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Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in December 2015 at www.weiner-intl.com and is being reprinted here with special permission from the author.

A Challenge—Looking Forward to 2016 and Beyond

Are you part of the current mega-merger trend running through the entire interconnect supply chain? If not, and you are not already one of the larger or critical businesses in a supply chain, are larger customers and prospects by-passing you because they are uncertain of your future and sustainability? What are your plans for the future? Have you modified your goals—markets, financial, business, products, and services? Is your factory and its equipment aging and outmoded? Have your suppliers vanished? Has the technical support once provided to you diminished or disappeared? What are your plans to compensate for changes in your supply chain? Are you having difficulties gaining the attention of prospects for your innovations because you are too small or too new? What type of support (supplier, customer, trade association) do you need to grow? What ideas do you have for the future?

2015: The Year of the Deal

Global M&A activity totaled more than the prior five years combined ($3.5 trillion—more than $125 billion in just the semiconductor industry). Specialty chemical companies merged or announced their intentions to do so to form a few powerhouse supply-side giants for the interconnect industry. Merger mania joined several of the largest fabricators to form the biggest board house. Smaller operations began to really feel the pressure to change to survive—but in what ways? It is the year that redefined the industry as smart IoT "broke out," automotive electronics began to surge, and printed electronics may have found a new route to success through wearables.

Meanwhile, another major change to be noted that will affect the future is China's renewed national investment policy and funding designed to generate greater self-sufficiency.

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