Time to Market: Handling the Precarious Global Supply Web

The rush is on. As the world changes moment by moment—with tariffs, the coronavirus, and geopolitical unrest—more and more companies are going to need to have their new product lines developed faster than ever.

As the global supply web shuts down—or at least gets closed off in some areas of the world—companies, especially OEMs, are having to scramble to find alternate solutions for building their products. Companies that have used the same global suppliers for years now find themselves in a precarious position as they scramble to find more secure and reliable suppliers for their parts; this is not an easy task these days, with the global environment continuously changing.

Further, companies developing new products are now faced with having to find new ways of getting their products developed efficiently, quickly, and safely for a variety of reasons. The world has become a more challenging place to do business.

We are all experiencing these differences today. As I write this, people are canceling domestic and international flights. Companies are closing their doors to visitors, especially those who have traveled here from other countries and if their route came through China. Although trade with China continues, it does so now in an uncertain business environment.

But there is a way to countermand these challenges: using trusted sources. There are companies that have been dealing globally for years. These companies have established, mature, and trusted supplier partners all over the world, including China. These companies also have teams of seasoned professionals on the ground in countries all around the world and are keeping them informed with what is really going on with the global supply web.

Most of these companies are operating business as usual. With their vast network of trusted suppliers, they know how to manage their supply web. They know which suppliers are open for business, and which are not. Further, they know how to maneuver the choppy waters of the global supply chain at this time. They can guide their customers safely through those waters and help them get what they need, pretty much when they need it. These times call for seasoned professionals to use their years of experience and knowledge, and most importantly, for suppliers to get their customers what they want when they want them.

This is especially important when dealing with time-to-market issues. American-based companies focused on providing their customers with very fast time to market, from design to reality in a number of days—not weeks—have been successfully providing their customers with this kind of service for years, if not decades, by using their knowledge of the global supply chain. To them, maneuvering the waters of dealing globally is a daily occurrence. They know where to find the solutions—if not in China, then with their teams in Taiwan, Korea, India, or even South America. In most cases, they have already developed a team of domestic and European suppliers as well.

These are the companies we need to turn to at this time because they know the way. Dealing with the new global supply web has become challenging; this is not amateur hour. How can you do business in China if you can’t even get there right now or back to U.S. soil?

It’s time to leave global networking for parts to the experts—the people and companies who have been doing it for years, know the way, and have connections to supplier partners who can handle your global product needs at this time. They are trained to do just that. Call them and put your global supply web needs in their capable hands. Let them work for you when it comes to safely finding the products you need to continue with business as usual in this precariously unusual time.

Imran Valiani is an account manager at Rush PCB.

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2020

Time to Market: Handling the Precarious Global Supply Web

03-26-2020

The rush is on. As the world changes moment by moment, more and more companies are going to need to have their new product lines developed faster than ever. As the global supply web shuts down—or at least gets closed off in some areas of the world—companies, especially OEMs, are having to scramble to find alternate solutions for building their products. However, Imran Valiani explains how there is a way to countermand these challenges: using trusted sources.

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Time to Market: Total Concept—A New Kind of Business Whose Time Has Come

02-27-2020

Customers used to have enough time to go just about anywhere to get their concept to reality projects completed. They could go to the East Coast for design, the Midwest to get their boards fabricated, and the West Coast for assembly. Nowadays, companies want to have a supplier that controls it all and is nearby so that they can meet with their vendors daily or more frequently to ensure that everything is going according to plan. This is especially critical when it comes to projects that are truly in development and will need a number of revisions.

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Time to Market: Concept to Reality in Five Days—Can You Believe It?

01-23-2020

Time to market has never been more important than it is today. Some companies today can go from schematic to an assembled board in five working days or less, and sometimes in just hours. Imran Valiani lists five things that super-fast companies must have to “cut the fat” from their cycle times.

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2019

Time to Market: The Complete Solution—Fabrication and Assembly in Five Days

12-05-2019

The future is here. More and more companies are turning to the complete synergistic solution, seeking companies who can provide PCB fabrication and assembly in just a few days, some in as little as five days. Imran Valiani shares five items to consider when choosing a total concept supplier.

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Time to Market: Partnership Is a Two-way Street

11-21-2019

The best way—and really the only way—to get the most from both your PCB vendors and others is to treat them as an extended part of your company. Bring them into the family, so to speak. And the better you treat your vendors, the better they will perform. I know that’s not the most complicated thing to say, but it is often not an easy thing to do. You have to intentionally choose companies to partner with as vendors, and then intentionally work to create a bond of trust with them consistently throughout the relationship.

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Time to Market: The Importance of Timely NPI

10-09-2019

In this new column from Imran Valiani plans to address ways to get products to market as quickly as possible.

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