Finding the Perfect Partner

Reading time ( words)

Whether you’re making screen printers or producing solder paste, whether you’re part of a multinational conglomerate or you’ve spotted a niche and you’ve launched a startup company, one day you’ll need someone to find you new business, sell your stuff and keep your customers happy.

At some point, all sizes of SMT equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and consumable materials makers will rely on a network of “channel partners” to engage with, sell to and service their customers. These partnerships take many forms, ranging from a one-man (or woman) band to countrywide distributers, or even super-distributers, working across continents.

The way the partnerships work varies with the demands, responsibilities and consequent legal obligations of those involved. It’s a fastevolving business: as manufacturing technologies converge to satisfy the customer’s need for greater flexibility, faster operation and smaller product, there’s a growing imperative for channel partners to understand the applications and technology of the machinery and materials they support.

Add continual shifts in economic, legal, cultural and environmental factors to the mix and these partnerships can be tested—which is challenging because they’re vital for delivering consistent sales, great communication and the quality of service that customers expect—and you want to deliver. Everyone in the partnership should have the same goals: to maximise sales and build a reputation for providing the best value, with the best available technology, and exceptional customer service.

The rewards for a good partnership are increased margins and improved sales turnover, built through repeat orders and referrals. (A good reputation is a prize all too often underestimated when it comes to the bottom line.) However, finding the right balance of qualities when matching OEMs to channel partners can be a challenge. Get the partnership wrong and the result could not only be low sales performance, but the more drastic implications of poorly serviced global key accounts (GKAs), or interminable and expensive legal wrangling to solve disputes, or worse.

Read the full article here.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of SMT Magazine.



Suggested Items

Excerpt—The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to... SMT Inspection: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond, Chapter 3

04/22/2021 | Brent Fischthal, Koh Young America
Initiatives like the IPC Connected Factory Exchange (CFX) and IPC-Hermes-9852 underpin efforts within the industry to develop standards and help create a smart factory. These M2M communication standards, guided in part by Industry 4.0, are altering the manufacturing process by improving metrics such as first pass yield and throughput by applying autonomous process adjustments.

Excerpt—The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to... SMT Inspection: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond, Chapter 2

04/14/2021 | Brent Fischthal, Koh Young America
A limitation of many 3D optical inspection systems is the cycle time typically associated with processing millions of pixels to reconstruct a full 3D image using data captured from multiple channels. There should not be a compromise between 3D inspection and throughput. A successful inspection deployment should provide oversight for the process, not compromise, interrupt or slow that process.

Excerpt: The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to... SMT Inspection: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond, Chapter 1

04/08/2021 | Brent Fischthal, Koh Young America
Today, optical inspection systems are the preferred solution for in-line quality control in the SMT industry. Systems such as solder paste inspection (SPI) or automated optical inspection (AOI) systems for pre- and post-reflow are almost standard in every production facility.

Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.