The world is getting flatter every year, month, week, day and even by the hour, as we get closer to one another and like water seek ways to touch one another and do business. This, from some of the world’s leading economists: no matter what politicians try to do they can only at best re-channel global commerce, and commerce, just like water will eventually find the path of least resistance. That’s why I have come to the shocking (to some people) conclusion that there has never been a better time to go global when it comes to just about everything, and anything, and especially when it comes to our own electronics business.
The finger in the dyke tariffs for Chinese products has only served to increase the interest in alternative PCB producing countries, namely Vietnam, India, Thailand, and of course the granddaddy of them all Taiwan. If you check out the top fifty contract manufacturers in the world for example, you will quickly discover that Taiwan, and not China is the world leader in contract manufacturing with Foxconn leading them way at $126 Billion in sales. That’s Billions as in $56 Billion more than the entire global bare board marketplace. One company mind you…one Taiwanese company. And Foxconn is just the first of the top five EMS companies in the world with a combined total of $261 Billion in sales, a cool quarter of a Trillion dollars. All of them Taiwanese. You have to go all the way down to number 10 on the list – BYD Electronic – to find your first Chinese EMS provider at a mere $6 Billion.
Now, of course we all know that China has more dominance in bare boards than other countries but then again if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that many of those Chinese companies are actually Taiwanese owned. Interesting stuff.
Now what does this mean to us in electronics? It means that we should be out there right now foraging our way into other countries and developing partnerships with companies in those countries as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Vietnam is in a great place geographically and economically right now. There are a number of up and coming companies, both bare board and assembly, that are primed and ready for business. The country is ready to welcome your business. The technology is good, the prices are competitive, and the value is high. Already American’s are landing in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon ) with orders in hand! I would urge you to book your flight now, as Vietnam is about to become a very feasible option to China. Singapore, Thailand, and India are all in the mix as well. And don’t forget Mexico. Already planes loaded with Chinese products are arriving in Mexico for eventual tariff-free entry into the U.S. It’s a great alternative for you to consider.
And now back to Taiwan. The country that has been our steady electronics supplier for decades. Already people are reaching out to this island of technology, and establishing or in some cases re-establishing relationships with Taiwanese high tech companies. They are easy to deal with; they are very technical and can provide you with any and all technologies you require; and they are U.S. friendly. They need us as their protectors in the long run, in the true spirit of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
A smart man once said that a true entrepreneur is one who plays the cards he has been dealt to his fullest advantage, and that is exactly where we are today. These alternative supply chain channels are going to expand and thrive in this new world order and in the end will be a good thing for the entire world.
Never forget that this country was founded on competition and the purer the competition is, the better the market works.
Now it is up to you. Those of you who are really into global sourcing to satisfy both your needs and your customers need to full advantage of this situation. You need to get bold and creative and seek out those new channels that this dam has caused. Personally, I am very exciting about what all of this is going to lead to. I am very excited that I am already working with companies in Taiwan and Vietnam and India and look forward to further expanding my horizons in the near future. Won’t you join me? It’s only common sense.