3 red flags to watch for in EOL solutions

Kristofor Kelly, President and CEO

April 24th, 2019

EOL solutions and last time buys are predicated on trust. Here are 3 potential risk factors in partnering for long-term solutions.

EOL situations require timely responses. Last time buys and related management services can provide the security your product line needs.

But where should you start in selecting the right EOL solutions partner?

When you are shopping for last time buy management services, you will get plenty of sales pitches. Here are three potential pitfalls to look out for when you are considering the best fit for the safety and security of your last time buys.

1. Lack of certifications

Let’s start with the basics: your first stop is verifying certifications. Any potential long-term partner must demonstrate current certifications for security, reliability, and industry standards.

It pays to evaluate sales talk around this point. “Compliant” with standards is not the same as a proven record of meeting them. Holding yourself out as a “certified stocking distributor”? That’s not an actual certification. Look for clearly documented, up-to-date, and relevant certifications.

2. Limited locations

This one may seem less obvious, but location is everything in EOL and last time buys. Just one facility might not offer everything you need from a long-term value-add solution.

More locations signify a lot of positive things for last time buy management. Multiple locations can indicate your partner wields more support and resources to manage your buy.

Take a close look where their outposts are: “globally” might not mean they operate in the regions most convenient to your business. And back to certifications for a moment: with multiple locations, each location should hold the same certifications, rather that having one flagship hold all with uncertified regional locations.

Overall, more regional presence indicates that your partner is closer to you, as the customer, or their subcontractors, as necessary. For long-term EOL solutions, that’s a really important factor.

3. Unknown financial health

EOL solutions are long-term plays. Sustaining a business for EOL management purposes requires diversity across customers to weather the inevitable storms and market swings.

To avoid this red flag, look at the history of the company. After years like we saw in 2018, with the market experiencing severe shortages, new, enterprising companies will pop up. Financial stability is the main concern here. If you engage with a $5-million program that is 50% of annual sales, that’s a problem. If a company is financially unstable, your investment in the future of your product line is at risk.

You also need a long-term partner with an established supply chain. Reaching the right network to support storage, re-banking, and potentially future buys requires an engaged partner.

The electronic components supply chain is prone to major swings. Evaluating your EOL options and knowing what you need from a partner can protect you from the worst of them. We’re here 24/7 with ideas about your next move.  

Related posts:

Velocity turns 20! What made us a components management leader

Lifetime buys: Look for a history of trust

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

" It pays to evaluate sales talk around this point. “Compliant” with standards is not the same as a proven record of meeting them. "

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