Have you ever wondered where it all started? Who was the first company to suggest they could help take away the headaches and overheads associated with manufacturing? And what was their motivation in doing so?
It's unlikely any of these questions will come up in your local pub quiz. And if they do, you might want to find another place to relax and unwind. But, if you work in electronics manufacturing services and are curious to know how it all began, this blog post by Barry Hochfelder neatly sums up the key points.
And just in case it does come up in a quiz, the quick answer is Olin King and SCI Systems...
As well as looking back in time, the article also touches on Foxconn's recent announcement to build a $10 billion manufacturing in South Wisconsin and what impact this might have on the job market.
Finally, Ron Keith, founder of Riverwood Solutions, highlights some of the risks associated with outsourcing and the strategies some OEMs are deploying to help mitigate these.
Contract manufacturing - or the middle market - has been a pivotal link of the supply chain since at least the Space Age. Companies may change logistics strategies, seek to take control of their supply chains by making their own products, or move to private label, but they will always need parts or brandless supplier.