Well, we’re about ready to call it a wrap on 2021. It’s been a year characterized by continued disruptions and delays in the electronics supply chain and incredible resilience and ingenuity from people trying to work around them. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.
It would be great to say that looking into 2022, most of the major disruptions to the global electronics value chain have been solved and we can all expect a return to normalcy in the year to come. The problem is that they haven’t, and we won’t. The coming year will pose its own challenges to those of us in the industry as the perfect storm of skyrocketing demand for goods coupled with global parts shortages continues.
That’s not to say 2022 is looking entirely bleak. We could see progress on the backlogs and shortages by mid-year. Global vaccination efforts might prevent further factory shutdowns. And, as always, enterprising firms will find ways to differentiate themselves and become better partners to their customers.
In the spirit of continual improvement, here are five trends we think present opportunities to businesses in the global electronics supply chain:
Trend #1: Just in Time Heads Home
As they get used to shortages and the unavailability of common goods, people are beginning to adopt a purchasing mindset similar to their own personal purchasing habits. They’re eschewing the traditional concerns of where to purchase in order to first consider when they need the goods.
How it’s relevant to you: In other words they’re beginning to think like manufacturers. While this might create additional competition for already scarce componentry, it also presents more motivation (and potential reward) to being a first mover and getting your products to market more quickly.
That’s obviously easier said than done in today’s environment. What can you do? Upgrade your market intelligence by any means possible. Businesses that thrive in 2022 and beyond will know what direct materials are available when, and be in a position to act on opportunities decisively when they present themselves.
How Supplyframe can help: It’s a tall order to gain visibility into such a complex, interdependent, and worldwide process. That’s why Supplyframe developed an AI-based solution, DirectSource, to deliver unequaled actionable intelligence throughout the entire direct materials sourcing process.
Trend #2: AI Everywhere
2022 will bring even more connectivity in our lives and into the supply chain. Consumers will see data sharing capabilities on all sorts of devices, even toilets. And those of us in b2b electronics will hopefully notice enhanced supply chain visibility and efficiencies as those technologies enhance the connectivity of our market as well.
The IoT industry will continue to grow and create wealths of new data–especially as firms continue their heavy investments in digital transformation. AI and cognitive computing will begin to make predictive impacts on supply chain processes and create solutions without human intervention.
How it’s relevant to you: This new connectivity will give you the opportunity to create contingencies across your design-to-source and new product introduction processes. You’ll know more about the availability of parts and components–and their future supply–than ever before. The promise of AI is the promise of unprecedented visibility and cognitive automation to suggest or even make adjustments to sourcing and procurement.
How Supplyframe can help: AI for AI. Our software’s powerful artificial intelligence already delivers best-in-class market intelligence and visibility, so you can take advantage of this cutting edge new technology today.
Trend #3: Shortages Continue
It’s an old tune, but unfortunately we’ve got to keep playing it. The component shortages that have propelled the supply chain into the news and minds of nervous holiday shoppers everywhere will likely continue, with substantial relief not in sight until 2023. For example, our research indicates that supply stabilization on components like diodes and DRAM along with raw materials like resins, won’t really happen until the first half of 2023.
How it’s relevant to you: It’s going to be all hands on deck to source and procure vital components across the entire global electronics value chain.
How Supplyframe can help: In this time of unprecedented disruption, we can deliver similarly unprecedented market intelligence and visibility to help you shift from survive to thrive. Commodity IQ delivers unsurpassed market intelligence so you can see what components are available, which categories are the most volatile, and where emerging trends could help inform your overall sourcing strategy.
Trend #4: Good Hires Are Hard To Find
Digital transformation is a nearly universal priority for 2022, and firms are investing in supply chain technology at record rates. This has made the market for trained supply chain IT labor as competitive as it is for semiconductors. Businesses wanting to add next generation digital capabilities to their sourcing and selling might be hindered by the labor market, instead of intent or desire.
How it’s relevant to you: They who hesitate are lost. Being decisive with qualified candidates will give your business a headstart in the race towards a connected future. the traditional barriers to advanced technology are gone. Implementing best-in-class AI + market intelligence solutions is within your grasp.
How Supplyframe can help: We make it possible to deploy AI-based solutions with real-time intelligence in mere days without owning a server or writing a single line of code. Our AI enabled SaaS solutions don’t require a dedicated digital team–although one is necessary to become best-in-class.
Trend #5: Resilience On The Rise
If businesses are going to bounce back in 2022, they’re going to need to deal with Covid-19’s widely documented effect on the supply chain, along with the inevitable outside influences like weather and geopolitics. They’re seeking resiliency above all else. Agile supply chains with diversity in their sourcing and transport options coupled with contingency planning and (no surprise) visibility.
How Supplyframe can help: Resilience is our specialty. Whether you’re a manufacturer, supplier, or distributor, all of our solutions are tailored to help pinpoint and avoid potential disruptions before they occur. Real-time intelligence and powerful data analysis allows you to reduce costs, volatility, and potential downtime, all while mitigating risk and keeping product launches on track.
2021 was tough, and 2022 will bring its fair share of challenges. But every problem is an opportunity. As the supply chain deals with shortages, delays, and increased consumer demands, there’s no better time to get your supply chain as efficient and tech-forward as possible with Supplyframe.