Though the global electronic components supply chain has largely rebounded from the immediate impact of the coronavirus outbreak, end-market demand is still uncertain.
This lack of visibility means small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must work smarter and faster to succeed.
One way SMEs can make their organizations more efficient is by harnessing the power of digitalization. In particular, new technological solutions can make the mission-critical work of procuring electronic components more efficient, affordable, and safer.
Digitalization Makes Part Ordering Faster and More Affordable
Given the precarious condition of the global economy, SMEs feel pressure to maximize the value of all of their projects.
Firms often pursue that goal by directing their procurement specialists to source more affordable components from alternate vendors. Ideally, this course of action will result in decreased production costs. However, the multifaceted nature of traditional components procurement does not make such adjustments easy.
Traditional electronic components sourcing involves creating several requests for quotes (RFQs), reviewing available prices, and finalizing orders with several vendors. But since SMEs operate under strict deadlines, purchasing managers do not always get enough time to find the best deals.
So how can procurement specialists address this issue? By sourcing their electronic components through an e-commerce marketplace.
Professional buyers can use online component platforms to browse listings from thousands of vendors within seconds. Some providers even offer BOM quote tools that enable purchasers to order materials from multiple suppliers with just one click.
Digitalization Gives Buyers Peace of Mind
E-commerce marketplaces offer professional buyers more than just expedited ordering and competitive part pricing. They can also provide procurement teams with peace of mind when they place orders with new vendors.
In addition to disrupting the economy, the coronavirus outbreak created an opportunity for counterfeiters. As the crisis unfolded, market analysts and providers noted an uptick of fraudulent parts in the global supply chain. Criminals hoped to make a quick buck by exploiting business efforts to lower their overhead costs.
Consequently, SMEs are now at heightened risk of wasting money they cannot spare on parts they cannot use. Thankfully, digitalization provides purchasing managers with tools that can help them avoid buying counterfeit components.
E-commerce marketplaces thoroughly vet the vendors that offer products on their platforms. By doing so, providers deny counterfeiters the access they need to prey on unsuspecting SMEs. These services also rigorously inspect all electronic parts flowing through their networks to identify problems before they are shipped to purchasers.
Digital service providers also meticulous document the origin and journey of the products they handle and make that information available to SMEs.
This means procurement specialists can place orders online with the knowledge that skilled inspectors will assure their quality.
Purchasing managers may be wary of changing practices they have used comfortably for years or even decades. But the cost, efficiency, and risk mitigation that can be gained by implementing procurement digitalization are immense. And in the post-pandemic environment, procurement teams should embrace proven solutions that make their work easier, faster, and more secure.