Return to longer-term strategic planning

G English Electronics’ MD, Dave English

G English Electronics’ MD, Dave English, predicts a sustained period of relative stability could provide room for cautious optimism

Significant disruption to component supply in recent years has bloated vendor bases, with OEMs needing to secure inventory wherever available and often at a moment’s notice. A general slowdown in demand, coupled with a recovery in component lead times, presents OEMs an opportunity to rationalise their vendor base and reintroduce efficiencies by partnering with suppliers who can deliver value.

Ongoing geopolitical tensions along with the fear of increases to global shipping costs will continue to be a concern. High inflation and interest rates will remain a challenge throughout 2024, particularly with inventory gestation much slower than expected. Manufacturers of consumer and luxury items continue to hold higher levels of finished stock than desirable and are bracing themselves as demand remains low as we move into 2024.

However, EV and green infrastructure is expected to remain strong, with a focus on sustainability and net-zero targets. Defence and notably cyber security are expected to see growth against the backdrop of escalating global uncertainty, driving demand for sophisticated electronic components and systems. Whilst 2024 is unlikely to be without its challenges, relative supply chain stability should signal a transition away from ‘firefighting’ and a return to longer-term strategic planning—and with that, the efficiencies associated with carefully selecting the most suitable supply chain partners.