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November 26,  2013 
Editor's Note 
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 The Changing Design & Supply Chain Landscape

  

Consumer and mobility applications are driving big changes in the electronic components design and supply chain. As a result, the ubiquity of semiconductors and other technology applications is clearly altering the industry dynamics, forcing companies to either expand into or withdraw from some business segments, which is blurring the lines between hardware and software vendors, and generally disrupting established patterns and relationships. (See Consumer & Mobility Alter the Electronics Landscape, Part 1) A good example is Google and its ongoing transformation into a full-fledged technology company with extensive interests in both software and hardware. (See Flextronics Places Big Bet on Google).

 

On the distribution front, two reports reveal that even the big guys, including Digi-Key (See Digi-Key in China? Yes. Soon, Too) and Avnet (See Avnet to Broaden Online Support Services) are continually reinventing themselves and making adjustments to meet the needs of their procurement, supply chain, and design customers. While Digi-Key is expanding operations globally and putting "boots on the ground" in key European, Middle East and Asia locations, Avnet is transitioning more of its engineering and supply chain services and functions online as part of a strategic effort to reach more customers, broaden offerings, improve engagement with suppliers, OEMs and other partners.

 

In other news, we continue to cover developments that are important and of interest to all supply chain partners in the electronics industry. One of these ongoing topics is counterfeiting, which has spurred a lot of pro-DNA and anti-DNA discussions. Managing editor Barbara Jorgensen addresses the polarizing issue in The Ugly Truth About Counterfeiting, while our contributing industry expert George Karalias speaks out about the need for a collaborative effort with the government to develop a more effective anti-counterfeiting technology. (See DNA Marking: What is the other Option?

 

You'll find something to pique your interest in this issue of EPS NewsPlus and if you don't please let us know how we can do a better job of providing the tools and resources you need to do your job better. Drop me a line at bolaji.ojo@epsnewsonline.com.


Speaking of serving the industry, I would like to enlist your assistance with a survey EPS has launched as part of our efforts to gain a better understanding of the electronics purchasing and procurement community. If you buy or specify components for a manufacturer, we would like to hear from you. The survey won't take more than 15 minutes and we will provide an executive summary of the reports to respondents in addition to entering them into a drawing to win one of two mini iPads.

Simply click on the following link to get started: http://survey.beacontech.com/2328/cgi-bin/ciwweb.pl?studyname=2328&p=3

 
Please be assured that all answers are completely confidential and will be used only in combination with others we receive. Your candid response is critical to the success of this research. 

To sign up for the News+Plus newsletter please click here.  

  

See you online soon!  

  

  

Bolaji Ojo 

Editor in chief & publisher

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Flextronics Places Huge Bet on Google  

Google Inc. is fast becoming the hottest must-have partner for many supply chain service providers in the electronics manufacturing industry. With the Web search engine provider expanding its roster of electronics hardware, sales and profit opportunities running into billions of dollars have opened up at the company for semiconductor makers and other component suppliers, distributors, contract manufacturers, logistics providers and independent design firms.

Continue Reading . . . 

 

Consumer & Mobility Alter the Electronics Landscape, Part 1       

Electronics Here, There, Everywhere: Implications for Industry Design Chain & Supply Chain Landscape. That was the initial headline for this article but the lengthy wording worked against this choice and a shorter title was substituted. Yet, this analogy demonstrates clearly what's happening in the world of electronics and how the ubiquity of semiconductors and other technology applications is altering the industry dynamics, forcing enterprises to expand into or withdraw from some business segments, blurring the lines between hardware and software vendors, and generally disrupting established patterns and relationships.  Continue Reading . . . 

 

Digi-Key Corp. is expanding operations globally and plans in the near future to establish its first office in China in furtherance of an internationalization program that will see the electronics components distributor putting "boots on the ground" in key European, Middle East and Asian locations, according to company executives. Continue Reading . ..  



Avnet Inc. is moving to transition more of its engineering and supply chain services and functions online as part of a strategic effort to reach more customers, broaden offerings, improve engagement with suppliers, OEMs and other partners, as well as further streamline operating costs.  Continue Reading . . . 

 

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News 

Apple Inc. doesn't have a copyright on innovation but this point seems to be lost on Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at the company. All the comments I've seen on Schiller's presentation to a jury in its court case against rival Samsung Electronics Inc., tells me many observers - just like Apple itself - don't get the true import of this legal tussle. Continue Reading . . .   

Nothing has polarized the supply chain like counterfeiting. It has pitted segments of the industry against one another (distributors versus brokers) and more recently divided the channel into two camps: Pro-DNA and anti-DNA. Both of these debates center around proposed solutions to the counterfeit problem in the channel and both have spurred action. But these debates continue to miss a point about counterfeiting that nobody in the electronics ecosystem wants to talk about: the role of OEMs and EMS providers. Continue Reading . . .   

The semiconductor industry and its supply chain partners would benefit from a collaborative effort with the government to develop a more comprehensive and effective anti-counterfeiting technology.  Continue Reading . . .    

In conjunction with coverage of California's major new regulatory program aimed at reducing or eliminating many toxic chemicals in consumer products, here is a link to an issue brief from Michael Kirschner of ENVIRON,  California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations: Near-Term Actions and Priorities.  Continue Reading . . .     

Forget Re-shoring, China is still it

It's easy to find evidence to convince anyone China will in future play a diminished role in the electronics manufacturing market. Don't believe the hype. True, aside from regular supply chain challenges arising from its location and distance from main Western markets and other economic, geo-political and logistics issues, the country's edge in production has been dulled in recent years by a variety of factors, according to analysts.   Continue Reading . . .

Sony Nears Profitability on PlayStation 4

With the introduction of the PlayStation 4, Sony is closer to profitability with component and manufacturing costs starting lower than its price tag, after taking a loss on many revisions of its PlayStation 3 console, according to preliminary results from the Teardown Analysis Service at IHS Inc. This is even with performance upgrades in the processor and memory subsystem.  Continue Reading . . . 

Jabil Buys SGI Plant to Secure Contract

Jabil Circuit Inc. has agreed to purchase Silicon Graphics International Corp.'s main manufacturing facility in the United States in addition to certain other assets as the two companies seal their previously announced outsourced production deal.  Continue Reading . . .

Capturing B2B Potentials of RFID

With RFID technology coming on line for many different business sectors, I could not help but notice the impact for B2B applications with respect to the management of critical data to ensure they can survive the untimely demise of a product in the field. Why is this important? Instead of having to reconstruct the scene of a crime, if it were possible to view the moments during which the crime was being committed, wouldn't that shorten the whole forensic process, possibly eliminating the tedium of specialized troubleshooting with all of the associated expenses? Continue Reading . . .

 

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