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Electronics Production | July 15, 2011

New contract wins mean full order book for HCD

Letchworth (UK) based EMS manufacturer HCD celebrates 15 years of growth. New contract wins also mean a full order book into 2012.

HCD, the Letchworth-based contract electronics manufacturer, was founded as a PCB design house in 1996. A significant milestone was its decision to move into assembly in 2001, building one-off prototypes. The company structured itself to respond to the market’s requirement for fast turnaround, no minimum order quantity production, recognising that many established CEMs are set up to provide mid and high-volume orders. However, the number of units that some clients began ordering increased significantly from 10s to over 500. HCD expanded once again and added a new, separate volume production line to its capabilities in July 2010, investing in new pick-and-place and AOI equipment. The company has seen a dramatic increase in its order book during 2010 – 2011, achieved partly through an extremely high rate of repeat orders from existing customers. The company retains over 90% of its first-time customers, who either order repeat production runs or specify new orders. In addition, HCD has noted that visits by potential customers are currently resulting in virtually 100% conversion to order. Co-founder Carol Holmes explains: “At an initial visit by a prospective customer, we allow plenty of time for meeting our team and detailed discussions with our engineers. The customer has the opportunity to discuss all aspects of their project and they quickly recognise the quality and expertise of our personnel, understanding that these are the people who will actually be undertaking the work involved. Our emphasis throughout both an initial visit and through all stages of manufacturing an order is communication. Another factor is that whilst we are competitive in the marketplace, not all projects are purely cost driven. Quality is paramount in everything we do, and we are also flexible enough to be able to meet tight timescales.” Gene Holmes added: “The future for HCD looks exciting. Over the past 12 months we have expanded our customer base in the aerospace and defence sector and are now undertaking projects for major companies such as BAE, Thales and Astrium, sometimes through partnerships with third parties. Other sectors showing strong growth are broadcast, power and consumer electronics."
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