Rutronik’s chief marketing officer, Markus Krieg, shares his thoughts on the North American component supply chain now and in the future.
Q) What changes have taken place since you took Rutronik USA’s helm and what do you predict for 2021?
As I have been involved with Rutronik USA from day one, the key objective was to establish a warehouse location in the United States. This was a priority, as we recognized the importance of local inventory and quick shipping. The North American warehouse location allowed integration with manufacturers’ supply chains, benefitting suppliers and customers.
This year has seen challenges but also opportunities to improve ourselves in 2021. The disruptions of 2020 allowed us to reassess our established methods of business and improve them for the coming years.
Q) What developments and advances are being made at Rutronik USA and what is the long-term plan?
Firstly, we have increased local representations in every region of North America to offer better customer support. Increasing local presence is a key objective for the future. We have also substantially expanded our supplier
Long term, we continue on our path to becoming an established North American distributor that customers can rely on. We will continue to increase technical support and become a partner who accompanies its customers on new projects from the start.
Q) Is Rutronik USA inventory ringfenced or do you draw on the stock from Rutronik’s global warehouses?
Customers can take stock from any Rutronik warehouse in the world, for any North American franchise suppliers. This is a huge advantage for some of our international customers as we can fulfill their needs everywhere in the world, while upholding Rutronik’s high standards. This is done with due respect to local supplier requirements and organizations.
Q) Readers say lead times are extending. How is Rutronik managing this?
Our globally connected warehouses guarantee high levels of available inventory worldwide. Moreover, our ordering processes and stock policies are globally aligned, which allows us to foresee and react to lead time changes promptly. The ability to order components from any Rutronik warehouse worldwide, in combination with our logistics and stock handling, provides customers with great product availability and flexibility.
Q) What are your thoughts on how the electronics supply chain will evolve, especially regarding reliability?
The recent outbreak of Covid-19 has shown how sensitive supply chains can be and how things we took for granted can change within days. Higher inventory levels offer short time relief, but keeping supply chains operating remains a key responsibility for the industry. A reliable supply chain requires planning and constant communication with customers and suppliers in times of disruption. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our supply chains and protect them from external and internal disruptions.
Q) The semiconductor sector continues to see acquisitions. How has this impacted component availability at Rutronik?
We recognize mergers and acquisitions of this magnitude create a challenge for customers, as it limits choice. Our priority is to aid our customers in these situations by providing technical support and available inventory.