Publisher’s Note

From the Desk of David Paulson

Welcome to the Spring 2020 edition of Supply Chain Navigator.

The economic impacts of this near-global shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic has thrust supply chain into the realm of public discourse in a way we have never seen before. Suddenly average citizens, who never once considered what it took to keep the grocery store shelves stocked with everyday personal care items like toilet paper, are bemoaning these “broken supply chains.”

At the same time, stories of supply chain resilience, innovation and collaboration abound: Royal Philips joining forces with EMS providers Flex and Jabil to speed production of hospital ventilators; competitors GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi form Covid-19 vaccine partnership; Medtronic publicly shares design specifications for its PB560 ventilator.

Now, after months of shutdown or frantic crisis-mode operations, we see businesses across the globe beginning to re-open and/or attempting to return to some semblance of normalcy. The question of what the long-term impacts of this pandemic will be on both the health and safety of our communities and the global economy weighs heavily on us all.

There is no doubt that we’ve got a long haul ahead of us. There are no easy answers, no silver-bullet solutions. But in this issue, we hope you will find some useful insights and maybe some inspiration for leveraging emerging technologies and innovative business processes to help embed greater resiliency, agility and efficiency into your organizations going forward.

We are especially thrilled to share two exclusive, deep-dive executive Q&As in this issue. Our cover story interview is with Tom Linton, a 40-year supply chain and procurement industry icon who recently retired as Chief Procurement and Supply Chain Officer at Flex. Tom is widely recognized as one of the smartest and most visionary executives in the tech supply chain, and when you read the article, you will see why.

We also had a virtual sit-down recently with Dale Ford, Chief Analyst for ECIA. Dale is a long-time tech sector market researcher and analyst. He co-founded iSuppli, and lead highly respected research and analysis teams at IHS Markit and Gartner. Dale shares some results from ECIA’s bi-weekly member survey, his perspective on how this pandemic may prompt a significant reshaping of the tech supply chain (re: China, M&A, etc.) and how insufficient support for small businesses represents the greatest potential roadblock to economic recovery through 2020.

Enjoy the issue, stay safe and, as always, we welcome your feedback.

About Supply Chain Navigator

Supply Chain Navigator is an online journal produced by Avnet Inc. SCN provides executive readership with expert insights and best practice examples that may help them drive greater productivity, cost-efficiency, security, sustainability and profitability from their extended, global supply chains. Each issue is produced in collaboration with supply chain professionals experienced in managing complex global supply chains both upstream and downstream, as well as distinguished academics and prominent market analysts. The publication reaches more than 120,000 purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing, operations and logistics professionals throughout the global electronics industry.

Supply Chain Navigator has received a number of awards and recognitions for the high quality writing, distinct content, thought-provoking insights, including the APEX Award for Excellence (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016) in business media, a PRSA Phoenix Copper Anvil Award of Merit (2018, 2017), listing on the Feedspot Top 75 Supply Chain Blogs.

Supply Chain Navigator is produced by Avnet’s Velocity business unit. Velocity is Avnet’s Mode 2 supply chain innovation group. Velocity architects cutting-edge, discrete, end-to-end supply chain solutions for both digital and physical supply networks throughout the global electronic component ecosystem.


David Paulson
Global Vice President, Avnet United and Avnet Velocity ®

Editorial Director
Diane Trommer

Production/Web Hosting


Questions or comments about our publication can be directed to Supply Chain Navigator Editorial Director Diane Trommer at Connect with Diane via LinkedIn.

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