Electronic devices and the technology that runs them have become a vital part of our day-to-day life in the modern world. In fact, it’s become difficult for us to get work done without using electronic devices, robots and artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other advanced technologies.
Ensuring that electronic components and devices get from point of manufacture to point of origin is a vital part of the electronics supply chain, which has been under more pressure than usual during the pandemic. Not only has it become more difficult to get goods from point A to point B on time and within budget, but broader issues like the global semiconductor shortage have interfered with the design, engineering and production of the high-tech devices that we rely on.
The world has been coping with a chip shortage since late-2020 that has disrupted end-market manufacturing operations across dozens of segments, SupplyChain247 reports. Now, leading chipmaking executives and insiders believe the component crunch will persist throughout 2023.
“Accordingly, the electronic components supply chain will grapple with lead time delays, availability issues, and pricing fluctuations throughout the coming year,” Mario McKellop writes. To cope he says manufacturers must change their methods as the global chip shortage will last for at least two more years.
“Until the supply-demand deficit is corrected, component availability and pricing will remain volatile,” McKellop points out. “Depending entirely upon factory direct shipments is no longer feasible.”
Tackling the Big Challenges
With short product lifecycles, special long-term storage requirements and highly reliant on a network of globalized partners, the electronics supply chain has special logistics requirements that can only be met by an experienced logistics provider. Many companies update their products annually, for example, which means speed to market is always quicker than it is for most other industries.
And, electronics must be kept dry and (sometimes) cool, lest they fall prey to the elements around them and become unusable. Motherboards, remote buttons, batteries and other components are both sensitive and complex, and as such are prone to potential failure. They’re also in high demand and come in wide varieties, making their supply chains that much more sophisticated.
As globalization increases, the electronics industry faces even greater time and cost pressures. At DB Schenker, our customized solutions were designed to optimize production processes, offer all conceivable value added services and optimize reverse logistics.
To help reduce a company’s business expenses and increase its customers’ satisfaction, DB Schenker works to improve planning and collaboration within the electronics supply chain, thus accelerating both the flow of materials and the finished products.
“Some of the largest and fastest growing technology companies use DB Schenker to manage their global supply chains,” says Brian T. Galey, Head of Verticals Markets, Electronics and Semicon / Solar from DB Schenker. “These companies have developed strategies that entail sourcing from international locations, quick entry into new international markets, and the need to centrally optimize their supply chains.”
End-to-End Solutions with Global Coverage
In any business conditions, getting electronics to market quickly and efficiently requires a logistics provider that can develop end-to-end solutions with global coverage and complete visibility from point of order to delivery. With programs like automated customs clearance and contract supply chain services, among others, logistics providers should be uniquely positioned to assist their clients with entering new markets and leveraging new global sourcing opportunities.
For the electronics industry, DB Schenker provides global supply chain expertise; an international network that provides quick and cost-effective transport between production sites and consumers—whatever the distance; and multi-party platforms for planning and collaboration within the supply chain.
These elements help increase the flow of materials and products in the electronics supply chain and provide end-to-end visibility that ensures the safe and reliable delivery of shipments. Going even deeper, DB Schenker handles vendor managed inventory (VMI) hubs for original equipment manufacturers close to manufacturing sites for just in time replenishment.
And because all electronics manufacturers need a solid reverse logistics network, DB Schenker also handles returns management, product diagnostics and light repairs, and fulfillment of replacement orders. “Combine all of the above with our value-added services, such as repairs or labeling,” Brian T. Galey adds, “and it’s clear why we’re the best choice for meeting the industry’s supply chain management needs.”