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Bruce Hendrick

Recent Posts

5 Challenges for OEMs with Legacy Products

Unlike companies who move all at once from one product generation to the next, many OEMs base their value and reputation on customizing their product offerings to various clients and applications. It’s in their DNA to tweak and expand designs to deliver exactly what their customers need.

This strategy can be very effective, but can come with a natural consequence: a wide portfolio of legacy products that require active support for many years.

Fortunately, the right contract manufacturing partner can help meet the challenges that come with legacy products. Here are some examples of some of those challenges.

“High-Mix, Low-Volume” and “Small Batch” are NOT the Same Thing

In the EMS industry, the term high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) refers to CMs or OEMs who change over production between assemblies and processes much more often than their low-mix, high-volume (LMHV) counterparts. HMLV shops convert their lines to different assemblies rapidly (hours or minutes) and frequently (several shifts or days). Note that the opportunity for error rises as batch size decreases.

By contrast, LMHV production runs can last weeks or even months between change overs. It’s a different animal altogether.

RBB builds many hundreds of unique assemblies annually and most weeks introduces multiple new assemblies. It's rare that RBB runs a batch large enough to consume an entire shift of time, much less a few shifts!

A Letter to My Former Self

With RBB celebrating our 45th anniversary this year, I've thought a lot about how we got here and what I wish I knew all those years ago. In order to communicate that, I decided to write a letter to my former self. Here is that letter:

RBB is Moving: A Small Batch of Q&As

RBB is moving, so we know you may have some questions. In order to help answer those, below is some information which we believe will set your mind at ease.

4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Outsourced PCB Assembly Manufacturer

To create a strong, rewarding experience with an outsourced PCB assembly manufacturer, we recommend following these 4 tips: 

In Electronic Assembly Manufacturing it's Not You, it's Your Small Batches

RBB’s whitepaper on how small batch electronics affects the OEM-CM relationship

Very often OEM’s struggle to effectively manage large portfolios of small batches of custom electronic assemblies. That’s why I tackled the topic in the Whitepaper, “Market Dynamics facing OEM’s with Large Portfolios of Ongoing Small Batches.”

6 Recommendations for Next-Generation Successors

Bruce speaking at the Small Giants Summit

I recently gave a short talk on leadership transitions—in particular, the handoff from one chief executive to the next—at the Small Giants Summit in Detroit. Since joining RBB in 2000, I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I offered a number of hard-won, personal lessons to this enlightened audience of business founders, owners, CEOs, and up-and-comers.

RBB Names Jim Tennant President

On January 3, 2017, and for only the third time since 1973, a new president took over the reins at RBB. In honor of this historic event and Jim Tennant’s much-deserved promotion, I’d like to share a quick story that demonstrates how Jim began strengthening this organization on day one.

The Top 3 Principles Your Custom Control Panel Supplier Must Hold

You have a choice in qualified suppliers you can entrust with your control panel and electronic assembly work. It’s important to look for a panel supplier that will work with you every step of the way and not just for you. Ideal partners will thoughtfully review designs and fix any issue that arises, have strict documentation management protocols, and assemble and test every wire and connection.

RBB Celebrates Manufacturing Day 2016

Located in Wooster, Ohio, RBB is excited to celebrate this year’s Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7th. As a manufacturer of electronic circuit boards for clients with large portfolios of small batches of custom electronics, RBB is better known as The Small Batch Experts.

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