Wiring Harness News WHN Sep-Oct 2016

INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT Wiring Harness News NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 1 s i : • TACK Electronics e h s T su re Is tu • Small Talk a • Time Away on Time-A-Weigh e F • Wire Wisdom - Vertical-Tray Flame Tests SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2016 20 Years of Building Relationships at TACK Electronics By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News _________________________________ T wenty years of growth is is an impressive achievement for a business in any industry, but it represents a stellar accomplishment in the highly competitive wire harness industry. That’s what’s being celebrated this year at TACK Electronics Inc., in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From its hum- ble beginnings in 1996, they are now a premier supplier of harness assemblies throughout the United States and Cana- da.TACK has a 20,000 square foot facili- ty with 12,000 additional available for expansion, and has 40+ employees. TACK is currently producing har- nesses for Gaming & Amusement, Trans- portation, Communications, Medical, and other high-reliability applications. I recently spoke with Todd Maines, owner of TACK Electronics, to learn more about the company. Todd purchased the busi- ness from his parents, George and Linda Maines in 2015. As TACK reaches the 20 year milestone this year, he was eager to discuss the history, philosophy, and future plans for the company. While working for an electronics dis- tributor, George recognized a niche for short lead time, low-volume assemblies that fell outside traditional contract manufacturing capabilities. To fulfill the need, George and his wife Linda started TACK in the garage of the family home in 1996.Todd outlined some of the diffi- culties in the beginning, saying, “the early years were more about surviving day to day, trying to stay afloat, and try- ing to partner with customers and grow with them.” George and Linda wanted their new company to reflect the family atmos- phere that was so important to them. That's how they decided on the name. TACK stands for the initials of each of their children: Todd, Andrea, Charles (CJ) and Kim. George quickly saw his propensity to build and grow relationships pay off. He From left, Tina Maines, Todd Maines, Linda Maines, George Maines. gained a foothold in the amusement equipment industry building bespoke harnesses for a jukebox manufacturer. That association quickly lead him to some additional business in the vending industry.The jukebox products began to become less dependent on electrical harnesses, and TACK used their connec- tions to branch into the gaming indus- try. “We’ve been partnered with one gaming company for over ten years now, and from there we have added addition- al manufacturers in that industry,” Todd explained. In recent years TACK has enhanced their quality and process control ability to gain an even deeper hold on the gam- ing industry, while branching into some higher volume wiring requirements. “One of the main reasons TACK is suc- cessful today is that we can seamlessly fill small to large orders with short lead times,” Todd emphasized. He noted this ability has become increasingly impor- tant as a number of companies look back to domestic production after mixed success with overseas suppliers, who have large order requirements and long lead times. According to Todd, TACK has been building a strong engineering and man- agement team to prepare the company for continuous growth. They have also greatly enhanced efficiency throughout the shop by using Cetec ERP. Through these additions,and various training pro- grams,Todd asserted the company's abil- ity to stay ahead of customer quality demands. “Last fall we got a grant from the state of Michigan to bring in a lean trainer for the whole company,” he men- tioned.“We also hired an IPC Trainer and have certified all employees to the A-620 standard.” TACK has been able to leverage these changes into the extension of sev- eral value-added services.“Our team can work with customers to determine more cost effective solutions, and we can analyze or reverse engineer existing products to offer recommendations.” Todd relayed a recent situation with one ________________Continued on page 20 Kathy Freund Retires I t comes with mixed feelings as we announce the Retirement of Kathy Freund, our Advertising/ Circulation Manager for over 18 years. Kathy began her journey with Wiring Harness News when she answered an ad for office manager in 1998. She came on board at the same time the sales posi- tion was being filled. The salesperson left after two weeks, and Kathy quickly said, "I can do that!" She began to effec- tively handle both the sales and book- keeping functions since that time. Kathy helped Wiring Harness News succeed in several areas. In addition to helping advertisers effectively portray their businesses, Kathy helped build our strong presence at the EWPT Expo each year.Through her efforts, she has gained not only our respect and admiration, Kathy with her pride-and-joy Mustang. Thanks for your years of service, Kathy...we will miss you! but that of her customers. When recently asked what she liked about the Wire Harness industry, Kathy answered saying, "When I first came to the industry it was male dominated. But I found that everybody was welcoming, and I've never felt shunned because I'm a woman." Kathy hopes to do some traveling during the cold winters.“One of my best friends lives in Florida and my other best friend lives in Arizona, so they’re going to be seeing a lot of me!”, she men- tioned. But she does plan to return north to enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin sum- mers. We are so happy for Kathy, but we are sad to see her leave. Please join us in wishing her the best in the next steps of her journey.