We’re closing out the year seeing encouraging signs of growth around the world. As evidence we need only look at semiconductor manufacturing, traditionally an early indicator of future demand for HT&E products. The SICAS Semi Industry report has shown a big increase in capacity utilization to 86.5% in the third quarter, up from 55.6% in the first quarter. This is a great indicator of increased pricing pressures, growth, and profitability for the sector, and glad tidings for 2010.

As such, our recent discussions with high level tech executives in Redmond indicates that HT&E organizations now are very focused on making the most of the potential upturn and moving from their 2008 cost reduction efforts to an increased focus on innovation and orienting their companies to the needs and proclivities of its customers (which we call customer centricity). Indeed, upon learning about this shift, we discussed this transition in great depth at the recent Microsoft Asia High Tech Summit in Tokyo, where a number of our High Tech and Electronics customers shared their current priorities and also presented their successes working with Microsoft and our partners in the HT&E vertical.

IDC Manufacturing Insights' recent white paper highlight how companies should organize to create a coordinated approach to gaining and retaining customers. The paper, Optimizing Channel Coordination in High-Tech and Electronics Manufacturing,” describes how HT&E companies can endeavor to gain market share and increase profitability by

·         targeting product innovation to serve narrow market niches

·         reaching out and appealing to customers in China, India, South America and Eastern Europe (see previous blogs on this topic here and here)

·         connecting key services to product platforms, (e.g., Xbox and Xbox Live) and,

·         retaining customers through strong business relationships and high customer satisfaction.

 

IDC offers specific analysis and guidance on how HT&E companies can accomplish greater coordination and effectiveness in their various sales channels and customer maintenance operations. I highly recommend becoming more familiar with the complex topic of global coordination, as discussed by IDC. It could make for a very merry 2010! – Sanjay Ravi