Q&A with Jemma Heath, Supply Chain Manager
- How long have you worked in this industry?
I’ve always worked in procurement and supply chain management in the manufacturing sector. I joined Chemigraphic in 2016, which is my first role in an electronics-specific environment.
- Why did you choose to work in this field, and in the manufacturing sector in particular?
I love working in supply chain management because I can combine my people skills with strategic and logistical thinking, helping to solve problems and make a real difference for our customers. In manufacturing, and especially EMS, procurement and supply chain management are hugely significant, due to the fast-paced nature of the market, the constantly evolving technology and the tight timescales involved.
- What do you love about your job?
I love the fact that what I do actually has a considerable impact on the success of a product and on our customers’ bottom lines. Whether it’s introducing an alternative component option or achieving a cost-saving, we can dramatically improve the cost-efficiency of a product and make it more profitable for the client.
- Describe a ‘typical’ day for you
As head of the supply chain team, I always have to ensure that all the buyers are comfortable with their current projects and working to meet our customers’ needs and objectives. I could be discussing buying conditions with colleagues, on the phone to customers, dealing with suppliers or talking to our management team about our processes and priorities. There’s a lot of variety from day to day and I love the interaction with people and the challenge of getting the best possible results every time.
- What’s been your proudest achievement in your career so far?
Helping Chemigraphic to start its global expansion! In January we launched the Chemigraphic sourcing office in China, and I’ve been heavily involved in setting this up and getting the office operational. It’s been very exciting developing this opportunity and realising the massive potential we have to grow this part of our business.
- What’s the biggest change or development you’ve seen since working in the industry?
Supply chains are being squeezed as companies want to get their products to market quicker without compromising quality. In procurement, we now need to be able to order more parts in shorter time-frames, balancing the demands of producing rapid prototypes with long-term forecasting. The rise of the Electric Vehicle industry is also having a big effect on our work. EVs use more electronics so demand is outstripping supply and causing a global shortage in what used to be cheap and plentiful electronic components.