November 14, 2013
Editor's Note 
 Buyers are used to working under constantly changing conditions -- prices vary, deliveries are delayed or a product is out of stock. Then there are natural disasters such as the typhoon in the Philippines that disrupt more than the supply chain. Our thoughts are with the victims of yet another catastrophic weather event.


One of the ways buyers can be better prepared for the unexpected are online tools offered by a variety of vendors. For example, on the EPS home page is the Component Cost Estimator provided by Lytica. Lytica's founder, Ken Bradley,  blogs for EPS and you can read his pointers on strategic purchasing in our featured blog section. 


Distributors also provide tools for customers for a number of reasons. A certain level of technical support can be provided online 24/7. Online buying is quick and doesn't require a conversation with a salesperson. And, of course, the channel hopes to sell more products.  To date, however, these tools have been divided into two camps: engineering or purchasing. Global distributor Arrow Electronics Inc. has brought the two functions together with its new site.  Users can easily access and share data from a design; purchase a bill of material and then track orders. Arrow gives EPS an exclusive look a its offering in Arrow Tool Links Purchasing and Engineering.


EPS Contributing Editor Douglas Alexander knows a thing or two about sourcing; he's also an enthusiastic user of technology. RFID has long been thought of as a solution to many challenges in the supply chain: primarily keeping track of products and managing massive amounts of inventory. Douglas is a believer in RFID and you can read why in  the RFID 'Kill Switch' is Here and  Why RFID is a Purchasing Dream Tool.


As usual,  you'll also find news and in-depth analysis of your supply chain partners in our features section; hot products from EPS Executive Editor Gina Roos; and new features on our site including slide shows. As always, EPS aims to provide the information that helps you do your job better. Let us know how we're doing at


Barbara Jorgensen

EPS Managing Editor    
Featured Articles
Digi-Key in China? Yes. Soon, Too
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.  Link
Avnet to Broaden Online Support Services
Avnet 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.  Link


Electronics Outlook 2014: Low-Growth & Uncertainty

The electronics market is sliding into low growth or even negative growth territory with many of the industry's bellwether manufacturers rolling out fourth quarter revenue guidance that have largely fallen short of analysts' consensus estimate. And while almost nobody is trotting out the dreaded "downturn" word yet, concerns are building up in the industry over signs end-of-year sales could be sluggish in addition to the poor visibility into medium and long-term demand at end markets.  Link

DNA Marking Roils Anti-Counterfeit Camp
No matter what the supply chain has done to thwart counterfeit components, bogus parts continue to creep into the channel. The latest effort to stop counterfeiting - by marking components with a unique identifier made out of plant DNA - is not being embraced by all members of the supply chain, including some of its biggest players. Link

Distribution: Some Policies No Longer Work
Ever since the Internet became a factor in the electronics supply chain, companies have been trying to figure out the best use for the web. Distributors in particular had a stake in the process because the Internet was supposedly poised to eliminate the need for a supply chain "middleman. Link

Best Negoiation Tool: Market Intelligence
The purchasing process is not supposed to be adversarial but too often negotiations between buyers and sellers can turn out to be more like a boxing match where one or both parties emerge with bloodied noses. Link

Why RFID is a Purchasing Dream Tool
Having just attended the RFID Live 2013 conference in San Francisco, I was reminded of the myriad applications for RFID in tracking assets, monitoring systems and transmitting key data to and from sensing and recording devices. Link  
Schuck to Head Arrow Global Components Group
Arrow Electronics Inc. said Eric Schuck will take over as president of its global components business effective January 1, 2014. Schuck will replace Peter Kong who is scheduled to retire from the company on March 31, next year, according to a statement released by the companyLink

ON Semi, DHL Expand Logistics Capabilites in Japan

Electronics companies are increasingly partnering with logistics providers to improve delivery services and  assist in supply chain management. ON Semiconductor this week announced it has opened a new global distribution hub located in Narita, Japan,  in partnership with DHL. The Japan Global Distribution Center is more than ten times bigger than the old facility,  ON said in a release, and enables upgraded world-class supply chain services to customers along with logistic networks in Singapore, Shanghai and Manila. Link

Shutdown Has Little Impact on Manufacturing

The recent shutdown by the U.S. government did not appear to have an effect on domestic manufacturing activity, according to the nation's supply executives. A leading indicator of economic growth, the Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI), increased for the fifth straight month to reach 56.4 percent.  A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is contracting. Link  

Mentor Graphics Unveils Supply Chain Tools

Mentor Graphics Corp. has launched two supply chain tools, targeting enterprise resource planning (ERP) and materials costs reduction in electronics manufacturing. Materials accuracy is a critical factor in PCB assembly operation because materials make up the bulk of manufacturing costs, said the company.  Link

UPS Partners With Manufacturing Group

Freight services and logistics provider UPS has formed a partnership with The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). UPS will now be recognized as an official "Global Logistics Provider to IMTS and AMT." AMT members and exhibitors at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) will benefit by harnessing the power of UPS's infrastructure to enhance manufacturing technology trade around the globe. Link  

News Wire


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