and information systems, offers a significant opportunity to
reduce costs, spread risk and improve agility.
In this case, the 3PL handles multiple manufacturers’
products in a shared facility, and spreads the costs of
technology, infrastructure, services, people and expertise
across multiple customers. This enables customized solutions
for inbound, storage and outbound processes to be delivered
at a more favorable cost/service structure to technology
This solution works for inbound to manufacturing,
outbound to customers and reverse logistics. The logistics
provider is able to fluidly shift the work force from one
activity or customer to another. This can be particularly
effective in the consumer technology sector where
manufacturers often have customer overlap in the form of
large retailers that receive goods from the same grouping of
manufacturers. The shared services model eliminates the
duplication of supply chain assets, resources and costs across
the companies serving these customers.
For the tech sector, pre-sales support and postponement
is a key customer satisfaction differentiator, and offers
new profit potential. Technology companies can
outsource postponement to a 3PL to create supply
chain flexibility while reducing complexity. Moving
these services into the supply chain delays final product
differentiation until closer to the point of sale. The
process can involve a layered approach to production
with product from the primary manufacturing hub
shipped to configuration centers close to the point of
consumption. Once the product is closer to the actual
demand, the product is customized with market-specific elements such as packaging, documentation,
configuration or kitting.
Customizing product closer to consumer demand can
significantly reduce inventory levels and obsolescence.
It also increases the flexibility to serve customers
by providing exactly the products the market wants
without compromising the ability to leverage low-cost
Solving for volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity in
the technology sector takes innovation, visibility and
collaboration. The most competitive technology supply
chains have abandoned the traditional linear supply chain
approach and migrated to a networked model, fueled
by real-time visibility, to increase speed and ensure
resiliency. This eliminates the visibility black holes that
add unnecessary time and cost to business operations.
This transition is being supported by relationships
with third-party logistics companies in the role of lead
logistics provider, shared supply chain services manager
and postponement services provider to gain the agility
and efficiencies required to remain competitive.
3 Trends in Design Services
By Cliff Ortmeyer, Global Head of Solutions Development,
To survive in today’s market, hardware distributors are
beginning to act as a one-stop-shop for engineers looking
to take their projects from design through to production.
The reality is that today’s engineer doesn’t just buy
hardware. In fact, a large portion of projects, and even
the decisions made prior to starting a project, are related
to the software and accessories available to them. As
designers are required to take on more parts of the design
process, the importance of finding the right development,
test and simulation tools – dsa as well as EDA tools – has
never been more important. With these components of
the design process now as prevalent as the hardware itself,
distributors are playing a key role in fulfilling this part of
an engineer’s design needs.
To best address those needs, it’s important to first
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continues on p. 32