Supply Chain Sanity

US factory inventories rose 0.7% in September, led by automobiles, machinery and electrical equipment.

I wouldn’t get too worried yet. Inventories remain well below historical levels. We’ll see a slight dip in orders in some end-product segments, some of which is seasonal, some due to OEM caution.

Keep an eye on the component stocks, though. Don’t overorder just because you think parts are going to get even harder to come by. A good supply chain balance requires the entire chain to work together. Remember 2001.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow