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Focus on Business

The revamped online course is supplemented with interactive webinars.

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Sue MuchaCalculating costs to move physical gear is much simpler than predicting inefficiencies of new locales.

As I write this, a trade deal with China that will eliminate the tariffs appears to be in development, but China is continuing to talk tough. The tariffs are causing significant pain to manufacturers in both the US and China, so I suspect some type of deal will happen eventually. In the meantime, the tariffs motivated many companies to look hard at the geographies involved in their outsourcing strategy. Some OEMs have moved or are in the process of moving some of their business, and a much larger number are thinking about it. I think it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons.

The potential benefits of moving include:

  • Unit price decreases related to moving to a lower-cost labor market.
  • Elimination of tariff liability on all or part of the product.
  • Cost reductions related to moving projects to better-fit regions.
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Susan Mucha

Calculating costs to move physical gear is much simpler than predicting inefficiencies of new locales.

As I write this, a trade deal with China that will eliminate the tariffs appears to be in development, but China is continuing to talk tough.

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Sue MuchaA strong communications strategy for front-line employees pays big dividends.

I routinely tell clients perception is reality. Basically, your company’s brand is what your customer perceives it to be. And, as much as marketers would like to say advertising and positioning strategies influence market perception, the reality is your customers’ perceptions are more likely to be influenced by the people they deal with day-to-day at your company.

Is your program management well-informed and organized, or overworked and the last to know? What are your engineers telling your customers’ engineers? Those conversations shape your customers’ opinions on your capabilities and, often, on how much and what type of business they may award in the future.

That said, in the controlled chaos of the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry, companies often forget the importance of having prescribed communications processes and behaviors related to information sharing with customers and the timing of that sharing.

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Susan MuchaTrade conditions bring “rain” to everyone. Focus on the customer experience.

As I write this, no relief is in sight in the supply-chain constraint situation, and the US is beginning a trade war with China. I’m reminded of a story my grandmother told me when I got my first marketing position after college. Nana worked at one of Miami’s largest department stores in the days when department stores had huge budgets focused on attracting shoppers via user experience rather than reduced prices. This was the era of department store “wars” for market share, where people would line up outside a store to wait for the doors to be unlocked any time a good promotion ran. Nana had just finished executing her first big fashion promotion campaign with ads in TV, radio and the local papers. She saw this as her “make or break” moment in terms of developing credibility in her new position. As she drove to work the morning of the event, it began to pour. Distraught at the negative impact this would have on shopper traffic, she went upstairs expecting to find an equally disappointed boss. Instead, he looked at her and said, “Cheer up Thera, it’s raining on Burdines and Jordan Marsh, too. And, we have the best ad campaign.”

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Escalating trade wars are causing disorder in the EMS market.

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