The Silicon Review
Managing the electronic devices used inside your products throughout its lifecycle is a challenging task. The complexity of the components is increasing, and they often have shorter lifecycles due to constant advancements in the industry. Engineers must pick components that can meet diverse criteria, including environmental, technical, market, and financial requirements. At times certain factors might affect your supply chain like environmental and compliance regulation changes, economic conditions, end of life notices, and product change notices. Engineers must make better-informed decisions to support a healthy part supply chain. Solutions for these challenges must also facilitate the integration of parts reference content into your enterprise systems.
To master these challenges, you will need a provider like ECS Inc. International, which will help you from preliminary design to decommissioning. ECS Inc. International is a forerunner in servicing a growing global demand for highly reliable and innovative passive components that meet the needs of the world today and beyond. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, USA, ECS, Inc. International has its primary focus on becoming the most cost-effective, solutions-based vendor of choice in its space. This is accomplished by providing leading-edge products and assisting customers in creating, building, and maintaining the most technologically advanced and reliable products. Since its incorporation in 1980 and conducting business on an international scale for almost 40 years, ECS Inc. has delivered more than 3.4 Billion passive timing and magnetic solutions to customers in more than 150 countries.
In conversation with Bradford R. Slatten, President, and CEO of
ECS Inc. International
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
ECS was founded in 1980, and I acquired the company in early 1994. Its primary “Why” back in 1980 was to manufacture and sell frequency control devices. The foundation of the company has not changed all that much since its inception. Yes, we have advanced the technologies, but the core of our business is still the same.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
In the early years, the primary challenge was getting an audience with global distributors, as I noted above. They were not interested in taking on a line that only had a couple of million dollars in annual revenue. We had to get creative with the terms and conditions or what we had to offer and how flexible we could be in helping them support the global customer base. We persevered.
Q. “Earning trust and respect of consumers worldwide is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions,” how do you interpret this statement?
We follow a straightforward format to ensure we are exceeding customer expectations.
Address big issues upfront: The key to engaging truthfully with the customer is figuring out exactly what your customer needs and knowing if you can fill those needs. At ECS Inc., we do not stretch the truth about features or benefits of our products and don’t promise anything that you won’t be able to deliver. Customers can do plenty of research on their own and will be able to see right through you. Instead, we are upfront and honest about any potential problems or shortcomings. By bringing them up yourself, your customer will respect your honesty and begin to trust you.
Offer an authentically personalized solution: If you simply offer a customer your standard elevator pitch, it’s going to be hard for them to trust you. After all, it’s the same spiel that you’ve delivered to hundreds of other prospects before them.
At ECS Inc., when engaging in a conversation, we listen to their needs and make sure you completely understand the way their business works before making a pitch of our own. With this information at hand, you can develop a presentation focused on their unique problems and how you can address them.
Speak of the competition respectfully: We avoid mentioning the competition if possible, but sometimes you will need to speak about them. Your customer may specifically bring them up, or they could be the elephant in the room. Avoid talking poorly of the competition, even if it’s the truth. This only makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy.
At ECS Inc., we speak humbly about the competition but then use our company’s strengths to curry favor rather than negatively exploit a direct competitor’s weaknesses.
Q. Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?
This is a very important issue in any organization, especially today, when so many workers feel undervalued and disengaged. It’s been estimated that about 51% of the American workforce does not feel engaged and that only 16% of workers felt truly “connected and engaged” with their employers. Employee engagement and a positive and fun work environment have a huge impact on how well employees perform. A workplace focused on the negativity that lacks communication can severely impact the well-being of employees and their ability to perform at a high level. To get employees to “buy-in” to a workplace culture of positivity, you must “walk the walk” and “talk the talk.” That means that leadership in the organization, you must encourage employees to come to you for feedback. You should also encourage employees to give feedback to you. This helps foster an atmosphere of openness and honesty. We do this very well at ECS Inc. International. One of the most important factors that we focus on at ECS Inc. is creating an entire company culture with a strong “growth mindset.” You never want to be satisfied with how well you’re doing now, and you should be looking towards the future. We encourage a growth mindset by emphasizing employee training and continuous learning and providing employees with everything they need to expand their skillsets and capabilities. It’s in the best interest of the company and its long-term success.
Do you have any new products ready to be/get ready to be launched?
The need for smaller and more robust frequency control components is paramount for us to be successful now and well into the future. Over the past six years, we have introduced no less than 1000 new products that are solutions for telecommunication equipment, the automotive industry, medical device applications, wearables, and the industrial space. 5G will become the backbone of the next revolution over the next five years or so. 5G is 100 times faster than 4G is today. This is huge. This will allow autonomous vehicles to become successful and safe. The terminology 'Internet of Things' will transform every aspect of our lives. This technology will allow faster and safer communication and allow what is forecasted to be an additional 30 Billion electronic devices talking back and forth with each other by 2030, and our product solutions are poised to be an integral part of this transformative revolution.
Meet the leader behind the success of ECS Inc. International
Bradford R. Slatten is the President and CEO of ECS Inc. International. He was part of a small group who acquired ECS Inc. International in May of 1994. ECS Inc. was founded in January of 1980 and grew during that time to approximately $1,500,000.00 in annual revenues. With his previous international experience in the industry Bradford grew the annual revenues to slightly over $12,000,000.00 in the first 5 years. He has been primarily responsible for implementing business-building and relationship-building expectations with customers and off-shore manufacturing along with multiple other duties as an owner. Bradford worked regularly with national/international territorial, regional and strategic representatives and distributors offering daily support and strategic planning for accounts. He manages the engineering team that addresses all customer design issues and concerns. Bradford also manages the sales group and performs factory audits to ensure quality control is first and foremost with their international partners. After acquiring total control of the company in December of 2013 his role as the primary shareholder has evolved into corporate management responsible for all aspects of the company and its operations but at the same time creating a larger vision for their growth and at the same time still monitoring and directing all the important aspects of what has made this company successful.