Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Mar-Apl 2016 Contents T
he power and sophistication of today’s
electronic devices, from smartphones
to sensor-based equipment in
manufacturing plants to internet and
telecommunications backbone technology, has
significantly transformed the global consumer
and commercial electronics industry over the
past several decades.
Current electronics technology is staggeringly
complex, and so too is the global supply chain
processes needed to bring products to market.
The industry also faces many challenges,
particularly fast-changing technology, volatile
market conditions, ceaseless cost pressures,
brutal competition, demanding customers using
mission-critical applications, and the instability
among suppliers in Asia due to rising energy,
labour and transport costs in recent years.
Supply chain quality and efficiency can
be make-or-break factors for an electronics
designer and manufacturer. Unfortunately, the
global electronics supply chain has not kept
pace with the innovations in devices themselves.
While significant improvements have been
made, stakeholders across the electronics
supply chain recognise that much more remains
to be done to make electronics manufacturing
and distribution more agile, transparent,
collaborative and cost-efficient.
Speed and precision are paramount
From manufacturers to distributors, thousands
of electronics-related companies are seeking
new ways to drive out needless costs, accelerate
processes, win new customers and secure
The stakes are high. Customers and partners
increasingly expect speed and precision in how
electronics orders and production are executed
and fulfilled. They expect visibility into history
and status across the full supply chain lifecycle.
They want to collaborate more closely with
manufacturing and distribution partners. In a
sense, the goal is the consumerisation of the
electronics supply chain.
Roadblocks to flexibility
Electronics companies, however, find
themselves road-blocked on the journey to a
next-generation supply chain. For instance, they
are uniquely positioned to leverage the Internet
of Things (IoT) data to drive new traceability
and efficiency across the supply chain, yet are
limited by legacy IT infrastructure in place, often
for a decade or more. Outdated on-premise
systems are notoriously inflexible and difficult to
customise to changing demands in production,
inventory, distribution, supplier and partner
management, and purchasing.
As a result, it can take months of costly effort
by a development team to introduce a supply
chain innovation into an electronics company,
from better forecasting to integrated IoT data.
That very slow pace is distinctly at odds with the
need for greater agility and efficiency in the face
of increasingly complex global networks that
can involve thousands of customers, partners
and transactions. These weaknesses limit a
company’s capacity to scale and grow — even
as innovative competitors are doing exactly that.
Supply chain transformation
For a growing number of electronics
companies, cloud technology is proving to be a
breakthrough catalyst that enables far-reaching
improvements across the supply chain.
Cloud gives electronics companies the ability
to operate their entire supply chain from a single
platform. This provides detailed and up to the
minute visibility of every interaction, transaction
and engagement that occurs in a business, in
every market, anywhere in the world, in any
currency or language. A cloud-based solution has
the power to completely transform and modernise
the electronics manufacturing supply chain as it
gives a business the agility, real-time insights and
economies of scale to increase its competitiveness.
One of the key benefits of moving to the
cloud is the operational visibility that a unified
architecture delivers. Real-time data is
available quite literally at the push of a button,
which means electronics manufacturers and
distributors are better positioned to respond to
customer demands and synchronise operations
with a global supplier base.
The ability to access real-time and
integrated business insights also enables
electronics manufacturers and distributors to
monitor and manage granular costs (including
inventory, logistics and fuel, etc.) to identify
“The ability to access
real-time and integrated
business insights also
and distributors to
monitor and manage
granular costs to identify
SUPPLY CHAIN IN
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — MARCH / APRIL 2016
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