5 traits to look for in an independent electronic parts distributor

Kristofor Kelly, President and CEO

March 13th, 2019

You have options for your electronic components sourcing. So, what do you need to know to select an exceptional independent electronic parts distributor?

Throughout the lifecycle of a product, most companies use a combination of supplier types, from dealing directly with the manufacturer to independent distributors. With the proliferation of access to parts worldwide through the internet sales, a multitude of options are within your reach.

The downside? Vetting numerous distributors is the last thing you want to spend time on when you are under pressure to find parts on short notice or to source hard-to-find parts. Let’s talk about 5 important traits that your independent electronic parts distributor must have.

1.   Access

Don’t settle for less than exceptional access. The whole point of working with an independent distributor is to open up possibilities beyond the standard. From real-time sourcing to in-stock options, to cost-savings strategies — your distributor needs to have it all. To get a sense of a distributor’s scope, inquire about the dollar amount of components that a distributor has access to at any given time. The larger the access, the more chance they can get you what you need, when you need it.

2.   Searchability

What method will your independent electronic parts distributor use to search for the components you need? If your needs are pressing, you need a proven search tool that offers up opportunities to save costs or find parts in a shortage market. Asking about what search tools they use will provide insight into their process.

This also leads into an important consideration for selecting an independent electronic parts distributor: their sourcing. How do they select and track the vendors that they work with to source your parts? A thoughtful vendor selection emphasizes ongoing relationships that support product conformance, order accuracy, and on-time delivery.

3.   Longevity

Now is not the time to test out a new player on the scene. You need strength of reputation and reliability. Look for certifications, material inspections, and inquire about quality material handling. Exceptional quality conformance, audit records, and effective counterfeit avoidance protocols are all important — even more so if they are sustained over a decade of experience.

4.   Responsiveness

The right independent distributor should accelerate your search. If they don’t stock the component you need, are they working around the clock to locate it? What is their response time on requests for quotes?

The level of engagement of a distributor doesn’t say it all, but don’t overlook it. You need a partner that will jump on opportunities to source the best and most cost-effective components for your needs.

If they don’t exhibit an exceptional level of engagement with your business, how tenacious are they going to be when sourcing the parts that you need?

5.   Transparency

Any potential partner should clearly address the four factors above. If there is any question about their process, responsiveness, how long they’ve operated in electronic parts distribution, or how they can optimize your costs, they probably aren’t a good fit for you.

Beyond confirming basics like certifications and industry engagement, inquire about internal processes. Openness on audits, inspections, supplier ratings, and counterfeit avoidance protocols is a must. You shouldn’t have to insist on any information.

Quality is your top priority. Selecting an independent electronic parts distributor with the same values is paramount. Ultimately your distributor’s record with quality conformance speaks for itself, but selecting based on these 5 traits will get you the exceptional experience that you need and deserve.

 

Read more

Effective Counterfeit Electronic Components Mitigation Starts with the Supplier: What to Look For

4 Steps to Exceptional Quality Conformance for Electronic Components

Global Electronic Parts Procurement Requires a Global Strategy: Does Your Supplier Have What it Takes? (Video)

 

" Don’t settle for less than exceptional access. The whole point of working with an independent distributor is to open up possibilities beyond the standard. "

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