Onetto as Director Huge Win for Microvision-Inside Vision

Yesterday morning, when I showed my wife the press release about Onetto becoming a Director of Microvision, she said: "Serious executives know other serious executives."

I just looked at her and thought she was amazing and told her: "You totally nailed it."

After having posted recently about the new position of 'MEMS Process Engineer' and kind of describing why I thought that position was really key to what Microvision is working to accomplish, I was absolutely floored to see Onetto joining the company's Board.

So, why is adding Onetto as a Director so important to Microvision shareholders? It's possible this may be discussed on this afternoon's call, and there's some information in the press release, but I'll give my two cents here too:

1. I believe this is a huge vote of confidence in Microvision's future growth and profitability. Guys like Onetto are only going to come on board if they have a firm conviction that the technology has value; the business plan is sound; the executive team has the smarts and ability to execute the business plan; and that the future is bright for the company. This is a big name guy, with a big-time resume and history of accomplishments. He's not going to waste his time. Everything that guys like this do is done with intent and purpose.

2. Onetto's addition to the board represents the continuation of Tokman's alignment of the company behind the Microvision-inside vision. This vision requires Microvision to be able to define repeatable manufacturing processes and hand them off to third parties who will build these MEMS-based displays in huge volumes. In March 2006, MEMS-based displays are not yet built in hundreds-of-millions unit volumes, which will be required to achieve Microvision-inside. Microvision's task is to define the processes and methods by which this can be done, and can be done profitably. This is a really big task that requires the highest levels of expertise in establishing and managing a global supply chain -- where one does not exist right now.

Fortunately for Microvision, Onetto is a distinguished executive with specialization in the field of strategic sourcing, global supply chain optimization and establishing global manufacturing processes.

Here are some definitions of 'supply chain' terminology from the Bridgefield Group that are helpful when evaluating the impact of having a world leader in supply chain optimization join your company's Board:

supply chain: The linked set of resources and processes that begins with the sourcing of raw material and extends through the delivery of end items to the final customer. It includes vendors, manufacturing facilities, logistics providers, internal distribution centers, distributors, wholesalers and all other entities that lead up to final customer acceptance. The extended supply chain for a given company may also include secondary vendors to their immediate vendors, and the customers of their immediate customers.

supply chain execution: The set of supply chain activities that focus on fulfillment rather than planning- raw material delivery, manufacturing operations and shipments to customers and internal and external distribution points. Execution functions receive requirements from the planning cycle and provide the actual data in plan vs. actual measurements.

supply chain management: The coordinated set of techniques to plan and execute all steps in the global network used to acquire raw materials from vendors, transform them into finished goods, and deliver both goods and services to customers. It includes chain-wide information sharing, planning, resource synchronization and global performance measurements.

supply chain optimization: The coordination of linked resources across all or part of a supply chain in eliminating or reducing manufacturing and logistics bottlenecks and creating optimized schedules based on shared inventory and order information.

supply chain planning: The set of supply chain activities that focus on evaluating demand for material and capacity and formulate plans and schedules based on meeting that demand and company goals. System functions often involved in the planning cycle include MPS, MRP, Rough Cut Capacity, CRP, DRP and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS).

Maybe a little bit dry, eh? But understanding this, executing this with skill and precision and basically becoming world leaders in MEMS global supply chains will be what Microvision is all about in the years to come. We're not just going to hand off a bunch of patents to some OEM and say, 'good luck'. We're going to define best practices for MEMS manufacturing and sourcing for the entire global electronics industry. Guys like Onetto relish this kind of challenge.

I have never been more enthused or excited about my ownership of this company. Everything that's happened since January has told me, 'this guy gets it.' We're witnessing the foundation of a billion dollar company being built. This is the caliber of executive leadership that is required to change the world in a fundamental way.