We live in a tumultuous age in which reinvention is a necessity for survival. The magazine you hold in your hands is both a product of this tumult and a tool with a mission to help you navigate through your own reinvention. Above all else, we are launching Electronics Supply & Manufacturing to provide you with "actionable" editorial that, if applied and used, will lead to improved business performance for your company and for your supply and design chains.
Who are our intented readers? You are managers at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers from all sectors of the electronics industry. The majority of you are at midtier companies, which we define as between about $10 million and $500 million in annual revenue. As managers, you have a say in shaping your company's supply and design chains, and are involved in selecting supply base partners. You are in positions that span corporate, engineering, manufacturing and operations, procurement and supply chain functions.
You know who you are" you're overworked, wear a variety of hats and have too few resources at your disposal to help you make rational business decisions. You work collaboratively both within your company's four walls and with your strategic supply chain partners. You face daunting competitive threats from all parts of the globe but at the same time see new opportunities emerging. If only there were more hours in the day and days in the week.
Most likely you are not an HP or Dell or Flextronics. And you probably don't have their clout in the marketplace. While you may learn from these industry giants, the issues and challenges you face require a different skill set and approach.
If this description resonates, then Electronics Supply & Manufacturing is for you.
Take a quick look at the diagram on the facing page. It captures all the complexity of the world you live in, both downstream to your customers and upstream to your supply and design chain partners. Electronics Supply & Manufacturing will devote most of its editorial attention to the left side of the diagram. However, we will not ignore the right side, as customer relationships and input play an increasingly important role in shaping and informing the supply chain.
In all, there are 15 unique bubbles in the diagram, with countless lines or pipes connecting them. And while the OEM bubble may appear to be the largest, you don't always feel as though it is.
The diagram is anything but static. Each bubble is in constant motion, maybe moving from North America to China, growing or receding in size or influence, and constantly reinventing itself. The pipes are in flux, too, carrying information, product and money to and fro. Sometimes the information is accurate, sometimes spurious. Sometimes the pipes get stuffed with too much inventory, sometimes there's not enough. The same goes for the flow of money. Sometimes you need to upgrade your pipes, which often costs millions of dollars.
Every month, Electronics Supply & Manufacturing will shed light on how to manage these bubbles and pipes. We will offer up a selection of how-to articles, thought leadership, trend analysis, research, best-practice case studies, company profiles and viewpoints across five broad categories:
Business management Covering financial and business process management with an emphasis on ROI analysis and productivity enhancement.
Design chain management Covering the business of product development, from conceptual design through prototyping to manufacturing.
Manufacturing management Covering the make-vs.-buy decision as it relates to all aspects of manufacturing, with an emphasis on covering EMS providers and original design manufacturers (ODMs).
Supply base management Covering the business and technology strategies of semiconductor and component suppliers.
Supply chain management Covering all aspects of the flow of information, product and money across the electronics supply chain.
In this month's issue, we offer you nine feature articles, many of which include action items that you can apply immediately. Take, for instance, this month's cover story starting on page 44 that looks at the pros and cons of sourcing components from China. It includes resources to tap as well as a list of 40 questions you should ask prospective suppliers.
Similarly, the article on environmental regulations starting on page 34 by senior editor Crista Souza sounds an alarm for managers who are dragging their feet on compliance. It includes a list of eight action items to help you get ready for the new rules. Then there's the article on page 64 that offers five action items you can take to help avoid component shortages and possible allocation should the markets heat up in 2004.
Useful, actionable, practical. Those words describe every article in Electronics Supply & Manufacturing. But don't take my word, decide for yourself. Read it with a critical eye and give me your feedback. Like any product, the success of Electronics Supply & Manufacturing depends on how well we serve you, our reader/customer. We too are committed to constant improvement and reinvention.
Bruce Rayner is editor-in-chief of Electronics Supply & Manufacturing. He can be reached at email@example.com.