Supply Chain and Sourcing
Dealing with Component Shortages and Supply Disruptions

September 29, 2021
9:00 AM Pacific (12:00 PM Eastern)

Overview

A new AES Audio Product Education Institute webinar in the Supply Chain & Sourcing series, where our two supply chain and sourcing experts, David Lindberg (DB Enterprises) and Mike Klasco (Menlo Scientific) will address current component shortages, logistic challenges and manufacturing and supply disruptions. To help frame the picture of an always evolving global environment, the two education pillar chairs invited executives from Seltech International and Emporium Partners, two companies with extensive experience in supplying parts and solutions.
 
As the whole global supply chain continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and evolving global pandemic situation, suppliers are predicting longer lead times and manufacturing disruptions. Like most sectors, the audio industry overall was strongly affected, and manufacturers are continuously readjusting lead times, trying to manage supply delays. The whole supply chain for audio manufacturing is being affected by shortages in key components, microcontrollers and signal processors, extending lead times and raising prices.
 
In more recent months, new logistic challenges have caused more delays and cost increases as the acceleration of Delta-variant outbreaks in several countries has slowed global container turnaround rates. Shipping companies are now charging up to ten times the normal price to move cargo, forcing large or small manufacturers to prepare contingency plans and revaluate their cost and price structure. 
 
As Mike Klasco writes in a recent article for The Audio Voice newsletter, “When we left 2020 behind, there was a global sigh of relief. I think on some level many of us felt we had paid our dues and that we deserved smoother sailing in 2021. And then, key production bases for the audio industry were hit by storms, container ships at sea lost their cargo in rough water, and nations were battered by earthquakes and volcanos! As if that wasn’t enough, while vaccination campaigns promised some relief for a few countries, others who had seen relatively COVID-related closures started to be caught in a series of pandemic waves as the virus’ variants challenge even the most determined governments, affecting the manufacturing hubs in Asia.”
 
This “perfect storm” of recent events is expected to continue to impact a wide range of vendors, as the chain reaction continues to be felt, and the general finished goods supply will be tight. Preparing for disruptions, ordering additional buffer stock of critical items, sourcing alternative suppliers, and upgrading designs to accommodate new components is now recommended.
 
For an insightful overview of this dynamic situation and insights on how to deal with these serious challenges, in this webinar we will hear from Matthew Martin, the Managing Director of Emporium Partners, based in Shenzhen, China, and from Alexandre Viaux, General Manager of Seltech Asia. The two executives will detail how their organizations are dealing with the supply chain shortages, what to expect for lead-time on different parts/brands, and what mitigation strategies can be put in place. 
 
Following the respective presentations there will be an opportunity to place questions to the pillar chairs and the presenters, which will address them live.
 
 
Emporium Partners
Emporium Partners is a tier 1 independent distributor of electronic components, headquartered in Denmark, with offices and logistics locations in Asia, Europe and USA. Emporium Partners is focused on delivering design, manufacturing and supply chain services to the electronics manufacturing and distribution industry. The company works with an extensive network of clients and vendors, being able to source products from reliable sources and mitigate counterfeit products in the supply chain. Emporium also handles logistics, inventory management, and long term storage. The company’s business continuity/disaster recovery plan and processes are designed to detail the necessary response in order to minimize disruption and to ensure a fast response to any emergency.
 
Seltech International
Seltech is an international solution provider with deep expertise in acoustics and sensors. The company offers innovative solutions from design to production, working with an extensive network of suppliers and partners. Starting in 1989 as a simple global distributor for selected Philips components, Seltech has consistently expanded its portfolio and expertise to become a global solution provider  in audio components, capacitive / multifunctional sensors, DSP systems, hearing aid components and microphone components. Relying on many years of expertise, Seltech works alongside its customers from design to mass production while providing innovative solutions within tight production schedules.
 
Alexandre Viaux

General Manager Asia, Greater Nanjing Area,
China

Alexandre Viaux is General Manager of Seltech Asia. Following a few years working as sales and customer support manager for the EMEA region for Seltech, based in France, he has worked in China for more than 10 years. From there, he oversees all business development with local and international customers producing in the area. Working with the Asian team, Alexandre Viaux has successfully lead Seltech to reach customer satisfaction, ensure successful project completion and the quality and performance of products.
Matthew Martin

Managing Director, Emporium Partners, Shenzhen,
China

Matthew Martin is the Managing Director of Emporium Partners in Asia, and is based in Shenzhen, China. Matthew Martin started his career in the Purchasing Department of Bowers & Wilkins, England in 1990. This introduced him to the audio industry and specifically electronics sourcing. Following that valuable experience, he opened his own component sourcing company, which he ran for 22 years before exiting. In 2018, Matthew opened the Hong Kong and Shenzhen offices for Emporium Partners. Today, the company supplies components and inventor management services to a wide range of sectors, including medical, automotive, industrial, telecoms and of course, audio.

Mike Klasco

CEO, Menlo Scientific, Richmond, California,
USA

Mike Klasco is the president of Menlo Scientific, an audio consulting firm for the loudspeaker industry, located in Richmond, CA. He is a graduate from New York University, with post graduate work in signal processing, and he holds multiple patents licensed or assigned. For the past 35 years, since founding Menlo Scientific, he has worked on product development, design and technical support, liaison between suppliers and manufacturing facilities, sourcing guidance, and certification for a large number of companies. Mike specializes in materials and fabrication techniques to enhance audio performance, has over 500 articles published in audio magazines and technical journals, and to this day continues to be a regular contributor for audioXpress and Voice Coil magazines. He presented papers at the Acoustical Society of America, held positions as Session Organizer for the Audio Engineering Society, Chairman of the Committee on Acoustics, and is an AES Life Member.

Dave Lindberg

CEO, DB Enterprises,
Hong Kong

Dave Lindberg is the CEO of DB Enterprises based in Hong Kong, and an experienced professional in business and project management, focused on linking brands to innovative technologies and suppliers in Asia. Dave is a factory savvy marketing professional with strengths in selling early stage innovative technologies for consumer electronic devices, medical, industrial and textiles. Based in Asia since 2008, Dave holds a unique perspective on supply chain, having sold technologies and solutions to factories in China and across Asia, connecting brands with suppliers, sourcing key suppliers for manufacturers, or coordinating entire product development projects for select customers.