Foxconn ‘Bank’: A New Twist in Supply Chain Financing

Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd is giving a new meaning to the term “full-service-provider.” It is a contract manufacturer, a supplier of a wide range of parts and services to electronics OEMs and, since last year, a provider of critical financing support to suppliers. By setting up a business unit to fund suppliers, Foxconn has cracked…

Robots in the Supply Chain is Old News; Get Ready for Artificial Intelligence

Robots are the natural next step in the evolution of the electronics manufacturing supply chain. This shouldn’t surprise anyone but it seems some economists and researchers were shocked at the recent news that Foxconn had automated some of its plants, replacing workers with robots. This resulted in the elimination of as many as 60,000 factory…

Quakes Will Impact Automotive Electronics

It has been a couple of weeks since double earthquakes hit the Japanese island of Kyushu in the Kumamoto prefecture, self-named as Japan’s Silicon Valley. The two earthquakes, one registering 6.5 magnitude followed by the main 7.3 magnitude event, are unusual in that they occurred in a two-day time frame. Additionally significant: 1,000 aftershocks continue…

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Risk-Management Reminders from Japan

I recently had a conversation with Wade McDaniel, vice president of supply chain solutions for Avnet Velocity. The discussion was centered on the many layers of risk management, and a few things stood out from a presentation McDaniel provided. It was a map of earthquake-prone areas of the world. The image stands out in my…

How to Improve the Supply Chain with KPIs and Big Data

Successful supply chains measure key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine how well their organizations are performing to drive operational excellence, and have “open and honest” relationships with their suppliers and customers, according to a new report released by ASQ. “Supply chain KPIs must be in line with the goals of your customers and that businesses need…