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…

Be Smart When it Comes to Choosing Social Networks

When it comes to social media and the supply chain, popularity isn’t everything. With more than 1.3 billion users, Facebook is the most popular social network. Your B2B business should not use Facebook just because of its popularity.  Rather, your business should use Facebook (or not) because it fits into your marketing and business strategies.…

Reliance on Compliance: Evolving Industry Standards

The variety of product labeling standards set forth, or under consideration, by organizations such as the Electronics Components Industry Association (ECIA), Electronics Components Association (ECA), Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JDEC), Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA), now part of TechAmerica, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) present additional labeling challenges.…

Apple-GT Row Highlights OEM Sourcing Dilemma

It’s the sort of public row few suppliers would ever engage in with a major customer of Apple Inc.’s size and influence within the electronics supply chain. With bankruptcy looming, though, GT Advanced Technologies Inc. seemed to no longer care how angry Apple Inc. executives might get if details of the two companies’ component sourcing…

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…

Social Lurking Won’t Grow Your Business

I wrote previously about the opportunities companies within the logistics and supply chain industries can realize through social listening. I cautioned that to reap the benefits and seize the opportunities afforded by social media, companies need to use the information and intelligence gathered. Using the information and intelligence gathered is essential. There is; however, another…

The Ins and Outs of Customer Labeling Requirements

If the common systems for product labeling in the electronics industry were working flawlessly, there would be no demand for change. But even just a cursory review of what manufacturers must accomplish in labeling generates a profile of an approach that is unsustainable. Consider, for example, what manufacturers need to do simply to comply with…

Buyers Upbeat on Business Outlook for 2014

Although the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector cooled down a bit in September, the industry topped off its third consecutive quarter of expansion that month. One of the nation’s leading indexes, the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI, decreased in September by 2.4 percentage points to 56.6 percent. Nevertheless, said Bradley J. Holcomb,…

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…