SMT007 Magazine

SMT-July2015

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36 SMT Magazine • July 2015 go hand-in-hand. While the majority of our customers have a good handle on their suppli- ers, we do run into isolated cases where some of these suppliers consistently fail to deliver qual- ity parts or miss the delivery date. Production delays due to design issues also remain a problem. This is more common for startups that have an aggressive schedule for time-to-market, where their product has not had enough time to mature. Some raw material suppliers also have difficulties bringing their supply chain up to speed. This in turn would affect our ability to ramp in a timely manner. Ayes: Are certain materials or supplies difficult to obtain on a regular basis? Choi: In general, lead time and pricing constraints have not been major problems over the last few years. We have seen some isolated instances of specific parts go on alloca- tion with little to no warning. This particular supply shock was probably attributable to demand spikes from large mo- bile device makers. We've also seen lead time increases on certain types of raw materials used in PCBs, LCDs, and logic and electromechanical, but nothing major. Ayes: what is the role of a supply chain manager in an Ems company like smtc? Choi: The supply chain manager's role is more challenging and complex than ever. In addition to overseeing the daily product flows and man- aging the MRP executions of the buyers, the SCM is responsible for supply management, in- ventory control, supplier relationships and ne- gotiations, training and communicating corpo- rate initiatives, and developing and deploying customer specific supply chain strategies. Because their role is complex in scope, the strategic responsibilities are supplemented by global commodity managers who negotiate terms and prices. We also have a best practices and compliance team chartered to set forth pro- cesses and guidelines. The supply chain man- ager will then take these strategic initiatives and translate to their daily and long-term goals. Ayes: how do you lower your procurement costs? Choi: The obvious way is through the consoli- dation of our global demands. We try our best to take advantage of volume and commonality. Because we're a global organization, our ability to compare and hedge prices between suppliers in different regions also helps to obtain cost reductions. We also take advantage by enabling our global and local procurement strategies. We have commodity managers in two different time zones and supply chain managers in three time zones. They lever- age each other by being able utilize their counterparts in a different region. If the pri- mary commodity manager for mechanicals is situated in Toronto, but an issue or time sensitive task happens to be in Asia, he will reach out to his counterpart and take advan- tage of skills like language or extending the communication channel with an Asia supplier or even making a visit to the supplier in case of an escalation, or for qualifications. Saving expens- es on travel cost is one thing, but being able to increase the time to execution and breaking down any language or cultural barriers provide a huge advantage to us. We are in essence pro- viding these resources to our customers where many do not have a global presence. And be- cause we're a tier 2 EMS provider, the speed of execution is much faster than a tier 1 provider. Ayes: how has your supply chain evolved and how different is the supply chain landscape now? BEATING THE SuPPly CHAIN CHAllENGE: INTERVIEW WITH SMTC CORP. continues FeAture if the primary commodity manager for mechanicals is situated in toronto, but an issue or time sensitive task happens to be in Asia, he will reach out to his counterpart and take advantage of skills like language or extending the communication channel with an Asia supplier or even making a visit to the supplier in case of an escalation, or for qualifications. " "

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