Battle for planet purchasing begins

Jon Barrett Electronics Sourcing
Jon Barrett, Managing Editor, Electronics Sourcing

This issue of Electronics Sourcing has dedicated the bulk of its page count to the Top 50 Americas Authorized Distributors Report 2023 (starts page 23), authored by the ECIA’s chief analyst, Dale Ford. Throughout the feature, executives comment on a wide range of topics from inventory management and ESG to energy reliability. Reading through the article one word appears more than most: data. Likewise, John Denslinger’s article (page 20) is dedicated exclusively to artificial intelligence.    

So it begins, the ultimate clash for purchasing supremacy is about to be fought between human and artificial intelligence. I’m close to this for a number of reasons. Firstly, alarm bells are ringing left, right and center suggesting services such as ChatGPT are on the verge of obsoleting my role as a writer and editor. Secondly, as a software developer I’m looking to see how AI could benefit the applications I design.  

Thirdly, and most importantly for my Electronics Sourcing audience, I’ve thought for a long time that the end-to-end lengths of some component supply chains are so long and tortuous they are breaching the capabilities of human management. 

As other articles in this issue confirm, the electronics industry continues along its cyclical waveform of over and under supply. What matters is the frequency and amplitude of the waveform. As AI starts reaching into the supply chain I expect to see a steady decrease in both measures leading, ultimately, to a straight line sometime over the next 50-years.