If you think sourcing is boring, you’ve never worked for an independent distributor intent on providing whatever its customers need whenever they need it. Following are a few stories from the Sourceability Sales Team about the more unusual aspects of the job.
This big OEM, they do lighting, and we’re approved vendors for them and help them with different types of supply chain solutions. They came to us and wanted to see if we could expand their AVL for cables while saving money at the same time.
The easy idea is we find a vendor with a cheaper price and take a margin, usually in a place like Asia, but freight on cables is expensive. Instead we chose one of our existing customers, a small size, regional manufacturer in Mexico, to build those cables for them at the desired lower cost. So Customer A got what they wanted, Customer B got business, and we sold the components for the cable. It was win-win-win.
We once hand-carried parts from Hong Kong to Mexico. We literally put our purchasing manager on the plane with 10,000 ICs. We saved the customers’ line-down situation. They placed the order Friday after close and we had the parts to them in MEXICO by Monday night.
We helped [a home appliance manufacturer]. They were buying directly from the manufacturer, and one of their components was literally exploding and causing the washer to lock itself so you couldn’t get your clothes out. They used us for test services to test dozens of component batches to identify the “explosive” batch. They were a lot more cautious of manufacturer defects after having to pay for all the damaged clothing.
Allocations were starting to hit [a top-tier OEM’s] biggest product line, so one of the EMSs made a point of introducing us as part of a cost-sharing plan. [The OEM] hadn’t heard of us before, but when they saw we were already approved by all five EMSs they regularly used they added us to the AVL right away. Now none of the EMSs using us to source their parts need to spend time running quality checks on the items we source for them; all that needs approval is the line item price. So we really sped up their sourcing process on both sides and reduced costs to boot.