The ever-changing dynamics of the high tech demand market coupled with increasing competitive pressure, short product life cycles and continuous evolvement of new technologies and suppliers, makes the supply chain operations of this particular industry prone to a number of challenges. Businesses, in order to be profitable and customer-oriented need to have an agile supply chain network, despite any number of external or internal challenges. In order to build a lean and responsive supply chain network for your high tech business, one that focuses on your customers, you need to list down all the problem areas that your supply chain and business may face, given the nature of the business.Supply chain certifications that will help you land a job and there are multiple organizations and certifications from which to choose.
Short product life cycle
An important fact that the high-tech industry needs to deal with is the ever-shrinking life cycle of its products. This industry is such that a new product today might become obsolete tomorrow. The rate at which products and technologies are fading away is extremely quick. The demand is constantly changing and there is immense competition from each side. If your competitor comes out with a new product or technology, your business may immediately take a toll. In an industry where product life cycles have shrunk from years to months and even weeks, it becomes imperative for business to continuously invest and come up with innovative technologies and novel ideas that will help you to stay one step ahead of peers. In short, the high-tech industry is all about ‘first mover’s advantage’. The one who is smart in in terms of bringing to the table revolutionary products, not just once but every single time, will be the player to survive and thrive in the high tech market.
Constant cost pressure
In order to be profitable in the high-tech industry, you must not only be innovative but ensure your products are sold at competitive prices. There is relentless pressure to reduce costs. This is because of two reasons. Many a time, there isn’t much difference based on features in a particular segment. Here, the major differentiation is based on price. If the features remain more or less the same, consumers will go for the brand that is offering product at a lesser price.
Second reason is inflow of heavy competition. As more and more players enter the market, they bring in new technologies and supplier partnerships at lesser costs, which bring down the overall product cost. In order to compete with them, you need to not only take care of product features but also ensure that your prices are competitive. High costs will only cut down your market share.
Compliance and regulatory challenges
A huge challenge for the high-tech industry is the grappling focus on new rules, regulations, and policies. As business expands, the horizons of regulations and policies also become all the more stringent. Businesses need to be compliant at all levels, right from procurement to delivery. High-tech industry needs to tackle with what is called e-waste. Due to the short age of the products, businesses are responsible for how material is collected, recycled, and disposed off. The procedure is different for different countries and this further increases the challenge in implementing an end-to-end waste management system within the high-tech supply chain network.
The warped up speed at which products are manufactured and flood in the market needs the support of a supply chain network that gives management insight and visibility into every single operation. Accurate and real time information regarding what is happening in the supply chain, lets managers take timely and quick decision. When management is able to gain view of what is happening across the different functions and levels of the supply chain, they can immediately come to know about the problem areas and take corrective action, making the supply chain network agile and responsive.
Thanks to business intelligence, managers can get a deep analysis of the supply chain network operations and any issue or grievance can immediately come to their notice, thus allowing them to take quick corrective action, and at the same time ensure mistakes are not repeated. Visibility is a huge challenge but it is indispensable to building a customer-oriented high-tech supply chain network.
There is no doubt that the high-tech industry faces a number of challenges in its supply chain operations. But higher the risk, greater the gains. Management needs to focus on implementing best of breed supply chain solutions and leveraging advanced analytics to overcome these challenges. By setting SMART goals and accordingly building supply chain strategies, businesses can build an agile and responsive network.