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Address Your Challenges And Gain Your ROI Within 9 Months

The World-Class Executive’s Five Year Survival Plan

Throughout successive peaks and troughs of the business climate, there are always opportunities to succeed over competitors in the market. The more volatile the electronics industry becomes, the greater the opportunities, but the more difficult it may seem to address them. Today, with business being challenged in so many areas, and with such key changes in the ways that the electronics product market is working, there are some amazing opportunities for those who are prepared to think and act, perhaps some would say, more radically than in previous times. Some core behaviours and attributes of the production operation may need to change, challenging the core of what has been put in place, never something to be taken lightly.

The world-class executive is expected to take the responsibility for making decisions which follow a vision to steer their business through to success, for share-holders, employees and for that personal satisfaction. The five year plan is the essential tool to explain this vision and put key milestones into place. It is not a 5 year plan where success comes at the end; it should be a plan of continual success throughout the period, with core changes introduced at appropriate times.

At the APEX show in San Diego next week (19th – 21st February), as well as making presentations at our Mentor Graphics Booth (#1227) on this and related subjects, I will also be presenting a poster which explores the areas that the world-class executive in electronics manufacturing should be including in their plans, looking in detail as to how the industry and especially the way in which electronics positions are sold in the market, now drive the need for manufacturing to bear the brunt of a great deal more demand for flexibility according to unpredicted demand pattern from the customers. Removing the barriers and costs for the production operation to be agile is therefore a key issue. Some barriers are physical, such as the overhead of managing large stocks of materials that accumulate on the shop-floor. Others are bottlenecks of engineering and planning. Engineering, planning and above all, materials, are key silos in the production operation, each containing a lot of history and momentum for the way they work. This is a good thing much of the time as small errors can have catastrophic effects to the business performance. Sometimes however, things need to move on, MRP technologies are still based on 1970s derived ideals. Changes made however need to be practical and real, so messing about with the technology of the day or meaningless boxes that would-be solution providers bring along to tick, is definitely not the way forward. Core improvements need to be made in a managed way by people who understand the reality of these technologies, with experience over many years.

I invite you all to come along to the APEX show, visit our booth, come to see the theatre presentations, come and see the poster presentation. All challenges welcome!

The poster presentation is scheduled for 3:30pm on Wednesday 20th, and is free (please pre-register at

The theatre presentation schedule at the booth #1227 (just walk up in time for the start of any presentation) is:

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About Michael Ford

Michael FordMICHAEL FORD SENIOR MARKETING DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, VALOR DIVISION, MENTOR GRAPHICS Michael started his career as a computer software and hardware engineer in 1982. Working for Sony in the UK, Michael became one of the first successful adopters of computer technology into the manufacturing shop-floor, going on to manage in Japan Sony’s global Lean Manufacturing solutions. Joining Valor Computerized Systems in 2008 gave Michael the opportunity to apply his experience into the main-stream of the industry. With almost 30 years’ experience, Michael’s key strength is the instinct of finding solutions and opportunities where there had been challenges and problems. Michael is currently working as part of the Marketing Development team within the Valor Division of Mentor Graphics, focussing on the realisation of real and practical solutions for manufacturing based on the application of Lean Thinking, end to end, from design through the entire manufacturing process. Visit The Michael Ford Manufacturing Blog

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