2009 begins with the go live of our new ERP software! Overall it goes as smoothly as one could hope for – it’s a big learning curve. We get better at using the system as time goes by, there are so many features and things to learn that we realize the learning curve will be going on for a long time!

As we move along in 2009, the economic situation becomes increasingly evident, as many of our customers feel the effects. We hold out as much as we can, but we aren’t immune to the slower sales and cautious buyers.

We tighten down the hatches, and launch a number of quality and efficiency programs (our new ERP system helps with that). Throughout the year improvements in these areas help us weather the downturn.

However, it is not a year without equipment acquisitions. In February, we add a new lead-free wave soldering machine to complement our lead-free selective soldering machines. This increases our capacity and throughput on a number of assemblies.

Shortly after that we install a solder recovery machine to support the recycling of dross, a by-product of solder pots and thus soldering machines.

With this we are able to recover a large percentage of the lead-free solder that is ‘stuck’ in the dross which has been removed from the solder pot. With the high cost of lead-free solder, this is a good investment!

Throughout the year we increase our marketing efforts, exhibiting at two Northwest trade shows. The number of new contacts we make encourages us despite the slow economy. As the year comes to a close, we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Shop equipment and capacity evaluations are underway in anticipation of a better 2010!