Demand outside U.S. to increase
The flip side of this is worth some thought as well: Demand in other non-North American markets is expected to increase, potentially in some places by double-digit percentages. India, the Middle East, Africa, Brazil, and other South American countries, for instance, are the sweet-spot growth areas for sales and fulfillment, with Eastern Europe, South Korea, China, and other Asian nations also ranking on the list of top high-tech consumer demand markets, UPS said.
"The anticipated shift in consumer market demand for high-tech goods brings opportunities and challenges for high-tech companies," said Ken Rankin, high-tech marketing director at UPS, in a statement:
Global demand will continue to grow in new and existing markets, causing supply chain executives to shift not only their fulfillment operations but also their sourcing strategies to serve those markets. We have already begun to see such a shift as companies look to India and Brazil as key markets not only for fulfillment but for production as well.
Of course, this will have supply chain implications. As noted, survey participants cited supply chain costs, lead times, and responsiveness as the top three drivers of change in the high-tech supply chain in the next three to five years. Additionally, there will be greater need to effectively manage inventory, increase end-to-end visibility, identify unstable suppliers, and protect intellectual property, the company said.
So, while it's good news that US high-tech companies are confident that demand will drive products into new markets, the dilemma -- now and always -- is how they will align their supply chain practices to match the export growth they are hope will materialize.
Jennifer Baljko is a contributing writer at EBN, an EE Times sister site. This article was originally posted on EBN.