SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Bryan Gillespie
Company: Creation Technologies-Lexington
Date Published: 10/11/2007   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: “The world is flat”. This statement made by author Thomas L. Freidman in his book of the same title1, describes the result of an accelerated evolution and adoption of technology on a global scale. In a ‘flat’ world, information and other resources are shared globally. This phenomenon has had a tremendous impact upon the manufacturing sector, leveling the playing field allowing small to mid-sized manufacturers to compete in markets that were previously dominated by their larger counterparts. As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) race to design and develop new technologies and electronic manufacturing service (EMS) companies turn their concepts into reality, each looks to create a mutually beneficial partnership. In his book, Friedman describes a “Great Sorting Out” period where a migration occurs from a vertical, “Command and Control” world to a horizontal, “Collaborate and Connect” world2. The result of this migration is a sharing of information and ideas between these partners that leads to specialization. This “flattening” increases the knowledge base and provides leverage to find creative solutions that allow for higher quality products, manufactured and delivered on time, at lower costs.

Freidman cites outsourcing and supply chaining as two of ten forces that cause this flattening3. In these he has essentially defined the EMS/OEM procurement relationship: outsourcing the specialization of manufacturing to a member of the supply chain. Borrowing on Freidman’s theme, this paper will analyze eight actions that will transform EMS/OEM relationship into a collaborate-andconnect partnership, enabling the opportunity to achieve world-class results. It will also touch upon how these actions will strengthen the EMS/OEM partnership and perpetuate trust and growth that are vital to the EMS/OEM procurement relationship.

Key words: EMS, OEM, outsourcing, supply chain, procurement, collaborate

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