Combining Strengths Synergistically: PDS and Green Circuits


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Matties: When you decide to merge companies, there's both a financial and business aspect, but there is also bringing together two cultures. What was the appeal?

Park: You are right. Culture is very important and our team and the PDS team didn’t know if the cultures matched or not. During three months of negotiation, we learned more about each other’s team and realized that there were numerous synergies within the cultures. First, both organizations are very flexible. There is also a respect of each organizations team and the value they bring to the merger.

We have a strong capacity, five lines, and a good robotic system and acumen, however, the people in the organization are number one. At Green, one thing we have not had any employees leave since 2006. Many employees are devoted to working at Green. I see the same employee dedication at PDS. Because PDS management is like our management, we respect the people and give ownership to them. So there is a very strong cultural connection between PDS and Green Circuits making the merger decision more enticing.

 

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Secondly, Green Circuits has been in business for more than 10 years. We don't have strong sales because we focused our expansion on the capability and capacity of the engineering team and service to the customer. I did not spend the time expanding the sales side. My expertise is not around bringing in new customers. However, PDS has a very strong marketing and sales team. The complimentary benefits of the strong capacity and capability of Green Circuits, and the strong sales team of PDS, is a good match for future growth.

O’Neil: The growth that Green has seen over the last 10 years, without a sales team, is a testament to quality, delivery, and customer first commitment, and it resulted in word-of-mouth growth. They don't lose their employees because they respect them, and they don't lose customers. In this industry, that's a key differentiator.

Matties: The last 10 years hasn't always been an easy.

Park: Yes. Our first two to three years was a tough time. In 2006, I secured a few customers because we gave customers confidence that we could do lead-free assembly.

Other CMs were struggling, but my team worked with Qualcomm in the past, and Qualcomm was one of the big customers that had to change to a lead-free process. We spent six months developing a lead-free process profile which was our key to successful securing customers.

In one situation, our customer, gave their boards to a large CM. The end-customers computers began to fail due to an inadequate lead-free process. We stepped in and built the boards using our lead-free process, which solved the computer failure issue and resulted in a happy customer.

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Matties: I think you learn a lot in tough times, too. You learn what makes you stronger.

Park: Right. Two years later, we had good customer growth. But I explained to our team, we’re not finding new customers because we don't have good marketing skills yet. So we just focused on our current customers. We tried to deliver on our commitment, and we never missed. There’s always a shipment, there's a promise, and there is quality. So we grew those things and then we’d get another customer, and so on.

Matties: So your growth has been kind of a steady curve?

Park: Pretty much.

Matties: With this new merger, do you expect your growth to take a sharp turn upward?

Park: That's what I am thinking (laughs).

Matties: You're talking about capacity. If you are accustomed to slower growth, how will you handle the potential sharp growth?

Park: Now we have five lines using only 50-60% of our capacity.

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Matties: With the team you have in place?

Park: Yes, that's no problem at all.

Matties: From your point of view, Joe, having a facility geared to grow already in place, that's just a marketer's dream come true I think.

O’Neil: Yes. Having Ted, the godfather of Green, is a valuable benefit. Ted’s experience, working with a major OEM, quality engineering, doing global supplier audits, understanding needs the customer's standpoint, and what's really required on the EMS side is a huge advantage. That level of understanding, commitment, and care is has built Green Circuits. This transaction doesn't have Ted disappearing. He's a core part of the technology and operational leadership. I have enjoyed working with him through the process.

Park: I am not leaving. I am here (laughs).

O’Neil: Bringing customers in and knowing that they are going to be happy is an exciting value proposition.

Park: It's exciting and a good partnership because to me, I can focus on my area of expertise, to put the customer number one and let PDS focus on their areas of expertise; sales and marketing.

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