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Incoming CEO Steve Pudles on the Acquisition of Zentech

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 12:03 PM

Nolan Johnson of iConnect007 talks to Steve Pudles about the recent acquisition of Zentech Manufacturing Inc. by BlackBern Partners LLC and Zentech management. Steve, also an investor in Zentech, steps in as the incoming CEO of the new organization and discusses the deal, his new role, changes to management, and the company's plans post-sale.

Nolan Johnson: Congratulations on the acquisition of Zentech and your new role. What is your plan moving forward as CEO?

Steve Pudles: The company will continue to be flexible, responsive, and all the things that we learned in diligence that impressed us and confirmed that we were acquiring a first-class company. Nothing is anticipated to change in that respect. The only changes long term will be to take all of the things the company does well, look at some of the systems and tools that we deploy, and attempt to improve the automation levels of data transfers, scheduling, manufacturing executions, software, better usage of some of the ERP tools. We want to give customers a marked improvement on what they already like.     

Johnson: Overall, you’re working on creating a tighter, more optimized manufacturing flow to give more options to your customers.

Pudles: The thing that’s important is that during diligence, we discovered that the customers had nothing but positive things to say regarding the performance of the company in the view of the customers. When you talk about optimizing, we’re going to improve and put things in place that are going to allow us to be more productive, but all it’s going to be is accelerating and advancing the things that are already being done well; I’m just going to make them be done well better (laughs).

Also, this is not a turnaround or a fire sale. This was a solid transaction that allowed BlackBern Partners and me to get involved in a company that is an outstanding base to both organically grow and geographically expand within the mil/aero and medical markets. We anticipate keeping the company focused on the markets that they’ve done well in, including high-reliability mil/aero and medical. We would like to put in more of that here in Baltimore and Virginia and expand with other key, strategic acquisitions as we identify them.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

Zentech Manufacturing Acquired by BlackBern Partners

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Mon, May 13, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Blackbern teams with Zentech Management and industry veteran Steve Pudles to accelerate effort to build leading electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider for Defense, Aerospace, Medical and other high-reliability industries

Baltimore, MD. and Fredericksburg, VA. – May 13, 2019 –Zentech Manufacturing, Inc., announced today that it has been acquired by BlackBern Partners LLC in partnership with Zentech Management and incoming CEO Steve Pudles.

Mr. Pudles has a thirty-year track record building EMS businesses with industry-leading technology, process, quality and customer service. He is a twenty-year member and past chairman of the Board of Directors of the IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries). Outgoing Zentech CEO and President, Matt Turpin, remains with Zentech as an advisor and investor. All members of the senior management team will remain with Zentech post acquisition.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer

Zentech's Mission Critical Tips for Program Success

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, May 03, 2019 @ 09:28 AM

Zentech's John Vaughan is interviewed in this month's issue of SMT007 in an article Zentech's Mission Critical Tips for Program Success.

Vaughan outlines how to make customer programs successful through early communication, complete design packages, and more.

Johnson: What’s the one thing you would want every customer to understand about delivering a data package to your quote team?
Vaughan: Well, I’m old-school, so planning and communication still matter more than anything to me. Often, if customers are running late against their deadlines, they will feel pressure internally to simply toss a data package over the fence, thinking that it’s complete enough and sufficient to both quote and build. If it’s a highly complex product, there’s a lot of dialogue that’s required. And the earlier the customer can engage us and communicate with us, outline their intentions, and be available for dialogue, the better results the program will have. 
They also need to understand that the lead time is primarily a byproduct of the component supply chain.After we have a complete kit of all of the components, our actual build schedule is only anywhere from 2–4 weeks, which is fast when you think about the complexity of the product. The challenge is that the component supply chain lead times have crept up dramatically across all device types, and it’s not unusual for us to run across components that have a year lead-time in today’s environment.
So, if the customer is proactively communicating from the beginning, and the design cycle might take them six months, we can get in front of a lot of issues by working together. If we’re in lockstep with them from the beginning, then we can negate some of those supply issues by pre-buying components, etc. If communication and data packages are incomplete, untimely and sporadic, then we cannot turn back the clock or accelerate the component supply chain appreciably. We can’t control the lead time on the components; that’s a primary challenge that everyone needs to consider. Zentech is one of the few EMS companies that will work with customers to mitigate risks, which is a significant, long-term benefit for everyone involved.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

Q2 2019 Market Conditions Report

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, May 02, 2019 @ 11:33 AM

Future Electronics recently released the Q2 2019 Market Conditions Report for the electronics industry.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

Guide to choosing your PCB Assembly partner

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Thu, Jul 05, 2012 @ 11:59 AM

Selecting and managing an Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) provider can be as stressful as it is risky.  With literally hundreds of options in the US and abroad, the decision is all too often limited just to price.   And while price is always important, there are other areas that can impact total cost of ownership (TCO) and add unnecessary risk to the program and organization if not properly considered.  Ten of these areas are explored in our free guide the “Top 10 questions you should be asking your Electronics Contract Manufacturer”

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Topics: Baltimore, Maryland PCB assembly