Lessons Learned: Breaking Down the Four Types of Communication

Reading time ( words)

Kelly Dack and Nolan Johnson explore the silver linings from the past two years, especially the importance of good communication. These skills are—as they have always been—key to the success of the project. But how do you define the best methods for communication? Kelly breaks down four personality types and why it’s important to recognize how one person differs from another. When you better understand how a person thinks, your level of effective communication increases exponentially.

Nolan Johnson: Kelly, as an industry veteran with a great deal of experience in OEM design and expertise in the early stages of specifying a design for manufacturing and production, what are some of the lessons learned for working with your EMS provider that you and your coworkers have developed over the past two years?

Kelly Dack: I talk often about the stakeholders involved in creating printed circuits or electronics for the world. It involves communication which, just like in any relationship, is probably the foremost attribute to establish. We need good communication, or systems, processes, and people do not work. In our industry, we have relationships with suppliers, customers, and coworkers, and we need to recognize the importance of how we communicate with them.

When I look at suppliers in the electronics industry, for example, something that’s worked for me is to get out and meet them. I like to shake their hands and make eye contact. Most designers are very tactile. We like to touch and feel the materials. We like the smells of the assembly and fabrication lines.

At Prototron, part of my role was to reach out and shake the hands of their customers, to help them understand design for manufacturability, and how to design so that their products would flow through the manufacturing floors of the prototype fabrication supplier. I was in an office that was right down the hall from those who were doing the work—the sales, the lamination, and selecting materials. It gave me a holistic overview of everyone involved in the PCB fabrication industry. I made dozens of lasting relationships and widened my network. I know I can call on any of them for reference or to have a question answered.

Then I worked for an EMS provider and that opened my eyes to everything required for design for manufacturability and design for assembly. As a designer, I was able to see not only how my designs—which were sent to this company—were being assembled, but also to see hundreds of other customers’ designs and how they were (or not) being assembled by this provider. The designs being sent to our suppliers are not often able to be produced because of certain DFM, DFA, or DFX reasons.

They say the best way to learn is to teach. Now that I have the knowledge of what can and will go wrong, I can communicate back to our customers. We’ve created specifications and documentations so our customers can produce data and documentation that will help their products flow through our lines. It’s another opportunity to communicate.

Right now, I do work for EPTAC Corporation, a company in New Hampshire that supplies IPC standards knowledge to our industry. They train and teach design, soldering, manufacturing, assembly—all the specifications that make our industry run. That has given me the opportunity to meet hundreds of designers, software engineers, and all walks of life in the electronics engineering industry. I’ve built many relationships in helping them to learn IPC and design standards. From a supplier standpoint, building closer relationships has to do with communication, the ability to share knowledge, and to recognize what needs to be shared. 

To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the September 2022 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.


Suggested Items

Electronica 2022: Happy to Be Back in Munich

11/21/2022 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
As we stepped out of the hotel into the drizzling rain, we were relieved that it wasn’t snow. Looking down the escalator into the U2 platform in Munich’s Hauptbahnhof central station early on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 15 and observing the mass of humanity pushing and shoving to cram into trains to the exhibition centre, it appeared that a significant proportion of the international electronics industry had gathered to attend electronica 2022, co-located with SEMICON Europa and recognised as the world’s leading trade fair and conference for electronics.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

11/11/2022 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
The industry news cycle seems to be picking up speed lately. Of course, 30 days into the quarter is about when public companies announce their results, and in the midst of this worldwide financial situation, we’ve got all eyes on anything coming out from our counterparts in the industry. I’ve noticed that global corporate results (Nan Ya PCB and TTM, in particular) do seem to be on everyone’s radar. In addition to financial news, trade shows are popping back up around the world—Europe, India, and a special report from editor Andy Shaughnessy, who took his own road trip to Raleigh, reporting on PCB Carolina, which had its own heyday this year.

IPC to Unveil New Member Magazine, ‘IPC Community’ at IPC APEX EXPO 2023

11/09/2022 | IPC
IPC, in partnership with IPC Publishing Group (I-Connect007) will unveil an exciting new publication, "IPC Community," at IPC APEX EXPO 2023, as a continuation of its commitment to better serve the electronics industry and provide additional value for IPC members.

Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.