Paradox...the most reliable supplier can get lazy and keep raising prices without improving service or quality, so most buyers look for backup. If the cost of qualifying a new supplier is very high, they may limit that to two suppliers. If qual costs are low, and sample testing shows quality is high at least initially, they may select more and see if volume is enough to support 3 or 4 to sort out the longer term issues. Sadly, suppliers are not consistently reliable AND competitive over time. Nothing beats technical involvement in the partnerships, rather than just phone calls, sent engineers now and then for audits and information exchange. But yes, complexity adds headwind to the search for best supplier, and supplier arrogance can destroy years of good relations. And of course corruption replaces trust with higher risk for both partners.
In the enterprise, who is in charge of the outsourcing management department and what background does it require to do the job? The complexity that is involved apparently supposes that adequate coordination between many internal and external players is needed. Also, the electronics industry being a very competitive one, how easy is it for the outsourcing teams to manage negotiating cycles with "multiple EMS providers" and be able to launch new products "on time"? Why not just stick with a "reliable" provider once and for all?
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.