To Reshore or Not to Reshore

The discussion over shifting manufacturing activities (specifically for electronics) from foreign countries to the United States has been going on for a couple of years. The notion of a large-scale relocation of manufacturing capacity is overblown, but several recent examples make it worthwhile to examine whether electronics manufacturers ought to reshore their manufacturing. Motorola has…

Predictive Analytics Takes Its Place in the Electronics Supply Chain

Supply chain volatility, stemming from demand and yield uncertainty and generating shifting lead times and product obsolescence, is something the electronics manufacturing industry must deal with on a daily basis. Because of its fast pace, the electronics sector could benefit from the application of predictive analytics to identify supply chain risks and increase agility. A…

Court Upholds Conflict Minerals Rule

Companies awaiting the outcome of a legal challenge before starting to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Conflict Minerals Rule received a blow in July when a US district court rejected that challenge. Recent reports have shown that many companies have been laggard in starting compliance activities. A recent PwC study showed that 16.7…

Reduce Lead Times & Slash Inventories

Inventory is expensive. By looking carefully for unneccessary delays in the supply, manufactures have an opportunity to cut lead times and improve business outcomes substaintially. Pulse Electronics, an electronic components provider, recently announced it had reduced its product lead time by 50 percent, to four to five weeks. The expected results of reduced lead times…

Manage Your Suppliers, Protect Your Brand

The lesson of Apple's god-awful fiasco with its supplier Foxconn teaches that supplier management is part of brand management. Revelations of abject working conditions at Foxconn's plants in China, reports of employee suicides, followed by Apple's rejection of Foxconn shipments for poor quality took their toll on Apple's image among consumers and investors alike. How…

A One-Country Supply Chain Won’t Work

Earlier this year, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs announced it intended to develop a smartphone supply chain within its country. Bad idea. Specifically, the ministry said it was seeking foreign investments for production of Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (AMOLED) displays on the island. The dubious rationale given for the new policy was cost cutting. In…

DoD Issues Electronics Counterfeit Rule

Concern about counterfeit parts in the supply chain prompted the US Department of Defense to propose new and potentially costly requirements on electronics suppliers. The rules would require contractors to detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts. Contractors will have to implement counterfeit electronic part detection systems and they won't be able to pass these costs…