M2M Redefines the Supply Chain and Transportation

Operational visibility – knowing where a shipment is and monitoring the environmental conditions in near real-time of cargo in-transit – is becoming an important tool for the supply chain and the transportation industries, according to a new survey of shippers and logistics providers conducted by eyefortransport (eft) in conjunction with AT&T. One way to gather…

REE Prices Spike Following China Embargo

Rare earth elements (REEs) differ significantly from conflict minerals in all but one aspect: their availability—or lack thereof—has the potential to disrupt the electronics supply chain. REEs are exactly as they sound: compounds that appear in nature that are scarce or difficult to mine. Conflict minerals – also natural elements – are concentrated in regions…

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…

Independent Audit of Conflict Minerals Law Compliance Rare

Semiconductor vendors, most major consumer electronic OEMs and other high-tech companies largely ignored the voluntary independent audit requirement for compliance with the Dodd-Franks Conflict Minerals legislation in 2013 and this will most likely remain unchanged for 2014, according to a report compiled by Schulte Roth & Zabel, a law firm that provides advisory services to…

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…

How Will Western Business History Rate Offshoring?

Forget about lost manufacturing jobs and the social implications. In time, Western high-tech companies and other manufacturers may come to rue their decision to offshore manufacturing to Asian low cost locations. As rivals pop up like daisies in China, some observers in Europe and North America are moving to the conclusion that offshoring was at…

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Customer Service 101: Make Things Right

I have the somewhat unique position of being part of a small-business enterprise and a consumer at the same time. Since Electronics Purchasing Strategies writes for professional procurement (among other audiences) I try to take a personal buying experience and then complicate it by a hundred-fold to put myself in the readers’ shoes. My supply chain…

Smart Grid: Part of a Bigger Opportunity

A few years ago the smart grid represented an opportunity for electronics companies to tap into a rapidly growing market. Thanks to new energy standards, increased public concern for energy savings; volatile gas and oil prices; potential government subsidies and advanced electronics technologies, the grid and its offshoots looked ripe for the picking. Has the…

“Next-shoring”? Manufacturing’s New Watershed Moment

Industry forecasts point to significant growth for the duration of 2014 and beyond; but this growth is not just more of the recent same. There are new demand drivers shifting the supply chain balance and with it a new trend in manufacturing is budding. At the center of the growth in consumer electronics is the…