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Buying PCBs with support from a local team – does it make a difference?

Close, personal contact with customers and service tailored to the customer’s requirements are key factors in the NCAB Group’s business model. To meet this approach, the NCAB Group is organized in a decentralized manner.

Customer meeting with local team in Sweden | NCAB Group
Ludvig Lindqvist, Sales Manager NCAB Group Sweden in a meeting with customer and colleagues.

Each national subsidiary is responsible for its own regional customers and serves them in the local language from local offices. But what added value does this “local presence” approach offer our customers and why is it a strength? We will explain this in more detail for you in the following.

Local language, does it matter?

Your NCAB contacts act as a link between you and our partner factories. While you can discuss your project with our specialists in a relaxed manner in your respective national language, our employees arrange the consultation with the colleagues in the factories in Asia or Europe. The challenge of language barriers and misunderstandings are thus effectively circumvented and mistakes are avoided.

All our local teams are part of the global NCAB Group team.

Personal support at your location, why?

In addition to the regional language, which in practice makes the exchange much easier, the use of local teams also enables us to have a more personal exchange with you. In this way, we ensure that personal meetings and visits that cannot take place in the digital space, can also be flexibly arranged and carried out on-site at your location.

Guaranteed effective handling of customer projects

Due to a regional division of customer projects, a faster and more effective handling of your projects can be guaranteed. This advantage becomes especially apparent when further projects are placed with us. Even for follow-up orders, our customers have their specific contact persons for each project. This results in better routines and that your NCAB team can continuously adapt to the special needs of your projects. All teams work according to the same processes, which means that staff changes or work absences are easily compensated for by other NCAB teams. This creates quality at the highest level.

Who is part of the local team?

Our local teams usually consist of a specialist in outside sales, one in inside sales, a technician, as well as a quality employee who comes into action in the event of a complaint. Depending on the respective requirements and purchasing volume of the customer, these teams can be supplemented by an additional inside sales member.

So what does our customer service look like, from the initial contact to the delivery of the goods? What added value does our process offer you as a customer? In the following, we would like to present this to you based on the work of our Team North at NCAB Group Germany.

Roberto Tomoscheit | NCAB Group Germany
Roberto Tomoscheit, Key Account Manager
Kirsten Gründel | NCAB Group Germany
Kirsten Gründel, Account Manager
Stephan Bildt | NCAB Group Germany
Stephan Bildt, Technical Support Manager

Contacting and discussing customer requirements

Our Key Account Manager Roberto Tomoscheit is the initial contact with our customers. During the preliminary meeting, he takes note of the customer’s needs and requirements. “We place a great deal of emphasis on personal interaction with customers and on taking the time it takes to understand the individual requirements of each customer”, says Roberto Tomoscheit.
If the customer and NCAB fit together, Roberto handles the further steps of the cooperation. He then introduces the customer to his regional NCAB team and informs his team colleagues about the results of the customer meeting, as well as passing on all important data to the local team. This includes for example: technical specifications, delivery documents, non-disclosure agreements, supplier self-disclosures.

Looking through customer data, choosing the right PCB factory and preparing the PCB quote

When we receive requests for quotations, our internal sales specialist Kirsten Gründel reviews the Gerber data as well as all other requirements in order to select the most suitable factory for the customer’s needs and prepares a quotation tailored to the customer. The factory is selected to fit the project in terms of quality and price and, if necessary, is suitable for series production.

NCAB approved capability vs. factory promoted capability | NCAB Group
We approve the factory for the technology and volume that they can manufacture reliably ensuring that we meet performance expectations.


The tasks of our inside sales employees also include identifying technical irregularities and discussing them with our colleagues in engineering. In this way, errors can be avoided right from the start and costs can be saved.
“Unlike many other suppliers, customer data is not simply entered into a system for the preparation of quotations. We personally check the Gerber data with CAM350 on-site to guarantee quality and reliability” says Kirsten Gründel. “Thanks to our IPC specialist training, we also have in-depth technical knowledge for Gerber data in the office. If I have detailed questions, such as about the via-to-pad distance, I ask my teammate Stephan Bildt from the technical department. The customer can therefore always be sure that his data has passed through the hands of specialists before actual production”, says Gründel.

Technical clarification and NCAB PCB specification

Upon receipt of a customer order, the technical preparation of the PCB begins immediately. The Gerber data is prepared for production and the entire procurement documentation is transferred into an article-specific NCAB PCB specification. This specification contains all details and special features of the PCB required for production and, last but not least, ensures compliance with all customer-specific requirements.

The customer’s original documents are then sent to the selected partner factory, together with the NCAB PCB specification. The factory generates the production data required for production on the basis of the transmitted documents. Adjustments necessary for production and the correction of unclean original data are only made after consultation and approval. A catalog of technical questions is generated for each order, which must be answered. With this the feasibility, sensefulness and contradictions in the procurement documentation are clarified.

To ensure the most transparent process possible, we offer our customers support at all times in understanding and answering technical queries.

Stephan Bildt, Technical Support Manager
NCAB Group Germany


Stephan Bildt explains the special nature of this step in the NCAB process:
“Many suppliers of PCBs often simply omit this step, which is essential for us. In such cases, the PCBs are produced strictly on the basis of the original data or even necessary adjustments are made without the customer’s consent. This means that little or no attention is paid to the functionality and longevity of the product. If problems then occur during processing or operation in the end product, the cause is often to be found in the original layout. Our pre-production engineers uncover such risks even before production begins and proactively make necessary and recommended adjustments that can immensely increase the quality and reliability of the PCB. This may seem very costly at first glance, but at the end of the day it ensures a guaranteed good result and consequently very high customer satisfaction. Our quality performance of 99.6% proves us right here”, says Bildt. To keep the workload for our customers as low as possible in this process step, our technicians coordinate the technical queries directly with factories and involve our customers in the technical clarification in a final step. To ensure the most transparent process possible, we offer our customers support at all times in understanding and answering technical queries.

Production and delivery of the circuit boards to the customer

As soon as all technical issues are resolved and the customer has given his final approval, the factory starts production. During this phase, the inside sales expert clarifies the delivery date of the goods with the factories and communicates it to the customer. Our inside sales expert also monitors any progress or possible stoppages in production via software created specifically for NCAB and maintains contact with NCAB’s own Factory Management Team on-site in the factory. If the delivery date is postponed during this phase, the customer is proactively informed immediately. At this point, it should be noted that, as a matter of principle, no changes are made without consulting the customer. After delivery of the goods, the inside sales specialists inform the Key Account Manager, who then follows up again with the customer to record possible suggestions for improvement.

In case of problems

With a quality performance of 99.6%, complaints are a rarity at NCAB. Nevertheless, should problems arise subsequently, a quality team is ready to clarify problems and record them in the so-called 8D report so that they can be eliminated in the future.

Questions?

Contact your local team.