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62 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2022 Feature Article by Christopher Peters USPAE e success of an organization oen rests on the performance of its supply chains, espe- cially the bonds between a chain's nodes. In the electronics industry, a company's relation- ship with its electronics manufacturing ser- vices (EMS) provider can be the deciding fac- tor in its success. EMS firms or contract manufacturers are the keystone of the industry. ey make decisions on behalf of customers, have detailed insights into their extended electronics supply chains, and contribute significantly to the quality and performance of a customer's products. EMS companies are a crucial node in the electron- ics supply chain and just one example of how an organization's relationship with its trading partners can impact success. When the Chips Are Down Events of the past two years have clearly demonstrated the value of strong trading relationships. When materials become con- strained, as in the recent microchip shortage or any of the pandemic-driven supply chain sna- fus, the companies that have those materials have a choice to make. Which customers will be put at the front of the line, and which will be placed at the rear? Too oen, company executives assume that since they are a large buyer, they automati- cally will be prioritized when supplies are con- strained. Research has shown that this is not always the case, and that assumption can leave a company in a weakened position. One such study is the work of Dr. Steven Mel- nyk, professor of operations and supply chain Thriving Through Greater EMS Collaboration

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