Many of your market segments are stagnant or even shrinking. Many customers are going off shore to do business. The economy is down and any upturn is going to take a long time.
Your customers want product yesterday. Their annual forecasts have now become weekly. They want product faster but also more value-added at a lower price.
Since the marketplace is hardly growing, competitors are trying to take business away from others by lowering prices. The result is lower profits for everyone. Then there’s the offshore competition with low labor costs that you can’t match.
If you are like most manufacturers, you’re constantly looking to cut costs. You’ve probably cut labor and overhead as much as possible. You’re now looking to reduce component costs. Many of your vendors can only lower prices so much due to built in overhead, debt obligations, etc. Maybe it’s time to start looking around.
Obviously, there’s risk in changing vendors. But, doing nothing also has it risks as you become less price competitive. Besides, you don’t have to completely dump your vendors. Just divert some of your component business while trying an alternative source. Remember, not remaining competitive can be fatal.