Doing Business in Korea, Part 1

For many tech workers in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region is just that—a region. Global electronics companies, of course, have figured out that each country within this vast region is unique. Within the distribution industry, independents such as Smith & Associates set up shop overseas more than a decade ago to expedite trade in electronics.…

Where’s the Growth? Suppliers Seek Validation

AVX Corp. CEO John Gilbertson has been in the electronics components business long enough to know growth signs when they start cropping up in key industry segments like automotive, cloud storage, defense and telecom. Anecdotal reports, though, aren’t quite as reliable as definite component orders and as a company that sells 44 percent of its…

Ruling Adds No Clarity To Conflict Minerals Law

One of the lesser-known facts about the Dodd-Frank Act (also known as the “conflict minerals” rule) is that the provision has been challenged in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit recently issued its ruling on a challenge by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) regarding the SEC’s conflict minerals rule, according to…

Chip Makers Tap Emerging-Market Opportunities

Spring is bringing new growth to global markets at a sustainable pace, which is exciting for the supply chain. Europe, like North America, is showing real signs of a return of consumer confidence and foreign investment. Meanwhile, many of the emerging economies are also gaining momentum, although some remain clouded in political issues, like Russia; and…

How America II Juggles Spot-Market & Scheduled Orders

Now in its 25th year of business, America II has expanded globally and has consistently ranked as one of the top distributors in its market. It hasn’t always been easy – independent (or non- authorized) distributors have faced an uphill battle in establishing themselves as trustworthy sources of supply. America II’s President Brian Ellison spoke…

Reverse Logistics Firms Pick Customer Satisfaction as Top Objective

A recent survey found that reverse logistics companies rank customer satisfaction as their highest objective after sales. Why did these companies rank customer satisfaction higher than product differentiation, cost savings, and revenue generation? Simple. The power of the people. As consumers we have gotten accustomed to be catered to and to having our needs and…

Prepping the Supply Chain for Internet of Everything

The current estimates for how the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact the global economy runs into trillions of dollars. Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), expects “50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020” and says the activities related to IoT would could amount to $19 trillion “in value” for enterprises and…

Tips For Thriving in a Flat IP&E Market

In some circumstances – political leadership, for example – long-term stability is a good thing. In the interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) market, a little upward or even downward momentum would be a welcome change for many companies in the electronics supply chain. “From the leadtime perspective, there has been very little change [from 2013],”…

Supply Chain Shakes Off Winter Fatigue

After a seemingly interminable winter, manufacturing indexes are finally shaking off the effects of a record cold snap in the U.S. The Institute for Supply Management’s PMI, a leading index of purchasing managers, inched up a bit in March to 53.7 percent. More importantly, the ISM production index, which fell dramatically since the beginning of…