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                                                                         Volume 10, Number 10
                                                                                October 2019
           Test, Assembly & Packaging TIMES

         Buyer’s Casebook: When a single source isn’t enough

                                    question that                           Martin Hart, TopLine
                                    confronts al-                     
                                    most every                                Ron Iscoff, Editor
                                    purchasing de-                

                                    partment from               are not demarcated by national borders,
                                    time-to-time,               just by the type of currency received for
                                    is whether cur-             products.
                                    rent parts ven-
                                    dors will al-
        ways be able to deliver the req-                        Supply chain at risk
        uisite parts on time and on spec.                       With the latest round of tariffs on China
                                                                and the countervailing taxes on parts and
                                                                         materials imported to and exported
                                                                         from both countries, almost every
                                                                         company’s supply chain may unex-
                                                                         pectedly be at risk.

                                                                         In what may ironically become a
                                                                         “best case” scenario, U.S. car mak-
                                                                         ers have already been tagged with
                                                                         huge price hikes on aluminum and
                                                                         many other car components from
                                                                         China, South Korea, Taiwan and
                                                                         other countries subject to the re-
        Clenched  fists  represent  a  new  trade  battle  between  South             cent tariffs.
        Korea and Japan.

        A serious matter                                        Revised thinking
        In a smaller, less-populated world, where               In some cases, the car makers will go to
        buyers depended on the vendor down the                  alternate sources in other countries, or
        street, or perhaps a few hundred miles                  perhaps in the U.S.  In will mean, how-
        away, it rarely seemed to be a matter                   ever, more expense.  It’s likely that a year
        worth strategizing over.  Now, however, in              ago in sales forecast meetings, the possi-
        a business world without borders, it can be             bility of new tariffs was never mentioned.
        a matter not to be taken lightly.

                                                                Giant South Korean omnimaker Samsung
        Almost all companies—except the very                                                           Next page
        smallest today—are international.  Sales
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