Thanks to fierce competition between Office Depot and Staples, and the dominating role they now play in their once fragmented industry, most middle market customers are getting both reasonable prices and product quality across a vast array of office products. Moreover, the associated costs of sourcing and acquiring those products are minimal.
In contrast, the $700 billion electronic materials industry deserves to rank dead last in meeting the business needs of EMS middle market customers. With approximately 12,000 unique manufacturers producing a vast array of electronic materials, and with an even greater number of distributors selling those same materials, the electronic materials industry is among the world’s most fragmented and least transparent.
Some might counter that Avnet Electronics and Arrow Electronics – respectively ranked 142nd and 151st on the S&P 500 – serve as the Office Depot and the Staples of the electronic materials industry. Yet, between them, these giant distributors represent only 329 of the some 12,000 manufacturers of electronic materials, and they compete head to head on the products of just 78 of these manufacturers.
Indeed, most customers can source less than half their materials expenditure from a collection of established national and regional electronics distributors. After that, it’s either buyer beware or the immense and time consuming effort – an expense few middle market customers can afford – to regularly ferret out part number by part number across their consolidated BOMs the best suppliers and lowest prices from a gigantic universe of possibilities.
This unholy conspiracy of industry fragmentation, immense complexity, and sheer volume denies customers the advantage of clear and clean competitive markets for the bulk of what they buy. As a result, most middle market customers pay too much for most electronic materials.
Adding insult to injury, consider the unhappy reality that two natural bedfellows – the electronic materials industry and the electronic manufacturing industry – operate in almost complete isolation from one another. Each industry might itself be a good performer, but the ever present and notably powerful silo structure prevents choreographing their activities to achieve peak performance for the customer.
In contrast, AMI, the only supplier that offers the EMS middle market a full and integrated complement of both materials services and manufacturing services, delivers handsome materials savings through its long established and well proven services in sourcing, kitting, and materials management.
AMI came by these enviable capabilities by staying the course for over 20 years on a disciplined business strategy that has now proven itself as both successful and insightful. For starters, in addition to its principal operations in Maine, AMI has developed and maintained a now almost 20 year relationship with a Connecticut-based team of world class electronic materials professionals. Initially, the team was an early product of New England’s Golden Age of electronic manufacturing, a la Digital Equipment, Polaroid, Data General, a host of networking companies, and many others.
A product of that Golden Age, thanks in part to MIT, UConn, and the business schools of Harvard and Yale, was the presence in New England of the world’s brightest and most capable electronics engineers and manufacturing professionals. This materials team was birthed from that top drawer group, and the legacy of that era has continued ever since to support AMI’s needs for additional high-value intellectual capital.
Thus it was that AMI was instrumental in pioneering full-BOM sourcing in 1996 and full-BOM kitting shortly thereafter. Both services have since been developed and refined over nearly 15 years’ of real world execution, and have over and over again delivered serious competitive advantages to a variety of end customers.
AMI, a proven innovator across a full spectrum of electronic materials services, is the right size and the best choice for the EMS middle market.