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Founded in 2007, QCMS is one of the more interesting EMS companies on the East Coast. They are actually a sister company to Niche Electronics located in Pennsylvania. Frank Bowman, president of Niche Electronics, set up my interview with QCMS General Manager Rick McAnally.
Dan Beaulieu: Rick, it’s good to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Can you tell me about the company?
Rick McAnally: No problem. QCMS was founded in 2007 by Kevin Beachler, who had the vision to start a new company that would be completely customer focused. He and his team wanted to show that a company could focus on customers and could always be flexible to meet their specific needs. This was especially true when it came to scheduling. He wanted skilled IPC certified professionals to provide the highest quality products and services while keeping the overhead low so that he could provide his customers with the very best quality assemblies and protect their bottom line.
Beaulieu: What’s your background?
McAnally: I have been involved in a number of key positions in companies building and testing electronics and am fairly new to QCMS. I came here in November of 2018 as the general manager.
Beaulieu: What is your business philosophy?
McAnally: It’s all about partnerships. I’m always focused on making productive partnerships with all of my team members, as well as with our customers. I have found that to be the best way to do business. What I really want to do—my charter, if you will—is to grow the business while maintaining high standards, state-of-the-art technology, and the value that we bring to our customers.
Beaulieu: Now, let’s talk about the capabilities and technologies that you have at QCMS.
McAnally: We have state-of-the-art SMT lines, including component placement, AOIs, functional testing equipment, and X-ray equipment. Our core business is PCB assembly and test. We also do electromechanical box builds, SMT placement and reflow, through-hole placement and soldering, systems integration and configuration, troubleshooting and functional testing, conformal coating, and potting. We cover a number of markets building a whole portfolio of products from QCMS builds assemblies that go into everything from robotic surgery equipment to unmanned/UAV systems.
Beaulieu: Do you build prototypes as well?
McAnally: Yes, we do quite a bit if rapid-build new product introduction (NPI) work.
Beaulieu: Where do you see the technology going?
McAnally: We see technology becoming increasingly smaller, mainly because of things like the proliferation of mobile devices. Everything is getting smaller, which is why we are always investing in the company. We must be cutting-edge if we want to keep up with market demands. We have invested deeply in automated inspection equipment and the right software tools.
Beaulieu: Let’s quality. Today, having the right qualifications is more important than ever. What qualifications, certifications, and registrations do you have, and why do those give you an advantage over other companies?
McAnally: QCMS is ISO9001:2015 registered and TÜV certified. QCMS trains all its employees to J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610. This allows us to build a high-quality product at an affordable price. One of the key differentiators we have at QCMS is we have a very experienced staff that works with our customers to meet their expectations.
Beaulieu: In addition to that, what makes you so good at what you do?
McAnally: Our quality, on-time deliveries, superior service, honesty, transparency, and fair prices for our customers.
Beaulieu: You said earlier that you do rapid-response NPI work. I assume then that means you are doing R&D work as well?
McAnally: We are researching and developing processes and procedures on a daily basis in support of our customers’ ever-changing requirements. This is part of the value-added service we offer to all of our customers.
Beaulieu: Can you talk specifically about some of the capital investments you have made recently?
McAnally: QCMS recently has made investments in AOI, wave solder, and MES software, as well as ISO 9001:2015 certification. We purchased a MIRTEC MV-6 OMNI 3D AOI, an Electrovert Vectra wave solder system with leaded and lead-free pots, and Aegis FactoryLogix. We also bought some MES software.
We converted to LED lighting throughout the facility. Additionally, we are currently looking at adding another high-speed SMT placement line, board wash, and new ERP software, as well as upgrading our server/IT. We also are investigating adding automation to provide even higher quality and selective soldering and a flying probe tester. In terms of added services, we are looking at adding in-house board layout and electrical design services.
Beaulieu: What types of companies as customers are you best suited to work for?
McAnally: Forward-looking companies that are successful leaders in their field and looking for a partnership. We want to learn and grow with everyone we do business with.
Beaulieu: What are your plans for the future, and where do you want to be in five years?
McAnally: Continuing to service our existing customers with the same effort of support as we do today while adding additional equipment staff and systems to offer these same services to many new relationships.
Beaulieu: How do you see the market today?
McAnally: There seems to be a lot of assembly being brought closer to the markets served, which is positive, but with the global turmoil of a pandemic, this could be short-lived.
Beaulieu: What market do you compete in?
McAnally: Being a contract manufacturer building other peoples’ products, we have customers in most markets. Because of this, we have so many customers in so many markets. We have to cover a lot of ground to cover because every customer is unique.
Beaulieu: What do you consider good customer service?
McAnally: That’s easy—exceeding a customer’s expectations in an honest and respectful manner and treating them like they are important, which is the way we want to be treated as well. As I said earlier, I want them to feel like we are their partners and expert consultants when it comes to PCBA products and services.
They are trusting us with their products. We respect that trust and honor it. We focus entirely on their success. The better we build their products, the more successful they will be. That philosophy has done us well. Most of our business is repeat business from satisfied customers, as well as new business that has been referred to us from our current customers.
Beaulieu: What are your thoughts about our industry?
McAnally: Other than the pandemic, I’m very optimistic. I see a bright future at QCMS.
Beaulieu: Thanks for taking the time to do this.
McAnally: The pleasure was mine.