Isn’t it challenging to picture a society without modern technologies? The fact is that it is a complicated business. It has an essential function in moving raw materials, people, components, and completed goods across borders. As a result, logistics is critical for industry and accounts for up to 20% of the overall cost of items.
The growth of electronics is closely linked to technology development. It’s not just about how great powers exchange information; it’s also about how demand patterns are evolving as fast as electronic gadgets themselves.
It has been linked since both sectors have evolved. For example, tariff-free delivery at the border and reverse logistics procedures have been necessary for this sector to remain competitive globally. But the logistics sector makes even more wagers to be the ideal ally for the electronics industry’s startling rise.
Technology and electronics logistics is a complex world that technology companies have to navigate. There are many challenges along the way, which technology companies often struggle with on their own. Third-party logistics providers help technology companies by providing technology and electronic supply chain management services. These third-party providers offer warehousing, distribution, transportation, customs brokerage, inventory control, and other services.
This guide will discuss the complexities of managing technology and electronics logistics, including final mile delivery and reverse logistics.
Shortening Times by Connecting Markets
Logistics uses worldwide marketplaces to reduce delivery time by establishing client-based supply chains and exploring local supply hubs, among other methods. Although North America is a vital market, demand in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, the Middle East, Africa, and South America, in general, is expected to climb by up to 20% over the next decade.
Changing Supply Chain Patterns
Because of this industry’s needs, the logistics sector is being forced to improve efforts to reduce lengthy shipping terms. As a result, domestic or regional supply methods have been implemented, enabling us to deliver items faster and increase customer care.
Electronics firms can now match the rhythm of customers and the demands of their products’ life cycles by operating a more diversified and flexible supply network. In some situations, manufacturers depend on inventory optimization or fast planning procedures.
Improving The Service
Businesses are creating client-based supply chains in a digital market where customers have instant power to comment and review. For most executives, response capability is closely linked to customer service and is a key differentiator in changing the supply chain. The logistics sector has found methods to enhance customer service. It must continue looking for new ways, from its efforts to decrease shipping time to its use of modern technology tools that speed up logistics processes or boost in-transit visibility.
The Complexities Surrounding Technology and Electronics Supply Chains
Electronics supply chains are complicated. Because the electronics business is constantly changing and adjusting to new obstacles, electronics logistics providers must keep up with these developments by updating their methods regularly. A lean and agile supply chain is required to achieve these objectives. Global manufacturing and distribution issues, channel and network complexity, and the effects of a sophisticated, high-value product set are all obstacles to achieving this goal.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
In the tech sector, tighter costs and management of material and resources are driving down product life cycles. This means technology must be produced more quickly, meaning there are fewer opportunities to re-source materials. As a result, electronics companies have much shorter product life cycles than they did in the past. This has created additional demands on supply chains because technology providers need to manage their products even closer to get them from manufacturing through distribution. This has prompted the following manufacturing and supply shifts:
Emerging Market Sourcing
WWhile many firms have searched for manufacturing and supply chain partners in developing countries, this may lower costs but also create a lengthy and, often, unreliable supply chain. Scoring low-cost suppliers from emerging markets frequently entails poor infrastructure and logistics capabilities and increased supplier and worldwide trade compliance issues.
A third-party logistics provider (3PL) with expertise in manufacturing, consumer goods, and healthcare can assist you in developing tactics to tackle these obstacles. Too many product lines and components sourced from various locations create a convoluted, expensive, and time-consuming supply chain.
Different Manufacturing Strategies
Customizing computers to the specific demands of consumers is possible through make-to-order manufacturing. It’s worth noting that a make-to-order supply chain model isn’t always as cost-efficient as a make-to-stock one. Product obsolescence can also result, especially if product life cycles are short.
Although several transport techniques are used to manufacture items to order, given different consumer requirements, this is necessary. To be able to react swiftly to modifications, retailers must be adaptable and flexible. To get items on the market at a low cost during peak seasons, they must be ready and adaptable.
Electronics manufacturers are concerned about CO2 emissions and fuel consumption caused by lengthy supply chains, similar to those faced by many other industries. Another problem is lead produced during the production of printed circuit boards; 70 percent of heavy metals in US landfills come from discarded electronics gear.
Supply Chain Network Complexities
Because there are so many people in the supply chain, not all are marching to the same tune, as the electronics industry is notoriously divided. These organizations include:
- Parts and components suppliers
- Design Manufacturers, Contract Manufacturers, and Joint Ventures
- Original Equipment Manufacturers and Brand Owners
- Value-Added Resellers, Distributors, and Partners
- End Users
The electronics sector is also highly volatile, with many firms succumbing to their inability to keep up with rapid technological changes. As a result of this, there’s lots of merger and acquisition activity.
The complex nature of logistics processes is exacerbated by numerous tiers, overlapping supply chains, and the particular challenges of retail channels. Electronics companies must be flexible to adapt to market changes and unforeseen events like the COVID-19 epidemic, and they must use demand sensing and shaping to forecast and influence demand.
Another issue is to establish a standard, low-cost infrastructure to use throughout the supply chain. Lean is a common goal: lowering inventory, managing SKU proliferation, and reducing fixed assets.
3PLs can capitalize on these problems to provide visibility, set up inventory hubs in essential areas, assist with supply chain inventory management, and find ways to reduce transit leg cycle times. 3PLs must invest in understanding the customer at all levels of the business to capture a larger market share.
Consumer electronics products have a shorter lifespan (velocity) and are more susceptible to changes in demand (short life cycles, up and down swings in demand). Like fashion retail and consumer goods, their product life cycles are comparable. Some 3PLs with experience in consumer and retail products may provide electronics manufacturers with the best product distribution and demand management practices.
Increasing Demand for High-Value Products
Electronics firms create goods that customers want, with the most up-to-date and popular features that appeal to various segments. As a result, they are highly precious and susceptible to theft, plagiarism, and changing consumer trends.
Supply Chain Visibility Issues
Electronics exporters place a premium on global supply chain visibility. Visibility is vital for keeping consumer information and order status up to date and providing security while in transit. Supply chain visibility also ensures that inventory is in the right place at the optimal time.
In emerging marketplaces without the same security protections as developed markets, security is a more pressing issue. Covert and visible shipment tracking technologies, GPS and engine shutdown systems, and transportation security firms such as FreightWatch can all assist. Shippers are employing 3PLs to put these regulations in place.
It is a must to avoid phony items by detecting and preventing them, especially for electronics firms that must examine their suppliers and implement safety measures from components to finished goods.
All of our shipments use serial numbers to deter counterfeiters. Serial number seals are an excellent anti-counterfeit measure. E-pedigree techniques from the pharmaceutical world might be a viable alternative; 3PLs could manage component pedigree routines and provide supply chain integrity monitoring.
In many cases, bright wrapping is used to attract customers, although it typically necessitates additional outer packaging to protect the contents. Electronics manufacturers are looking at cost-cutting and long-term sustainability solutions. These include using new protective materials like mushrooms and bamboo and smaller packages and delaying light assembly and packaging until after sale – all of which are SKU proliferation problems with which technology and electronics companies must deal.
Other packaging challenges include:
- Many electronic products are sold in retail stores where display boxes need to be opened, so shoppers quickly see the product.
- Efficient transport of displays presents a challenge due to their size, fragility, weight, and lack of strength compared to other products.
- Electronic goods are more sensitive to temperature and humidity changes than other product categories, requiring technology that manages these factors in the supply chain.
Short Electronics Lifecycles
After being used in North American and European markets, electronics products are manufactured in developing nations such as China, Taiwan, India, and Brazil before being consumed in North American and European countries. This implies a lengthy supply chain for a six to 18 months long lifecycle, which poses obsolescence issues.
Short product life cycles and the difficulties of correctly predicting demand, have made inventory obsolescence a critical problem for electronics companies, particularly those built to stock.
3PLs may be used to identify at-risk inventories in warehouses under their management, arrange intermodal and other consolidation services to enhance supply chain velocity without significantly increasing transportation costs, and so on.
The Essential Role of Final-Mile Delivery in Electronics Logistics
Today, final-mile logistics is an essential component of the technology and electronics sector. Companies that are moving their hardware for any reason must ensure that it arrives intact. A company’s financial success may be determined by whether or not its products arrive unscathed at the end of the journey. Final-mile delivery may make or break a business; you need it to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible.
Simply put, final-mile (last-mile) logistics represents the last leg of the supply chain. It is when your product finally reaches its destination. Surprisingly enough, the “last-mile” of the supply chain costs up to 53% of the entire journey that a product makes from the manufacturer to the end customer.
Also, the final leg is crucial for delicate electronics. It’s simple to safeguard valuable technology products throughout the main freight journey. Still, once it reaches a distribution center and is routed again by a parcel carrier, those items may be severely damaged. “Last mile” delivery methods aim to ensure that goods arrive in good hands with carriers at the end destination.
To safeguard delicate industrial or non-industrial electronics while being transported, wrap them in high-quality and pressure-resistant tape. This will guarantee that packages remain sealed, preventing external elements such as moisture or bright sunshine from wreaking havoc on them. The box’s inside should also be cushioned with Styrofoam or another form of insulating material.
It’s also critical to ensure that the product is not presented in an empty box. Because a little nudge might render delicate industrial electronics useless and damaged, adequate packing and insulating are required. However, this can’t be done until enough insulation is put inside the box to prevent the product from shifting.
It’s also essential to invest in condition monitoring for your goods outside of these best practices for transporting delicate electronics.
The Growing Role of Reverse Logistics in Electronics Supply Chains
The technology and electronics supply chain has always had an element of reverse logistics. However, the technology companies have started to focus more on this area of their business model as technology products become obsolete faster than ever before. This is because technology manufacturers are now producing new models with better features every two years or less, which usually becomes outdated after a year or two.
Reverse logistics represents the process of retrieving technology products from the end-user. The technology company will either refurbish or recycle these obsolete technology products so that they can be used again. With this change in business model, technology companies are starting to rely on third-party logistics providers more than ever before to manage reverse logistics for them as it is too large an area for technology manufacturers to focus on.
Reverse logistics is also becoming an increasingly important part of technology, and electronics supply chains as technology companies develop new products. These include more environmentally friendly products such as recycled plastics, reusable glass, and recyclable metals, which means there will be a lot of refurbished technology products in the future. Thus reverse logistics plays a crucial role in technology and electronics supply chains by retrieving obsolete technology products and recycling these products to make new technology.
The Role of 3PLs Has Never Been More In-Demand
The technology industry is constantly evolving. This means that companies need to develop their technology supply chains to manage all of this change. And, because technology changes so rapidly, companies must be able to adapt quickly when necessary. This includes having access to multiple warehouses around the world.
There are many technologies and electronics supply chain complexities that companies need to deal with. The most important thing, however, is being able to deliver products quickly to meet customer demand. This requires technology logistics providers who have access to international shipping routes as well as warehouses where products can be stored when they’re not being shipped.
Given the rapid pace of technological development, many 3PLs believe that there’s a lot of potential for them to collaborate with electronics shippers in innovative ways. Both parties must work together to evaluate the most effective method for third-party electronic providers to improve their service offerings.
The main advantage is that it helps shippers and freight carriers to have greater insight into their goods, allowing them to access all necessary transport information in one place. This may help simplify transportation management throughout the supply chain.
In general, electronics shipping concerns look to 3PLs as competent in basic logistics operations, but they do not always seek their assistance for collaborative problem-solving to address their more complex supply chain problems.
Redbird Logistics in Electronics Transportation
Each link in the chain is managed by Redbird Logistics Services’ supply chain execution. This last-mile logistics firm handles the transportation of delicate goods, such as computers and drugs. The final mile is where consumers expect deliveries to be on time for collection or delivery at a convenient place for them. With Redbird Logistics Services, you get a full suite of technology logistics solutions.
Customers can use the following features as part of our patented application technology: Serialization of inventories and bar-coding: order management and feedback. Document imaging and retrieval are also included. Monitoring and access via the internet are provided.
All of our trucks are outfitted with GPS technology, which allows for two-way communication and real-time updates in Redbird Logistics Services’ systems. Our on-board technology enables our operation teams to access all data regarding a job location and request more, if necessary. We also maintain track of the status of all items on the shipment.
In addition to technology logistics, Redbird Logistics Services helps with the reverse logistics process. This addresses a company’s return and repair of products that consumers have used. Our technology allows us to fully track all returns from their point of origin until they are recorded as being received back into inventory or taken out for processing at our technology logistics centers.
The technology and electronics supply chain are incredibly complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult for companies with the right technology logistics providers by their side. Redbird Logistics specializes in technology transportation, allowing businesses access to a full suite of technology services that simplify management throughout the entire end-to-end operation.
One of the most appealing features of working with us is access to real-time information via our system. You can get shipment tracking and inventory visibility information in various ways, including e-mail, online portal access, and mobile apps. This means you may keep track of your electronic and technological products from anywhere with an internet connection.
The firm of Redbird Logistics Services is a 3PL that uses experts in logistics to aid you in improving customer satisfaction and lowering costs. They are electronics industry professionals who can assist you in managing the intricacies of electronics logistics and boosting overall supply chain performance. For further information, please contact us.