Deliver Your News to the World

CES Conference Explores Inner Workings Of The Global Consumer Electronics Supply


Arlington, Virginia, 12/12/2006, While most attendees at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) will be exploring the latest innovations in consumer technology on the show floor - a small but elite cadre of business executives will be studying the inner workings of the global machine that gets goods, on time, clear across the planet to retail and into the hands and hearts of the consumer.

This part of the consumer electronics business is known as supply chain and it will be the topic of this year’s CES spotlight business event, Consumer Electronics Supply Chain Academy (, two days of conference sessions held in conjunction with the 2007 CES on January 10-11.

The Academy (CESCA) features executives from Best Buy, Circuit City, Dell, Sony, UPS, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, TradeCard, I2, OATSystems, Sterling Commerce and numerous others exploring the issues of RFID, returns, forecasting, inventory management, retail event promotion, freight and transportation, and global logistics. The session will also explore news-breaking issues such as recycling (as presented by Hewlett-Packard) and recalls (as presented by Dell).

Todd Thibodeaux, senior vice president, industry relations, Consumer Electronics Association, believes that the time has come for such a conference to be focused entirely on supply chain issues. “Supply chain efficiency has never been more crucial to the success of consumer electronics companies. This program is a wonderful addition to the conference lineup at the 2007 International CES and offers a valuable experience to CES attendees.”

IBM’s general manager for the Electronics Industry, George Bailey will discuss supply chain implications for the CE industry in his keynote presentation: “Consumer electronics companies live or die by their supply chains,” he says. “The lifecycle of CE products has shortened so significantly that products are often out of fashion within months of their release. Part of what makes this industry fun is that volatility, but it’s also the industry’s greatest challenge”

Best Buy, for example, has taken a leadership position in oiling the consumer electronics supply chain. CEO of Best Buy International & CIO of Best Buy, Robert Willett, plans to focus his CESCA address on how the real benefit of an agile international supply chain is that it can satisfy changing customer expectations and demands. “It starts and ends with the customer,” said Willett of Best Buy’s strategy to maximize the customer experience efficiently, using advanced supply chain management systems.

Ron Cuthbertson, senior vice president of supply chain and inventory management at Circuit City Stores, Inc., which includes more than 630 Superstores in the U.S., adds that, “as consumer electronics purchases have moved towards larger products, such as plasma screen televisions, the supply chain has become more challenging,” especially since, “Circuit City now also needs to arrange all the various accessories that are needed to get the system installed and operating to peak performance, typically requiring product sourcing from various suppliers.”

Much like the CE products themselves, technology deployment throughout the consumer electronics supply chain is transforming the way products are tracked and monitored - particularly with the introduction of radio frequency chips known as RFID. Wal-Mart has mandated an RFID compliance program for its vendors and Best Buy is deep into pilot studies with the technology.

Dr. Bill Hardgrave, founder and director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, will present his findings at CESCA that RFID technology was responsible for up to a 30% reduction for Wal-Mart in out-of-stocks for certain products. Meanwhile, MIT scientist Sanjay Sarma of OATSystems, will also illustrate how supply chain management has become a science rather than a black art due to the increased product visibility of RFID.

Since 2003, Hewlett-Packard has been integrating RFID into its supply chain and it has been witnessing steady improvements in sales ever since. “Everyone knows that there is stuff in the retail back room that should be out on the shelf.” says Didier Chenneveau, vice president and general manager of operations for HP’s Imaging and Printing Business, adding bluntly: “The margins in the consumer electronic industry are so small that everything counts.”


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.