So here’s a question for all you business owners and managers, especially if your company exhibits at trade exhibitions: how do you define a successful trade show?
I reckon there are many metrics. Over the years, I’ve concluded that a show is successful by the number of leads you take. But that can be misleading as leads are not orders. At least, not yet. And who diligently follows an order back to its source?
I’ve defined success by the number of people cramming the aisles. But that’s a vanity thing: it’s good for the show organisers but people in the aisles are not on your stand.
How about by the calibre of the individuals, their job titles and company of origin who stop and engage you on your stand, seeking answers to their questions? That’s more meaningful. Especially if they have technical questions. And you get to zap their badges with your barcode wand to ease future communications!
Well, thanks to exhibiting at the Electronics Design Show, we now have a new success metric for Thermal Issues. It’s this: measure how many competitors happen past your stand with a worried look on their faces? I never realised we were such a threat to the thermal interface materials supply community! But it seems we are, judging by the number of visits and level of interest from ‘competitors’.
I say ‘competitors’ in quotes because, naturally, we don’t have any real competitors. That’s the point. No-one does exactly what we do – you know, things like rapid prototyping that deploys the same manufacturing process that will be used for full production – with that transition completely seamless. (Incidentally, what better way to prove your prototypes?) Or not charging for tooling. So yes, that does make Thermal Issues a threat, and quite rightly so. We’ve introduced a disruptive methodology. And disruptors always break new ground.
Aside from the curious competitive interest, we also saw some really big name prospects. I’d love to tell you who but I daren’t; it’s too ‘out there’! Let’s just say that some were businesses I’ve been unable to gain access to in previous technical and sales roles in my former life – before I established Thermals Issues Ltd. So that’s hugely exciting.
Several need help at their development stages. We can do that. Okay, you’ll know that in our traditional business model we make no charge for tooling. That’s attractive to designers as it lets them stay agile with revisions. But not everybody takes development through to production in the same way. That’s why we have rolled out a Thermal Issues business model that delivers materials and expertise solely for development projects, that permits flexibility to encompass the production run that follows.
So if the Electronics Design Show proved anything, it’s the need to adapt easily to client demands – not just in the responsiveness of our service delivery, but in the way you model those services to suit special requirements. Now that a success metric if ever I saw one!
Best regards – Neil
Am I in danger of using the word ‘rewarding’ too often? I described the recent Thermal Issues editorial in Electronics Sourcing magazine as rewarding. Now I find myself using the same word for the Electronics Design Show. In fact, I’m going to escalate that to “very rewarding”. That’s our experience of the first day (yesterday) at the smart Ricoh Stadium venue in Coventry.
Why was it very rewarding? Well, firstly it was a very busy event – and that’s always a great start. Secondly, we saw many people keen to discuss our thermal interface material technologies and interested in our seamless ‘prototype-to-production’ business model. I can’t imagine we would have met these individuals any other way. Thirdly, we landed some very fine leads. We’re confident they will result in business.
As I write this blog, we’re just setting up for day two. Expectations are high. Watch this space for a show report – coming soon to a Thermal Issues blog space near you!
By the way, there’s still time to visit us at the exhibition. You’ll find us on stand B50. Don’t even think of coming to the show and not visiting our stand!
Best regards – Neil
It was very rewarding to open the latest edition of Electronics Sourcing magazine to find a sizeable piece of editorial about Thermal Issues. In fact, we were kindly granted an entire page in the October 2015 edition.
Obviously, our products, solutions and services are of direct interest to readers of Electronics Sourcing, that was never in doubt, but it’s good to see that promise endorsed by a respected industry publication. Our Managed Inventory Service is especially relevant to hard-pressed procurement professionals, and that comes across nicely in the editorial.
On top of that, we manage to explain how we removed three traditional barriers to progress: easy online ordering of standard parts; prototype patterns manufactured in exactly the same way as final production parts; and the celebrated Managed Inventory Service.
So our thanks to the editorial team at Electronics Sourcing. If you receive your own copy of the magazine, turn to Page 32 and enjoy reading about our endeavours. You can even see a picture of me looking happy. If you’re not on the ES circulation, click here to call up the interactive online version of the magazine – and be sure to sign up for your own hard copy immediately!
Feel free to share your thoughts and observations on this editorial, on this blog posting, and on anything else we do, for that matter. We like to communicate.
It’s been some time coming, and we've jumped through a few hoops, but now it’s finally here. Yes, Thermal Issues Ltd has been certified as ISO9001:2008 compliant.
Registered No. 20154280
That’s great news for us as it proves what we already knew – that our manufacturing and business management processes are up to scratch. We reckon that’s good news for our customers too. It’s one thing to be able to take quality for granted (we do and we expect our customers to as well) but it’s another to have certification from a world-recognised body to prove it. That’s reassuring for everyone.
Many of our customers will have been through this stringent audit process themselves. So they’ll be aware of what’s involved. If you’re not so familiar with the International Organization for Standardization, it is summed up quite neatly on the ISO website – here’s a snippet:
ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization:
Makes it all sound rather straightforward, doesn't it? It isn't. But it is worth it. We’re certainly very happy with the positive outcome.
Want to know more? You can read about the requirements for ISO certification here: http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=46486
We’ve known for a long time that it’s a serious challenge for procurement people to source parts for bespoke electronic designs. And that includes thermal interface material parts. Or anti-vibration material parts. Or electrically isolating material parts. Or ESD safe interface parts. You get the idea.
The issue is not about the type of material needed for the specific part. It’s about the nature of bespoke design. It will come as no surprise to product developers that prototype designs change regularly – that’s the point of prototyping. Fortunately, our ability to work directly from electronic design data keeps our manufacturing service agile, so we’re on top of that – usually to the delight of designers. They don’t have to worry about tooling charges for short runs or one-offs.
Once a design is ratified, production can begin. That’s where procurement teams are handed the challenge to source the parts. Locating thermal interface and related materials for standard component profiles is straightforward. Generally, they are widely available from suppliers – and from Thermal Issues, of course. In fact, we have a distinct competitive advantage thanks to the responsiveness of our e-commerce website. Ordering online from us is fast and easy – and great value, naturally.
But parts for bespoke component patterns are different. How do you predict future usage?
That’s where our all-new Managed Inventory Service kicks in. And it makes life blissfully simple for buyers. We take a 3, 6 or 12-month order based on expected projections of quantity and manufacture the parts immediately. Then we hold them on the shelf until they’re needed. Our customers call batches off as required. And we only bill them when we do.
It’s particularly useful when a requirement is suddenly brought forward – and that happens more often than you’d imagine. Trust our 30 years of experience there. Parts can be called at very short notice, and even shipped by same-day courier if things are really urgent.
There’s no other way to cost effectively source bespoke parts against an unplanned (or unforeseen) schedule with such responsive delivery.
Thermal Issues’ Managed Inventory Service also removes a burden for specifiers – the designers – as they know that a reliable materials source is at hand; and that it’s the same high quality source for full production as they used to prove a design during the prototype development stages. That’s reassuring.
Several of our customers are already taking advantage of our Managed Inventory Service. Give me a call or drop me an email if you think it could work for you, or if you’d just like to know more.
Best regards – Neil
Just a quick note to our customers, business partners and other fans that Thermal Issues will be exhibiting in the Engineering section at the forthcoming Electronics Design Show in Coventry, on 21st and 22nd October. The event takes place in the Jaguar Exhibition Hall at the Ricoh Arena. You’ll find us on Stand B50.
If you’re planning to visit the show, be sure to pop by for a chat.
Naturally, we’ll be there to discuss our expertise in all things thermal, from thermal interface material characteristics and bespoke part profiles to fast-turn supply for prototyping and the many challenges that thermal management presents in electronic subassemblies. But we’ll also be promoting our newly-launched Managed Inventory Service – a great solution to ease the burden of hard-pressed procurement professionals. More about that in a future blog.
Meanwhile, check out our listing on the exhibition website - http://www.electronics-design-show.co.uk/visiting/exhibitor-list
We look forward to seeing you there.
Best regards – Neil