Steven Linahan
Austin Texas USA | North America
Senior Consultant at Providence Partners

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My thoughts on ...
What I think about Foxconn
Revenue machine, tight margins, decision making at the top, low cost, high volume provider with a broad portfolio of services. Better be a big fish to jump in that pond.

EMS companies I have worked with
EMS: Flextronics/DOVatron, Jabil, Plexus, Sanmina/SCI, SMTC, Ogden Atlantic Design, OEM and Associates & others.
ODM's Quanta, Kaifa, Wistron, FIC & others.

The skills I often see lacking in the EMS industry today
Tight process control and execution, i.e. making money on operations not just relying on materials to make the margins...contrary to Asian manufacturers who do both.

What I think about some of the emerging EMS markets or regions
Infrastructure is needed to be viable...great opportunity to over run our skis in our haste to run to the next great thing. We need a local supply base supported by international component supplies, easy logistics with volume capability, trained skilled labor and seasoned management all located in a local country that has a solid work ethic supported by great business climate. Where is that again?

What I think about low-cost manufacturing
There is always someone that will be cheaper. Competing on cost alone is not a good long term strategy. You have to be diversified, creative, precise and sharp to stay ahead of the pack.

My thoughts on what makes a good program manager
People skills, a penchant for managing details.
Solid cross functional base of hands on skills...i.e. knows the factory, process engineering, supply chain and design engineering. A business mind that knows the goal and can pull people together and manage details with a desire to learn what they don't know. If you aren't interested you are just doing time.

A book I recommend to others or am currently reading
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Great applications to modern business strategy other than the obvious also discussed.

If I could travel back in time and witness any event one would be
Being at the presentation of the business plan for the iPod. I have to assume it had a product roadmap with their strategy of products and service offerings.

One of my favorite quotes
Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark!

Someone I would most like to sit next to at a dinner party
Anyone with a friendly sense of humor that has some stories to trade without repeating themselves too many times.

Some of the countries I have visited for work or play
China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico, France, Germany, many other in Europe, Asia and Caribbean.

A helpful travel tip I often use
Get Global Entry...nothing like skipping the customs line when you have been traveling for 16 hours or so.

The ultimate consumer electronics product I would still like to see developed
An intelligent car and sync'd hand held device that can really understand by voice command who I want to call hands free and do that without asking a bunch of questions. Must be a crystal clear transmission too while we are wishing.

A favorite electronics gadget
iPhone

One of my favorite toys as a child
Slot Car

About me ...

* Thirty year electronics industry veteran with background in Supply Chain, Manufacturing Operations and Logistics.
*Currently working with rugged tablet maker in Austin Texas as their VP Operations and Supply Chain.
* Previously he has worked for OEM/EMS and ODM companies such as Quanta Computer, Flextronics, Sanmina/SCI, AT&T, SMTC, 3Com and several start-up high tech computer and networking companies. Notable customers of mine include Dell, Sun, HP, IBM, AT&T and Schneider Electric among many others.
* Very active and knowledgeable in the global outsourcing and electronics manufacturing industry since the mid 80’s, supporting factories and products in the US, Europe, Mexico and Asia.
* Broad set of roles held spanning process engineering, test development, supply chain, customer advocacy as well as business development prior to senior and executive leadership roles.
* Recognized for accomplishments and expertise in lean initiatives, cycle time reductions, quality improvements, cost reduction and process improvements as well as operationally scaling companies.
* Education: Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds many professional and technical certifications from groups such APICS, NAPM, SME, Texas A&M as well as from H.B. Maynard Institute.