Searching for growth amidst cutbacks

Almost any time people talk about spending cutbacks, there are some areas where funding remains strong or even increases. When government agencies are the ones cutting expenditures, it’s often difficult to predict which areas will be trimmed and which won’t.

If the military speakers at the recent LandWarNet conference were good prognosticators, there aren’t many areas that aren’t going to see some trimming. Over the past year, many military planners have said that upgrading the network is the most critical aspect of the DoD’s modernization efforts.

Given that level of criticality, you’d think there would be increased funding for LandWarNet, which is the U.S. Army’s part of the DoD network that will link all military personnel. At the conference in Tampa, a high percentage of speakers from the Army talked about the need to plan for an era with funding cutbacks.

The number of those comments is what surprised me. It seems like the current focus on government funding may have more impact than most similar pronouncements in the past. That will make it more difficult for companies to find the spots that are actually growing. It also makes it even more important for suppliers to help out in the military’s belt tightening if they want to continue supplying boards and systems to the DoD.

IPC will host the Conference for the PCB Industry: Critical Issues for the Military Market on December 8 in Washington DC. For more information, contact FathimaHussain@ipc.org.

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