Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Manufacturing Is Good, says Harvard Business School.
“There has almost been a whole generation of MBA students and managers who have been brought up on a false idea that manufacturing is kind of the brawn and not the brain, and that the country should focus on the brain.”
Who said this? Some maverick Dodo? Some controversialist?
It was none other than Professor Gary Pisano, Professor of Business Administration at HarvardBusinessSchool where he has taught for 23 years.
Pisano added: “One of our key messages is to get students to appreciate that manufacturing involves a lot of knowledge work.”
When did the IC industry ever doubt that?
Unfortunately, the consensus view among the financial community is that semiconductor companies should go fab-lite or even fabless and put out their manufacturing to foundries.
ow many semiconductor CEOs have been persuaded by the financial community to give up manufacturing on the assumption that any foundry can make advanced CMOS structures so why bother doing it yourself?
Now HarvardBusinessSchool – the fount of conventional business thinking – is suggesting that manufacturing requires brain-power and brain-power needs to be nurtured at home.
The off-shoring of Western semiconductor manufacturing gave the accountants a short-term boost to the bottom line, but it has had long-term detrimental effects.
For instance, as semiconductor manufacturing moved to Asia, so the LCD manufacturing industry – derived from semiconductor manufacturing technology – set up in Asia.
And the example of the LCD industry is being followed by the emerging LED industry - which uses manufacturing technologies derived from the semiconductor and LCD industries - and is being mostly done in Asia.
So a whole string of bad consequences follows from the initial move off-shore.
And not the least of these bad consequences is the increased reliance of the West on the financial services industry of whose fragility we are only too aware.Tags: detrimental effects, false idea, led industry, semiconductor companies, semiconductor manufacturing technology