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July 2015 • SMT Magazine 49 tional supply chains, and of course, unaccept- able delivery and quality performance. Competitive Advantages of a High-Performing Supply Chain Supply chain management is a term that has grown enormously in the last few decades. Companies have found that SCM is a crucial el- ement of business today and one that provides a competitive advantage to expanding in global markets. OEMs, ODMs, and other manufactur- ing organizations are now realizing that invest- ing in the development of a high-performing supply chain can provide the competitive ad- vantage that will differentiate them from the competition and add value to the bottom line. Some of the key advantages include: • Most favored customer status and loyalty • Value creation through long-term supplier relationships • Improved supplier performance expectations • Accelerated new product introduction • Value-added services • Preferred pricing and financial terms • Flexibility leverage World-Class Supply Chain Your goal should be to have a high-perfor - mance supply chain that is on par with the best companies in the world in your industry. But if you take an unbiased look at yours, you will probably find that it comes up short in a number of areas. Ask your management team "How confi- dent are we in our organization's supply chain and its ability to actually perform in a way that supports our business needs?" If the answer is "not very," you may be surprised to learn you aren't alone. Editor's Note: You can read the full version of this article in the July 2015 issue of The PCB Magazine. Several factors have emerged to temper the manufacturing production forecast for 2015 but a rebound is anticipated for 2016, according to the Mapi foundation's u.S. industrial outlook, a quarterly report that analyzes 27 major indus- tries. The Mapi foundation is the research affili- ate of the Manufacturers alliance for productiv- ity and innovation. Manufacturing industrial production fell at a 1.0% annual rate in the first quarter of 2015—after 3.5% growth in 2014— primarily due to the severe winter weather in january and february that disrupted construction, transporta- tion, trade, and commercial activity. The Mapi foundation forecasts manufacturing production growth of 2.5% in 2015 and 4.0% in 2016. The 2015 forecast is a decrease from 3.7% and the 2016 forecast is an increase from 3.6% in the March 2015 report. Manufacturing will continue to grow faster than the overall economy, which the Mapi foundation anticipates will advance by 2.4% in 2015 and 3.0% in 2016. for 2017, growth is predicted to be 3.1% for manufactur- ing production and 2.7% for gDp. "a number of factors that drove growth last year have changed in 2015," said Mapi foun- dation chief economist Daniel j. Meckstroth, ph.D. "a sudden, rapid decline in oil and natural gas prices was good for energy users but caused problems in energy drilling, explora- tion, and the material supply chain; a sudden, rapid rise in the value of the dollar hurt our trade competi- tiveness; a large inventory buildup this past winter drove the inventory/ sales ratio to unwanted highs; and finally, consumers are cautious and risk-averse." MAPI U.S. Industrial Outlook: Growth Decelerates in 2015 ArtiCle exCerPt SuPPly CHAIN IN THE 21 ST CENTuRy continues

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