Whole Larger Than the Sum of its Parts
The electronics industry has changed a lot over the last two or three years. Most of the change has centered around cost cutting, as manufacturers struggled to improve their bottom lines, and in some cases to merely survive.
Investment strategies are changing, though. The emphasis is shifting back to product development and time to market. But that doesn’t mean cost cutting has been moved to the back burner. ‘Lean’ is now ingrained in corporate strategy. Nowhere is that notion more evident than in the supply chain, which encompasses a close relative, the design chain. Over the next several months OEMs will be searching for ways to fine tune their supply/design chain. I strongly recommend they consult with the sector that has built a solid foundation over the years in asset management, warehousing and logistics: distribution.
The range of services offered by distributors has reached a point where it would be reckless to ignore this sector as a valuable source of supply, because its services meet with the goals and priorities of electronics manufacturers. And while OEMs may be familiar with some of the efficiencies and value distributors bring to the table, a new element has been added to the mix: leadership. You’ll find several examples in this issue.
Let’s start with Avnet Canada, which is the subject of? ‘Distributor Spotlight,’ a new, regular supplement brought to you by Canadian Electronics magazine. We’ve recognized the increasingly integral role that distribution is playing in the value chain, and this is our way of bringing our readers details on what it has to offer.
Over the years Avnet has built a portfolio of services that add up to considerable savings for the manufacturer. Its warehousing and purchasing options for instance, significantly decrease labour and shipping costs. The most significant benefit distributors provide is the ability for customers to keep working capital costs low. ??Another example is Future Electronics (see page 3). Future was recently in San Francisco promoting its Technical Solutions Management (TSM) program, which consists of factory trained consultants, and engineering resource centres that together, accelerate product design.
There’s passives distributor, TTI (see page 4), which has been feverishly working at reducing transaction costs for its customers.
And finally, our front page story tells you about how R. Moroz Ltd., a radio frequency identification (RFID) distributor and system integrator has assumed a leadership role in promoting a technology some believe will have an impact similar to that of the introduction of the integrated circuit.
R. Moroz hosted Canada’s first RFID conference, in an effort to clarify some of the technical issues and business concerns surrounding the adoption of RFID. And from the reaction of conference delegates, the event was a resounding success.
The indicators say product innovation is back on track in the electronics industry, something everyone expected. What you may not have expected is distribution leading the rebound.
Tim Gouldson, Editor