Representor Winter 2021 - Marketing Group Digest

Winter 2021 – Marketing Group Digest

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COMPONENTS – Year-end optimism

Bob Evans, CPMR
EK Micro
Rolling Meadows, Ill.

As I write this, we are heading rapidly into the holiday season, and of course the end of 2020. So much has been written and said about putting this tumultuous year behind us. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and the divisive presidential election, have left us tired and worn out. But I am a “glass-half-full” kind of guy, so I am encouraged by recent developments. As a dear departed friend of mine, Don Sitter, used to say, “When I step in horse droppings, I look around and say, oh boy, there must be a pony ride around here.”

In addition to the recent positive signs in the stock market, there are signs within our industry that should have us heading into 2021 with cautious optimism. At the end of November, Adam Hwang reported in DIGITIMES Online that “Production indexes for Taiwan-based makers of various electronic components for fourth-quarter 2020 remain high, according to Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER).” Also in DIGITIMES Online, in December, Joseph Tsai wrote, “Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai) saw its consolidated revenues climb 11.2 percent sequentially and 13.1 percent on-year to a record high of NT$681.38 billion ($24 billion) in November 2020.” As Foxconn goes, so goes the world. These are encouraging reports that indicate recovery within our industry.

The reports from Asia are not unique, here is a report that offers a more global perspective.

In a December article on the online news outlet, Evertiq (Electronics Vertical Intelligence) we read the following quote from a fresh semiconductor market forecast generated in November 2020. “The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) expects the world semiconductor market to be up by 5.1 percent to $433 billion in 2020. This reflects expected growth in all major product categories except Optoelectronics and Discrete Semiconductors. The largest growth contributors are memory with 12.2 percent followed by Sensors with 7.4 percent.” And here in the U.S. specifically, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report the first week of December stating that “New orders for manufactured goods in October, up six consecutive months, increased $4.9 billion or 1 percent to $480.8 billion … This followed a 1.3 percent September increase. Shipments, also up six consecutive months, increased $4.9 billion or 1 percent to $488.6 billion. So perhaps we will see a good start to the coming year.

On a personal note, this is my last column in The Representor Market Group Digest. The responsibility for this series of articles was an unexpected “perk” of my role on the ERA Executive Committee, as Senior Vice President, Industry. While it started as a bit of a chore, it evolved into something I looked forward to with each issue. My predecessor in this role, our current and esteemed ERA President, Chuck Tanzola, and his archived articles, were an invaluable source of inspiration and counsel for me. Thank you, Chuck, you may not know how much you helped me. Issue after issue, Neda Simeonova has been my editor and reminder of due dates. Thank you, Neda, for this and for everything you do for ERA, much of which is not widely known.

ERA is the standard-bearer for our profession. I ask all of you to support, volunteer, promote and participate in our association as much as you are able. It takes everyone to carry the load.

MATERIALS, ASSEMBLY, PRODUCTION & SUPPLY – Keep the faith and move forward

Troy Gunnin
Sun Rep
Tampa, Fla.

By the time you read this column, 2020 will be in your rearview mirror. It has been a year like no other I have experienced in my considerable years on this planet. I remember the end of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and many others. There was polio, tuberculosis, AIDS, the many iterations of the flu, MRSA and many other health issues, but never have I seen anything bring the nation and the world to its knees like the COVID-19 pandemic. It has played havoc with the economy, our personal lives, our business lives and so much more. It has sparked panic buying, mask-wearing, social distancing, fist bumps, virtual meetings, empty shelves (reminiscent of the gas lines of the 70s), many lost their jobs, and a major shift in how we conduct our business.

On the positive side, we have seen the drug and health care industry mount a monumental effort to combat this virus. As I write this, the FDA has just approved the first vaccine for treatment and just yesterday, here in Tampa, Florida, the first vaccine was administered to a healthcare worker at Tampa General. All this sparks hope that the “light at the end of the tunnel” has arrived. We certainly look forward to getting this under control and being able to return to some sense of normalcy.

We are strong, and by working together, we will come out of this with greater resolve. If we apply what this experience has taught us, we will be stronger, more agile and be able to adapt to what the world throws at us. Keep the faith and move forward. The best is yet to come!