15 June 2000 | Elizabeth Bellamy
Buyers of printed circuit boards (PCBs) are continuing to cut their supplier bases, according to a new report. But they are avoiding formal partnerships, writes Elizabeth Bellamy.
PCBs account for 10 per cent of material costs and buying them is seen as a strategic commodity purchase by 60 per cent, the survey of 500 European PCB buyers, released last month, found.
Printed Circuit Board Purchasing Strategies and Trends by purchasing consultancy Purcon also found that buyers were continuing to cut supplier numbers, although not to the extent indicated a year ago.
Seventy per cent of buyers said that they would review their supply base within the next six months.
While buyers were moving away from traditional adversarial relationships, only 27 per cent of respondents had established formal partnerships.
"PCBs have become quite a commodity product, so buyers don't think that partnerships are really appropriate," explained Jerry Smith, a director of Purcon.
One in 10 respondents said partnerships only benefited suppliers.