How to Survive a War: The Israeli Experience

31 August, 2014

The Electronics industry didn't stop production during the war with Hamas. Why? because "War is not an acceptable excuse"

The Electronics industry didn’t stop production during the war with Hamas. Why? because “War is not an acceptable excuse”

Iron Dome interceptor. Sourece: IDF
Iron Dome interceptor. Sourece: IDF

by Roni Lifshitz, Editor TechTime

Everybody in Israel is relieved. After 50 days and more than 4,600 rockets, the current round of violence between Israel and the Hamas has ended. During this time we had many surprises; military, psychological and political.

One of the least expected surprise was the ability of the Israeli electronics industry to absorb the situation and continue its operation as if located in a different reality. Electronics plants in the south of Israel, who suffered daily hits by the Hamas rockets, didn’t stop their production lines. Most of them kept their original pre-war schedules.

Where is the effect of the war?

The results are astonishing. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, during the first month of the fighting, in July 2014, Israel High tech export was $1.65 billion, higher than $1.6 billion in July 2013. I asked people in the industry what are the effects of the war, and now i can summarize some aspects that may explain the strength of the electronics industry.

The first one is a geographic distribution. Israel is a small country and distance does not disturb the supply chain. The industry is so widely distributed, that it is almost impossible to paralyze it. When the companies in the south faced heavy fire, in the north it was very quiet. And in previous years it was Vice Versa.

Game Changer Iron Dome

There is also the Iron Dome missile defense system. Hamas tried to shut down life by shooting long range missiles to the major populated areas. But it turned out that the longer the range, the better Iron Dome intercept the missiles. Official data claims approximately 750 interceptions. It means that works at the electronics plants stopped in each alarm, and after a few minutes resumed again. Usually, people went out to see the smoke in the sky after the interception blast, and returned to their desktops or machines.

Iron Dome in action
Iron Dome in action

Another factor was the concept of protected zones. Workers in southern towns had 30 seconds in order to take cover after they heard the alarm signal. In bigger towns like Beer-Sheba they needed 60 seconds, and in Tel-Aviv they had 90 seconds interval between the alarm and the hit.

In every working building in Israel there are today protected zones on every floor. Those are just inner rooms that can withstand a conventional indirect missile hit. It means that workers had enough time to take shelter, wait a few minutes, and after the explosion to come back to their tasks. And it worked. The majority of the plants didn’t lose many working days.

The customers dislike delays

But maybe the most important factor belongs to a different domain, means the fear of the market. Hightec export accounts for 43% of the total industrial export of Israel. This is a strategic industry. That’s why only one expression terrifies the managements in Israel: “There is a war, and you cannot deliver on time”.  They will do everything to deliver on time and secure future deals. No matter what, production will never stop. It is like a battle cry in the electronics industry here. “We are always deliver on time. War is not an acceptable excuse”.

This Article was published at Globalpress Connection, Inc.

In October 2014 Techtime will take part in euroasiaPRESS by Globalpress. We plan to meet there executives from Dialog Semi, Synapse Design, Altera, Mentor Graphics, Cavendish Kinetics, EATON, Arteris, IDT and Power Integration.

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Posted in: Business , Electronics Industry , News