The rate at which the electronic industry is changing and advancing can be quite daunting. Especially when just a decade ago what were brand new companies are today’s top performers, one can imagine how competitive it is to survive in this market. Electronic companies today are expected to be quick, adaptive and flexible. It is crucial for these businesses to be aware of and equipped to manage existing as well as emerging challenges. Here is a list of commonly faced challenges in the electronics industry.
An Industry Overview
Before we venture into the prevalent challenges, it is important that you understand the industry better.
It is essentially broken down into three categories:
- Electronic Manufacturing Services
- Original Equipment Manufacturers
This article primarily discusses faced by EMS and small and mid-sized contract manufacturers.
Global competition and newer innovations are forcing price reductions, consequently shrinking operating margins. To fight this, companies are expected to make a consistent effort towards becoming more cost-efficient to maintain profitability.
Companies increasingly have to juggle between internal as well as external sources while simultaneously finding ways to maintain international standards. Complex global supply chains bring along with them operational issues such as traceability and compliance. For instance, it is not at all uncommon for electronic components to touch three or more continents before it reaches its end-user.
The need to leveraging global supply chains is resulting in more emphasis being laid on supplier quality management. Thus, investing in a strong traceability and quality system has a direct influence on the warranty reserve and the service hours post-production.
The quickly changing customer tastes and preferences mean that electronic manufacturing services companies and contract manufacturers require designing an effective ‘New Product Introduction’ process. The short product lifecycles demand closed-loop communications between engineers, manufacturers and sales teams to ensure timely launch of a product and is able to meet quality and sales targets.
Volatile economic situations and cyclical demands result in fluctuations in manufacturing. It is important that efficient and lean capabilities are put in place to make sure that the inventory is in sync with the market demand.
Emerging regulations and standards are compelling electronic manufacturing services (EMS) to consider more socially responsible decisions. As off today, e-waste is a dominant topic in the field of electronic manufacturing. Electronic manufacturing services companies must now consider decisions through the product lifecycle to arrive on effective methods of disposal of products and the influence then have on the environment.
Although these challenges may seem quite daunting, PCB manufacturers and PCB design companies have been getting more and more conscious about dealing with it. By integrating elements of technology and the value change help fight these challenges and emerge as a leading company in electronic manufacturing.