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Unsnarling America’s supply lines

In this article, John Denslinger investigates the scope of work required to unsnarl America’s supply lines, covering causal, flow and macro-economic factors. After years of stellar operational performance applying lean manufacturing and efficient JIT techniques, America’s supply lines have broken down. This isn’t to say lean and JIT are the cause, but rather highlight the need to stretch the scope of work if we are to unsnarl America’s supply lines in short order. The movement to globalize supply chains started around the time China was admitted to the WTO in 2001. The success that followed delivered positive results to many…

Additive manufacturing: a sourcing solution

This month John Denslinger looks at the growing influence of 3D printed components in the manufacturing supply chain. Across the industrial spectrum, sourcing 3D printed components is on an upward trend. Once relegated to single-use jigs, fixtures and the occasional prototype builds, it’s now a viable sourcing option for end-use functionality. From the beginning, the pandemic created troublesome gaps in supply lines. That same unpredictability continues today as a Delta variant rages on in many parts of the industrialised world. Indiscriminate closures and labour shortages are surfacing once again. Given this uncertainty, procurement should consider 3D printing solutions as a…

Semiconductors, reshoring and Fed policy

John Denslinger investigates reshoring for self-sufficiency as a national competitive advantage. A merica was once the hub for semiconductor manufacturing but that leadership shifted to Asia at the turn of the century as many domestic companies embraced the fabless model. Today the Asia Pacific Big 4 (a term coined by Deloitte) consisting of South Korea, Taiwan, China and Japan dominate semiconductor manufacturing. In fact, by 2019 South Korea and Taiwan alone held a commanding 81 per cent share of the global foundry market substantially influencing design, supply and cost of nearly every technological product from automobiles to smart phones to…

Unmasking workplace and company culture

John Denslinger wonders what post pandemic workplaces will look like given all the data squarely points to hybrid. A careful look at a CDC demographic shows 62 per cent of the US adult population received at least one vaccine dose as of May 2021 and 50 per cent are now fully vaccinated. CDC guidance suggests vaccinated Americans can forego masks and social distancing: the two biggest impediments to everyday person-to-person interaction. As one would expect, the news generated swift policy changes across the country from state governments to business. America is open again. Given the steady pace of vaccinations, business…

America – Essential component battleground

John Denslinger investigates EV batteries and how their associated manufacturing and distribution supply chains represent new electronics industry frontier. I n April’s editorial I discussed the ‘small but big impact’ semiconductors were having on the supply chain citing the auto industry’s predicament in particular. Later that week, arguably the largest component, the EV battery, captured US headlines as LG Chem and SK Innovation settled a bitter lawsuit involving trade secrets. The resolution was significant. At risk was a $2.6B new plant investment under construction in Georgia. It represented a key piece of national security interest: that is, building critical technology…

Restoring order post pandemic

John Denslinger explores some of the challenges facing the global electronics supply chain as it emerges unevenly from pandemic controls. While medical teams, financial institutions and governments continue working tirelessly on Covid-19 issues, the forecast ahead for procurement is almost as daunting. Faced with the aftermath of shelter-in-place and similar decrees, the great American industrial reboot is about to begin. Containing the spread among citizens took precedence over business as usual. Yet for many of us, that decision ripped apart global supply lines, the life blood of our industry. Left in the wake were closed businesses big and small; employees…

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