Newspaper article International New York Times

From Design to Delivery

Newspaper article International New York Times

From Design to Delivery

Article excerpt

PCH, based in Cork, Ireland, acts as a middleman between makers of high-tech devices and China,

Liam Casey is an evangelist on the subject of user experience.

As one of the world's foremost experts on bringing products from concept to consumer, Mr. Casey believes that great experiences are the capital of the 21st-century economy. He is the founder and chief executive of PCH, a manufacturing consulting firm based in Cork, Ireland, with satellite offices in San Francisco and Shenzhen, China.

Over the past two decades, PCH, which acts as a middleman between makers of high-tech devices and China, has helped some of the world's biggest companies deliver such experiences.

Relying on a network of 1,200 factories in China and more than 2,600 employees worldwide, the company designs, engineers, develops, fabricates and distributes mostly hardware products for clients that include Apple and Beats by Dre.

According to a PCH fact sheet, 11.5 million components pass through its operations daily. In 2014, the company's revenues totaled more than $1.1 billion.

Mr. Casey, 49, who comes from County Cork, Ireland, cut his teeth in the fashion business. After spending time in Southern California, he worked for a company that traded in computer hardware. The year was 1996, and he sensed an opportunity in Asia. He founded PCH -- then called PCH International, after the Pacific Coast Highway in California -- that same year.

"One thing I saw early on was the tech world wasn't very user- friendly," he said. "The fashion world was. You could go to a fabric mill and take the fabric to a contract manufacturer and produce a garment pretty fast, whereas in the technology world, there was a very long lead time."

Mr. Casey is convinced that thanks to the advent of such tools as 3-D printing and crowdfunding, the notion of "fast tech" is around the proverbial corner.

"You're seeing fashion cycles with devices that you wouldn't have seen in the past -- like Zara bringing a product from concept to store in two weeks," he said. "That's going to happen in tech."

With PCH's Highway1 program, Mr. Casey is helping entrepreneurs, especially those in wearable devices, bridge the tech and fashion worlds. …

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