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64 SMT Magazine • October 2014 ArTiCLE Whether you are an EMS or an OEM, defin- ing the right sourcing policy for PCBs and com- ponents is an important strategic management task. Forward-looking decisions create results that help improve a company's competitive- ness. Consider a large EMS company that has a PCB purchasing volume in the order of half a billion USD. A holistic approach to draw on all available efficiency boosters in the company's sourcing environment (organizational set-up and purchasing efforts) will award the bottom line with single- or double-digit savings in the millions. It is worth pursuing a smart PCB sourc- ing concept. classifying your Pcb Purchasing Portfolio Before defining a sourcing policy one has to know the DNA of the purchasing portfolio. One way of analyzing it is to cluster it into two major groups—technology and volume re- quirements. There is also an additional option to classify into a third major group— business segment—for additional structure. Recommended technology subcategories are: rigid boards, flexible/rigid-flex boards, heavy copper, HDI, and IMS requirements. The second group, the volume category, may be clus- tered as low, medium and high volume groups. Having classified your portfolio, you need to find an efficient sourcing strategy, which ought to be implemented tactically by the procure- ment department. Purchasing Demand meets market supply situation The requirements of an often highly diver- sified PCB portfolio (technically and lot sizes necessities) traditionally meets a very different market reality on the supply side. PCB produc- ers are often strong technically and commer- cially in mainly one particular PCB segment (e.g., low-layer rigid boards only, or high vol- umes only, or flexible boards and low volumes only). This will not cover a wide and diversified PCB portfolio. by theo Langer CML Smart PCB Sourcing Concepts

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