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18 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2020 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team IPC's Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., CFA, and IPC's Chief Technologist Matt Kelly, P.Eng, MBA, discuss technology and market trends they're currently following, as well as the recent digitalization of the supply chain and what that means for domestic man- ufacturing. Nolan Johnson: Regarding changes in the dynamics for electronics manufacturing, a number of factors point to an emerging trend toward regionalization and the potential devel- opment of captive facilities in North Amer- ica. We want to talk about those possibilities. Can you start with your overall perspective on these trends? Shawn DuBravac: It's clear that the supply chain is in flux and that there are a lot of dynam- ics in play. This dates to before the current pandemic engulfing the globe. I would argue that supply chains are always looking to opti- mize a number of factors. As supply chains are confronted with new challenges, the weight that manufacturers apply to those factors changes and evolves. Before the pandemic, the narrative that dominated supply chain deci- sions was trade tensions flaring up around the globe, most notably—but not exclusively— between the U.S. and China. There were trade tensions that were growing globally for a num- ber of factors. Companies were beginning to internal- ize those risks and were making adjustments accordingly. At the same time, one of the things that companies are always seeking to optimize is being able to deliver products in a timely manner. They're optimizing around cost and time. You naturally want to be in the market that you're serving, so some of the decisions that were being looked at involved areas of the world that were growing and evolving and what they wanted. Those are the dynamics that were influencing things over the last year. Then, as the pandemic started to spread in China, it created some supply risks, con- straints, and issues. It was a supply shock, not unlike the one that manufacturers have con- fronted in the past. Early on, it looked like a Supply Chain Shock and the Factory of the Future

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