This month, Electronic Sourcing magazine asked a range of business leaders for their views on the trends and forecasts for the coming year in manufacturing. Dan Crothers, FermionX MD added his thoughts. you can read the full article here.
How do you envisage the UK electronic component industry will perform in 2020?
2020 will see continued steady growth for the UK electronic component industry, driven by demand for increasingly miniaturised products and components, offering increased functionality in sensor technology for the internet of things, robotics and AI. Brexit uncertainties have delayed product development for many manufacturers who have instead focused on reviewing and enhancing products to drive cost efficiency and add value to existing product lines.
What trends or shifts have you identified and predict will continue into next year?
Continued roll out of 5G, usage of the cloud and the IoT will continue to grow as smart cities and infrastructure connect more devices. This will push up demand for sensor components and supporting hardware. Ongoing global trade issues will encourage product manufacturers to review their manufacturing centres, which will create opportunities and risks for the UK electronics supply chain. As global logistics get more complex and freight costs continue to rise, final product assembly and packaging will increasingly be closer to eventual destinations.
How will lead times perform in 2020?
Thankfully the availability of passive components seems to be improving and the component supply chain is performing better to market demand. Agility and responsiveness will continue to be critical. Manufacturers are increasingly looking to match end product to real time demand levels, putting continued pressure on stock management and logistics solutions for lead times. Reshoring and increased automation such as bar coding will also reduce lead times.
What advice would you give to purchasing professionals for 2020?
The challenges facing UK purchasing professionals in recent years to maintain stable, reliable and cost effective supply of electronic components has generated a market of lean and agile purchasing professionals. More of the same will be required in 2020 to maintain success.