Challenging, varied road ahead for electronics supply chain

     

Bringing new electronic devices from conception to the the consumer could seem, on the surface,describe the image to be a straightforward process. The public's enduring love of new gadgets may portend future strength for every type of company, from parts sellers all the way to retail outlets.

The reality is more complicated. EBN contributor Lavanya Rammohan recently gave an overview of the complex challenges and opportunities supply chain management professionals in electronics will face in the coming years, based on a new survey by EBN and Frost and Sullivan.

Market in flux

The rush to purchase new and more advanced devices appears to be one of the primary strengths of the electronics market. It also represents an interesting challenge. According to Rammohan, companies producing and distributing the parts for advanced new devices need to move quickly to keep up with demand - a difficult feat requiring strong communication. New B2B integration features could represent a promising way to transmit data between partners as an open and instantaneous form of information exchange. Rammohan suggested that, with improved contact systems, firms could cut the time needed to determine which development ideas are the most successful.

Certain partners in the logistics process will have to step up in the coming months, Rammohan suggested. She stated that contract manufacturers could improve processes by taking on more responsibilities and adding to a general boost in product turnaround.

Rammohan reported there are some specters set to haunt the market in coming months. While the public's hunger for technology products is seemingly insatiable, the unsteady world economic situation has still caused profits to fluctuate at various manufacturers. These companies have cut their financial outlooks and may have less to invest in new product development during the coming months, putting a question mark over supply chain speed increase efforts.

IT contributions excel

Some of the improvements projected by Rammohan can be enabled through new IT hardware and software buys. Gartner researcher Vikas Sarangdhar recently told BizTech2 CIOs will be key players in supply chain decisions in the coming months. He explained that visibility is important to managers, and that bringing an entire logistics network into close synchronization could hold significant benefits. He tapped IT executives as the group responsible for making such goals possible, as well as making sure data is available at every level. Advanced software, he explained, can be transformative.