27+ years of industry experience looks nice in bold lettering, and even better on our website paired next to one of our solutions that addresses the most pressing issues facing the modern supply chain: component obsolescence, business continuity, etc.
Putting a number on our experience, however, does come with some unintended drawbacks. Just looking at it, one might easily assume that our organization has spent the last 27 years doing the exact same thing, promoting the exact same strategies, offering customers the exact same services. This could not be farther from the truth; while our core message of providing valuable infrastructure, technology, and innovation for our customers has not wavered, our company, throughout its history, has witnessed sweeping industry changes that permanently altered our customers’ needs. Demand in the electronic component market has continued to soar year-over-year, component lifecycles have continued to shorten, and prices driven by demand and inflation (particularly those sourced through third-party vendors) have risen far beyond what is comfortable in an OEM’s budget.
Recent years have also seen a change in the role contract manufacturers play in the modern supply chain. What was once seen as simply a business relationship regarding product assembly has now expanded into a full partnership, with CMs taking on a variety of additional responsibilities including inventory procurement and, in some cases, even design recommendations.
As the landscape of the supply chain industry continues to evolve, those that choose to operate within must evolve or risk being left behind. Partstat is no different. Our Last Time Buy Solution did not materialize out of thin air at our founding – it was the result of years of observation and analysis of the challenges our customers faced. Providing inventory sourcing services may have provided OEMs a form of short-term relief, but they didn’t get to the root of the issue at hand: component obsolescence. OEMs that operate in the healthcare and aerospace industries, for example, are continually expected to service products that remain in use for 15, 20, or even 30 years; if the components required to maintain such devices have a lifecycle of only two or three years at the most, traditional procurement procedures seemed the equivalent of a doctor prescribing ibuprofen to treat cancer.
Our Last Time Buy Solution was conceived in an effort to offer our customers a better way, one that more closely matched the needs of the electronics market. Instead of paying for critical end-of-life inventory using their own limited working capital, we decided to buy it for them. Regardless of how expensive the inventory is, how much is needed, or how complex its storage requirements are, we purchase it direct from the component manufacturer using our own working capital. Then, using our state-of-the-art facilities, we store the inventory for as long as the product’s lifecycle requires, fulfilling it as needed anywhere in the world in accordance to a personalized delivery schedule.
Instead of being forced by circumstance into adopting a reactionary inventory management strategy, we found a way to alter customer supply chains on a fundamental level without any transitional growing pains. The industry will continue to evolve, and new challenges will materialize, but for the challenges facing OEMs today, we feel that our offering is the final, definitive solution. We buy, we store, and we fulfill while our customer innovates – just as it should be.