The constant demand and addition of new technology into the market has caused distributors to re-evaluate the market they are in and adapt, or face going out of business. As a result, over the past several years, electronic component distributors have begun to change the way they do business. Instead of only providing electronic components to specific or varying industries, many distributors now also provide value-added services such as excess inventory management, just-in-time (JIT), kitting and more.
One of the major events that has helped bring about the change in the way distributors, especially those of military components, drive their business is the sequestration that was enforced in March of 2013. The U.S. Department of Defense saw a deep cut into the amount of capital they could spend on electronic components and products. A large portion of that cut is coming out of reducing the amount of distributors they have, cutting the number down to the most cost efficient, knowledgeable and experienced electronic component distributors. This decision also factors into the amount of value-added services they offer.
This diversification of services provided by the distributors also benefits original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as it is now the responsibility of distributors to educate them on the new product offerings. Relying on their expertise in the field, distributors are able to offer and suggest components to manufacturers that may not be aware of their existence. This can help them increase their efficiency by decreasing the chance of costly design mistakes.
However, not every distributor is reliable, which is why it is important to know what to look for. First and foremost is the quality of the services and the product. As counterfeit components are flooding the market, it is becoming increasingly important to choose a distributor that is uncompromising on their quality standards and government compliance procedures. Furthermore, it is beneficial to choose an experienced distributor who keeps their hand of the pulse of the changing market. Considering the exponentially increasing speed at which technology changes today, as a manufacturer, you want to have someone on your side that can provide you the information you need to be efficient and on top of your game.
Another crucial factor in today’s market is the size of the distributor’s inventory. A large inventory will help ensure that the electronic component distributor is able to get you the parts you need, including obsolete and end-of-life (EOL) parts in a timely manner.