Optimum Design is a diversified EMS company providing design and assembly services for electronic products. Our teams (circuit design, PCB layout, SMT assembly, system integration) have developed proven methodologies that optimize the cost and quality of electronic products. Our methods are used by some of the world’s most sophisticated companies, including Intel, Boeing, Honeywell, Varian, Amazon and Northrop Grumman.
We deliver amazing prices by being open book and relentlessly driving out costs for PCB Assembly and System Integration procurements. Our focus is high end work for demanding customers. We typically reduce costs 5-15%, maintain 98% OTD, and have a phenomenal quality record for even the toughest products.
Choosing new EMS companies is a very risky undertaking. Our trusted methods focus on eliminating this risk. We make a simple promise to our customers: We'll do whatever it takes to meet your needs. You can ask them.
We like challenges. We like the "impossible". We know you wish it was different, but your scheduling is volatile and that's just the way it is. So we do whatever it takes to meet your needs, including working 24/7 and demanding our suppliers work 24/7 too.
More than 75% of our revenue comes from outside the state of California. Our unusually broad reach means we know what it takes to be successful with you no matter where you are. We think personal relationships are key so we fly a lot.
Our customers range from start-ups to multi-billion dollar giants. What they have in common is a need for high level process sophistication that meets their audit requirements, a desire for high quality work delivered on time at a great price, and most importantly a high level of attention and flexibility.
Our state-of-the-art SMT lines place almost any package down to 01005. We process leaded and unleaded, and have hand solder and selective solder capability for through hole. Our design team executes over 300 designs a year and has done so for 25 years, so yes, we've done that. And please, ask us if we do RF.
We are considered a leading authority on PCB design and are the exclusive provider of starter libraries to Mentor Graphics. We have been published in EE Times, Avionics Today, EMSNow, Printed Circuit Board Design & Fabrication, and many others. We are a featured commentator on EMS issues, and are members of the IPC Government Relations Committee advocating before Congress and federal agencies on behalf of the industry.
Our expectation of ourselves is to dazzle customers. We define "dazzle" as being unexpectedly excellent.
The first two years of a contract manufacturing relationship are not very profitable for the EMS. Stable long term customers are the bedrock of successful EMS companies. The only way to get long term customers is to be laser focused on delivering customer satisfaction...for years. If customers are satisfied, profits will come in time.
We don't pursue purchase orders, we pursue long term partners. Since we are selective about who we work with, your team is never distracted and our environment is very focused. This allows us to concentrate only on productive customers, and the result is we have not lost an EMS customer since entering the business.
Here's the thing with awards. They're nice to mention on the website. But they cause enormous distractions for our team (who absolutely do not lose industry competitions), while doing nothing for our customers. So we just don't enter them any more, we'd rather win the customer satisfaction derby.
Give customers the same advice we'd give our Mom. Treat every build as if we were building it for ourselves. Provide intangible, off book value. The kind you can't measure. Tell the truth. Don't lie. Do everything possible to fix it, but tell the truth. Be awesome. Be unstoppable. Work with customers who feel the same.
Our careful approach to customer engagements is highly unusual for our industry. Many EMS companies are happy to take any order, and the result is high customer churn. In this way we're old fashioned. An EMS relationship is a professional marriage, and the better we know and understand each other, the better we will ride out inevitable rough spots together. The closer we are to your business, the better we can tailor inventory committments and capital equipment acquisitions to your requirements.
But our careful engagements with customers who are a good fit for the long term has defined our success and proven to be extremely beneficial to our customers.
Optimum Design was founded in 1991 as a PCB design bureau by Nick Barbin (a Top Gun Award winner himself, Nick is our President) and Roger Hileman (Optimum is the 5th successful company Roger started, he is our CFO) and is now a diversified EMS company in the INC 5000 for the third time in 5 years. In 2008 the company expanded into contract manufacturing and used lean principles to unlock the quality and efficiency benefits of having design and manufacturing experts located under one roof.
Nick Barbin (left) with Congressman Eric Swalwell at Optimum's
headquarters in Pleasanton, CA
Director of Business Development
GM, Director of Manufacturing
Nick Barbin founded Optimum Design Associates along with Roger Hileman in 1991, and has since grown it into the 20 million dollar, Fortune 5000 company it is today. With over 2 decades of experience in PCB manufacturing, and has designed PCBs for Intel, Boeing, Applied Materials, among many others. Nick’s career in PCB manufacturing began in 1984 as a Design Support Associate with Royal Digital Systems. From 1986 till 1991 Nick worked as a Designer at Arrow Design, where he was able to learn under industry leaders and gain valuable design insight and experience. Having personally designed hundreds of PCBs, as well as authored numerous articles on PCB layout, Nick has become known throughout the industry as one of the top experts in PCB layout design. In 1999, Nick was inducted into the PCB Top Gun Hall of Fame, and has since gone on to see 7 members of his team receive the honor. During the time when he isn’t hard at work, Nick enjoys perfecting his golf game, as well as deep sea diving and sailing.
Roger Hileman is the CFO and Operations Manager for Optimum Design. In addition to overseeing the financial and administrative needs of the company, Roger is also a skilled PCB designer with IPC CID Certification and 40 years of experience in the electronics industry. Roger began his career as a PCB designer with Santa Clara Systems, which he saw grow from start-up to mid-sized industry leader during his time there. Roger later worked for larger companies, including Intercell and National. As an entrepreneur, Roger also brought his business experience and administrative skill to the founding of several businesses. Optimum was his 5th major business venture. Whether fly-fishing, teaching Shaolin kempo (karate) classes, or leading children’s church, Roger always brings a keen eye for detail and focus on administrative excellence to all aspects of his work and recreation.
Director of Business Development
Senior Account Manager
Derek began his career in the Semiconductor industry in 1984 with Xicor, then moved on to SEEQ; working with the team that invented and developed Flash memory technology. Expanding his career into systems, he spent several years in Microwave communications at Avantek/Agilent, in aircraft and satellite systems. In 1995 Derek migrated to board level system design with Network Equipment Technology (NET), developing a host of WAN systems for government and enterprise networks. Additionally, Derek has been a principle contributor at various startup companies, developing solutions for a wide range of telecom applications. Derek joined ODA in 2013 to develop engineering design services, to privde cross platform solutions to startups through Fortune 500 companies. In his free time, Derek enjoys competitive golf, archer, F3A RC aerobatics, and underwater photography.
GM, Director of Manufacturing
Brendon is one of the world’s foremost PCB designers. His 30 year career in PCB design began at Philips Industries in Adelaide, Australia, later moving to Codan PTY Ltd., where he designed boards used in satellite communications. Brendon joined Optimum in 2000, relocating to the United States in 2005. Brendon has executed hundreds of PCB designs used in medical, military, and consumer hardware, and is considered a leading expert in RF, PC motherboards, and high speed network communications. In 2003, Brendon was awarded the Mentor Technology Leadership Award for his work in data communications design, and has won the PCB West Top Gun Competition. When he isn’t hard at work, Brendon can be found playing golf, building models, or at the movies with his wife.
Randy began his career with Optimum 16 years ago and today he is one of the industries top designers. Randy is IPC CID certified and a Top Gun Award winner. He's designed commercial, medical, military, and aerospace boards utilizing analog, RF, and high speed digital circuitry. Randy's recent article "Lean NPI at Optimum Design Associates: Part 1 Where Are We Now?" was featured in Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly magazine and was the most read article of 2013. In his spare time, Randy is an outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, hiking, and riding motorcycles.
Doc has been with the company since 1998. He is IPC CID certified and has a strong technology background in military, automotive, medical, and consumer electronics involving HDI and DDR. In 2000, Doc was awarded the Top Gun award for his excellence in PCB design and his passion for his work has continued to grow over time. On the weekends, Doc works on cars and loves spending time in and around water.
Scott is a veteran designer with over thirty years of experience and a breadth of knowledge in all aspects of PCB design. Scott came to Optimum in 2005, and has created multiple boards utilized for NASA and the military. Scott has also used his talents as a designer to create PCBs for audio, aviation, and consumer electronics industries. In 2013, Scott represented Optimum as a featured speaker at PCB West 2013, one of the industry's largest tradeshows and authored the article, "A Whole Lot of Switchin Goin On". In addition to working as a designer, Scott enjoys staying in shape and running half-marathons.