Don't overlook the risks of outsourcing long-term electronic components storage

Hal Juergens, Director of Product Management & Supply Chain Solutions

May 8th, 2019

Outsourcing long-term storage and rebanking of electronic components makes sense — with the right partner.

Deciding to outsource electronic components storage requires weighing the benefits against the costs. And the costs aren’t just payment for services. Security, safety, long-term business strategy — there’s potentially a lot at stake when you need to outsource. Here are three situations where you might look to outsource — and how to evaluate the risks and benefits.

When you need secure storage.

Security is a critical factor in storage of electronic components. You’ve established that you have legitimate, conforming products. After having them certified as conformant, authentic, and undamaged, you want to protect your investment. The risk here is that a facility might not meet the security standards needed for safe, long-term storage and rebanking.

The standard security procedures include badge-controlled access and secure facilities. These things are important, naturally, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Long-term storage with rebanking supports the longevity of your components — but only if it’s done correctly. Inquiring about the training and expertise of the staff performing periodic rebanking will yield insight into how your components are handled. You need a climate controlled and ESD-certified facility, but the repackaging process is just as critical as the facility in which components are stored.

Humidity and oxygen are the enemies of long-term storage. When costly parts are packaged for rebanking, you need expert technicians handling the sensitive process of moisture removal and control. You need your components handled carefully and professional, at every point.

Delve into the nuances of tracking within the facility. Just because the doors are locked doesn’t mean components won’t slip through the cracks. You should feel confident that a robust tracking system is in place to ensure accuracy and speed in the storage and retrieval process. Bar-coded labels and accuracy checks are a must.

When you need a long-term partnership.

If you are looking for long-term storage, you need a partner that is in the business for the long haul. You don’t want to risk working with an unsteady, unproven partner. Inquire into their business strategies beyond storage. How are they structured? Are they diversified or focused on just one market? Are their standards uniformly high across their offerings, or do they specialize in one arena?

A history of successful service offerings along the lifespan of electronic components indicates that a potential partner is not just jumping on a trend with long-term storage and rebanking. A demonstrated history of excellence throughout the business model is a good sign that your partner is not at risk for declining standards or an abrupt closure.

When you need the best.

Appropriate, current certifications are necessary. Without certifications, you risk the application of less rigorous standards to the handling of your components. Beyond indicating that you are working with a legitimate partner, up-to-date certifications show an engagement in the training and monitoring needed to support the best practices behind the certifications. And keep in mind that “complying” with certifications is not the same thing as actually holding a certification.

Global locations are another factor that sets a long-term storage partner apart from the crowd. You need access to your parts, when you need them. Inquire about the standards at all facilities, from security to staffing and certifications.

Looking closely at the risks provides a clearer picture of how to outsource your long-term storage and rebanking needs. With information on where your materials are stored, how they are handled, and the nuances of the partner you are working with, you can make an informed decision about the long-term management of your investment.

 

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" The standard security procedures include badge-controlled access and secure facilities. These things are important, naturally, but let’s dig a little deeper. "

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