I'm not sure if the study examined that aspect. However, at the conference, one presenter said that counterfeiters were making very high margins on their parts, anywhere from 69% to, in some cases, 1,000%.
There are no permanent solutions to the problem of counterfeiting and while I agree that brokers or independent distributors have been seen as the main contributors to counterfeiting, it's obvious the fingerpointing isn't going to solve the problem. The industry as a whole has to come together to solve the problem. Honest franchise and non-franchise distributors are getting a bad name as a result of the actions of fraudsters.
It is interesting to hear that any independent distributor would say that authorized channels have their "fair share" of counterfeit. Every single study has shown the vast majority of counterfeit come from independent channels. The recipe for avoidance of counterfeit is not so difficult or mysterious:
1. Buy Authorized FIRST and only Authorized if available. An Independent should not be used if an Authorized source exists. Doing this alone will eliminate a lot of counterfeit.
2. Buy Independent when that Independent has shown the investments of people, capital equipment (through and including SEM-level analysis), certification, and will gladly welcome an audit. The less capital equipment investment made by an independent, the higher the odds something bad will get through. Simply outsourcing this work by an Independent means they are driving low cost and not necessarily high quality. Outsourcing this work by an Independent also likely means they don't know what they are buying.
3. When buying from Independents, insist upon a reasonable sampling of DYNAMIC testing of product and not just IV curves and DC analysis. While visual standards in place are a good thing, they are insufficient to determine true performance when there's no way to know lifetime handling.
It would be nice to have another survey done today. The industry has become a lot more educated and processes have been put in place. It was a large and extensive and costly study. Many figures people use for estimating counterfeit component incidents & dollar amounts seem very high or the figures seem distorted combining electronic components and counterfeit electronics. Before the 2009 study not many processes were in place and many distributors were taking back excess components they had sold to many contract manufactures. Some of those parts I believe got mixed up with parts contract mfg's bought from independents and brokers. The contractors have become very vigil in establishing counterfeit now and Franchised suppliers have put in place inspecting procedures on return material. I also believe that of the 21 % very little came from the what I described. The majority of the problem is buyers who have little experience buying electronics get confused talking to independents s when the independents tell them there authorized to buy from major component mfg's. Anyone with enough buying power can buy direct from manufactures that does not mean they are franchised. I have done a significant amount of training in counterfeit with buyers and was surprised how often this happens. Mostly it's the buyers that get pulled in buying electronics that are more familiar with other commodities and don't understand the electronic market. One way to avoid this is to be sure and OBS part should be bought buy your in house electronic component commodity person and educated the other buyers on franchised electronics.
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.