SMT007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 83

APRIL 2023 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 33 Some of the pain they've felt over the past few years regarding availability is certainly not going away forever. These production fabs and test and assembly sites—which we need to build in order to realize and sustain that growth—are massive investments from these manufacturers. It takes years of planning and development to get them ready. Since our industry is cyclical, you must be ready for that next cycle. You also must anticipate the technologies that will feed the explosive areas of growth. Where do you need to spend some time making sure you're balanced? What visibility do you have into what's driving these technologies so you can make sure you're positioned in the right way? It sounds like demand will continue to outstrip growth and capacity, but by how much? There will be areas where the capacity will not catch up to demand, for years in some cases. If markets grow like they're expected in 2025-26, we will see additional shortage issues on certain technologies again. What's your expert advice for EMS providers in responding to what's ahead? We've made a lot of progress in the last few years from a data and visibility standpoint. This pain with the supply shortages hit virtually every type of customer; no one was immune. I think we learned a lot. Because of that, we've taken a step back, and we're planning better today than we ever have. Don't go back to the old ways of looking at things, for example, forecasting no more than 90 days or 120 days. Make sure we're planning our businesses with a long-term perspective and learn from what we had to go through since 2020. Keep that visibility, be forward-looking, and take a longer view than you did before. Planning ahead seems to also have implications for designers and OEMs: the parts they should put in their parts library, future-proofing their bill of materials, etc. What is your advice for design teams for the rest of this decade? The market tends to be cyclical even from the design standpoint, and especially for those doing second sources, or trying to have a lower-risk BOM. It seems we became too comfortable; from 2013 to 2019, the risk of not sourcing products was low, so many design teams took their foot off the gas. They might not have taken as much initiative to de-risk the BOM, to pick parts that are very common in the market, and to secure second sourcing where possible. During past cycles, the shortages tended to be one type of technology or another. We might have had a tantalum problem, or certain types of products or technology. This time it was across the board. You really take a holistic approach to the BOM, look at all technologies on all part numbers, and verify you've done the due diligence. Putting in a little more time up front will make a big difference in the long run. Any final thoughts on the topic of sourcing or something else we haven't addressed yet? Inventory has certainly become more available today than even six months ago. That's a good thing. But there are still pockets of struggle and hard-to-find parts in the world. I don't see that working through the system until maybe later this year. In the EMS world—distribution and man- ufacturing—we've probably built more inven- tory as a combined group than ever before. Everybody will need to work through those inventory excesses and shortages in certain areas to return to normal. Will we see you at the EMS Leadership Summit next year? Absolutely; I'd love to attend. Thanks very much for taking the time. No problem, I appreciate the opportunity. SMT007

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT007-Apr2023