Greg Papandrew

Understand what the transaction means for customers.

Your PCB supplier has been acquired. Will this acquisition benefit you as a board buyer? Or will it lead to higher prices and a reduced level of service?

The answer may depend on how you react.

Vendor acquisitions can cause supply-chain disruptions, especially when the acquiring firm has a competing product line. What is troubling about these transactions is few PCB buyers seem to understand the real economics involved, or why they happened in the first place and what it means to them as customers.

Acquisitions usually fall into two categories: Either the acquiring firm buys the present customer base and its revenue stream, or it acquires some leading-edge or dissimilar technology of the acquired supplier – like a rigid supplier acquiring a flex manufacturer, for example. Either way, the goal of the acquiring firm is to catapult its sales efforts.

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