How To Tackle a Problematic Supply Chain

Staying competitive in today’s marketplace is more than just offering value for money. Long lead times, a fragile global supply chain and a shortage in raw materials have left the interconnect industry needing to adapt to the new landscape whilst still expecting superior performance from their connectors.

While some devices must compete at the cutting edge, where speed and performance are critical, there are other applications in which value for money is the key driver. For hard-pressed buyers, this is a tightrope that must be walked to keep design projects on time and on budget.

Stay Agile

In the logistics industry, small incidents can have huge repercussions on delivery dates. For some businesses, this results in a delay in production which is unfortunate but can be absorbed. For others, a new solution must be found because time is of the essence.

“Whether you are looking for a brand-new connector or a drop-in replacement for hard-to-find alternatives; start communications between buyers and designers early,” said Chrissy Cooper, Sales Director for EDAC Europe and MH Connectors.

Keeping connectors and components in mind during the design process should mitigate any supply chain worries. “It’s important that they should not be left until last in the design process!”

New Challenges

The need for electronic components is only growing. The growth of the Internet of Things and its industrial equivalent, known as Industry 4.0, means more machines and devices than ever will be connected to the network; only increasing the demand for connectors.

Industry-standard connectors can often be replaced by a close equivalent from another supplier – a convenient solution for hard-pressed electronic design engineers. However, connectors play a huge part in delivering performance and are vital to maintaining a competitive edge. The reliability of a well-known brand should not be traded for a cheap copy simply to get over short-term supply chain problems.

Plan Ahead

The challenges caused by logistical uncertainty are only compounded by an international shortage of raw materials, adding another woe to the list for buyers.

“Lead times have undeniably extended and show no signs of coming back,” said Cooper. “The best way the interconnect industry can tackle these challenges is by designers, manufacturers and buyers all working together to either commit to a forward order book or plan in advance.”

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