Wiring Harness News WHN Sep-Oct 2012

s i : • Waste Stream Management e h s T su re Is tu • Wire Wisdom - Flexibility in Hazardous Locations a • Exit Scenarios for Owners of Wire Harness Manufacturers e F • Impact of On-Shoring in North America Electronics Industry SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2012 J&C Company Customer Care and Support Is Key to What They Do By Fred Noer Wiring Harness News _________________________________ s a concept, customer service is simply making sure all of a customer’s expectations and needs are met. Putting it into practice often may be difficult, particularly in the wiring harness industry, due to the pos- sibilities of obstacles arising frequently and unexpectedly. At J&C Company in Lincoln, Neb., providing excellent customer service is accentuated so emphatically that presi- dent Jim Becker regards it as a major ele- ment distinguishing his company. “Cus- tomer care and support is very key to what we do,” he said. “It makes us unique and has become one of our market strengths.“Keeping in constant contact with our customers is important to us,” Becker said. “Then when we run into snags, when parts are not coming in, for example, nobody is surprised.” Though small as a business, keeping J&C Company large in the minds of its A customers and what it provides for them has been emphasized by Becker, 64, and his wife Cathy, 55, since they started it in October 1993. Harnesses are 95 percent of the firm’s business, but it also includes assembling and testing printed circuit boards and cutting wire, loom, PVC and heat-shrink tubing. J&C is poised to have sales of approx- imately $1.45 million this year, outdoing the firm’s best of $1.21 million last year. Annual growth in 2010 and 2011 was 25 percent, the same goal this year. “We’re managing our business smarter,” Becker said about rebounding from what he called “bad years” when sales dropped into the $800,000 range. Many of the improved management techniques have been learned the last several years by working with business coaches, most recently one from Action Coach, a company that has 1,000-plus offices in more than 43 countries and coaches more than 15,000 businesses weekly. “Having a business coach has been a great benefit to us,” Becker said. “I’m an IPC Study Predicts Impact of On- Shoring in NA Electronics Industry lectronics manufacturing oper- ations with a total value of at least $2.5 billion are expected to be brought to North America in the next three years, according to a much- anticipated new study, On-Shoring in the Electronics Industry: Trends and Outlook for North America, published by IPC – Association Connecting Elec- tronics Industries ® . Based on a May 2012 survey of 229 E companies with global revenues totaling more than $935.3 billion, the study indi- cates that on-shoring — actions by North American manufacturers to return overseas operations to North America or to build new operations in the region — has been occurring and will continue. Survey results showed that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were ________________Continued on page 53 Jim Becker President/Director of Engineering and Andy Harris reviewing documentation drawings done by Andy. engineer, not a businessperson, and Cathy’s strengths are in accounting, pur- chasing and production and operations management. We recognized that we lacked the proficiency of running a prof- itable business and that we were stag- nant. You’ve got to grow or die. “If we had not been coached before things got tough five years ago, we would not have survived,” Becker said. “We are doing a lot of different things to make us more viable as a business. We’re more efficient, we make sure the quality is there, we improve our turn time, and we keep our customers happy.” Although everyone at the company is indirectly involved with customer serv- ice, much of the direct interaction with ________________Continued on page 24 Waste Stream Management By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News _________________________________ n the July/August issue, I high- lighted various environmental standards as a framework for developing sound recycling policies for manufacturers. This article is intended to provide some tactical information for managing and monitoring waste streams, and solve some common manu- facturing waste headaches. In doing so, I will be introducing readers to a some- what new business model for waste stream management. My initial query into this subject led me to a dialog with Sam Yankelevitch of Prettl Electric Corporation, in Greenville, South Carolina. Sam men- tioned that a key driver to their ISO 14001 environmental efforts was through the use of an outside firm who managed their entire waste streams, and wrote Prettl Electric a check at the end of the month. He put me in touch with Joel Powell, VP of Sales and Marketing for InStream Environmental, who pro- vides this service for Prettl. InStream operates throughout North America, and takes a comprehensive approach to managing their clients' waste or manufacturing by-products. They audit a potential client’s current I recycling and disposal processes, to pro- vide them with a streamlined regiment, and a maximized revenue stream. “We try to avoid using the term trash or scrap and get clients focused on the increasing opportunity for investment recovery,” Joel outlined. The audit is fairly straight forward, he described. “We start by going in and see- ing everything that’s going out the back door [to a landfill], what’s being recy- cled, or could potentially be recycled,” said Joel. He described how all haz- ardous and non-hazardous manufactur- ing by-products are tracked to ensure not only top dollar recovery, but also compliance with all federal, state, and local laws. They also confirm strict adherence to all safety protocols in the handling of these materials. Upon completion to this free analy- sis, Joel added, “We provide what we call a MaxRA, or Maximized Recovery Analy- sis. And that could be up to a 15-20 page detailed listing of our observations, rec- ommendations, and proposals.” Upon acceptance of the proposal, Joel stated, InStream “becomes an extension of the staff in showing them ways to improve their efficiency by the processes, the segregation, the equipment, safe han- dling, and even educating folks on the marketability of the by-products." ________________Continued on page 12