Supply Chain Volatility: The New Norm

Despite my years in the electronics industry, I continue to be fascinated with the global supply chain and remain amazed at its overall efficiency. However, I also recognize the constant presence of supply chain volatility — a volatility that has now become the new norm impacting every supply chain decision we make. Contributing to this…

Pawn Stars: Lessons for the Supply Chain

I find one reality TV show interesting because it actually represents reality. …At least, it's the reality that I see through the supply chain and procurement lens of Freebenchmarking.com and Component Cost Estimator as it mirrors typical purchasing negotiations. The show is Pawn Stars , about a family-owned pawn shop in Las Vegas. In this…

Marketing Is Warfare, Not Number Crunching

There are two ways to approach a competitive environment-based marketing program: As a field general or as a bean counter. Guess which approach works better? More on that later, but first, attitudes regarding budgets vary greatly. Some believe in creative financing, such as having their PR or ad agency invest in their company: We expect…

5 Ways to Reduce Component Costs

Having the world's largest independent database of current electronic component pricing gives me a unique perspective on pricing. Having developed the prediction algorithms used in Freebenchmarking.com and Component Cost Estimator — applications that accurately predict what individual companies should be paying for components — I am happy to see my customers saving millions of dollars…

Crowdfunding Components & Risk Assessment

As the semiconductor industry has consolidated in the past 10 years, entrepreneurs have been forced to think differently about how to fund a great new idea. Venture capitalists, as we know, have cooled on the industry's ROI, to say the least! But, not surprisingly, at that end of the design and supply chain, novel approaches…

Samsung Snatches Another Apple Crown

Are there {complink 379|Apple Inc.} turfs that {complink 4751|Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.} doesn't want to stomp on? The Korean electronics giant in 2012 grabbed the title of the No. 1 consumer of semiconductors from its North American smartphone and tablet PC competitor, according to an announcement yesterday by Gartner Inc., adding to its bragging rights…

Rethinking Intel’s Greatest Asset

{complink 2657|Intel Corp.} is changing alright, but in such incremental and deliberate ways, the process may be near conclusion before its rivals, investors, and many industry analysts realize the extent of the dramatic turnaround the current management is trying to execute. Over the course of the next five to 10 years, and certainly before the…

The Headache of Managing Supply Chain Data

This time of year, we're inundated with predictions. Some of them you look at and forget. Others stick with you and get your problem-solving wheels spinning. The second scenario happened to me the other day when I was browsing sites and looking up enterprise IT trends. Three of the executive predictions cited on the Business…