Manufacturers making sourcing easier

In this article, Samtec explains how access to manufacturer stock means the supply chain can become an integral element in the design process.


In the world of electronic components, the roles played by manufacturer and distributor are shifting because the modern design process is changing. As more product selection is conducted online with less personal contact, it is vital manufacturers engage directly with customers using digital resources. These tools, from traditional 2D product drawings to online simulation software, provide customers with direct access to manufacturers’ expertise.


Connector manufacturers like Samtec have embraced this by developing online tools that let engineers research, select and build with the latest products. Central to this approach is the role the manufacturer is playing in the supply chain.


Traditional manufacturing has struggled to deliver components quickly, which is why distribution channels are so important. However, there are limitations to the stock distributors can reasonably hold. Obtaining small quantities of specialist components is key to prototyping and early production. If customers are limited by the stock available through distribution, they may fail to embrace the most effective solutions.


Rapid delivery of small component volumes is not limited to prototyping. The flexibility offered by modern smart factories means customers need to respond quickly to changing demand. Holding stock in anticipation of new demand is impractical and expensive.


The ability to respond quickly to customer requirements is part of Samtec’s Sudden Service concept. The modular nature of many of its products lets Samtec assemble products quickly from a broad inventory of subcomponents, resulting in a short lead time.


Samtec has taken the Sudden Service model further, introducing the Samtec Reserve program, in which over 200,000 products are held in stock in completed form, ready for one-day shipping. These products are clearly identified on the website, letting engineers select readily available products and making procurement easier.


The Sudden Service model and Samtec Reserve program are designed to work in conjunction with the existing distribution network, which is still hugely important in providing flexible and competitive sources of components. However, direct access to manufacturer stocks, and the latest online resources, means that the supply chain can finally become an integral element in the design process, not an inconvenient afterthought.