If inventory sourcing is the heart of the manufacturing supply chain, inventory fulfillment is the blood. Whether an OEM purchases bulk quantities of critical components upfront or through a third-party vendor late into their product’s lifecycle, it is still critical that those components are at the point of assembly when needed, in optimal condition regardless of where in the world that may be.
But despite this need, which has only grown as product lifecycles in certain industries continue to lengthen, neither component manufacturers or authorized distributors have managed to adapt their services to accommodate these needs. Authorized distributors cannot hold inventory for longer than approximately 18 months – and even then, there is no explicit guarantee they will hold the inventory without upfront financial commitment. If a competitor offers a higher price upfront for the components in question, they will not hesitate to accept the offer. If maximizing their inventory turnover ratio and quarterly margins mean putting another customer’s supply chain in a difficult position, then so be it. For all the advancements made in the supply chain market, old-fashioned cash on the barrelhead is still king. If your company is not willing to receive all of the inventory at once, then the worst should be expected.
Component manufacturers have even less leeway to offer fulfillment services than distributors. Caught in a period defined by historic demand in certain industries (particularly automotive, IoT, and telecommunications), they are having difficulty ramping up production to match. Multi-level ceramic capacitors, for example, which were common, inexpensive at less than a penny a piece, and readily available on the open market, are now posting lead times as high as 52 weeks. Intel, which is struggling with its production of 10nmb and 14nmb processors, has announced a $1 billion spending plan to ramp up output to ease the shortage going into 2019. Facing challenges of this scale on the production side, dedicated additional infrastructure and resources to provide fulfillment services that meet their customer’s needs are simply not feasible at this time.
Where suppliers have struggled to meet this specific need, EDX now offers a Global Custom Fulfillment Solution that fills this void.
By partnering with EDX, OEMs can count on the expertise of an experienced supply chain partner to craft long-term storage and fulfillment solutions specifically for them. Term limits no longer have to be a concern, or the type of inventory; we ensure that the OEM product will be supported for as long as required, whether the term is five years, 10 years, or 30 years.
What we offer in terms of storage length, we more than match in terms of storage quality. In addition to maintaining both ISO:9001 and AS9120 certifications, as well as a dedicated staff with extensive training in inspection, ESD, and MSL packaging protocols, we also offer customers the option of storing sensitive, high-value components in a climate-controlled custom storage vault suitable for any kind of electronic component – including sensitive wafer and die. Just because we can offer storage capabilities for owned inventory without limits doesn’t mean we cut corners in our infrastructure to do so.
And, of course, all of these components will be fulfilled using our global fulfillment capabilities, which allow us to pick, pack, and ship inventory anywhere in the world on a delivery schedule customized for the customer. Our standardized processes have been audited by Boeing, GE, Philips, and Honeywell, and each aspect of our solution adheres to the strictest JEDEC standards where applicable.
The innovative world in which we all live has a wonderful way of finding ways to turn deficiencies into opportunities – and in the world of electronic components and semiconductors, our global custom fulfillment capabilities perfectly reflect that sentiment.