The one constant in the current shortage market? The electronic supply chain is more complicated than ever before — but adding an electronic supply chain partner to your team can ease logistical challenges.

We are seeing a mixed outlook on the current shortage — from how long it’s going to last to what components are impacted. But one thing all industry professionals agree on is that the electronic supply chain is getting more complicated than ever.

June 2021 brought the news that dozens of products in the supply chain are either low in stock or are rising 10-40% in price, including raw materials, electronic components, packaging materials, and semiconductors. A wide range of factors are driving these shortages and price increases, from sourcing to raw materials, to labor and logistics. Coupled with the rising demand for electronic components driven by 5G and IoT, the current supply challenges are heightened.

Significant component lead times are complicating already challenging logistics. Now is the time for OEM and EMS companies to branch out from traditional distributors to protect the supply chain from future disruptions. An exceptional electronic supply chain partner should:

1. Engage a global supplier network to minimize supply disruption

We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: the scope of sourcing matters critically during times of shortage. Complex global supply chains are easily tripped up by factors such as weather and shipping accidents. Accessing global supply nodes can ease these challenges.

It’s important to note that scope of support offered by an independent distributor should match their range. With a global supplier’s extensive range, that means you need 24/7 support, no matter your location. Multilingual team members can ensure that no matter your sourcing needs, you’ll work with someone who can handle issues smoothly. Tariffs and other factors complicating logistics should be managed by experienced professionals.

An electronic supply chain partner may access global hubs to cut your lead times and get access to the inventory you need, but you should enjoy working with them while this is happening.

2. Offer wide-ranging services that support your needs during any market condition

Going outside your standard sourcing channels presents opportunities even during the best of times. Finding value opportunities takes creativity and commitment from a sourcing partner whether the market is hot or not.

Customization of offerings from an electronic supply chain partner should take into account your specific needs and pain points. Finding a partner that approaches challenges with enthusiasm and enjoyment provides that extra edge as well. Bring your biggest challenges to the table, and see what an independent distributor can offer. Creative approaches include ideas like leveraging data to find ROI on your excess components during a shortage.

3. Bring robust quality processes to your sourcing

By casting a wider net, you bring in more sourcing options, but risks are inherent in the electronic component supply chain. This is not a challenge unique to electronic distributors. In fact, no link in the electronic components supply chain is immune to these challenges.

Any electronic supply chain partner must demonstrate rigorous quality control measures for all of their suppliers. Demanding exceptional quality for all parts requires a well-designed process of thorough vendor vetting and oversight. Established vendor relationships create an excellent baseline. But ongoing supplier management is what sets an exceptional supply chain partner apart. The quality control process should offer open access to audit and engage, allowing you to gain insight into how your electronic supply chain partner is ensuring the success of your sourcing and the overall health of the supply chain.

To summarize:

Independent distributors can engage global supplier networks, offer a range of logistics solutions, and ensure robust quality control, making them the ideal electronic supply chain partner among any market conditions.

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