Wiring Harness News WHN May-Jun 2012

s i : • Galaxy Wire & Cable e h s T su re Is tu • Further Decoding the SBIR Grant Process a • WHMA Spring Conference Coverage e F • Choosing the Right Cutting & Stripping Machine MAY JUNE 2012 Galaxy Wire & Cable “Light-years beyond the competition” By Fred Noer ______________________________ owerful is the slogan of Galaxy Wire & Cable: “Light-years beyond the competition.” It could be complemented by an equally compelling motto: “Service that is out of this world.” To company owner Kathy Stussy, stay- ing ahead of her competitors means hav- ing stellar service. She built Galaxy Wire & Cable (GWC) primarily on relation- ships with people in all aspects of her business – staff members, customers, suppliers and any others who interact with her business. As it has been since Stussy founded it in June 1995, GWC is located in Hor- sham, Pa., a city of 15,000 people 30 miles north of Philadelphia. The compa- ny, which Stussy expects to do $7 mil- lion in sales this year, has two divisions – supplier of custom and commodity wire P and cable and manufacturer of wiring harnesses and cable assemblies. “Whether it’s a customer or a vendor, we don’t want an order, we want a rela- tionship,” Stussy, 58, said. “I think our cus- tomers know and appreciate that. “We are honest and open with every- one because we want to help customers by providing solutions and good prod- ucts,” Stussy said. “You could say we do business the old-fashioned way because we are not going to lie to somebody and say we can get something to them in six weeks when we know it takes 10 weeks.” Such a principled approach has pro- vided the foundation for Stussy to grow professionally and to start GWC. She began in the wire and cable supply industry in 1981 and worked in sales and purchasing at four companies in the greater Philadelphia area before opening GWC. Further Decoding the SBIR Grant Process In the last issue of Wiring Harness News, we provided a brief schematic for funding your R&D through Government SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grants. In that article, we interviewed Chip Laingen, of Minnesota Wire, to get his perspective on navigat- ing the SBIR process. As promised, we sought further input from someone responsible for publishing, administer- ing, selecting, and managing the SBIR process. Brian Vetter is with CIV NAVAIR. He is the technical point of con- tact on wiring system SBIRs for the Navy. He is instrumental in writing and administering SBIRs and, it is hoped, this interview will take some of the mystery out of the process. WHN: How do you select topics for potential SBIR proposals? Vetter: When we put out a topic solicitation, we formally or informally ________________Continued on page 12 The Galaxy Wire & Cable Engineering Department works closely with pro- duction staff. Stussy, who serves as president and CEO, founded – and funded – GWC by herself. Her start-up plan “worked seam- lessly,” she said. “I never skipped a beat because loyal customers who had fol- lowed me through the years switched over. Part of Stussy’s success could be attrib- uted to destiny. “I always knew one day I would have my own business,” she said. “That was apparent at a very early age.” Stussy’s premonition is consistent with one of her strongest characteristics today. She is obsessed with predicting what the future holds for her business. “I do not work in today,” Stussy said. “I always work in tomorrow. I’m thinking of the next thing to catapult us around the next bad time. There are a couple of things in the pipeline now for the future. I am very cognizant of what is coming.” ________________Continued on page 16 WHMA Conference nseasonably warm weather greeted WHMA members at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, on February 15 - 17. A record number of members were in attendance at this years conference commerating the 20th year of WHMA. As usual, attendees were treated to pre- sentations from leading industry profes- sionals on cutting edge subjects, as well as the second largest exhibitor count for WHMA conferences. The Chairman of WHMA, Mark Wood, opened the meeting and presented the annual Bud and Gus Award. This years award went to Mike Rizzo of Schleu- niger for his years of service and advice to the industry. Kicking off the list of presentations was Jason Piatt, President of Praestar Technology. Praestar provides consult- ing and training services to manufactur- ers, and specializes in market develop- ment and manufacturing process improvement. Mr. Piatt instructed value is increased by either decreasing acquisi- tion costs, or by increasing a products features and benefits. He noted that cus- tomers actually select a balanced value at a balances price point. They do this based on their willingness to trade off between the lowest price and the high- est added value of the final product. Returning to WHMA was David U Pheteplace of Bishop & Associates, Inc. Bishop & Associates is a market research firm specializing in the global electronic connector market. Mr. Pheteplace reported on the current health of the industry along with his prognosis for the future. He reported 2011 quarterly industry growth at 10.6% for Q1' 9.7% for Q2, and 9.2% for Q3. The only quar- ter that saw a year-over-year loss was Q4 at -2.3%. Pheteplace was encouraged by these numbers as they indicate an over- all 6.6% growth over a very strong 2010. His firm predicts a more modest 3.5% for the 2012 world connector market. Also returning to WHMA was Brian Hirt, Marketing Director at IEWC, a glob- al distributor of wire, cable, and wire management products. Mr. Hirt joked that his prediction for future copper prices is that they “will go up, then down, hold steady, drop quickly, bounce back, then climb before dropping again.” He said this to portray uncertainty in commodity prices, and advocated pric- ing strategies based on a long-term view of the market; coupled with some hedg- ing strategies that he outlined in detail. After lunch, Lyle Fahning outlined the IPC/WHMA-A-620 Standards, includ- ing the new A revision covering testing requirements and lead free acceptance _________________Continued on page 3