Implications for Cablemakers

It is clear that the OEM market is not an easy one to serve, and that the ground rules are becoming more difficult to adhere to. The OEMs experience continuous pressure to reduce their costs and provide greater functionality in the goods that they produce. The performance targets that they impose upon themselves are passed down, at least in equal measure, to their suppliers, and their suppliers’ suppliers. For those companies that qualify to serve this market, continuous improvement in performance is required if they are not to fall by the wayside. Improvement is not only in price, quality and delivery; this is taken almost as a given. Cablemakers and other component suppliers are now being asked to show improvement in virtually every aspect of the way that they conduct their business, from manufacturing and management processes through to where they locate their plants and corporate citizenship. For the companies that do manage to serve this market successfully, however, there are rewards. Relationships between OEMs and their chosen suppliers tend to be long and mutually beneficial. Direct involvement in the OEM design process creates opportunities for suppliers to grow with their customers in both volume and the value of their product offering.