7 Steps Toward More Effective Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is necessary for any business, but it’s especially critical for electronics manufacturers and their supply chains. Increased efficiency can maximize profits and sales, lower operating costs and introduce better controls and management processes. “When you have control over your inventory, you’re able to provide better customer service,” said Johnny Marx, an account…

Foxconn, LCD, flipflop, US

What’s Behind Foxconn’s Flipflop on U.S. LCD Plant?

Anyone familiar with Foxconn/Hon Hai Precision Industry retained a healthy dose of skepticism when Foxconn announced it would build advanced liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) in Wisconsin. To put it charitably, Foxconn is not renowned for honoring its contracts. More than 20 years ago, when I was working for Electronic Business magazine, one of our editors spent…

Use TCO as a Sales Tool Against Offshore Competitors

Sixty percent of companies make offshore-sourcing decisions based on rudimentary metrics, such as wage rate, ex-works price or landed cost, often resulting in a 15 to 30 percent understatement of actual offshoring costs. Inclusion of all relevant factors—overhead, balance sheet, risks, corporate strategy and other external and internal business considerations—provides a better determination of the…

Reshoring, FDI Trends Add U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

U.S. manufacturing continued to grow in December, but much more slowly than in previous months, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Headwinds included a strong U.S. dollar; trade disputes; dysfunction in Washington, DC, and higher interest rates. Tailwinds included the strength in reshored manufacturing jobs for the last several years. For example, manufacturing jobs via…

U.S. Factory Activity Plunges to a 4-Year Low; Electronics Industry Stalls

U.S. factory activity in December plunged to a four-year low as new orders, production and employment declined sharply from November 2018 levels. Even the electronics industry, which struggled to meet component demand for the entirety of last year, abruptly hit the brakes. “Growth appears to have stopped,” a computer and electronics executive told the Institute for…

digital transformation, supply chain, predictions

10 Global Supply Chain Predictions for 2019

The electronics supply chain, for the past year, has been marked by component shortages, lead-time extensions and tariff uncertainties. Nevertheless, it’s been a good year for component manufacturers and distributors—many of which have reported record quarterly sales during 2018. In 2019, IDC projects, the supply chain writ large is poised to transition from a cost…