Contract electronics manufacturer recruits purchasing specialist
Pilz Automation Ltd
Posted to News on 25th Jan 2012, 14:25

Contract electronics manufacturer recruits purchasing specialist

HCD is well aware that the combined effects of deep recession followed by a faster-than-expected recovery and the tragic tsunami in Japan have made sourcing some components 'challenging'. A further complication is the proliferation of grey-market traders operating on the internet means that it is becoming increasingly common to see counterfeit components in the supply chain. These are just some of the reasons why Purchasing Manager Annette Coxall is such a vital part of the operation at HCD.

Contract electronics manufacturer recruits purchasing specialist

Coxall was recruited to join HCD by Co-Founder and Commercial Director, Carol Holmes, to whom she still reports. "We had a specific brief", says Holmes. "Up to that point I was doing all the purchasing myself and needed someone who would learn my techniques straight away, which Annette has done very well."

Coxall adds: "I was delighted to join Carol and the highly professional team here at HCD. Probably the best justification of our approach is that we have never yet been beaten despite sourcing many hundreds of different electronic components for the diverse range of boards and products manufactured by the company.

"However, neither would we ever risk our customers' products with components that were not 100 per cent correct."

Coxall is an experienced purchasing specialist, having built up a wealth of knowledge in various electronics manufacturers, CEMs and distributors before moving to HCD. She comments: "I have been in the industry a long time and that enables me to read the market, predict shortages or allocation problems and take action. We use franchised distribution wherever possible. But we have also built strong partnerships with a limited number of trusted, professional brokers who have built good reputations by never supplying faulty parts."

However, before Coxall and her team even get to the point of having to deal with a shortage or long-lead items, HCD will have taken steps to prevent the issue ever occurring in the first place. HCD is unusual in that it started as a PCB design house, adding PCB assembly, cable assembly and box build as the demands of its customer base grew. This means that the company has the technical ability to evaluate a board prior to the start of a job and will advise on possible alternative components that may be easier to source, cheaper or more appropriate. "This is where the experience of our co-founder, Gene Holmes - widely respected in the industry - is vital", explains Coxall.

Holmes: "Certain components are difficult at the moment - relays, film caps, high-CV MLCs, some FPGAs - but in general we are getting through this period pretty well and we have never let a customer down. One of the reasons that we manage the supply chain so effectively here at HCD is that whoever begins a BOM continues with it from initial quote, through any revisions and into production. This means that one person 'owns' the job and understands it fully. In this way we avoid many pitfalls and still deliver a quality product to our customer on time, every time."

HCD (Holmes Circuit Design)

Unit 6
Such Close

+44 (0)1462 684904

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