Executive Summary: Current State of the High-Tech Industry
Globalization. Commodity inflation. Margin squeeze. Economic uncertainty. Warranty issues. Shortening product life cycles. Recalls. Labor arbitrage and outsourcing. The list of market pressures could go on and on, but one thing is clear: the high-tech industry was redefined over the course of the last decade. In Table 4 we show the progress of discrete industries for the periods of 2006-2014 and 2011- 2014. Notice there is more red (lack of progress) than green (progress) in the industry trends.
Table 4. Supply Chain Performance by Industry within the Discrete Industries
High-tech companies have the most advanced practices for inventory management, planning and analytics. They are just treading water (keeping slightly ahead of the market dynamics). The rate of change drives innovation. Within this industry there are more supply chain innovators taking a hard look and driving the adoption of prescriptive analytics and canonical value network infrastructures.
Taking a closer view at the value chain of the sub-industries within high-tech, i.e. consumer electronics, B2B Electronics, and semiconductor industries, the impact of the industry drivers and the importance of supply chain performance becomes clearer.
Table 5. Supply Chain Performance by Industry within the High-Tech Sector
The entire value chain is struggling to maintain margins and improve inventory turns. For consumer electronics and B2B electronics, growth is down, operating margins are degrading and inventory turns worsening. Supply chain matters more than ever.