You might think working with a distributor adds an extra step to an already lengthy box build process, but it can actually save time and money, explains Electroustic’s Amy Wells.
When it comes to sourcing parts for a box build cable assembly, working with a distributor can save you time and money and ensure that the final product is the best solution for your needs. Distributors build longstanding partnerships with valuable manufacturers, giving smaller businesses access to internationally recognised brands. Indeed, there are a number of challenges that can be overcome by working with a distribution partner.
Access to expertise
When it comes to connectors, having access to design and manufacturing facilities is a bonus. Where connectors are required to process several signals in harsh environments, speaking to a designer or experienced connector specialist can come in handy with regard to selecting the best solution.
For example, one of Electroustic’s suppliers manufactures environmentally-sealed components. They can withstand water from high pressure or steam cleaning for use in environments such as food and beverage production, where sanitation and cleanliness are essential. These demanding industrial environments mean that specialist manufacturing facilities are needed to ensure optimum design and quality control during connector production.
It’s unlikely that a small or medium sized company has access to the necessary connector manufacturing facilities. Distributors that work with several manufacturers can therefore ensure that each element of a final product is made in the best environment possible. Electroustic also keeps a good supply of products on the shelf to reduce lead times and delivery periods.
Time and cost savings
That brings us onto possibly the most important challenge: saving time and money. Purchasers looking for a distributor to help source connectors, probably need other parts too. Many Electroustic manufacturing partners offer a range of products, such as switches and battery holders. It may even be possible to find every element of your box build at once.
There’s also the issue of ensuring that parts are going to work correctly in your system. When trying to source connectors, or any part of a cable assembly, many purchasers would start by doing an online search for the nearest or cheapest manufacturer and placing an order. But what happens if the product that arrives isn’t fit for purpose?
Solving the problem will involve sending the products back and forth to the manufacturer and before you know it, you’ve got a lengthy bill for shipping and modifications. Not only that, but there is either a delay in the product launch or manufacturing has been seriously affected by a long period of downtime. Who would have thought that a few connectors would cause such a big problem?
A distributor who works with several recognised manufacturers should work to facilitate better communication. In addition, the distributor should be able to ensure that the product will be appropriate and arrive at the right time, with any standard safety checks carried out before distribution, leading to a significantly lower chance of error.
When it comes to technologies like industrial connectors, a good distributor and its manufacturing partners will have a wealth of knowledge and a team of specialists that understand product needs inside out.
Any distributor will advise you on which supplier is best for you, however, a distributor with a manufacturing background will have a significantly better understanding of every step before shipping. For example, Electroustic is able to talk clients through the design process and suggest other parts they may need to accompany their connectors.
Going directly to a catalogue distributor can work, as long as you know exactly what you need. Stock will almost certainly be available, however, if you have any questions about the product that you are purchasing, they may not be able to help.
In fact, there have been many situations when customers come to Electroustic with requirements for a part that doesn’t exist yet. Electroustic’s strong relationship with its suppliers means it is able to relay the desired product specifications to them. After the product has been designed and manufactured, it is put on the market, available not only to the initial customer, but for others to purchase too.
Electroustic began its partnership with environmentally-sealed components manufacturer, Bulgin, at the start of 2015. Already, this has given smaller manufacturers access to a range of products and services that would usually be exclusive to larger companies and order values. Not only that, clients are able to focus their time and attention on running their business, rather than solving sourcing glitches, which significantly decreases stress levels all round.