Supply Chain Management at ASUS

Thesis

What are the most effective methods of resolving supply chain management issues at ASUS. This paper revolves around issues surrounding supply chain management at ASUS and reviews ways that these issues can be resolved. Employing such measures before they happen both eliminates them and protects the company from incurring unnecessary expenses.

Executive Summary

According to the report, the issues surrounding the Supply Chain framework of Asustek Computer Inc. are diverse and avoidable. It also concentrates mainly on the “Eee Tablet”, which is one of ASUS’ standard items. It breaks down Eee Tablet’s segment into different parts (specifically those the tablet cannot do without).

Parts:

  1. Motherboard
  2. Screen (LCD)
  3. Battery
  4. Processor

The above parts are indispensable to the performance of the tablet. We likewise did an exploration of ASUS business sector portion and the discoveries are emphasized in the report. This report additionally emphasized some present issues that we feel is an issue to ASUS and its production network. Due to the late market destruction and deficiencies, ASUS is confronting with different troubles to neutralize their issues.

Current Issues:

  1. Motherboard : Copper value trek
  2. Screen (LCD) : Inability to increase generation/ Rare earth lack
  3. Processor : Intel processor lack
  4. Battery : Sony battery review

1.0 Introduction: ASUSTEK

ASUSTEK (normally alluded to as ASUS) is a computer and fringe equipment manufacturer based in Taiwan which specializes in computers, consumer electronics and communication equipment (Asustek, 2012a).  Asus Company manufactures laptops, PCs, motherboards and tablets.

In 2000, Asus decided to sell off its motherboard producing division to a new company by the name Pegatron International. Pegatron also acquired another department of Asus called Unihan which manufactures non-PC related products (Pegatron Corp, n.d.).

1.1 Selected Product

This article has been focused on ASUS’ Eee Transformer tablet. This tablet is the first in its line and has a discretionary console feature that separates it from other tablets. The keyboard accessory includes extra battery life notwithstanding giving a full QWERTY console as well as USB ports, which transform it into a notebook (ASUSTEK, 2012b).

1.2 Major Competitors

In the tablet market, ASUS would need to rival other tablet producers on both features and cost. As indicated by tablet PC survey, some of ASUS’ contenders for the Eee transformer include the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon’s Kindle and the Htcflyer.

1.3 Market Positioning:

According to a study by Smith (2011) ASUS is in an extremely beneficial situation as its items are seen to be both generally cheap and of great quality compared to those of its competitors.

1.4 Market Environment

1.4.1 Increased interest for tablets and cell phones

The interest for personal communication devices is determined by the rising need for the customers and organizations to stay connected (Datamonitor, 2011). ASUS plans to hit three million units in sales by 2015 (Datamonitor, 2011). Moreover, the organization has a good presence in the mobile phone business. Hence, ASUS may expand its chance by exploring into these two future items (Datamonitor, 2011). This will help to improve the market share and the brand positioning (Datamonitor, 2011).

1.4.2 Focus on cloud computing

ASUS is making a move into cloud computing products as a feature of its development method (Datamonitor, 2011). The organization plans to present an array of cloud computing related products with features of portability, simple to utilize, and connectability which will be reinforced to provide better products (Datamonitor, 2011). Consequently, by concentrating on cloud computing business sector and on the device advancement to suit the required parameters of the business sector will empower ASUS to gain part of the overall industry in this quick development fragment (Datamonitor, 2011).

1.4.3 Exploration of the Brazilian and Chinese markets

With development expanding in the Chinese and Brazilian markets, ASUS has centered principally into the Chinese market and is moving into the Brazilian market. Datamonitor (2011) states that this will permit ASUS to engage and take advantage of the development offered by these economies. As indicated by industry gauges, PC shipments in China totaled 16.8 million units in the first quarter of 2011, pushing the nation past the US to become the world’s biggest PC market (datamonitor, 2011). As a feature of the strategy, ASUS’ administration has been spying upon the Brazilian markets to identify opportunities offered by the nation (Datamonitor, 2011).

1.4.4 PC markets in developed economies are contracting

The current business sector has shriveled owing to the recent economic recession and most first world nations, for example, Japan, America and Singapore are on the recovery path from the recession. Subsequently, PC markets keep on contracting and developing at a slow rate. As indicated by Datamonitor PCs sales in the second quarter of 2011 developed by only 2.6% overall year-on-year as the development was dragged around the decreases in created nations. In the US and Europe the business sector shrank by 4.2%.

1.4.5 Intense rivalry

ASUS has met additionally with high extraordinary rivalry from IT equipment and cell phone manufacture organizations, for example, Apple, Blackberry (Playbook) and Samsung (Galaxy Pad). ASUS, from PC extends its business to non-PC supplies producing operation is enduring high serious rivalry (Datamonitor, 2011). According to Datamonitor (2011), the organization’s bigger rivals incorporate Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Toshiba, among others. Moreover, a number of the organization’s accomplices, including unique manufacturers, frequently market their items under their own particular brand names.

2.0 The Components

2.1 The Motherboard

The motherboard is the underlying circuit leading body of a machine or electronic gadget (Kayne,2003). PC Review (2005) specifies that the motherboard is viewed as the most fundamental component of any electronic gadget as all peripherals are to be connected to them, giving a center point to them to communicate with one another. The motherboard’s occupation is to transfer data, for example, information and transforming guidelines between every one of those peripherals. The 2 fundamental parts used to make a motherboard are copper and gold. Copper is utilized to line the printed circuit board (PCB), which is essentially a motherboard without any parts or patching (PC Stats, n.d.), making it a copper clad-cover. Copper originates from Australia, where it is mined by the BHP Billiton organization (BHP Billiton, 2012). The World Gold Council (2012) notes that gold has the various required properties of being a good conductor of electricity, being erosion safe and light. This makes it perfect for hardware. One of the world’s greatest suppliers of gold is PT Aneka Tambang, which concentrates gold from the West Java area in Indonesia (PT ANTAM, 2012).

2.1.1 Current Issue: Copper Price Hike

The cost of copper, which is likewise one of the primary parts in motherboards, has been climbing as the year progressed. Hubbard (2012) notes that the cost of copper climbed almost 13% in 2012 alone. Lee and Hwang (2012) further clarify that this gain in value has straightforwardly brought about the cost of copper-clad overlays, a primary segment in the creation of motherboards, and thusly by implication, the generation expenses of those motherboards.

2.1.2 Recommendation: Usage of Futures Contracts

One result that is promptly accessible and generally utilized available now is to use futures contracts. According to Investopedia (2012), a fates contract is a framework where a purchaser of a decent (typically a ware like copper) buys an agreement with a vender which stipulates that the merchant must offer a certain measure of merchandise to a purchaser at a certain date at a certain cost. This serves to keep up stability in supply evaluating as now the cost of that mass seems to be “bolted” (Investopedia, 2012). ASUS ought to thusly guarantee its suppliers buy such contracts at whatever point proper furthermore to support in overseeing them when required. It ought to be noted that while those agreement may protect ASUS against climbing costs, the circumstances can just turn the other way and bring about ASUS paying over the business sector rate if business sector costs have fallen beneath the concurred upon-cost on the agreement’s stipulated conveyance date.

2.2 The Processor

Jaguar Products (n.d.) states that the processor is the “brains” where information streams into and is examined before a result (either as directions to parts/peripherals or information) is created. Nystet (2007) notes that Intel is the primary supplier of processors to ASUS. One of the items that use this processor is the ASUS Eee tablet. Intel Corporation (2009), states that the principle substance of a processor is silicon, which is prepared to high quality before it is formed into ingots. A supplier of those ingots is Shanghai Panmeng Electronic Materials Co, which is a heading producer of silicon ingots and wafers. (Shanghai Panmeng Electronic Materials Co, n.d.).

2.2.1 Current Issue: Intel Processor Shortage

Asus has complained about key suppliers being not able to take care of demand. One of which is Intel; which supplies processors to ASUS for utilization in their tablets (Nystedt, 2007). However, Nystedt (2007) notes that this deficiency is likely because of an interest surge from the shopper end and not a supplier end issue; as occasional request and also buildup about Intel’s new processor line has misleadingly swelled interest and masters are foreseeing that sales in laptops will hit a record high.

2.2.2 Recommendation: Development of Alternative Suppliers

One issue with processors is that motherboards are generally exceptionally made for particular models of processors and can’t be made to take anything that is not supported.(panther Products, n.d.). This makes the issue unreliable if ASUS has effectively dedicated to utilizing a certain motherboard and Intel can’t convey the proper, going hand in hand with processor model. One proposal is that ASUS look towards choices, for instance, they can offer an alternate substitute model of the Eee Transformer that is utilizing an AMD processor rather than Intel. These differing qualities may convolute the production network further as it expands the amount of stock keeping units; however differentiates chance as there is a diminished dependence on Intel.

2.3 LCD Touch Screen

The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) touch screen on the Eee Transformer performs double parts. It shows the “feature and graphical data” created by the Eee Transformer for the client to view (Fisher, n.d.), and permit the client to collaborate with the gadget through the touch screen. A touch screen is essentially a showcase screen that is delicate to human touch and permits the client to collaborate with what is shown on screen by touching it. This permits the client to enter charges into the Eee Transformer without a conventional information gadget, for example, a console. The principle part required to make a touch screen is Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) covered glass and the fluid precious stone inside the showcase. ITO glass is utilized over typical glass as it is the ITO covering that gives the electrical conductivity required for touch screens to detect human touch and transparency required for the glass to stay transparent (Indium Corporation, n.d.). One supplier of ITO glass is Xinyan Technology Ltd (Xinyan Technology Ltd, 2012).liquid gems are basically precious stones that change color upon exposure to thermal, magnetic and electric fields, permitting them to show pictures (Pressure Chemical Company, 2012). The chief supplier of these screens is the Pressure Chemical Company (Pressure Chemical Company, 2012).

2.3.1current Issue: Inability to Ramp up Production

Certain supply deficiencies can’t be faulted for something besides the business sector itself. One sample is the lack of LCD screens because of a decline in glass creation (Patrizo, 2009). This is because of makers, who in the wake of accepting that request would be frail after the economic slowdown in 2008, shutdown their processing plants and definitely cut generation (Patrizo, 2009). This was a sensible activity around then yet they were overwhelmed when business abruptly resumed, mostly aided by retailers having the capacities to effectively rid off their old stock (Patrizo, 2009). Unfortunately for the inventory network overall, reestablishing generation requires around 3 months (Partizo, 2009). This could bring about some postponement as the glass needs going through the supply chain pipeline before being transformed into LCD screens.

2.3.2 Current Issue: Rare Earth Shortage

China lately declared plans to cut exports by 30% (Zhang and Ding, 2010). This is particularly paramount for electronic manufacturing organizations as uncommon earths are a vital part in LCD screens (CEC Rare Earth Corp, 2011), and that China produces about of the world’s supply of uncommon earths (Zhang and Ding, 2010). This tightening of supply would bring about the costs of uncommon earths climbing, and still, at the end of the day, nations would need to scramble to guarantee they can get a satisfactory supply from different sources as they had been depending on cheap Chinese imports for a long time (Zhang and Ding, 2012). Geman (2010) states that however that this cutoff points only affects exports from China and not local utilization. It is likewise indicated that this may be a ploy by China to guarantee that commercial ventures are compelled to outsource in China with a specific end goal to guarantee satisfactory supply. (Geman, 2010).

2.3.3 Recommendations

Dropping production is a valuable procedure to spare expenses by closing down offices when interest is required to be low. ASUS could nullify this impact by watching the market and staying up with the latest and observing stock levels so once old stock is cleared, a plan to slowly increase generation might be established. This will assuredly keep generation from stalling and closing down so as when there is a rise in the business, ASUS will be ready to respond speedier. As a solitary company, ASUS has next to no say in the uncommon earth lack. In any case, organizations have joined together to weight the Chinese government to switch their choice (BBC, 2010). An alternate conceivable way out would be for ASUS to screen prospecting deliberations overall and act rapidly if option sources are found as prospecting is presently progressing however won’t yield results for quite a while (BBC, 2010).

2.4 Battery

In place for all the electrical parts in the Eee Transformer to run, a force source is needed. This occupation is satisfied by the battery. A battery is basically a gadget that fits into an electrical gadget and forces it with power (Macmillian, 2012). ASUS gets its batteries from the Dongguan Sophia Battery Technology Co. Ltd, which makes batteries for tablets (Dongguan Sophia Battery Technology Co. Ltd., 2012). Siberberg (2006) states that a lithium battery essentially comprises of both an anode and cathode (made of carbon) and a lithium salt result. One such supplier of battery evaluation lithium salts is Sichuan Ni & Co Guorun New Materials Co Ltd (Sichuan Ni & Co Guorun New Materials Co Ltd,2012), while carbon anodes are sourced from Guangzhou Maxwatt Industrial Co Ltd (Guangzhou Maxwatt Industrial Co., Ltd, 2012).

2.4.1 Potential Problem: Sony Battery Recall

A potential issue that might be confronted by ASUS is the occasion that shopper merchandise need to be reviewed as an aftereffect of quality concerns. Ogg (2008) states this is an issue confronted by Sony in 2008 when they required to review in excess of 100,000 journal battery units being utilized by significant record book brands, for example, HP, Dell and Toshiba over worries that the battery packs could overheat and combust. Aggravating the issue for Sony is that they had quite recently requested a review only 2 years back in 2006 (Ogg, 2008).

2.4.2 Recommendation: Design Reverse Logistics Processes In Advance

Dowlatshahi (2010) characterizes reverse logistics (RL) as the methodology in which “an assembling element deliberately takes back beforehand sent items from the end-client”. This is discriminatingly paramount as Setz (2004, referred to in Dowlatshahi, 2010) notes that organizations are progressively anticipated that will assume liability for their items for the term of their separate life cycles. The principle inspiration to have a RL administration arrange officially set up is to guarantee that the expense if directing it is minimized. This is particularly so for inadequate products as the expense of bringing them over to the source typically exceed the estimation of them being returned there. It is subsequently trusted that the expense of directing a RL activity could be brought down to the point where the estimation of the returned great is more than the expense to return it. Since the expense of are worked great is by and large less expensive then a virgin one (Lund, 1984 refered to in Dowlatshahi, 2010)designing a successful and effective RL framework can bring about a huge expense investment funds and aggressive edge for an organization (Gooley, 1998 refered to in Dowlatshahi, 2010)

3.0 ASUS Current Issues

ASUS is in an exceptionally globalized industry with a quick rate of progress and finicky clients. All things considered it confronts a lot of people store network issues, the majority of which it has practically no immediate impact or control over.

3.1 Issue: Increasing Manufacturing Labor Costs

A significant part of the world’s assembling of machine parts happens in China. As of late, wages for industrial facility laborers has been consistently expanding, to a normal of around 13% for every annum (lee and Hwang, 2012). This has the impact of constraining segment makers to in the end be compelled to raise the cost of segments, for example, motherboards for the short term. (Lee and Hwang, 2012). Over the long haul, part producers may consider leaving China for other lower cost regions, an event that may happen as ahead of schedule as 2012. (Chen and Tsai, 2012). This transitional period may influence supply as offices and supplies would need to be migrated and another workforce prepared and it may be eventually before generation levels can come back to typical.

Devonshire-Ellis (2011) concurs with Lee and Hwang (2012) and Chen and Tsai (2012) on the point that wages in China are logically getting higher, noting that wages in China are presently the third most astounding amongst creating nations in Asia and that may start off a “mass migration” of makers from China. Asus can help contract makers who are stuck this tough situation; principally by supporting them in migrating to a lower cost nation by the method for either run financing or organizations in developing nations, for example, Vietnam (Devonshire-Ellis, 2011) or by holding off requests and arranging creation calendars to oblige suppliers while they are at the present time moving and can’t satisfy reached deliverables. This will assuredly permit contract producers the time and true serenity to set up and also decrease interruption to Asus’ store network. On the off chance that this is impractical, ASUS can consider exchanging to suppliers who have already relocated.

3.2 Unexpected Consumer Demand

ASUS has likewise demonstrated that customer interest for electronic merchandise is additionally generally unusual. One careful investigation is the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, which has been confronting deficiencies since its dispatch. (Pop, 2011). Scott (2011) repeats a case from ASUS’ representative David Chang that ASUS had basically not expected the interest for the Transformer to be so high. In any case, Pop(2011), states that while the Transformer did offer out on dispatch day, numerous retailers did not by any means get supply of the Transformer, with real shipments missing the mark regarding focus on (10,000actually sent versus an expected 300,000) ; and claims that part deficiencies were the reason.

3.2.1 Recommendation: Vendor Managed Inventory Systems

Seller Managed Inventory (VMI) Systems is an idea where an organization’s supplier assumes control over the principle stock choices of the organization (Waller, Johnson and Davis, 1999). At the end of the day, the supplier now is responsible for checking the organization’s stock levels and settling on choices concerning when to renew and the amount to recharge (Waller, Johnson and Davis, 1999). Asus can use this idea by offering to screen the stock of its retailers and wholesalers. The principle profit is that by checking the real deals information, ASUS can seize supply deficiencies as interest data is effortlessly achievable in an arrangement (Point of offers information or online requests) that is not difficult to dissect. This will assuredly expand coordinated effort in the middle of Asus and their downstream system and in addition give profitable information that can aid incorrect and successful stock arranging (Indian Institute of Materials Management, n.d)

3.3 Seeking of below average items

Finnegan (2011) notes that in the wake of the supply disturbances, segment fabricates have been depending on underhand means to guarantee that they can take care of contracted demand. One such strategy is for them to hotspot for segments from different suppliers that they would “once in a while coordinate with under ordinary circumstances”. (Finnegan, 2011). Those suppliers may not have had the capacity to meet beginning quality benchmarks or did not meet the cut for different reasons when suppliers were being chosen. Because of circumstances nonetheless, there is a solid hazard that producers may be compelled to turn to them regardless. This could conceivably bring about parts of less than impressive quality entering the production network. (Finnegan, 2011).

3.3.1 Recommendation: Stringent Quality Checks

There is almost no path for ASUS to control who its suppliers get their crude material from. In any case, what ASUS can do so as to guarantee supply is to guarantee that any inbound parts are tried thoroughly to guarantee that they meet ASUS’ quality measures. Something else ASUS can do would be to keep up open correspondence channels with its agreement makers. This would guarantee that in the occasion of any issues and interruptions, they will feel good coming to ASUS with their issues and an answer might be worked out together, along these lines staying away from the need to trade off quality when deficiencies emerge.

4.0 Impact of Issues on the Consumer

The effect of such world occasions on the buyer may not be felt at first as firms are convey an expected 1 month of working stock in their store network pipeline (Finnegan, 2011), either as security stock, work in advancement in its different stages or in- travel stock. Be that as it may, once those are utilized up, the effect is prone to be serious. The primary effect on shoppers liable to be cost of those products as organizations will need to inevitably pass on those values builds to the buyer. For instance, Lee and Hwang (2012) notes that the cost of motherboards has been determinedly anticipated that will climb by 10% in the first quarter of 2012 in light of the expanding work and copper expenses and the costs of HDDs have been found by Solomon (2011) to have shot up by to the extent that 150%. ASUS has as of now demonstrated that it is not new to value climbs, having brought costs up in 2009 because of unstable economic situations, and may need to do so once more. (Hendry, 2009).another way that shoppers may be affected would be that even with the value climbs, there is still prone to be deficiencies of completed products, for example, tablets as the amount requested basically can’t be satisfied. This has effectively happened with the Eee Pad Transformer and is completely conceivable that it could be reached out to other product offerings ought to the current atmosphere.

4.1 Impact of Recommendations on the Consumer

A large part of our suggestions are to aid ASUS in guaranteeing supply side soundness and to minimize the effect of any industry issues to the shopper. These could be ordered into the accompanying:

4.1.1 Reduced Costs

A hefty portion of our suggestions above arrangement straightforwardly with expense administration and decrease of assembling and obtainment costs over the store network. Instruments and projects, for example, fates contracts and helping suppliers to move out of China to lower cost territories profit ASUS as they are better ready to secure themselves against supply side expense expands. If necessary, these expenses funds could be used by ASUS further bolstering increase a good fortune over their industry rivals with respect to evaluating.

4.1.2 Better Service and Quality

VMI frameworks will help ASUS to track the interest examples of their items. This will bring about ASUS having a finer understanding of the downstream side of their production network. On the upstream side of things, instituting a forward intuition gauging framework will help suppliers arrange their own particular creation as ASUS will have told them of the foreseen request route ahead of time, permitting them more room to react. This synchronous adjusting of both upstream and downstream concerns will profit the shopper as danger of stock outs is lessened. It is through stringent observing of its store network, from little issues, for example, “Who do our suppliers purchase from?” and bigger ones, for example, worldwide issues, for example, the expenses of copper and uncommon earths that will permit ASUS to better comprehend the business and subsequently be better  ready to convey its products.

5.0.0 Conclusion

ASUS Computers has been viewed as one of the most effective company in regard to supply chain management. Even then, the past few years have been difficult for major manufacturing companies. There have been issues in regard to procurement of certain raw materials, like copper, gold glass. The company should put up measures to protect itself from similar problems in the future. The company has also had difficulties in market hence requiring it to produce superior products and sell them at cheaper prices.

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