Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Nowadays, new technological advancements become easily adapted in various industries. What’s more, the market demand and consumer behavior also influence which technology is being used and how industries operate, for that matter. The electronics manufacturing industry is experiencing vast changes due to both consumer needs and technological advancements.
Today, there’s an increased need for electronic components, especially since computers, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets are experiencing an increase in usage by consumers. A good example is the smartphone industry where each year a new model of a smartphone is released, due to the high demand from consumers. Electronics manufacturers need to adjust to this new demand and improve their efficiency to keep up with the current tempo of the market. However, no operational change or adaptation is without its difficulties and challenges. Therefore, here are a few challenges electronics manufacturers face today.
Increase in demand
As mentioned before, consumer demand is driving innovations and changes in technology. People have become dependent on the use of technology in their everyday lives. The need for more connectivity and more devices that can meet user demands and needs has forced not just technology manufacturers but also electronics manufacturers to step up their game.
However, consumer demand isn’t written in stone. Although the current demand for devices continues to grow rapidly, consumer interest might start to decline eventually. The main reason is that modern consumers have a tendency to switch between trends practically overnight. That being said, electronics manufacturers need to streamline their production processes and ensure lean efficiency even when faced with the uncertainty of consumer demands.
Need for shorter product lifecycles
Increase in demand has created a need for faster time to market. Technology needs to hit the market with new products on time, in order to satisfy the consumer demand. This has also created a need for manufacturers to release components on time as well.
Tech companies are therefore in need of a reliable electronics manufacturer that can streamline production processes and deliver products that can match set goals, volumes and standards. For that to happen, electronics manufacturers must adapt their engineering and production operations to increase efficiency, speed and delivery of products to the market. In short, they must adjust their entire business operations to meet the demands or risk being outrun by their competitors.
Global supply chain issues
It’s safe to say that each industry today is present on the global market. Companies that are able to provide products on the international scale are oftentimes quite successful. However, global trade creates a unique set of difficulties for manufacturers. Components assembled by electronics manufacturers in one country are bound to reach several touch points across two or more continents even.
This creates issues regarding compliance, traceability, as well as difficulties in meeting various international standards. Different countries have different rules and regulations regarding components that are either passing through or being assembled in their country. In other words, the complexity of a global supply chain creates additional operational issues for electronic components that must pass through various standards before they reach the end-user.
The global trade and economy have provided consumers with the commodity where competitors strive towards releasing the best quality products with the latest innovations, but for the cheapest price. This has pushed electronics manufacturers up against the wall.
This commodity shrinks the profitability margin for manufacturers. The main reason is that this trend creates a huge amount of pressure on operating margins, especially since production costs cannot exceed profits. Now, manufacturers must struggle to become more cost-efficient, while remaining profitable at the same time.
Nowadays, manufacturers must adjust to the latest environmental regulations that apply to all industries. Today, electronics manufacturers must become environmentally aware and socially responsible, in order to operate normally. The newest standards are focused on waste disposal and its impact on the environment. That being said, electronics manufacturers must now consider entire product lifecycles and develop an approach that will help them adapt to these rules and regulations.
That includes re-shaping the manufacturing process, focusing on use of chemicals in the production or assembly, potential exposure to harmful effects of dangerous materials on both employees and consumers, emphasis of more energy-efficient production lines and last but not least, disassembly and waste disposal once the product reaches its end of life.
It’s no secret that industries tend to be re-shaped by market trends and technological innovations. Nowadays, consumers have created a unique demand for more devices, while tech companies are competing to meet their audience’s needs. This has put electronics manufacturers in a difficult position, as they must struggle to meet the requirements of both sides, while remaining profitable enough to ensure their survivability on the market.