Catching up with Fineline-Global N. American CEO Eran NavickJune 20, 2018 | Dan Beaulieu
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
After entering the North American marketplace just six months ago, printed circuit board manufacturer Fineline-Global is making its mark. As the largest value-added PCB supplier in the world, Fineline prides itself on being any able to meet any challenge for any company in any part of the world. I recently had the chance to sit down with Eran Navick, the company’s North American CEO to catch up on how things are going.
Dan Beaulieu: Thanks for taking this time to talk to me today.
Eran Navick: No problem. I always like talking about Fineline.
Beaulieu: Let’s start with your background.
Navick: I have been in the PCB industry since the early ‘90s—almost 30 years now. Oh boy, I feel old now. I started as a junior engineering team member in an R&D group in Israel and became fascinated by layout and CAM tools. My first four years I served as a PCB designer. Although my background is engineering, I responded to a challenging position at a PCB manufacturing facility and spent the next four years of my professional life in a manufacturing facility. That is also where I met the founder of Fineline-Global before he took off to open AVIV. Most of my knowledge about the production of PCBs I owe to that time in my life.
My next position was in California, back in R&D, yet this time I was more in the operational aspect of designs. I was humbled by the quality requirements of the Japanese telecommunications market, and eventually found myself in an executive position in a NASDAQ-traded company, serving as the global director of quality assurance, seeing all operations out of three design centers, and responsible for production quality of worldwide contract manufacturing. During that time, I was also managing all the layout aspects in the company. I stepped down from this position after 12 years and joined Fineline in 2014 as we started looking into developing the North American market of Fineline-Global, by forming Fineline-USA. I still enjoy looking at a challenging layout design and am thrilled when I find myself in a room full of designers and engineers to discuss layouts.
Beaulieu: Tell us about Fineline. What is the history of the company?
Navick: Fineline-Global was founded as a merger between two companies in 2007. AVIV PCB and Technologies was founded in 2002 by Benny Kremer, a long-time veteran of the PCB industry from Israel, and Fineline GmbH. Since 2007, the company has had a steady growth in revenue, with impressive year-to-year revenue and following on the commitment of providing global solutions to local markets, Fineline has steadily opened offices all over Europe, and recently put the focus on developing the North American market. Right now, Fineline has offices in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the UK, Israel, Russia, and of course, in China, besides growing our business in the USA and Canada.
Beaulieu: Very impressive. It is stunning what you can do when you are flexible. What is the mission of the company?
Navick: Fineline is a solutions provider. We bring to the table a value-added service to allow our customers a long-term, reliable source for printed circuit boards. Our operations motto is "The Four A's." Any quantity, anytime, anywhere, and any technology. We provide customers with printed circuit boards along the life cycle of a product, from concept proof, to end of life, regardless of technology. We deliver to multiple locations, based on request, and we guarantee the board will be made to spec and be identical at all stages, even if there is a need to change production lines (with the customer’s approval, of course). We go the extra mile to be a true team member in the supply chain of our customers. We see them as our partners and we try to enable a steady growth through solid service. We recognize our own growth is possible only when our customers have theirs. The same goes towards our manufacturing partners. Note that I do not put any emphasis on quality. It is because we believe quality must be embedded in the production and processes, and the customer fully assumes this is given.
Beaulieu: Obviously, the company is growing very rapidly. What are your annual sales worldwide?
Navick: In terms of revenue, we have ended 2017 with over $165M. We forecast 2018 to show another growth year to year. In terms of operations, Fineline directly employs around 300 people worldwide, and we are still hiring in some countries.
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