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56 The PCB Magazine • July 2015 THE KEyS TO SUCCESS FOR SUPPLy CHAIN MANAGEMENT continues supply case let's start with a good product. Now the road is already paved. A tier one supplier probably doesn't reach that status without a quality product. The prod- uct is everything and its quality dominates the vitality of the supply chain. Top quality ensures minimal manufacturing process intervention and everyone along the supply chain is moti- vated knowing that they have played a part in supplying a product that is universally respect- ed and will most likely be a success for the cus- tomer. "Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles." – Steve Jobs Key Issue: The Distributor and his Capability Assuming there is a distributor in the supply chain (and who can survive these days in this global economy without one?); he will have two key partner relationships: the supplier and the customer. Let's focus on the distributor, who, in to- day's ever-increasingly complex global supply chain, is the glue that results in success—or lack thereof. With utmost skill, the distributor must equally balance the needs of both partners and at the same time, show them dedication, re- spect, and integrity. This can be an emotional experience for all parties and the distributor, with guarded humil- ity, is in the middle. He must be up to the task. The increasing sophistication of printed cir- cuits now requires several distributor skills and proficiencies that were not required in the past and with more and more products born in Asia, the list continues to grow. Not the least of these capabilities is JIT de- livery—a much exhausted term—but one that defines and separates the winners from the los- ers. In order to deal with a worst-case delivery scenario (a rush JIT) a tier one distributor must possess the following capabilities: 1. Financial stability 2. Local and regional warehousing (controlled environment) 3. Automated value-added services: cutting, paneling, tooling, and packaging 4. Strong local, national and international freight partnerships 5. Consignment offerings when required 6. EDI and B2B web services 7. ISO accreditation (proof and monitoring of responsibility) Feature Figure 1: The symbol of quality planning and achievement. Figure 2: Quality check confirming laminate T g .

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