TTI’s SVP commercial business operations, Melanie Pizzey, encourages purchasing professionals to partner with distributors offering deep, wide and authorized inventories
Component obsolescence is an issue many companies think little about—until they have to think about it a lot. IHS Markit reports the average life cycle of integrated circuits has decreased by about 30 per cent over the past two decades. Companies facing the growing dilemma of component scarcity and obsolescence must develop a mindset and systematic process for dealing with these concerns before they become a line-down challenge.
Organizations that partner with a reputable, reliable distributor of fully authorized parts can draw from its resources, capture a real-time inventory assessment of their current capabilities and proactively plan for the future to make obsolescence issues obsolete.
The quickest, most obvious solution to an obsolete component need is to develop an established relationship with a distributor that can provide quality alternative products that are on their shelves and ready to ship. Distributors with deep and wide inventories of hard and impossible-to-find parts—knowing companies will need such components—purposefully stock them for these occasions.
Specialty distributors employ seasoned product specialists who know the specifications of components and their availability and can cross reference component alternatives to avoid line-down situations and potentially avoid the need to re-engineer board designs. Companies working with these authorized distributors also avoid the growing likelihood of obtaining faulty or counterfeit components since top distributors only offer fully authentic parts.
Another way distributors help manage obsolescence is by equipping companies with tools to monitor the status of their current component inventories. BoM management analytics provide a real-time inventory assessment on current component availability and life expectancy. This includes product change notifications, end-of-life alerts and other valuable information those companies will need for the near-term future.
This customer/distributor relationship can keep everyone happy. Design engineers can identify available parts to meet their requirements and functional specifications. Compliance managers can ensure products meet required regulations. Production managers benefit from reduced interruptions to their product manufacturing lines. Procurement officers ensure their teams only purchase quality, authentic parts.
From a more proactive perspective, many distributors provide inventory management programs so organizations can manage their supply chains by pipelining components directly into their production process to avoid the extra costs, downtime and other headaches that can accompany component shortages and obsolescence.
Distributors can deliver an obsolescence management solution that’s flexible, scalable and tailored to an organization’s inventory management and delivery requirements. This reduces procurement, logistics and shipping costs and maximizes inventory efficiencies to lower total cost of ownership while reducing the impact of components that are reaching the end of their life.
The most effective way to deal with a potential problem is to resolve it before it becomes an actual one. Distributors with deep and wide inventories of fully authorized electronic components keep customers’ factory floors running smoothly and ensure the parts they need in the future are in their hands today.