Our Humble Beginnings
As we stand on the cusp of a truly connected supply chain, it’s worth taking a look back at why we decided to create Sourcengine in the first place and how we made it into a reality.
Opportunity for a Digital Upgrade
To understand why we created Sourcengine, look at the electronic components market just prior to when development began in 2016. Electronic components distribution is a traditional industry and can be very old fashioned. With long-term contracts, volatile supply in terms of pricing and availabilities, and a demand need for regular deliveries to keep the supply chain moving along, it’s not an industry built to be agile. As recently as 5 years ago except for so-called catalog distributors, it was rare to find a B2B supplier with an online presence. The source catalog suppliers had been online for much longer but do not meet the complex needs of large-scale customers OEMs/EMS/ODMs.
It is also important to note that a good portion of electronic components are bought not directly from manufacturers but through distributors. There are two kinds of distributors: franchise distributors, who work directly with specific manufacturers but have a multitude of restrictions, and independent distributors, who have fewer limitations but no direct line to manufacturers. Franchise distributors have recently begun building digital platforms offering a variety of services (e-commerce, design, smart part search, etc.) but there is still a large gap where a digital ecosystem can emerge and present an array of services to fulfill so many of these needs.
We have known for a long time that professional buyers and engineers would complain about not having a single place to search for parts while making technical and supply chain analysis and then being able to click to buy when they have fulfilled their part requirements. Current platforms out there have missing tools or components such as quote management or BOM management where data is scattered, resulting in the user combining multiple services and sources to get what they need.
That’s where Jens Gamperl, founder and CEO of Sourceability, saw an opportunity to serve the market and offer in one place, everything electronic components businesses need. Sourceability already had most of the people and resources they needed in place and from that were able to assemble a team to put together this new ecosystem known as Sourcengine. Among those resources: global infrastructure, robust logistics, and an experienced, trustworthy sales team. Additional resources like a technical development team with expertise in e-commerce and business partners interested in expanding supply chain connections were also added, increasing Sourcengine’s capabilities even further.
As we know, B2B businesses dealing with electronic components need a lot of tools just for day-to-day supply chain business. As we’ve been building the marketplace, we’ve also begun building a suite of e-procurement tools based on internal research and external comments from our customers. We are also designing additional services which will be developed in conjunction with vendors and business partners as we work tirelessly to fulfill their needs.
After two years of development, Sourcengine has been launched and is ready for use. A limited audience began using the platform in May and will be available to all business users in October in preparation for a full launch in November during the Electronica 2018 trade fair in Munich.
Continue to follow us in part two of this series Why Sourcengine: Powerful Features as we discuss some of the e-procurement features the platform has to offer.