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Live Chat 12/18: Supply Chain Trends for 2014

87 comments on “Live Chat 12/18: Supply Chain Trends for 2014

  1. Adeniji Kayode
    December 18, 2013

    Hello everyone

     

  2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Adenji, welcome! We'll be starting in about 20 minutes

     

  3. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    We will be starting at 11:00 a.m. PST/2:00 p.m. EST sharp. First, though, there are two housekeeping notes:

    First, please make a copy of your post before hitting the “post” button – just in case.  If the system “eats” one of your carefully crafted thoughts, please hit “Ctrl-Z” to recover it.

  4. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Second, if you have problems posting, we suggest trying a different browser.  IE9 is a popular choice, but sometimes find Firefox, Chrome, or Safari work better.

  5. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    This will be a fun, fast, and friendly conversation, so please do not hold back with your comments or questions.  There are no dumb questions and we value everyone's point of view.

  6. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Questions, theories, ideas, real world experiences and even friendly rants are welcome here.

  7. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    And always, please announce your arrival so we can give you a warm EBN welcome and offer you some virtual  guacamole. 🙂

  8. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Hailey – James is here.

  9. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Hi James, glad to have you with us. Pull up a chair… and i'm sure people will be hopping on shortly. In the meantime, maybe you'd like to lay out some of the trends you are seeing. Tell us a little more about potential lead time stretches…

  10. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Sure. As we close out the year and get into planning for next year, we're noticinga good many customers have reduced their on hand inventory of components, and whilst we haven't seen widespread lead times stretch yet, it would only take a mild accelertion in demand for us to see that in Q1.

     

  11. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    In terms of trends we're seeing, the second half of the year has seen some nice growth in our industrial OEM customers, and we feel pretty strong that will continue through into the first half of next year.

     

  12. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Is it across the board on component types or particular types?

     

  13. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Not across the board, but in pockets that are hard to describe a trend. Electronic test quipment and semiconductor products have shown a particular pick up in demand, but most product areas saw an increase in demand in the second half.

  14. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    By all accounts, DRAM will remain in short supply for sure.

  15. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    Do you see trends in hard drives and SSDs?

     

  16. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    Howdy folks.

  17. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    Hello, everyone!

  18. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Welcome Rodney… Pull up a chair. Have some guacamole…it's green. the chips aren't red but it's still festive!

     

  19. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    James, will 2014 see any decrease in price and increase in availability of display technologies, like AMOLED screens?

  20. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @Jim, glad to have you hear, Jim… you are definitely our SSD adn HDD expert…

  21. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Happy you could make it Hospice… Plenty of Guacamole to go around.

  22. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    Hailey, I will cover the chips with salsa beforehand to get the needed red component.

  23. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Yes, DRAM will remain in short supply, but the feared disruption from the fire at SK Hynix's facility in South Korea has not been as major as expected.

     

  24. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @Rodney, good thought! I used to go to this one mexican restaraunt that offered “christmas burritos” featuring both tomatillo and tomoto salsas….but i digress.

  25. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Re Hard drives and SSD's, I'm a little removed from that but PC shipments are not forecast to grow materially in 2015.

  26. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, you know what they say “Expect the worst, never be disappointed…” 🙂

  27. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    Hailey, I just had lunch and now you are making me hungry again.

  28. Mitch Wagner
    December 18, 2013

    Hailey – I suspect not “Mexican” but rather “New Mexican.” We visited New Mexico for five days in 2008. I gained eight pounds. 🙂

  29. Mitch Wagner
    December 18, 2013

    James_McGregor – The projections I've seen have PCs flat or down. Tablets and phones are where the action is. 

  30. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, so folks are wondrering about solid state drives/hard disk drives and display techologies (AMOLED screens). Any thoughts on those?

  31. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    The PC pundits at Gartner ar still in denial. They predict flat sales as Win 8.1 arrives, but I think the decline will continue at a good pace in 2014…any thoughts???

  32. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Rodney – I'd be betting on continued price decreases on most display technologies, and the volume of uses will continue to explode.

  33. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @james ignore my last message… I wrote it in teh delay!

  34. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, i'd love to hear more about what you are seeing in terms of reshoring/onshoring. Iknow there are some high profile examples, but do you think 2014 will make it a broader trend?

     

  35. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @Mitch, glad you could be with us! Now, I want to go to mexico for christmas.

  36. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Jim – I think the Gartner guys have called it correctly on this one. I think the days of each new Windows release driving a big uptick in PC sales may be behind us.

  37. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    @James: Are we going to see better touch screen technologies coming up in 2014? 

  38. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    Good question, Hailey. Didn't I just read that the new $3,000 Mac Pro that looks like R2D2 that went on sale today is built in the US?

  39. Mitch Wagner
    December 18, 2013

    There is no evidence to suggest Windows 8 or 8.1 is driving significant PC demand. 

  40. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    @James, I sesne people want to stay with Win XT or Win 7

  41. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    There are some pretty high profile reshoring examples we could point to this year, like Motorola partnering with Flextronics to manufacture the first USA built smartphone. It certainly is a trend that will continue as manufacturing gets more high tech and efficient, and labor costs continue to increase in China's regional areas.

  42. Mitch Wagner
    December 18, 2013

    Rodney – That Mac Pro is a very niche product. Even developers are not likely to need it. 

  43. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @Rodney, CNET called it a “token gesture: A USmade Mac Pro is a token gesture | Apple – CNET News

  44. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, what are the biggest supply chain pressures behind this reshoring trend?

  45. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    Mitch, I almost added that point to the question — if you only nedd to make a few thousand of a device, making it in the US still makes sense, even for Apple.

  46. kdawson
    December 18, 2013

    James — “Mac Pro is a niche product” — how many of thm will they sell in your opinion?

  47. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    As a sign of the times in onshoring, several big Chinese ODMs are opening up integrator and end-user operations in the US. I think that means they expect onshoring to pick up.

  48. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Hospice – the touch screen world is fast moving, so I'm sure we'll see some advances in 2014. I've not heard of any specifics but the new capacitance products that will drive touch screen enhancements from firms like Atmel and TI are kept pretty tightly under wraps until launched.

  49. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    JimO, I teeter on the edge of wiping my laptop and going back to Win 7 every time I use it. Cramming a mobile OS on top of a useful production-focused OS is still a stupid move on Microsoft's part.

  50. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    A “token gesture” may be a good start – at least people can still believe in the US manufaturing industry

  51. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Hailey – the supply chains built up to support the massive manufacturing capacity in low cost regionas are very complicated and extensive. replicating that in North America is possible, but reques some detailed planning. I see the distribution segment of the supply chain playing a key part in supporting that migration, just as it currently supports domestic manufacturing.

  52. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    Win 8 was a stupid move…Ballmer's legacy!

  53. kdawson
    December 18, 2013

    @Rodney, I read one opinion that the next Windows OS will be a tacit admission that Win8 was the entirely wrong direction. (Preston Gralia I think it was.)

  54. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    re Mac Pro – I need to confess I'm not a big Apple user, so I'm not sure how niche it will be. But people did say that about the tablet when it was launched!

  55. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    Microsoft should have called 8.1 Windows 9. Win 8 is forever tainted.

  56. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @Jim, it'll be interesting to see if you get anyone arguing you in favor of Win 8 !!

  57. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    JimO, since Ballmer took over we've had 3 MS OSs — Vista (horrible), Win 7 (ecellent) and Win 8 (painfully stupid). Not a great track record. Good thing it had so many wins in the server sector.

  58. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    I was at a talk recently and the speaker was Apple's Steve Wozniak. He said even Apple was shocked by how big the iPad was!

  59. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, is the distribution channel ready to support US manufacturing? What has newark been doing to get ready?

  60. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    I don't think there will be wenough of a change in 8.1 to wash away the pain of 8.

  61. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    @Jim: This is not the first time that MSFT gets its OS wrong, I am sure this will not be the last time. 

  62. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    @Hailey, can you blame Apple after the complete failure of the Newton?

  63. Mitch Wagner
    December 18, 2013

    James_McGregor – Different situations entirely. The iPad was a new class of device. The Mac Pro is just an update of, well, the Mac Pro: An extremely powerful, extremely expensive workstation. Not many people need it. Unlike the iPad, MacBook Air, and iPhone, it is not designed to be a mainstream product. 

  64. kdawson
    December 18, 2013

    @James, got any insight into the very geeky question of whether GaN-on-sapphire will continue to dominate in LED production, or will GaN-on-Si gain ground? How about dark horse GaN-on-GaN?

  65. Mitch Wagner
    December 18, 2013

    Although standard iMacs and MacBook Pros are powerful enough nowadays that it's hard to determine who the Mac Pro is for. 

  66. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    I think the Distribution sector has the infrastructure to support a spike in domestic manufacturing. Where I was going with my comments earlier is that although the reshoring has had some high profile examples, I think there is still a lot of questions as to how big and quickly the impact will be, relative to a sizeable mfting base that is already here.

  67. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    GaN-on-sapphire is pretty well established and from the LED manufacturers I've spoken to I'm not hearing an expectation that will change in 2014 at least.

  68. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    @james, I see the biggest gap in component insertion onto boards. We do't do enough to pick up say iPhone volumes yet.

  69. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Point taken… Speaking of US concerns, you had mentioned to me that research folks are concerned about losing goverment grants. What are the prospects in that sector?

  70. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    In my opinion, Windows 8 on Surface is not a bad idea. I have come to believe that Surface is even a better productity tool than iPad. Anyone agrees with me?

  71. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    @Keith, I am holding out for graphene. 🙂

  72. kdawson
    December 18, 2013

    @James, IHS recently said GaN-on-Si will be 40% by 2020. They are an outlier opinion clearly.

    @Rodney, you better have the patience for an extremely long bet…

  73. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    @Jim – I agree with you, but I really don't see the very high volume consumer products like iPhone's ever shifting from a low cost region. I think high mix/ lower volume manufacturing is where US manufacturing will win.

  74. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    I think you ar right on the Surface, @hospice. It's pretty slick. They MS guys just forgot their installed base in their entusiasm..Really it should have been a separate product!

  75. Rodney Brown
    December 18, 2013

    @Hospice, I haven't used either enough to judge them on productivity, but I do like Win 8 Surface as a mobile OS. It really shines on tablets and smartphones. On laptops and PCs, not so much.

  76. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @Rodney, my nephew just started at high school at a charter school adn all the kids were given Surface tablets. He loves it… and says high school is way cooler than 8th grade. 🙂

  77. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    @Hailey – re Government grants – thats a hard one to answer. We have lots of customers who have research projects funded year to year and project by project. The uncertainty about debt ceiling and possiblepublic funding cut backs are very real, but impossible to predict right now the impact on what may or may not happen

  78. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    @james, I think you are likely correct, at least for the next two years.

  79. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    I've used both Surface and iPad and if not for the number of apps available for the iPad, I would have opted for the Surface.

  80. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    I notice we are past the half hour mark. Any last questions or comments for our guest?

  81. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, i guess even your crystal ball gets cloudly at some point! It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

     

  82. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    Also, this is our last chat for this year…any topics you want to throw out for the new  year? WHat''s got your attention?

  83. Houngbo_Hospice
    December 18, 2013

    Thanks, everyone!

  84. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    By all means continue any questions via the element 14 engineering community http://www.element14.com.

     

    In termns of ideas for the new year I think the possibiities 3D Printing offers to the domestic manufacturing base are extraordinary – and thats certainly a trend to watch.

  85. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 18, 2013

    @James, don't get us started on 3D printing or we'll be here until next year! I'm sure we'll be chatting about that. Thank you so much for joining us today! As you can see, we are a rowdy bunch with wide-ranging interest. You were a great guest…

  86. James_McGregor
    December 18, 2013

    It was a pleasure. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  87. JimOReilly
    December 18, 2013

    Merry Xmas James!

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