Gardien Group is one of those companies that are always looking out for their customers. The company is, without a doubt, the last word when it comes to bare board quality assurance, focused on helping customers deliver the most electrically sound boards in the business. Gardien’s technologists are experts at testing and other quality assurance disciplines. For more than 30 years, Gardien has been in the business, originally as the equipment manufacturer Mania.
My impression when I sat down recently with Gardien COO Roland Valentini was that most of Gardien’s business was via their more traditional OnDemand service, where customers outsource their testing requirements to one of Gardien’s local service bureaus. But that is not exactly true.
I discovered that, in many cases, Gardien will actually run a customer’s test area or test department on their behalf. They take responsibility for the independent validation of a product’s quality, the space, the people and the equipment, and keep it in perfect working order. They train staff, update and maintain existing equipment, and when needed, bring in additional equipment to provide a solution that is perfectly aligned with client needs. And the best part is that their fee is based on revenue—a small percentage of revenue—so that in a sense they actually have skin in the game. Their success is built entirely on how successful they can help their customer become, which is very intriguing indeed.
In fact, it’s so intriguing that I decided to focus this interview on this facet of their business. In these highly competitive times, I believe board shops need more vendors like this—companies that can provide the engineering expertise that shops don’t have or can’t afford.