Executive Briefings

Innovations in High Tech: What’s Changing in the Chain

By its very nature, the high tech sector is frequently on the cutting edge of logistics and supply-chain trends. Now the industry is gearing up to face a fresh challenge: satisfying the coming surge in demand for products on a global scale.

The outlook for high tech looks bright. In the latest UPS Change in the (Supply) Chain survey, 74% of respondents said they believed exports will either grow faster or at the same rate over the next two years. But companies will have to embrace innovative strategies to capitalize on that trend.

The emphasis will be on flexibility. Global markets are constantly changing. Today, high tech companies are confronted with shrinking product lifecycles, a rising middle class and the growing risk of supply-chain disruptions, to name but a few recent developments.

One solution is to adopt a nuanced approach to sourcing production. Rather than debate the merits of offshoring versus near-shoring, leaders are stressing “right-shoring” – the practice of considering multiple factors such as company size, customer demand patterns and individual product specifications. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to crafting modern-day supply chains.

At the same time, companies are aggressively expanding into emerging markets such as China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Russia. Success will hinge on their ability to address a complex web of ever-changing trade regulations, free-trade agreements and government initiatives.

Expect technology to play a major role in the high tech supply chain of the future. 3D printing, for example, promises to be a vital tool for designing new products and speeding up time to market. Innovators consider it key to meeting growing customer demands for individualized products and rapid order fulfillment.

All of these developments will take place against the backdrop of a heightened emphasis on supply-chain sustainability. High tech executives view it as a means of reducing cost and meeting customer demands. In many cases, customers themselves are driving their suppliers to pursue sustainability initiatives.

The many challenges confronting tomorrow’s high tech sector call for a high level of supply-chain expertise. In response, companies are turning to trusted partners, in the form of logistics service providers like UPS, that can help them to control costs, improve customer responsiveness, penetrate new markets and, most importantly, optimize their businesses for growth.

By its very nature, the high tech sector is frequently on the cutting edge of logistics and supply-chain trends. Now the industry is gearing up to face a fresh challenge: satisfying the coming surge in demand for products on a global scale.

The outlook for high tech looks bright. In the latest UPS Change in the (Supply) Chain survey, 74% of respondents said they believed exports will either grow faster or at the same rate over the next two years. But companies will have to embrace innovative strategies to capitalize on that trend.

The emphasis will be on flexibility. Global markets are constantly changing. Today, high tech companies are confronted with shrinking product lifecycles, a rising middle class and the growing risk of supply-chain disruptions, to name but a few recent developments.

One solution is to adopt a nuanced approach to sourcing production. Rather than debate the merits of offshoring versus near-shoring, leaders are stressing “right-shoring” – the practice of considering multiple factors such as company size, customer demand patterns and individual product specifications. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to crafting modern-day supply chains.

At the same time, companies are aggressively expanding into emerging markets such as China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Russia. Success will hinge on their ability to address a complex web of ever-changing trade regulations, free-trade agreements and government initiatives.

Expect technology to play a major role in the high tech supply chain of the future. 3D printing, for example, promises to be a vital tool for designing new products and speeding up time to market. Innovators consider it key to meeting growing customer demands for individualized products and rapid order fulfillment.

All of these developments will take place against the backdrop of a heightened emphasis on supply-chain sustainability. High tech executives view it as a means of reducing cost and meeting customer demands. In many cases, customers themselves are driving their suppliers to pursue sustainability initiatives.

The many challenges confronting tomorrow’s high tech sector call for a high level of supply-chain expertise. In response, companies are turning to trusted partners, in the form of logistics service providers like UPS, that can help them to control costs, improve customer responsiveness, penetrate new markets and, most importantly, optimize their businesses for growth.

Learn more about high tech strategies for meeting global demand by downloading the Change in the (Supply) Chain Survey.