Any supply chain consists of the different activities that transform natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product to be delivered to an end customer. In the case of the electronics supply chain, it typically involves the procurement of raw materials and equipment, development of product that is either shipped directly to a customer or to another link in the supply chain to be assembled into the larger product.
In 2017 it is very rare to find someone whose job isn’t impacted by the Chinese New Year (CNY). Over the course of the last 15 years, the CNY has changed. It was once a complete 2-3 week blackout shutdown, no contact with anyone. It has since evolved into a 2-3 day no-contact window with a 5-10 day manufacturing shutdown.
How do you ensure that your manufacturing talent is an asset to your business? Consider a typical manufacturing organization. Qualifications for many entry–level shop floor positions are modest. New hires range from novice all the way to seasoned manufacturing professionals with specialized skills.
Sometimes it is an employer’s market and at other times, there is a scarcity of suitable job talent. In this ever changing environment, how do we keep the most ambitious, hardworking, and engaged workers?
Within industries like electronics manufacturing, suppler self-surveys are very popular. At any given moment here at Epec, we are processing five or so supplier surveys. We send them out ourselves. I have dealt with supplier surveys, one way or another, for the last twenty something years. But, what purpose do they serve, and more importantly, what value do they provide to your organization?
If you are shipping products from China, underestimating the importance of understanding supplier logistics can come at great peril. Anyone that's been to mainland China has seen some things that probably made you double take in disbelief. You get off the plane, sitting in the backseat of your suppliers van, most likely jet lagged, and you look out the window to see a bicycle comically overloaded with packages. Once you realize what you're looking at, the first thing you’re probably thinking is I’m really glad my stuff doesn’t get shipped that way. But can you really be sure?
All companies judge themselves on simple things like revenue, expenses, and income. Most manufacturing companies measure even more metrics like capacity utilization, yield, inventory turns, and on-time delivery. All of which are very important to ensure that business is profitable.
We find that return merchandise authorizations (RMAs) are a powerful statement of a customer’s level of dissatisfaction. RMAs can offer evidence if a manufacturing process fell short of its goal, there was a lack of communication throughout processes, or even misdiagnosed a problem. In any case, we stand behind our product and are ready to support our customer.
Over the course of the last 10 years, e-commerce has gone from something that very few people did to something that is part of our everyday lives. The rise in e-commerce has made many of our lives easier and more productive. The unseen side effect for most people is the strain that this dramatic increase of the “casual shipper” has caused to the existing Air Freight model. With companies like Amazon and Apple leveraging their supply chain management to get product to the U.S. in as little as 2-day standard shipping, it highlights the importance of your suppliers’ relationships with their freight suppliers. Hopefully this gives you insight of why freight supplier management is critical to growing your business.
Business-to-business (B2B) is now more competitive than ever. Remaining competitive in the electronics manufacturing industry requires businesses to change, adapt, and improve. But, there are many barriers to improvement. How does your organization solve problems and drive improvements?
In 1999 there were over 1,200 active printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Today, there are fewer than 130. What has transpired at a lot of these manufacturing companies are small service businesses that act as a liaison between a manufacturer and their customers. In many instances, this is a valuable relationship; the products are low in technology and the risk is very minimal. However, why is it that we require ISO certification for our manufacturing locations but not for service providers?