From the Publisher – A Call to Action for EMS with Facilities in North America
By Eric Miscoll, EMSNOW Publisher
You have heard me advocate for a regional approach to electronics manufacturing in this space before. This trend is finally gaining traction, and for good reason: shorter supply chains are easier to manage. It’s also better for the environment. Regionalization means building products in the region, for that region. To do that, OEMs have to know where manufacturing facilities are located, what precise menu of services and capabilities each facility offers, and so forth. These and other similar details become important to the OEM making decisions about how to regionalize its supply chain.
I recently spent three weeks in Europe with Dieter Weiss of in4ma who conducts excellent and accurate research about the European EMS industry and provides OEMs with the type of detailed data necessary for them to make decisions about their electronic manufacturing options in the region.
When you look at the North American EMS industry, there is no such similar guidance available. How many EMS facilities are there in North America and what are their capabilities? No one knows.
The North American EMS industry needs to do a better job of representing itself to the OEM and maker community looking for a manufacturing partner. Let me explain.
The industry knows a lot about the large EMS companies operating in North America, but not so much about the small to mid-sized EMS companies, of which there are potentially a thousand. Many of these have developed very sophisticated capabilities that would match well with a small to mid-sized OEM looking for a long-term partner to serve its North American customers. But finding and vetting is too costly and time consuming. Going with a larger EMS is easier, even if sometimes that isn’t the right fit.
Another reason the North American EMS industry needs greater visibility is that globally a large percentage (estimated at over 50%) of electronics manufacturing is still conducted internally by the OEMs. This means there is still a large amount of OEM business available for the industry to capture. While some smaller EMS companies may be at capacity, surely growth is a goal for most companies doing business.
A third reason this is important is the growing appetite for M&A in the industry both from regional companies seeking to grow inorganically and from foreign based EMS, especially from Europe, who wish to establish or expand their manufacturing footprint in North America.
Which brings me to the call to action: EMSNOW has announced our second annual survey of companies with facilities in North America. This survey takes about five minutes to complete. It asks nothing confidential and will be provided to the industry for free. Completing the survey is also free. Your company will be listed and a basic profile shared for free through EMSNOW’s website to the industry. Did I mention that all this is free?
Will completing this survey garner you more business? I don’t know. Will it help elevate the EMS industry in North America? Definitely.