Fortifying EMS Leaders


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[Editor’s Note: The April 2023 issue of SMT007 Magazine will feature additional content from the EMS Leadership Summit, the subject of this article.]

The EMS Leadership Summit at IPC APEX EXPO 2023 welcomed over 60 EMS provider and contract manufacturing professionals, many of whom were first-time attendees, with a compelling agenda that provided an opportunity to discuss and solve business problems, build business networks, and share insights about how to do business better.

Steve Pudles, CEO of Zentech and IPC Board Member, set the expectation for the day by encouraging attendees to take full advantage of everything the summit had to offer by immediately bringing helpful resources and ideas back to their teams and by making new contacts with whom they could continue sharing insights into doing business better—which by all reports was a success. 

The most popular session was the supply chain panel featuring Eddie Smith of SMTC, Michael Slater of Digi-Key, John Vaughan of Summit Interconnect, and Chintan Sutaria of CalcuQuote. The panel’s dynamic discussion built on the Economic Outlook presented by Shawn DuBravac, IPC chief economist. Electronics manufacturers could expect “headwinds and tailwinds” to impact them in the coming year, DuBravac told listeners, as well as flat to modest growth in the U.S. and flat to down growth in Europe. While the forecast in Asia is still shrouded in uncertainty, DuBravac said that prospects there are looking better following China’s decision to relax its Zero-COVID policy.

One key message was to expect lead times to normalize sometime over summer 2023, though this will not be a return to pre-pandemic norms; these new, longer lead times will benefit industry by allowing for longer planning times and new methods for building products, a development that was influenced by growth in the electrification, automotive, smart power, and edge computing sectors. Additionally, this normalization will see customers pushing back on deposit agreements and other terms negotiated during the recent supply chain crunch. 

To read this entire article, which appeared in the 2023 edition of Show & Tell Magazine, click here.

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