4 questions with CDM Electronics' freshly promoted Robert S. Grzib

Grzib, who joined CDM in 2012 as product manager, has now been promoted to marketing manager

CDM Electronics, a distributor of electronic connectors and cables, recently promoted Robert S. Grzib to marketing manager. According to CDM, its Grzib's expertise in railway and automation that has led to his success at the company.

Grzib joined the CDM team in 2012 as product manager before assuming an increasingly greater role in marketing activities. His over 30 years of electronic component industry experience includes a tenure as product line manager at Eaton/Cooper Interconnect.

In his new role at CDM, Grzib is tasked to further develop and implement a corporate strategy for branding, advertising, and corporate outreach, as well as to broaden an array of marketing communications functions which promote products, value-added services, and cable assembly solutions.

CDM supplies OEMs with full lines of standard and specialty connectors including circular, Mil-Spec, DIN, power, Profibus, rectangular and RF devices. The company employs documented and controlled systems in its value-added division, which specializes in mission critical cable assembly, including custom cable assembly, military cable assembly, power cable assembly and box builds.

Robert S. Grzib answered 4 questions about CDM Electronics and what its future holds.

What are three key things that a machine builder, system integrator or manufacturer should know about your company?

From an interconnect distribution standpoint, we maintain focus on our authorized premier quality lines — we only sell interconnect products and equipment that we feel confident using ourselves for our engineered cable assembly solutions (ECAS). From an ECAS perspective, CDM has partnered with the most demanding military, aerospace, industrial and commercial contractors and manufacturers to plan and assemble all levels of end product in an ISO and AS9100 quality environment. And as a company, CDM has the staff talent and experience needed to address all levels of customer requirements — from basic but crucial interconnects to engineered solutions.

How does the Industrial Internet of Things figure in your business strategy?

As a supplier of component level interconnects and value-added solutions, CDM needs to address requirements demanded by our customers’ most recent developments — namely the equipment and devices themselves. Relative to our business strategy this affects our product mix and inventory patterns on a number of levels, not the least of which being the management of ever-increasing lead-times for some types of circular interconnects vital to IoT. As such, we’ve needed to shift some of our conventional product management protocols to successfully adapt.

How will machine automation and controls alter the way companies staff their operations in the future?

What we’ve found for smaller to mid-sized companies is that staffing levels have maintained or increased, contrary to the traditional fears of front-line production personnel. Much of the automation implemented (mainly cobots) relieved “pinch points” in the production process caused by human fatigue, variances in experience levels and training issues. If upstream productivity has a new level of both output and consistency, more staff are potentially needed to address downstream operational areas associated with manufacturing, quality, shipping and even admin functions. Retraining and shifting robot-displaced employees to new roles seems to be the rule, hence staffing levels are at the very least remaining steady.

Looking into the future, how will technology change your company over the next five years?

I’m sure there will be new inventory control technology adopted during that window, and our ECAS customers will have ever-more complex and downsized requirements that we’ll be adjusting to manufacture. I’m also certain new and upcoming technologies will reshape our interconnect product mix by requiring a greater proportion of smaller formats providing higher frequency/higher capacity performance than standard or current versions. From a business standpoint, communications technologies and capabilities will increasingly blur the line between the B2C and B2B customer experience. This will force B2B companies like ourselves to adopt new customer ordering and payment options patterned after the B2C experience.

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