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How SA's electronics industry can stay current

The global marketplace is dominated by constant innovations in technology, business processes, and business management systems. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, companies have to adapt their processes and systems to keep up with the rapid pace of technology.
Craig Johnston


For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), managing the entire supply chain from design through to delivery, all whilst trying to accurately keep track of stock, parts and industry regulations, can be challenging.

SMEs can take advantage of technology innovation to effectively manage all their client and prospect interactions by implementing the correct enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

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For local electronic components manufacturers and distributors, implementing an integrated business management system will address the main challenges within their business structures. Some of these challenges include stock visibility, supply chain integration and industry compliance.

Stock visibility


Having complete visibility over stock levels can lead to an improvement in cash flow as production is scheduled to match supply and demand.

For electronic manufacturers and distributors, margins are constantly under pressure and carrying excess stock for extended periods of time can be a significant financial burden.

Accurate stock taking can also become an extremely laborious task - considering that in one PC board there are thousands of different components. SMEs simply can’t afford to spend the amount of time needed to accurately track stock manually.

Supply chain visibility


For SMEs within the electronic components industry, being able to make informed decisions around procurement is essential.

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An integrated system streamlines inventory management and optimises purchasing to ensure that project budgets and manufacturing timeframes are met. Having real-time insight and comprehensive visibility over the supply chain can improve profit margins and enhance employee and operational productivity.

Compliance


Adhering to strict quality and safety requirements, as well as industry best-practices, can be a time-consuming and cumbersome task for businesses in the electronics industry.

An integrated business management solution makes it possible for processes to be standardised and automatic alerts to be set up to quickly respond to predefined triggers and situations. This means that compliance procedures can be streamlined and monitored so that irregularities and non-compliance with industry regulations can be avoided.

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The major benefit of an integrated business system is that data only needs to be captured once and processes can be standardised throughout the business. This ensures that the information is accurate and can be seamlessly integrated across all departments. This not only saves valuable time for employees to focus on more important tasks but also decreases the possibility of human error.

The electronics industry is dynamic and new electronic components are required, manufactured and introduced to the market on a daily basis.

Local electronic components manufacturers not only have to compete with each other, but also have to compete with global imports on both a price and quality basis.

Small and medium manufacturers in the local electronics industry need to switch to the right business management systems to ensure their businesses stay current.
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About the author

Craig Johnston is the marketing manager at Bluekey Seidor.
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