Parts go obsolete. Products change. Vendor relationships come and go. Whatever the reason, you’ll eventually need to vet new suppliers when sourcing electronic components. However, ongoing disruptions in the semiconductor market can make it tough to find the right parts even without a formal quality assurance process.
That’s why it’s so important to be careful. As buyers are hunting for new or alternative sources, substandard or inauthentic components can come into the marketplace to try and fill those gaps. A formalized and consistent supplier vetting process is necessary to confirm quality while avoiding counterfeit parts.
Here are a few pointers on evaluating new suppliers during electronic component sourcing.
Establish a General Counterfeit Avoidance Test (GCAT)
Develop a custom General Counterfeit Avoidance Test (GCAT) plan to suit your industry, end-user requirements, and unique applications. You’ll be able to put all components through this standardized testing procedure for confirmation of quality and verify authenticity.
A well-equipped component inspection and testing lab should be able to assist you in designing the test and processing components if you do not have the equipment or capacity to handle it in-house. We handle a full range of quality assurance tests for all of our partners. Get in touch with us for a sample GCAT report to see what sorts of insights these tests can offer.
Put Samples Through High-Powered Microscopy and Marking Permanency Tests
Make sure you request samples from a new supplier before you place a full, large volume order of any kind. Test them for quality and authenticity. The preferred test method for the most quality-driven OEMs and distributors in the industry is the 72-point IDEA-STD-1010-B visual confirmation procedure. If you can handle this in-house, great. If not, work with an independent lab — or a distributor with their own advanced inspection & testing lab, like Sensible Micro.
Our team of IDEA-ICE-3000 certified inspectors uses this procedure to evaluate all incoming components, including high-powered microscopy and marking permanency tests.
Product Liability and Errors & Omissions Insurance
If you have the opportunity to ensure your orders, this helps to guarantee the security of your investments. When you purchase components through Sensible Micro, for example, you can protect your bottom line with product liability and errors & omissions insurance in addition to a 12-month warranty standard. Our factory-direct warranties can range from 1-5 years.
Insurance doesn’t only protect you from mishaps in logistics but from underperforming products and liability issues.
Improve Order Traceability When Sourcing Electronic Components
More traceability and real-time data on your orders can go a long way towards confirming the quality of a new supplier. Today’s web-based platforms and electronic systems can give you an easy way to record, track, and store all necessary info for easy access through any device.
If your supplier does not offer this sort of convenience directly, look for a distributor of their parts that does. Sensible Micro offers all of our customers streamlined access to order data through our simple-to-use web portal. Monitor detailed tracking info, inspection reports, hi-res photos of all components, and more in real-time. This eliminates the guesswork from your supply chain.
Rate Every Order and Keep Scores in Your BMS
Supplier monitoring is not just an upfront process. You should be vetting continuously and tracking performance over time. Your business management system (BMS) is an ideal place to aggregate feedback ratings on every purchase order you make. Monitor the supplier for on-time delivery, QA metrics, related ERAI/GIDEP notifications, and more.
Sensible Micro has spent the last 15+ years continuously scoring the vendors we work with through a robust internal rating system in our BMS. This has helped us to scrub our global hybrid network of suppliers into an ideal list of preferred independent, authorized, and factory direct sources that always meet or exceed customer expectations.
Choose a Distributor With an In-House Inspection Lab
Rather than juggling all of these testing and inspection processes yourself for every new supplier, you could choose to work with a test-capable distributor like Sensible Micro. We run one of the most technically advanced test and inspection labs in the industry, right at our facility. When you work with Sensible Micro, you can be confident in the quality of every component you order. Between our robust supplier rating process, state-of-the-art testing capabilities, and commitment to transparency with our online customer portal, you can be confident in quality when sourcing electronic components. Get in touch today for a quote!