Green Circuits' Three Tips to Be a Well-prepared Customer


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Nolan Johnson speaks with Joe Garcia, VP of sales and marketing at Green Circuits, about how they can help on both the front and back end of the process, their hidden gem—design services—as well as three tips to be a well-prepared customer.

Nolan Johnson: We’re here to talk about how to make your customer successful. For our readers, can you start with a quick overview of Green Circuits?

Joe Garcia: Green Circuits focuses on servicing customers in the prototype development phase of their product life cycle as well as ongoing and sustaining production—mostly low to medium volume and medium- to high-mix products. The more complex, the better, which is where we see our niche. We’re able to work quickly and nimbly, which creates the added benefit of being flexible to meet our customer’s needs. We can also scale quickly for customers that come out of the NPI prototype phase and need to ramp up to production. We ramp them using the same team and systems to help the transition and enable them to get to market faster.

Johnson: That’s a great summary. What’s the one thing you would want every customer to understand about delivering a job to your shop?

Garcia: We want to be as thorough as possible with each customer’s particular job. But, at the same time, we want to match our speed and flexibility to the needs and expectations of the customer—truly being a customer solution provider in the EMS space.

Johnson: What sort of services and assistance do you provide to customers that they seem to overlook, or don’t realize you have?

Garcia: Most customers know that a majority of what we do is complex, turnkey, PCBA work. But they often don’t think about using us for the things on the front and back end of that core solution. For example, we often have a good dialogue with our customers about supporting them with more layout work; that seems to be where the low-hanging fruit is from a design standpoint. In addition, we provide DFM input on the front end and open their eyes to our ability to support their system assembly and test requirements on the back end.

Many customers take advantage of some or all of the services on the menu. What may happen is some of these service offerings will be introduced to a prospective or an existing customer as they’re going through a particular job, but our customers may not have time to take advantage of them because a lot of what we do is quick turn. So, we may see a request on subsequent orders for this additional service. Again, the places they tend to overlook are on the front and the back end of the value stream.

Johnson: Let’s talk just a little about the very front end, such as design services. I’ll confess that I didn’t realize Green Circuits offered that service.

Garcia: We can do full product design. Currently, 80% of our design work comes from customers requesting some sort of board layout activity. We often hear from our customers that their internal engineering teams tend to want to focus on new product development. So, there’s an opportunity—especially in today’s climate with material obsolescence affecting new and existing designs—to redesign or update the design of an existing product to incorporate better material availability or implement DFM suggestions. We can take over the type of work that the OEM’s internal engineering or design development team doesn’t necessarily want to do.

Of our existing business, less than 15% of our customers are utilizing our design service offering. So, that’s an area where we are trying to create more awareness. The customers that use it are happy with the service and returning for follow-on work in the design space and manufacturing.

Johnson: That is a hidden gem. If you find a customer who needs a design service, you provide a great deal of value.

Garcia: Absolutely. And we do a good job of implementing what we learned in the design phase when we run the first prototype job with the new design. So, we’re very collaborative on the manufacturing side when working with our design team.

Johnson: What does a perfect job look like for your shop? That might be how it’s packaged or where it fits with respect to volume or type.

Garcia: That’s a tough question because everything we do is custom and/or customer-specific. We really take pride in engaging with customers on jobs that are critical for them and require a quick turnaround. For instance, we had a customer who needed a project completed for a trade show, and we were able to assist them with doing the final design—in this case, board layout—ordering the parts and delivering a product to them in just over two weeks. So, we felt like we added value to them.

They came to us in a pinch, and we were able to move quickly, solve a problem, and, ultimately, help the customer be successful. Outside of that, a perfect job would be customers looking for a full turnkey solution for a complex electronic product ideally going to go into box build with some test.

To read the full article, which appeared in the May 2019 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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