It was certainly a year that was filled with interesting and rewarding challenges. For anyone who doesn’t like a dull moment, the contract manufacturing environment is the place to be! I’d like to take this opportunity to outline the advances we have made in services (ProtoSnap!), our second line, new customers and products, our China operations, a new Advisory Board, and more.
Chief among our accomplishments last year was the introduction of a dedicated prototyping service, ProtoSnap. It provides fast, efficient turnaround for new PCB prototypes. We deliver additional value by providing design-for-manufacturing (DFM) review, helping our customers to ensure that their designs can be produced as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
ProtoSnap process extends our end-to-end service offerings for companies producing low-to-mid-volume electronics products. By building relationships with our customers early in the design phase, we can improve the success of products once they reach production.
A Second Line
With the doubling of the size of our facility, last year also saw the establishment of a second manufacturing line. With two lines in place, we now have added flexibility to handle customer requirements.
Speaking of customers, we established a number of new business relationships last year and continued to serve many of our existing customers. We are building a variety of new products in which microelectronics systems bring a new level of efficiency to an industry or a process that had previously relied upon lower forms of mechanics or manual operations. For example, we are building a new line of race car fuel pump controllers for Induction Dynamics, an innovative mining sensor for Dragan Technologies, and a parachute de-reefer device, to name just a few.
China presents a valuable opportunity for fast, low-cost contract manufacturing, but the risks to the manufacturer can be high. Through solid due diligence, on-the-ground research, and strong supply relationships, a North American company can successfully transition its manufacturing processes to China and reap the competitive benefits. Because we have an established partner in China, we frequently act as a strategic partner for companies who have appropriate volumes and designs to transfer product assembly to that country.
With a view to directing the company in the mid to long term, our first Advisory Board was established. The members include Dr. Michel Jullian, our founder and past President; Peter Andrews, who has more than 25 years of strategic, operational, financial and transition management in diverse industries including several technology companies; and, George Cwynar, who also has deep electronics company experience most recently as CEO of MOSAID Technologies.
I am enjoying a close collaboration with this team as we take OCM Manufacturing through its next phase of growth.
Despite uncertain global economic times, Ottawa, Ontario and Canada have has a tremendous depth of engineering talent and the desire to innovate and create new products is as strong as ever. For me, that is the most interesting aspect of our business: knowing that another innovative electronics product that solves a niche market requirement could be brought to us any day of the week. Wait! I think I hear a knock at the door!