Reading time ( words)
I spoke with Najat Badriyeh, CEO and president of Naprotek, about the current state of the supply chain as a contract manufacturer in Silicon Valley, adjustments the company has made, and what she anticipates for the future.
Nolan Johnson: Najat, for those who aren’t familiar with Naprotek, what’s your position with the company, and what does Naprotek do?
Najat Badriyeh: I’m the CEO and founder of Naprotek. We started in 1995. Naprotek is an electronic contract manufacturing service providing PCB assembly. We support many different technologies, and we specialize in prototype and small-volume production. Our primary market segments include military, medical, and industrial. We also support R&D, semiconductor equipment manufacturers, and networking customers. 2020 marks our 25th year of operation. I was working with my team to prepare an appropriate anniversary event when the pandemic began for our customers and key suppliers. We immediately put all of that on hold when it became apparent how serious this situation would become.
Johnson: You’re facing a lot of disruption in your business environment. What do you see, and how are you handling it?
Badriyeh: Naprotek continues to endure. We were fortunate that the leadership in California reacted faster than most other areas. Santa Clara County was one of the first counties to order shelter in place for all residents. On March 13, I asked everyone who had laptops to take their systems with them in case they had to work from home until we had more information about the pandemic and how it would affect our business. It was possible that they would need to work from home for some time, as the initial news was not encouraging. Subsequent events happened quickly. We closed on March 16 by 3 p.m. as we received the order from the Santa Clara County Health Officer that all residents were being directed to shelter in place. It was a shock to all of us.
Even though we had heard rumors about impending shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, we did not take it as seriously as we should have. We did react quickly by sending people home when the order was issued. The news about the spreading pandemic was uncertain, so we encouraged everyone to stay aware of the unfolding events and what was happening locally and around the world. We closed for approximately one week, waiting for input from the city leaders regarding shelter-in-place orders and how businesses should comply with the order.
Throughout that week, I was on conference calls with the city leadership team and in multiple meetings with other CEOs in Silicon Valley. In the beginning, there was chaos and panic because the orders were confusing. There were more questions than answers regarding operations, employee safety, the possible duration of this event, and what a recovery plan might look like. The leadership team did their best to respond, but it was clear this would be a longer-lasting event than most people realized at the beginning.
To read this entire interview, which appeared in the June 2020 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.