This dialogue occurred on Thursday, August 23, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.
Thailand may not immediately come to mind as a technology hub, but electronics production represents a major part of the country's exports, and many companies have significant operations there. Contributor Jennifer Baljko recently visited the Southeast Asian country and talked to government officials and company executives. Join her on Thursday, August 23, at 11:00 a.m. EST to discuss Thailand's manufacturing future and how companies have recovered from last year's devastating floods.
Listening to some of their supply chain plans and hearing about their expansion plans gives me every reason to believe that Thailand will be a country worth considering, if companies have their eye on SEA
Anandvy - it's a sensor that can be packaged in multiple ways, and will detect changes in water levels within centimeters... they told us right now the current sensors on the market detetc water level changes within in 50 cms, but in a flood zone, whether your house is flooded or not may be just a couple centimeters
The one who wins the War after losing the Battle is the Real Winner! That's what makes Thailand so special.Inspite of getting knocked (further because of the Political issues and then the Flood Issues);Thailand came roaring right back!
Yes Susan In China many of the suppliers preferred only offline communication in English as they could talk English over phone. They had to take translators' help to trasnlate emails and thgeir replies.
Wale - energy question...no one mentioned any major concerns about problems with energy, or at least non come staright to mind. I will scan a slide presentation I have about that, and put a comment up on the last dispatch I filed from Thailan, ok?
.. the thai govt is also working on ways to start placing more factories near the Laos and Myanmar border... where some of the lower-skilled, high-volume production may end up as the more mature companies migrate to lower-volume, higher complexity
I think its a good sign that government is taking flood prevention measures seriously. There are many countries that dont learn any thing from natural disasters. I am glad Thailand realizes how bad it is for their economy.
@Prabhakar-China is also the largest importer of Soyabeans.Trouble is you can't eat Rare earths;but you can replace them easily[Japan is doing some great research] & alternative mines outside China[US,UK ,Canada,Australia]
Barbara - yes HDD prices were impacted -- they rose, and surprisingly have stablized at that higher price point. Now that there is industry consolidation happening, analysts don't expect those prices to fall soon
@BOI: do you see a challenge in that flood memories will fade with time? For example in the US, we don't think about Hurricane Katrina/New Orleans anymore, and I'm not even sure the prevention measures were ever completed...
Since Thailand is the world's biggest rice producer as well, hasnt the flood made the land fertile for the coming years making rice a potential earner for Thailand ? (Ignoring the destruction caused by flood to the crops that year)
@BOI-How much of the electricity Generated in Thailand is made from Coal,Natural Gas,Hydro and Fuel Oil?[Please give percentages]. Also how much of that is imported? Especially Crude Oil and Natural Gas?
Adeniji - There was a impact on HDD sales, but the industry has mostly recovered faster than expected and many HDD companies reported record sales and profits recently. I'll be covering just that topic for Velocity's ezine, our sister pub very soon. Bolaji can tell you when that will be live.
Ariella- see what ending soon - the China fad? Nope, although I think countries like Thailand and Malaysia offer competitive alternatives. People are getting frustrated with things in China and it is getting more expensive do biz there, but it's still a huge market that can't be ignored.
@BOI I picked up on your mentioning better weather data. It got my interest because I once wrote about the use of big data in long term weather predictions and how useful that can prove for businesses -- even when it doesn't include potential disasters from flooding.
Prabhakar - WD said the recovery cost them million and millions of dollars. I had cited an economist in one of my stories abt the total estimated loss. I don't have that number right at my finger tips.
This is a comment more than a question: Kudos to BOI and the electronics compnaies in Thailand for being so open and candid. I read every word of Jenn's stories and I was impressed with the level of information that was shared
@jenn: earlier you mentioned executives/compnaies being able to move manufacturing and second source supply. Do you mean that OEMs went to alternative sources, or suppliers were able meet demand by tapping capacity elsewhere?
What's also worth noting is that Thailand developing quite a bit of port, rail and road infrastructure. BOI can you speak to that? I think it's a big deal for supply chain professionals, and the port expansion is particularly interesting.
Production lines at Western Digital, for example, were shut down for 46 days. All of their equipment was under water, and had to be taken apart piece by piece. One of their key suppliers was down for months. But WD and other companies like Benchmark, Celestica, Seagate, were able to transfer some of the production to other plants
What struck me most about being in Thailand, was that so many of the conversations with executives talked about the floods as a major event, but also how quickly they were able to move manufacturing and second source supply
Yes, I will be talking about the flood and the amazing recovery job. First, though, I'm going to ask the BOI to gives us a little information about how big the electronics and automotive industry is in Thailand. These are major makrkets for them
Jennifer Baljko has been reporting on the electronics industry supply chain for years and will be chatting with us today on the impact of last year's flooding on the electronics supply chain. She recently visited Thailand on the invitation of the Thai trade board. She will also be introducing a participant from the Thai board during this chat. Please go ahead.
Just a reminder: I'll be making a few introductory comments soon. Today, we're lucky to have some folks from the Thailand Board of Investment on the call. I will ask them a few questions about Thailand's electronics industry and the flood recovery. Then we'll open the floor for a broader Q&A, ok?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.