Global Manufacturing Network and Supply Chain Management for the Electronics Industry

Article excerpt

Manufacturing industry is experiencing several fundamental changes. From industrial sector perspectives, in many industries such as home electronics appliance, computer, telecommunication, semiconductor, and even bio-technology, the traditional vertical-integrated company based business model has been dramatically replaced by collaborations between many fragmented but complementary and specialized value stars and value constellations. From geographic perspectives, more and more activities of value creation in manufacturing are reallocated in developing nations, especially in the Far East region where is emerging as a new factory of the world. From business dynamics perspectives, it is interesting to observe that, when some companies are seeking subcontracting or even hollowing-out by positioning themselves to engage with variously final customers directly, at the same time, others are accumulating up the outsourced tasks and sharply focusing on few core capable skills to provide operational service in a very professional way. It is more exciting to understand not only the interactions between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers but also their evolutionary adaptations and even place exchanges. In general, globalization between nations and collaboration between firms are deeply challenging the existing business models and classical concepts such as manufacturing, service, supply chain, and even firm or enterprise.

This special issue of the International Journal of Business aims to address the critical issues involved in global manufacturing network by using electronics industry as a reference model. Conceptual models and quantitative analysis methodologies are proposed to deal with wide range of challenges of global manufacturing and supply chain via validation with empirical research and observation in real setting. Within the broad themes, this special issue addresses the following specific topics:

* a transformation process from an technology imitator towards a leading innovator,

* performance evaluation of research and development,

* synchronization of global manufacturing and supply chain,

* a new statistical process control methodology for LED industry, and

* evaluation of government's semiconductor industry development strategy.

This special issue not only covers the different levels of management and decision issues in the global manufacturing network and supply chain but also provides more up-dated management experiences and background from the Far East region where is becoming a more and more important region powering the world economy. The articles provide fresh insights and experiences from the newly developed and developing nations including China, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea.

From the papers' research and discussions, several key issues and academic agenda have been also arisen.

Firstly, global manufacturing network and supply chain is a very complex system. This special issue just explored a very limited part of it. …

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