As the electronics industry has grown and demand on supply chains has increased, Original Electronic Manufacturers (OEM) and Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers have had to rethink how they source components. Because of issues with extended lead times, part shortages and reliance on legacy parts, most manufacturers end up working with a combination of vendors to obtain all the parts they need throughout a product’s lifecycle. When it comes to buying electronic components, there’s five main types of suppliers.
Types of Suppliers:
Different suppliers offer distinctive benefits and value propositions. Below is a break-down of each type:
1. Factory Direct
When a company buys factory direct, they are buying right from an Original Component Manufacturer (OCM), guaranteeing authentic and genuine parts with full product traceability. Dealing with the manufacturer directly is generally preferred. However, a company’s spend levels usually have to be high to qualify as a direct customer.
2. Authorized/ Franchised Distributor
These suppliers work directly with the OCM. Buying through authorized or franchised distributors provides a significantly lower risk of getting suspect parts since they offer traceability. These suppliers also offer flexible scheduling and stocking packages, usually not matched by the factory unless the spend or volumes are worth the direct support. While the supply chain may extend a bit with this type of supplier, it provides more flexibility for the OEM and EMS providers since they are not tied to one source.
3. Independent Distributor
Independent distributors usually have no affiliation to any particular brand or franchise and they source parts from the global market. If you need a part that’s gone into obsolescence, going through an independent distributor may be your only option besides redesigning. Additionally, this type of supplier assists in long lead time situations and with part shortages. Not all independent distributors are created equally. Buyers should take time to research and confirm the independent distributor they have chosen to work with is certified and has proper inspection and testing methods in place for counterfeit mitigation.
4. Hybrid Distributor
Increasingly, some distributors have started to work as a hybrid, providing independent distribution services while also having authorized or franchised line agreements.
5. Catalog Supplier
These suppliers usually have a variety of product lines in small batch quantities. They often don’t have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) so they can offer smaller, precise quantities of product and most boast next day delivery. This convenience usually comes at a premium so the unit price is often inflated.
Sensible Micro is a Hybrid Distributor:
On the independent side, Sensible Micro has invested in an in-house, technically-advanced anti-counterfeit testing and inspection lab. Our supplier network has been through 15 years of scrubbing and we are continuously monitoring to assure we always have the most updated and accurate information regarding vendor performance. Additionally, we can help buyers circumvent the vetting process and even aid in vendor consolidation. In more recent years, we’ve been working hard to build out a diverse authorized line card to help customers lower cost and have more flexible inventory options. We also offer custom-stocking programs for just-in-time (JIT) delivery protocols. Since we source parts from within our vetted and authorized supply chain network, it's like we do the vetting process for you.
Technology never stops evolving and neither should your supply chain. Schedule a quick call to learn more about how adding Sensible Micro to your approved vendor list can help meet your company’s supply chain needs.
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