Back in May, we spoke about the global semiconductor component shortage and the knock-on effect it’s had on component lead times worldwide. Unfortunately, this shortage of electronic components is continuing to ricochet throughout all industries.

While there’s no way around the shortage, working with a reliable electronics manufacturer with a trusted supply chain is paramount to ensure you don’t get let down.

The shortage continues…

Any supplier, manufacturer or end-user looking to order electronic parts over the past 12 months have been faced with enormous delays, requiring many companies to turn to alternative options or re-design the project in its entirety.

Parts available in their thousands are selling out in under a week, with a 36-week lead time that could change to 52 weeks in a window of just a few days. Requests for quotations (RFQ) are also seeing considerable delays while suppliers have to wait for responses from manufacturers before they can commit to a lead time. But as the landscape is changing with such speed and erraticism, many suppliers are finding themselves back at square one in a matter of days.

It’s impossible to offer a guide on how long each kind of component is taking to arrive as everything is changing so rapidly and unpredictably.

Here at EMS, we’re here to reassure you that our purchasing team is working exceptionally hard to offer you the best prices and lead times available as soon as we receive an RFQ. We’re also aiming to buy all components from registered distributors so that we can provide complete traceability if needed.

Choosing a reputable partner

When choosing an electronic manufacturer partner, it’s vital to establish a relationship based on trust. This relationship should be based on more than just whether they can provide the right product for a price you’re happy with.

From the beginning, it should be a priority to ensure that your values and goals are aligned with those of your electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider. You should be working together to achieve clear goals with measurable progress parameters.

The core of any successful relationship — professional or otherwise — is communication. Maintaining a trusted relationship with your EMS provider requires clear and consistent communication to guarantee you stay on track and work through any bottlenecks that arise.

Any reputable EMS provider will have a bank of trusted parts suppliers at their disposal and will be able to identify the best supplier for your project’s needs. Additionally, they’ll be able to demonstrate that they vet their suppliers regularly based on quality, delivery, cost and much more.

And, of course, the quality of your partner’s work is vital. Particularly in the global electronics manufacturing marketplace, quality control is paramount. The right EMS provider will have stringent quality protocols in place and won’t hesitate to inform you of them.

You should also have the option to visit your chosen EMS provider’s manufacturing floor to see their equipment in operation and speak with the technicians behind the work. Any EMS provider should be happy to allow you to come and see where the magic happens!

Supporting our customers  

We’re also here to offer some advice to our clients about the importance of a trusted supply chain. While there are such shortages in the industry, we advise that if your supplier is offering you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Over the past few months, several of EMS’ customers have asked us to purchase from particular websites or companies that claim to have stock of specific components that are unavailable anywhere else. However, we’ve built a portfolio of trusted contacts within the manufacturing community. We’ve relied on these companies for years and will only purchase from suppliers offering full traceability and date codes.

EMS also has contact with a member of the Electronic Resellers Association International who provides detailed reports on any suppliers we’ve not purchased from before. Making use of this contact allows us to check the supplier’s validity within the marketplace.

We’re doing all we can to make our customers’ lives as easy as possible during a difficult time. Get in touch with us today to enquire about how we can help.