High-Tech supply chains serve global markets with regional preferences. They include some of the most advanced processes and strongest supply chain leadership across all industries. As a result, the value chain made more progress than others in the course of the last decade.
Unlike other value chains, all four segments of this value chain improved inventory turns. It was through hard work, network design, and a focus on planning. While other industries implemented supply chain planning and then turned to spreadsheets, this industry got good at managing inventories. The stakes were higher. As inventories sit in the channel for the High-Tech industry, prices fall. As a result, this industry has developed some of the best inventory practices across all industries.
On the flip-side, the lack of growth and the declining margins of the Contract Manufacturing industry is a risk for this value chain. Within the High-Tech value chain, Contract Manufacturing is the weak link.
The industry will drive the autonomous supply chain. These leaders will make the digital pivot first. With some of the earliest technology adopters, and with more to gain from the adoption of technology, look for companies like Apple, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Emerson, Intel, and Samsung to drive cloud-based computing, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), sensor development, and prescriptive analytics. The industry is also driving a shift through wide adoption and use of Open Source code from the Apache Software Foundation. These manufacturing leaders will pave the way for others. Their ability to lead will drive cross-industry demand and growth agendas.
We hope that this report is a useful guide for companies in other industries to understand the impact of technology adoption on supply chain excellence.