In a new AES Audio Product Education Institute webinar, David Lindberg (DB Enterprises) and Mike Klasco (Menlo Scientific) will continue to address current challenges in the supply chain for the audio industry. Following a very well-attended and dynamic session on logistics challenges and supply disruptions, this time the two supply chain experts will address manufacturing challenges and more specifically, the need to keep an eye on the supply chain in China, and Asia in general.
For this new December 8 APEI session, the two Supply Chain & Sourcing pillar chairs invited Brad Poling (Jobra Enterprises) and Steve Howell (NM Tech), two experienced Quality Control Managers on the ground in China to discuss Quality Assurance and Procurement in Asia. The two consultants will explain how they work daily to elevate product quality, establish and maintain factory relationships, and reduce returns for audio manufacturers. Some of the topics debated will include how is it like working with factory partners to improve quality processes and testing expertise; how have audio products manufactured in China evolved into the premium manufacturing base that exists today; and how have companies dealt with the recent traveling restrictions to keep operation running.
These perspectives are more relevant than ever, with the ongoing global logistics logjam, a new wave of COVID-19 related lockdowns in Asia, a manufacturing stall in China due to energy shortages, complicated regional holiday calendars in different parts of the world, and increasing hurdles to maintain consistent factory visits and inspections. Audio brands are forced to postpone orders, unless they have direct local coordination in place with key suppliers.
With the double whammy of lockdowns in Southeast Asia and China’s manufacturing slowdown, manufacturers have been seeking alternative production capacities elsewhere and South Asia’s sourcing hubs have proven vital. But is there really a viable, immediate alternative to China when it comes to immediate production needs? Is the pressure of the peak holiday season and unprecedented supply chain chaos affecting quality compliance in factories?
All these factors only serve to emphasize the importance of quality control, reliable on-site services, industry expertise, and local knowledge and experience. Something that Brad Poling and Steve Howell are in a unique position to discuss, offering valuable first-hand perspectives of manufacturing facilities and suppliers practices.