Demand Visibility Remains Problematic

In spite of supply chain collaboration, MRP technology, supplier consolidation and a long period of ample component supply, a panel of leading EMS providers say they have less visibility than ever into demand signals from their OEM customers. Executives from U.S.-based OnCore Manufacturing Services, Variosystems Inc., Kimball Electronics Inc. and Plexus Corp. gathered recently to…

IP&E Trends: Longer Deliveries for Aluminum Electrolytic Caps, Relays

The good news for buyers is that lead times and pricing trends remain stable for most interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) components, according to Avnet Electronics Marketing’s most recent Market and Technology Trends report. However, purchasers should keep a close eye on lead times for surface-mount aluminum electrolytic capacitors and electromechanical relays. Production capacity at…

distributors

Can the Supply Chain Survive the Free-Service Squeeze?

Outside of corporate management, engineers are the most valued—and best-paid—members of the electronics supply chain. So why do so many customers expect to get engineering services for free from their business partners? The distribution industry for decades has been struggling with this issue. “Giveaways” began with value-added services. Customers that bought components from distributors asked…

Local Knowledge Extends Quality in Global Supply Chains

Diversification and expansion in the electronics market poses many challenges: there is a rapid emergence of new markets, an extension of supply chains, increased logistics and reverse logistics demands, not to mention rapidly growing, intense competition from new, locally-based OEMs. These market challenges are repeated across regions; they are similar regardless of point of origin…

Component Trends: Some Memory Allocation

Memory components continue to be the most volatile segment in the supply chain in October, according to Avnet’s most recent Market & Technology Trends report. Similar to prior months, both memory prices and lead times continue to increase. Across the market, overall memory availability is running 6 weeks to allocation, according to Avnet. DDR-3 SDRAM…

distributors

Distribution: What’s Behind the Curtain

If your suppliers are doing their job right, life should be a bit like Oz. Somebody behind a curtain is managing things and everything looks great on the outside. Every once in a while, though, it’s worth peeling back the curtain. Several hundred people got that chance last week as Future Electronics celebrated the 10th…

Tight Supply Continues for DDR3 SDRAM

DDR3 SDRAM continues to be the bellwether of the memory market. Despite fluctuations in pricing, product continues to be scarce and lead times continue to be an issue. Lead times for DDR3 memory ranges from 12 to 16 weeks with inventory levels remaining tight. Forecasts are pushing lead times to early 2015 for deliveries. Within…

Hong Kong’s Changing Role in the Supply Chain

Long before China became the go-to destination for foreign manufacturing, there was Hong Kong. During the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong was a low-cost center for manufacturing and the electronics industry’s window into the vast market that was China. Although Hong Kong’s role has changed significantly since China opened its doors to foreign trade, it…

Study: Supply Chain Leaders Invest Heavily in Tech

Effectively reaching rapidly-developing emerging markets is often a challenge for businesses that require bricks as well as clicks. For example, unlike the travel industry – where an inventory of airline seats or hotel rooms is literally virtual – the electronics industry requires its inventory to stored and physically moved around the globe. Technology, of course, has…

How Enterprise Labeling Can Optimize the Supply Chain

The electronics industry today is characterized by an ever-sprawling set of global supply chains, causing an increase in disparate labeling systems spread across the enterprise with an ever increasing volume of duplicated label and redundant master data. This begs the question: how effective is labeling in the electronics industry today? Can labeling be more optimized…