Aercos managing director, Rob Laughton, explains how the current economic climate is actually driving an increase in component stockholding which, in turn, is helping OEMs reduce their time to market Time to market is defined as the time between a products conception and it being available for sale. It is important because businesses that get product to market early can benefit from a longer selling window and higher pricing
Getting products to market early is only part of the story, manufacturers must keep them there throughout the lifecycle, requiring consistent on-time manufacturing and appropriate mid-life product updates and enhancements.
Engineers need access to component information, plus data, specifications and samples. To minimise time to market, companies should seek suppliers who can help with these requirements. While different manufacturers can be approached directly, it is more efficient to use an advice service that covers a wide range of components from different manufacturers. Some distribution companies, such as Aerco, are organised this way.
Although an overhead to its general business of stock holding and distribution, Aercos design support service offers customers value, consequently creating loyalty amongst the customer base as it saves time, allows faster decision making and increases confidence in those decisions.
The prevailing economic climate creates a challenge for product manufacturers because while markets are generally depressed at present, they will recover in time. So, for now, the question is whether to reclusively batten down the hatches or actively search for new opportunities.
The economy also creates an irony for stockist distributors such as Aerco. While many businesses are working to decrease their inventory, perversely, the very low interest rates, combined with the concerns of franchised component manufacturers to maintain their manufacturing volumes, provide a great opportunity to increase stock holding at advantageous prices rather than to run down stock levels. Of course, Aerco needs to know its customers expected future demands, but is actively increasing its stocks, confirming every cloud does have a silver lining.
Having delivered a product to market quickly, a manufacturer must keep it there throughout its lifecycle with the support of its supply chain. Aerco is using its stock to provide components quickly and support call-off orders to a schedule that can be flexed to match customers throughput volumes as they change.
In the past, many OEM preferred to deal with component manufacturers rather than distributors on the understanding that prices would be lower and support more knowledgeable. Distributors have upped their game and many component manufacturers prefer to channel business and support services through their franchised distributors, a policy that Aerco approves and which really does enhance time to market.