I'm glad you all are finding the tips to be helpful! Anybody with additional questions, I invite you to please join us this Thursday, July 28th, at 12:00 EST as I do a LIVE CHAT Dialogue with EBN users! Click the LIVE CHAT link on the front page to add it to your calendars. I look forward to answering any questions you may have. Thanks again for all of your feedback!
LIVE CHAT with Dawn Gluskin
What You Really Need to Know About the Open Market
"Not all non-franchised distributors are created equal. Many companies that play in the open (non-authorized) distribution market have gone to great lengths to ensure that the components they sell are counterfeit-free. In this Live Chat, Dawn Gluskin, founder and CEO of distributor SolTec Electronics, will talk about what differentiates these companies from unscrupulous open-market brokers."
Great article and discussion, following previous interesting editorials. Tips reported are very useful and easy to understand and keep in mind, imo. I was thinking on top of them, how Govs could help market and endusers in beating counterfeit. Are we really convinced counterfeit is banned globally? Marc Herman for example, here at EBN, reported a few months ago very focused pictures on that, unfortunately not really positive.
But I'm sure there are a few manufacturers that are looking for those counterfeit components. Do you agree? I wont say that the big names are doing that but smaller ones that have small margins are looking to increase revenue by creating a "cheaper" product.
Excellent article, The most important of the ten tips is the written policy and the authorized resources. I agree with dawns comments but I still have some concern with the counterfeit issues. Many organization have the written policies but do they all follow them, sometimes NO. Even the authorized resources can only try, people still do what they think work for them. It is very sad because they are values and controls in place but our authorities do not follow them.
Dawn's top 10 guidelines are very good measures to guard against counterfeit. Having written policy in place adds even more protective measures and saves time and cost. I'd take it one step further; go around to your staff and do what's known as a "spot-check" on them with regard to your policy. If they know it, they'll tell give it back to you without any lag or flub. If they hesitate or stammer in any way, you know there's something misunderstood there that must be cleared up completely. Otherwise, you run the risk of an arbitrary rule entering into your organization and that leads to aberration.
"I am not taking things to the extreme and saying "only purchase from authorized sources" when a part doesn't exist through authroized channels. That would be stupid."
The above is something we completely agree on, Dan!! :)
In my relationship with my clients, we are always positioned as a supplemental vendor to fill in supply chain gaps. Yes, there are also the ones that come to us for cost savings and we are happy to help with that as well, whenever possible. However, in most cases, our clients have agreements with franchise that require a certain purhasing volume in exchange for various perks. We are not looking to interfere with that relationship. Again, we supplement the supply chain gaps. So, what you are saying (go to authorized first) happens in many cases, which is why I wasn't sure where you were coming from?? I have, however, heard many component manufactur's preach to not buy from independents under any circumstances, which does not make any sense - even you agree! I wish component manufacturers would get on board to help in the fight against counterfeits. It is their intellectual property that is being tampered with, after all!! For a while now, their solution has been to avoid independents and surplus materials, altogether. We all know that won't happen. Hopefully, they will have a change of heart. They should not feel threatened by the reputable independents out there as we all have our place in the supply chain and there is plenty of market share to go around! Thanks again for your perspective, Dan. It is appreciated.
I am not taking things to the extreme and saying "only purchase from authorized sources" when a part doesn't exist through authroized channels. That would be stupid. I am saying that IF a part exists from an authorized source, buying from the authorized source is the lowest risk to counterfeit.
Implementing the 10 tips you write about doesn't come at zero time and cost. Working with an authorized source for the same part means most all of those steps can be eliminated. Detection versus Avoidance.
Your series is very good for the cases where an authorized source doesn't exist for a part and I agree with what you are saying.
Counterfeit avoidance can be significantly improved by going to authorized sources for parts first and then following your criteria in the independent market second. If everyone followed that order, there would be significantly less counterfeit.
Thanks again to everybody for all the great feedback on this blog series throughout the internet. :) A lot of people certainly feel passionate about this topic. For those who have asked about the Top 10 & expressed concerns over time constraints in following all of the advice on the list. Firstly, they are just guidlines, but I would definitley recommend meeting as many of them as possible to ensure you are getting quality componets. (I would even take it a step further and recommend site visits on top of the rest, if at all possible). While there is a lot more work upfront in fully validating vendors, it will absolutely be worth it in the long run. If the thought of spending several hours to fully research a new vendor seems unfavorable, think about the alternative. If you let a bad vendor slip through the cracks and end up with counterfeit components on your board, how much money is it going to cost in re-work & lost production time? What about potential lose of clients due to manufacturing a bad board?? You can't put a price tag on your reputation! When you weigh out the options as such, the bit of extra work in the front end does not seem as bad! Thanks again for your questions & feedback!
Dan – The 10 Tips are part of the entire series I wrote regarding effectively using independent distributors to fill in supply chain gaps & safe procurement. I submitted my material to EBN as one piece. Due to length, they made an editorial decision to cut the article into four segments. However, yes, that was, in fact, the point of the entire blog!! Solely utilizing authorized sources is NOT a valid option for electronic manufacturers (aka your clients). They have commitments to get product out & when faced with exorbitant lead times and/or obsolescence issues, the independent marketplace comes through for them with product, saving them millions in potential revenue loss. So, realistically, although only buying from authorized might be self-serving (as you say) for you, it is not a realistic solution for many. Again, I will use the same example in your previous reply to me: That is like saying never leave your house & you won’t get hit by a car. While that might be realistic advice, it is simply not practical & nobody is going to follow it! Therefore, my goal has been to educate and spread awareness on how to SAFELY procure from the independent market. It is all about supplier selection, being educated, and most importantly: testing. The fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of millions of dollars in pristine & authentic excess inventory sitting on shelves of independents, CM, and OEMs across the world. What do you suggest happens to this material?? The re-sale of this surplus is a completely valid business model & it helps to keep production lines up and perfectly good electronics out of landfills. While tossing the surplus might work out nicely for component manufacturers and authorized dealers, it does not serve the electronic manufacturing community, nor the planet. So, I stand by my Top 10, which does not & should not, include only buying from authorized.
From an ID perspective, your list has lots of merit. Not mentioning fully authorized sources within your 10 tips explicitly seems rather self-serving. Hats off to you for the dialog and putting forcus on the issue, but fully authorized sources for parts are still the best way to avoid countefeit.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.