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84 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2024 available. We have our company-owned quick turn prototyping factories in Europe, as well as our online shop, and we also have prototyp- ing through our approved vendor list for high- mix, low-volume manufacturers. We are using some of the same manufacturers, but not all. Supply Chain Resiliency Let's change our focus a bit. Of course, ICAPE Group is in the middle of the supply chain for materials and parts, and supply chain chal- lenges were magnified during COVID, which uncovered where our supply chain was not very resilient. Now we're adjusting to that and finding some new approaches. How do you manage your supply chain to be reliable and resilient with your global presence? Certainly, during COVID, we learned a thing or two, but still, we're not living in a perfect world. Back in the late 1990s and 2000s, we out- sourced and made China the pre- dominant supplier of PCBs to the world. At ICAPE Group today, we have almost 30 approved suppliers for PCBs and 60 suppliers for tech- nical parts, not just in China, but also in ailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, South Africa, and even Europe and the United States. We have purchased two PCB man- ufacturing sites in Sweden and South Africa and one keypad factory in France. Our pur- chasing department has regular meetings and strong relationships, not only with our suppli- ers but with their suppliers as well. is allows us to have a real forecast for our business. Regarding our logistic solutions, we have more warehouses today. We can offer differ- ent logistics solutions like call-off, safety stock, VMI, and CMI. We have local warehouses in many countries. Traditionally, we have shipped goods by sea or air transport, and now we are also using train and truck transport. Today, we have more supply chain transparency and resiliency than ever before. When our custom- ers plan and have a good forecast, they can purchase the PCBs in time enough to ship the product by sea rather than air. e cost is lower, and the CO 2 footprint is much lower with sea freight compared to air freight. We approach supply chain with an eye on sustainability and eco-friendly shipping practices; our goals are to optimize onsite resources, planning, execu- tion, and to eliminate unnecessary trips. It's like just-in-time except a little bit further out, allowing for a much more strategic plan upstream in the supply chain. Today, any public European company with more than 500 employees is required to abide by new environmental regulations. We need to know our CO 2 footprint, not only for the manu- facture of our printed circuit boards but also for shipping to the warehouse and then to the customer's door, for the activity in our offices, transportation, travel, etc., as well as from our suppliers. If you are being asked to go up your supply chain with these numbers, your customers will also be asking you for this information. Yes, we have begun receiving these demands, especially with the Euro- pean automotive industry. ose cus- tomers have started to ask for our CO 2 footprint, specifically down at the board level. Back to that idea of value engineering, pro- viding that kind of detail can also add value for your customers and their ability to plan. Exactly, it could change behavior by providing such information in this way. That sounds like a great place for us to end. This has been a very informative hour. Thank you, Erik. You are so welcome. PCB007 Sponsored Link: icape-group

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