Staying Ahead of Electronic Component Shortages

October 19 2020

The biggest contributing factor behind the electronic component shortages is simply demand out-weighing supply. If you’ve found yourself stressed about the global electronic component shortage, you are not alone. The situation is becoming even harder to navigate. However, just because there’s a shortage doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead of the game. You need to know what factors are causing it and what the scope of the global effects are. It’s time to rethink your strategy. The process starts by working together with your electronic contract manufacturing partner. 

Close up of a PCB assembly.

Factors Behind Shortages

It began during the recession when suppliers didn't want to get stuck with warehouses full of parts they couldn't move. They began stocking less. In addition, there just weren't a lot of companies using all of the various components.

Fast forward to now. There has been an invention boom in recent years. However, it takes time to build electronic components and manufacturers can't keep up. This leads to many components being out of stock with a lead time of up to a year.

As a result, manufacturers and suppliers have begun only selling their components to their biggest customers. They are denying parts to new customers and essentially shutting out the little guy.

Features Of A Partnership With An Electronics Manufacturer

Importance of a Vetted Supplier Network

This is where your ECM comes in. Getting your hands on the components you need for you project may rely on your ECM’s connections. Your manufacturing partner's existing relationships with a vetted network of suppliers is extremely valuable. The stronger the working relationship, the better the chances you will have of gaining access to regularly used components that your project needs.

Furthermore, component shortages often make electronic manufacturing companies vulnerable to counterfeit or low-quality components. Your ECM's trusted supplier network will help keep fakes from being used in your build as well.

Understanding Lead Times

It is important to plan around the shortage. Some lead times can stretch up to 50 weeks. Your ECM can walk you through these lead times so you know up front what delays you may encounter and what your options are. Long lead times may mean ordering and paying for parts in advance.

Forecast Availability

Once you have a handle on lead times, a smart strategy is forecasting your needs. Your ECM can help evaluate your project and create a forecast that will assist you in meeting your projected component demand.

With a forecast in place, you can begin ordering parts in accordance to your forecast. However, you don't want to add to the component crisis by ordering too much too soon. Your manufacturing partner can help you determine which components you should wait on and which to order in advance.

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Staff Engineers

While there are components that you simply can’t substitute for an alternative, there are many that you can with the help of in-house engineers. The team your ECM has on staff can evaluate your design and recommend options.

These engineers are experts and can find alternative components without compromising your product. This will make the process stress free and guarantee replacement parts will work exactly as they are needed.

Navigating global component shortages is all about proactive positioning. The right manufacturing partner will get you there.

Let Levison Enterprises help you weather the storm. Our experts and on-site engineers can help you navigate the ins and outs of component shortages without a lasting effect on your project. And, our strong, vetted supplier network can get you the parts you need.

We want to partner with you. Contact Levison Enterprises today to see how we can assist on your next project.

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Tags: Electronic Contract Manufacturing, Quality, Electronic Design, Electronic Manufacturing Service, Reverse Engineering