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Global distribution under the spotlight

Welcome to the bumper September issue of Electronics Sourcing North America, weighing in at 100-pages. One key reason the issue has reached this page-count milestone is it’s home to two significant reports: the ECIA’s Top 50 Global Authorized Distributors Report 2023; and ESNA’s Top 20 Global Independent Distributors Report 2023.   Opening the ECIA Report, chief analyst, Dale Ford, explains how this year’s findings build on the foundation of previous years’ data, with publication of this update a continuation of a plan to develop additional research on the electronic component distribution markets.   Dale explained the methodology used to compile…

Disintegrated circuits

I can still remember when I first encountered the concept of integrated circuits during electronics lessons at school in the 1970s. As a naive child encountering this technology for the first time I imagined the integration process would rattle along at a good pace until all electronic functions were integrated into a single chip. At that point, the world would only need one chip because it would be able to offer every function any electronic product would ever need.   I could not have got that more wrong if I tried. Every ‘integration’ the semiconductor sector achieves is followed by…

Opportunities for reshoring

I have no academic background in economics and whenever I delve into the subject I’m soon confronted by maths that is so many pay grades above me I can’t even see the top. Thus, I keep my observations at ground level. So, when I witness reshoring trends, it triggers memories of the ‘80s when offshoring was the management guru’s go to move. At the time, I recall researching offshoring and stumbling across the theory of comparative advantage. I ignored the maths and went for the simplest explanation I could find. Here goes: Imagine two countries would like access to commercial…

Automation, where next?

If there is one area of engineering where I have spent most of my time, both professionally and as a maker, it is automation. Interestingly, if the definition of automation is ‘reduce human intervention in processes’ my work with both physical machines and software applications must count towards my automation experience. Everywhere I look I see opportunities to automate. However, for the electronics industry to implement an effective long-term supply chain strategy for automation technology it needs to know where future growth will originate. Here are some guesses. Firstly, as populations age and birth rates fall, logically, the number of…

Retirement and rebirth

Readers of Electronics Sourcing’s monthly leader column will be aware of my interest in demographics, particularly declining birth rates which began in the ‘70s and the unavoidable consequence of ageing and declining numbers of workers and consumers. This process has now started chipping away at the electronics industry.   Over the past two or three years I have witnessed an unexpected number of owners of small and medium sized electronics businesses announce their retirement. This caught me by surprise as it wasn’t something I was used to. However, on investigation it’s obvious.   The origins of many of today’s electronics…

Battle for planet purchasing begins

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…