The Big Picture

Column from: Mehul Davé

Mehul Davé has over 40+ years of experience as a serial entrepreneur who has founded numerous startups with several successful exits. His expertise spans software technologies, manufacturing optimization, global supply chain management, and general management. He has extensive international business experience, having established offices in North America, Europe, China, India, and now SE Asia from the ground-up. As Chairman of Linkage Technologies, Mehul is focused on the electronics supply chain especially as it pertains to printed circuit boards.

July 16, 2024

The Big Picture: The Shift From China to Southeast Asia

The forecast for PCB growth over the next 10 years is strong. As an indispensable interconnect electronics part, PCBs are currently in high demand for several industries and will be for the foreseeable future. As the PCB industry grows, a significant trend is the gradual relocation of manufacturing facilities from China to Southeast Asia. This shift is driven by several factors, including rising labor costs in China, trade tensions, and the need for diversification of supply chains.
May 28, 2024

The Big Picture: Quality Front-end Engineering as a Core Differentiator

In the PCB industry, high-quality front-end engineering differentiates the top-notch companies from those struggling to keep their customers satisfied. But what determines good quality? Beginning with careful attention to design specifications, front-end engineers meticulously plan layouts while adhering to industry standards such as IPC guidelines. They employ advanced design software to optimize PCB layouts, focusing on signal integrity, thermal management, and manufacturability.
December 21, 2023

The Big Picture: What Two Hot Wars Could Mean for the Electronics Supply Chain

As we all recall, COVID-19 nearly crippled the electronics supply chain. Many critical chips had multi-year lead times. When we finally thought things were getting back to normal, now we have two hot wars: one in Eastern Europe and one in the Middle East. Now, some global companies are already rethinking their supply chains to avoid potential dangers caused by the deadly conflict. This new war puts even more pressure on a supply chain’s stability when the need for a stable supply is especially critical.
August 31, 2023

The Big Picture: Essential Engineering—The Intersection of Humans and Machines

While quality engineering is dependent on high-end technology, machines, and data sets, it is essential for companies to prioritize the expertise, innovation, and critical discernment of its people—the engineers themselves. It is the engineering team that designs and drives the vehicle of production, not the other way around. Because they are inextricably linked, humans must understand and leverage machines to engineer the best possible products and free themselves to do the essential work machines are not capable of doing.
June 13, 2023

The Big Picture: How Values Drive Company Culture and Create Trust

A company’s values shape and drive its culture and are critical in creating trust. After I sold my software business, I had a couple years to think about what I would do when I started another business. I decided it all boiled down to a company’s core values and culture. The rest takes care of itself. When values are lived and demonstrated consistently in the workplace, trust is built. A healthy, trustworthy company culture driven by strong values has staying power.
March 20, 2023

The Big Picture: A New Globalization

Globalism—the ideology behind globalization that has formed the foundation for increasing interconnectedness and integration amongst different countries and cultures—is currently facing a range of threats. Today, due to rising nationalism around the world, leaders are prioritizing national interests over global cooperation. This has led to a proliferation of trade barriers, immigration restrictions, and other policies that restrict the flow of goods, people, and ideas across borders. Countries are racing to lure manufacturing away from friend and foe alike while restricting the flow of goods and capital. Mutual benefit is out; national interests are in.
July 11, 2022

The Big Picture: The Virtual Via Drum

A key to the success of the Roman empire was its extended roadway system. Designed by planners called mensors, and executed by Roman legions, they were transnational, connecting the then-known world across culture and region. They are seen as an infrastructure of empire, expanding economy by trade, knowledge, and security, bringing prolific wealth and new ideas to every corner of Rome’s vast territory, and creating a superhighway for defense and conquest. As wonderful as they sound and as much good as they did for antiquity, they were not always safe. Knowing the amount of wealth they carried, the roads were frequented by bandits and criminals. Today’s internet is the modern version of the Via Publicae.
May 04, 2022

The Big Picture: Robust Cybersecurity System Means Greater Investment Opportunity

When we make a mistake in business, it’s natural for people to notice. It’s also natural for people to question your business acumen when such mistakes are made. Some mistakes, inevitably, are bigger than others. Some are so big, that people outside your organization notice. One such type of rising mistake that is being made by businesses around the world where people notice is when you’re victimized by cybercrime.
February 15, 2022

The Big Picture: Cybersecurity—Where Remote Work Gets Really Precarious

No one was prepared for the dynamic events of the last two years, changing the way we work and interact. Surviving this as a company has meant adapting to a new work environment, with businesses across the globe placing emphasis on remote work. While this has been advantageous for workers and companies alike, it has placed enormous strain on existing security systems unequipped to handle such situations.
November 10, 2021

The Big Picture: Cybersecurity and Hardware Security

Wherever I go, I am pleasantly reminded of the role our industry plays into everyday lives. From the sight of people texting and calling loved ones on their phones, to children laughing and playing with their high-tech toys, to doctors and nurses using advanced med tech to keep someone alive. I get a feeling of contentment and pleasure knowing our industry plays a role in fulfilling these moments. As much as these moments are vicarious, they are also vulnerable. They remind me of how important the safety and security of our work is.
August 26, 2021

The Big Picture: Geopolitics and the PCB Supply Chain

As the PCB industry made its way to China starting in the mid-1990s, I followed the herd. It was a good move as I ended up with some of the largest PCB companies in China as customers and got to know so many more people in Asia. The shift to Asia, and specifically China made a lot of sense at the time.
October 12, 2020

The Big Picture: Globalization—Imagine a United States That Isn't United

What if the U.S. was fragmented with 50 state fiefdoms, each with their own rules and barriers blocking the free flow of goods and services across state lines? We cannot even imagine such a scenario, yet that is exactly what’s happening—fortunately not across state lines, but across global borders. Mehul Davé advocates for starting the hard work to get globalization back on track.
July 13, 2020

The Big Picture: COVID-19 Helps Kill Globalization

Globalization was in trouble even before the pandemic. The decades-long open system of trade that dominated the world economy has been damaged by the financial crisis and—more recently—the Sino-American trade war. Mehul Davé explains how COVID-19 has added a third-body blow to globalization.
April 20, 2020

The Big Picture: Globalization—The Onset of COVID-19

In Mehul Davé's last column, he spoke to the challenges of tariffs and alternate sources for PCBs and the larger divide between the U.S. and China, potentially leading to far broader implications for U.S.-led vs. China-led technologies. The world has changed dramatically since then. Mehul explores how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the rollout of 5G and relations between the U.S. and China.
January 09, 2020

The Big Picture: Globalization—Tariffs and Alternate Sources

The new year is upon us, so Mehul Davé started thinking about the main challenges his company and customers are facing as we enter 2020: tariffs and finding alternate sources for PCBs. Mehul shares his thoughts.
July 16, 2019

The Big Picture: Globalization—What Happened?

Cheap products and services from places like China and India are good, but giving up the position of being the top dog doesn't sit well with most people—especially when you have leaders around the world reminiscing about the past and wanting to make XYZ great again or something similar.
January 22, 2019

Can Do in CAM Outsourcing: CAM Engineering— Building Redundancy in Critical Areas

Many believe that outsourcing is wrong because it takes away from local jobs. That may be the case if this industry can find the talent level at a cost that they can afford, but this is not the case in North America or Europe.
September 19, 2018

‘Can Do’ in CAM Outsourcing: Improving Quality in CAM Engineering

In this series, Mehul J. Davé, CEO of Entelechy Global Inc., will address six ways in which a company can significantly benefit from outsourcing their front-end CAM work.
June 12, 2018

CAM Engineering—Reducing Costs

While having on-demand capacity, improved automation, and fast turn-around are critical to any front-end engineering operation, achieving those goals with a cost-effective solution is imperative. Electronics are constantly under cost-reduction pressures. Functionality, capability, and complexity increase while costs decrease.
September 11, 2017

CAM Engineering—Fast Turn-Around

Time-to-market has been the mantra for every successful technology company. The best among them have strong and integrated supply chains that march to the drum of the OEMs and EMS providers that bring that technology to market. A big part of that success, especially in North America and Europe, is the ability for PCB manufacturers to turn around complex PCBs very quickly. The hallmark of PCB production in these higher-tech, higher-cost regions is flexibility and responsiveness.
December 19, 2016

CAM Engineering – Automation

As volume production in PCB has shifted significantly to Asia, manufacturers in Europe and North America have been focusing on high technology, quick-turn, prototype, and lower-volume production.
April 29, 2016

A Case for Outsourcing CAM Engineering

In the West, outsourcing is sometimes considered taboo and many believe it is one of the causes for shifting our manufacturing base to the East—specifically China and other lower cost Asian countries. In this series of columns, I will make a case in support of CAM outsourcing—especially for North American and Western European printed circuit board manufacturers.
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