cultural Teams
Are you managing effectively cross culturally?
SMT Magazine, October 2016

EMS and Strategic Planning
Can market research help investment decisions? Sometimes.
Circuits Assembly, August 2016

Systems Strategy and Differentiation in EMS
No single “right” answer exists, but the right system will reduce cost and align with customer requirements.
Circuits Assembly, June 2016

Leveraging the EMS Business Model
The OEM should focus on total cost and alignment with business requirements.
Circuits Assembly, April 2016

Negotiation Tips and Tricks for Program Managers 
Seven smart ways to keep a program on track.
Circuits Assembly, February 2016

Digital Distinction
Success in the medtech EMS space is dependent on versatility, adaptability, and differentiators like connectivity technology expertise.
Medical Product Outsourcing, January/February 2016


Program Management Models
Strategic vs. tactical: which makes more sense?
Circuits Assembly, December 2015

The STEM Challenge
Are Manufacturers Engaged Enough?
Circuits Assembly, October 2015

Establishing an Operation in Mexico Means Evaluating Tradeoffs
For manufacturers, Mexico is a balance of promise and complexity.
Circuits Assembly, August 2015

Branding, Marketing and Selling in EMS
Aligning the three components of the sales process starts with a review of the business strategy.
Circuits Assembly, June 2015

Manufacturing Matters
Local production creates an economic engine the service economy can’t keep pace with.
Circuits Assembly, April 2015

The Death of the Knowledgeable EMS Salesperson
Finding doors are not opening to your sales pitch? Is it increased competition or the possibility that a commodity sales pitch isn't connecting with potential customers?
Circuits Assembly, February 2015

Fully Charged
A look at trends in medical outsourcing.
Medical Product Outsourcing, January-February 2015


The Right Way to Disappoint a Customer
Managed correctly, screwing up can help strengthen a relationship. This article looks at both the right way and the wrong way to tell a customer that a commitment can't be met.
Circuits Assembly, December 2014

The Customer Service Equation in EMS
Are you getting the return you expect from your program managers?
Circuits Assembly, October 2014

EMS Marketing is a Numbers Game
Amazed at the number of views a recent blog of mine (The Five Biggest Myths in Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) Sales and Marketing) received, I am expanding on the theme this month.
Circuits Assembly, August 2014

Are Buyers Commoditizing Your Company?
Picking the low bidder is always a safe and defensible choice. If one contractor appears to provide a better solution than the rest, slightly higher pricing is permitted. While some salespeople are better than others at achieving higher pricing, the reality is that consistently winning projects without being the lowest bidder is a team effort and a multi-stage process. This month’s column looks at how that workload should be divided between sales and the operations team.
Circuits Assembly, June 2014

The Business Prenup
One of the tongue-in-cheek justifications for changing the name of the electronics contract manufacturing industry to the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry back in the mid 1990s was that some “contract” manufacturers didn’t even have contracts with their customers. The reality is that the industry has two kinds of companies: those that don’t worry much about contracts and those that won’t produce product without a signed contract.
Circuits Assembly, April 2014.

Differentiation Without Confusion in EMS?
Selling an innovative value proposition means showing the idea has worked for similar end-customers.
Circuits Assembly, February 2014


Does Reliability Have a Place in EMS?
Experts say physics of failure is overtaking MTBF as the go-to model.
Circuits Assembly, December 2013

Dynamically In Sync
Despite a difference in market size, Singapore’s manufacturing sector has strong parallels to the US’s.
Circuits Assembly, October 2013

The Ins and Outs of Customer Satisfaction Surveys
To get useful results, make surveys actionable – and quick.
Circuits Assembly, August 2013

The Manufacturing Spin
Can the US shift out of a destiny as a service economy?
Circuits Assembly, June 2013

Finding The Right Contractor
Issues that make or break an outsourcing relationship.
Circuits Assembly, April 2013

Process Efficiency and Your Brand
Is your company evolving as fast as technology is?
Circuits Assembly, February 2013


Satisfying Defense Customers with a Mix of Well Defined Processes and Systems
Regional EMS providers face a unique challenge in the defense subcontracting realm. On one hand they often have an ideal mix of services to support high-mix, low-volume defense projects. On the other hand, the requirements for rigorous configuration management, maintaining older component inventories, and compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) can strain internal resources in smaller organizations.ulti-generational teams can ensure new technology is properly vetted.
MilAero 007, July 2012


Strategy Plays Key Role in Mid-Tier EMS Supply Chain Management
There is merit to the idea that larger firms get better material pricing and larger allocations of critical components than their smaller counterparts. They also often have better global procurement capabilities. But, since raw material cost is often 60 to 75% of unit price, why haven’t the big fish emptied the pond by now?
SMT Magazine, September 2011


MX Business Space: Assessing Singapore and Its Workers
Medical device contractors in Singapore focus on quality of life for empolyees.
MX Magazine, September 2010

Finding the Right Formula
Singapore’s public-private partnership synergies help eliminate hidden outsourcing costs.
Medical Product Outsourcing, January/February 2010

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