It is something I hear from the customers, industry experts and internally here at CalcuQuote: the future of the electronics supply chain is digital transformation. If the past two years have shown me anything in my time at CalcuQuote, it is that it is time to embrace digitalization and Accelerate (hence the excitement with putting on this conference). CalcuQuote hosted an in-person version of the successful Accelerate conference from October 2021 . The two days were spent bringing together industry leaders from a variety of backgrounds. Participants included EMS professionals, distributors, and manufacturers. The energy in the room was buzzing and brought together the best of both worlds for two days of cross-industry innovation and collaboration to discuss some of the most prolific questions facing the industry today.
Listening to our expert presenters and industry expert sparked discussions about future possibilities, and how to better utilize the tools at our disposal to create tangible change. As an excited CalcuQuote team member and participant at Accelerate, here are my top five things I learned throughout the two days:
The conference started with a presentation from Mark Wolfe who joins us from the IPC. Mark started out by addressing the elephant in the room - the rapid constraints in the supply chain that include the lasting impacts of COVID-19, the US-China trade dispute, and shipping constraints. With the constraints in supply comes an unexpected demand surge that includes ongoing growth in electronics, economic stimulus, the need for electronically staying in touch, and more. Facing the past few years was daunting (and the response in the crowd showed that), but at the end, Mark helped identify what this all means. There is a potential new normal we live in with critical supply continuity, suppliers being more selective and everyone up and down the supply chain planning for the unexpected. Resiliency and agility are the key to achieving this new normal - two words that hit home working at CalcuQuote. All the above are an insight into where we were and where we are, and Mark leaves us with the next move – focus on thriving, not surviving.
Workshop: Using Supply Chain as a Competitive Differentiator
CalcuQuote CEO, Chintan Sutaria, walked attendees through maturity models - from concept to ideation and beyond. Maturity models are a helpful tool for measuring how advanced your business process is. The beauty of maturity models are that they recognize a universal truth - you can’t do everything. To achieve perfection in one area, you’ll have to make sacrifices in another. The good news is, that’s okay! Using a maturity model is a great tool to analyze all aspects of your business and make educated decisions regarding which areas need the most improvement, and which sacrifices need to be made in order to bring them to fruition.
Keynote Address: The Future of “S” in EMS with Nimble Gravity’s CEO, Tony Aug
Tony’s presentation emphasized the necessity of procuring and using relevant data. Put plainly, numbers speak louder than opinions, and with so many resources at our fingertips, we need to take advantage of the data readily available and put it to work for us. Tony’s presentation focused on the idea that progress and innovation are essential, but we should remain mindful about harnessing the power of technology and innovation with purpose. We should never lose sight of the need for functionality and practicality as we move into the future. He went on to equate the supply chain to a pendulum, emphasizing that the only constant is change. The key takeaways are to stay alert, be responsive, and embrace functional innovation.
Panel Discussion: Examples of Digitally Connected Supply Chain Processes
This panel placed emphasis on the importance of digital connectivity, and how it ultimately relates to a business’ ability to remain competitive amidst an increasingly volatile industry. Panelists discussed specific instances for improving their digital connectivity. For example, one panelist, Kris Besley, explained, “"speeding up quoting increases the feedback customers receive directly, allowing for live feedback. Further, connecting CalcuQuote to a CRM provides transparency to related internal functions, and can speed up the overall sales timeline. Having the ability to speed up the sales and quote timeline provides organizations with a path to higher closure rates.”
Workshop: How to Create a Digitally Connected Supply Chain Future with CalcuQuote VP of Product, David Sharp
In this workshop, David provided a lofty goal: A supply chain integrated from Request for Quote (RFQ) to materials receipt with no manual intervention. Working together in breakout groups, David encouraged attendees to think through potential obstacles that would prevent this from taking place, along with what it would take to make it a tangible reality. Together, we identified pain points ranging from: gaining customer information, to dealing with problem parts, ordering custom and previously unknown parts, securing standardized BOMs from customers, managing inbound data via Order Status, and the bottlenecks that form when suppliers and customers aren’t in constant contact. Fortunately, CalcuQuote has solutions to help.
Accelerate created a diverse space where attendees across the electronics industry could meet, laugh, collaborate, and ideate the future of the industry. For two days, the conference hall was full of dynamic energy and participation from business leaders all intent on the same goal - improving and moving the industry forward.
Even though the intent of this article is to highlight the top five things I learned at the conference, perhaps the biggest thing I learned is the power in different groups coming together for a common cause. It’s true – there were multiple companies represented, each with their own business goals – but each company is facing the same global issues at this current moment in time. Sharing frustrations and talking about potential solutions brings an element of positivity to a challenging work environment – and positivity in any form is invaluable. It was wonderful to experience this in person. Don’t simply take my word for it - hear from one of our attendees directly. Click here to watch.
Enjoyed your time with us? Plan ahead. Accelerate 2023 will be coming next year! Follow CalcuQuote.com and sign up for our newsletter for more details.