What RoHS 2 Means for Buyers and the Channel

Now that the EU’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) has been around awhile, manufacturers have a pretty good idea what’s necessary to comply with the directive. Now RoHS 2 is on the horizon, and the role channel partners play in environmental compliance efforts will be expanded. “What [RoHS 2] does is expand the requirement for…

What if the Prodigal OEMs all Return?

It’s a barely noticeable trickle now but what if all the prodigal Western OEMs who shifted production en masse to low-cost locations in Asia suddenly move even a single-digit percentage of their manufacturing volume back home? Will the electronics supply chain be able to handle the flood and does the industry anymore have the intellectual…

Where Does EMS Head Next?

The logic behind the concept made enormous sense when OEMs first began focusing on core competencies decades ago. Manufacturing became the main function of specialized contractors such as Flextronics, Solectron, Sanmina, Jabil, Celestica and others while OEMs like IBM Corp., instead of investing in manufacturing plants, concentrated on developing technology, leaving the assembly to the…

Where are the PLM Champions?

I wonder at times why so many companies hide their best and brightest minds, products and departments in some dark corners while endlessly and tirelessly parading once popular but steadily fading divisions before a tired crowd. That’s the case with the electronics industry where the already obvious – microprocessor, smartphone, PCs, digital TV, etc. –…

The More Things Change in Distribution

There was a period in the electronics distribution industry during which an acquisition in Europe would barely get a second glance. That’s because foreign acquisitions by U.S.-based distributors were happening at roughly one per week. In some cases, it was almost a daily occurrence. Although it appeared at the time that industry leaders Arrow Electronics…

Supply Chain Targets Reverse Logistics

As the electronics industry increases its commitment to the environment, businesses are looking for cradle-to-grave management of electronics products. The after-market handling of products – repair, return, disposal and recycling – has largely been left to a highly fragmented set of companies that may or may not be familiar with the electronics supply chain. In…

How to Retire Used Electronics Profitably

Preparing for end of life isn’t easy, whether for humans or electronic equipment. The process is exceedingly controversial in the electronics industry and can also be costly too for manufacturers that get snagged by conflicting collection and disposal regulations. Surprisingly, though, IT equipment asset retirement can also be done quite profitably if well planned. Industry…