March 9, 2009
The credit crunch is prompting PCB consumers to demand higher quality service and greater value, says Europe’s leading PCB supplier, ALR Services. After an exceptionally successful two-days at the recent Southern Electronics show, the Oxfordshire-based PCB specialist says that its trademark “positive attitude” approach to customer service is winning it new customers in increasing numbers.
Jo Saltman, sales manager of ALR Services, reports brisk business over the two-day event in Farnborough. “We’ve had probably one of our busiest exhibitions ever,” says Jo. “Despite the downturn, there is a lot of business still being done in the UK, clearly demonstrated by the number of serious enquiries we’ve dealt with in the last couple of days.” Over 80 new prospects were identified, some of whom have already been converted into sales. “As a company, we’ve always focused on delivering outstanding value and service. When budgets are tight, good value and good service are what customers are really looking for.”
Founded 15 years ago, ALR Services has built a loyal customer base across the UK and Europe through its innovative approach to PCB sourcing, the latest example of which is its new Panel Sharing Prototype (PSP) service, launched at Southern Electronics, designed to deliver production-quality prototype boards at extremely competitive prices. “Shared panel schemes have been around for a while,” says Jo, “But very much as a ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ service: files aren’t checked before they’re processed so that a simple error can render the resulting boards useless. Nobody can afford to waste money like that in the current climate.”
With ALR’s PSP service, files are design checked before processing, only top-grade FR4 laminates are used and solder resist and component IDs are screened onto the board as standard. “We even bare-board test it before delivery”, continues Jo, “Meaning the finished PCB is virtually production-quality, resulting in faster and more economical product development. Anything that helps UK electronics businesses to be more efficient and responsive is good news for everyone.”
There was good news also for two lucky visitors to the stand, whose names were pulled out of the hat for ALR’s prize draw. Colin Howard, managing director of Nightsearcher Ltd. walked away with a Sat-Nav system, while Simon Bell, Chief Engineer at Spark Electronics, won an iPod Touch. Both cards were picked by Angela Bond, sales manager of Derby-based contract electronics firm Tioga that was also exhibiting at the show, assisted by Jo Saltman.