In one of my first blog posts I wrote about PCB Designers being the “unsung heroes of innovation.” After spending a week in Israel and visiting PCB Fabricators and Assemblers, I am even more convinced of the complexity of the PCB Development process. The cycle of complexity is accelerating – we see this amongst our customers in our annual Technology Leadership Awards and we see this day in and day out in terms of the projects we are engaged in.
In my most recent post I talked about WHY PCB MATTERS – and referred to a study from Aberdeen regarding research they conducted. This research supports our assumption that PCB is a highly essential part of the overall product development process. One of the key research points from that study is that PCB’s make up to 31% of the overall costs of a product.
My observations from my visits this week make it easy to see why. Not only are technologies becoming more complex but also processes are increasing in complexity. Yet there is still lots of islands of activity that are not integrated. Mentor is trying to address both the technology complexity as well as the process complexity in multiple ways – such as through product development and through acquisitions, like we recently completed with Valor.
Getting back to the study, we figured our efforts should not stop there. We wanted to give the wider PCB community a chance to assess your practices against the wider samples/benchmarks from the Aberdeen study. So we partnered with Aberdeen in establishing a on-line assessment tool to give you a core understanding of how your organizations stack up against the wider use-case samples. This assessment is not about Mentor solutions or about specific technologies, it’s about overall PCB development practices.
Take a look at our landing page – there we have a webinar by Michelle Boucher, a consultant from Aberdeen offering an overview of the study. You can also download the study itself. Lastly, you can take the online assessment and leverage the findings for your own organization as a point of discussion for possible areas of improvement.
The major intent of these efforts is mostly to raise the level of conversation around PCB. I think we too often get lost in the technology discussions and not enough in terms of extracting the business value of what we are doing.