The current global shortage of raw materials and electronics components (especially Integrated Circuits – ICs) is causing customers and manufacturers a lot of anxiety around pricing and lead times. Prices of these particular components have in some cases increased by 2-3 folds, while some lead times have increased to a minimum of 16 weeks; and in some cases, it is 52 weeks, if not more (source). The pricing and lead times of components varies between suppliers, as this depends on the availability of existing and new stock. New stock is generally more expensive than old/existing stock mainly because prices of most raw materials have increased over the past year (See previous blog post). As a result of this, there is a higher risk of counterfeit and poor-quality chips creeping into the market via the supplier network, resulting in major quality issues.
How we source components for your PCBAs
At Precision, we source all components and chips from APPROVED suppliers. To become an approved and accredited supplier, companies must go through our qualification audit which requires:
- A current ISO9001 certification (we keep a copy of the supplier certificate in our Quality Management System)
- A counterfeit parts policy
- Procedures in place to reduce receiving and sending counterfeit parts (ie ordering from their own approved distributors who work with OEM’s, test components, OEM Certificate of Conformance)
- Meeting our criteria for parts delivery:
- Correct quantity
- Correct documentation
- CoC (preferably from OEM)
If we need to order parts urgently and none of our approved suppliers have stock, we will try to source them from another supplier but only after they qualify as an Approved Supplier. Once a supplier passes through approval,
- They will be on probation for the first 3 months from placing first PO. During this time period, they will be considered as a Tier 3 supplier and will only be used as a last resort.
- Their performance will be closely monitored to ensure they are reputable and can meet our supplier criteria.
- Once they pass the probationary period and their performance meets our expectations, they will be upgraded to Tier 2 status. The ultimate goal is to convert the supplier to a Tier 1 status, however each Tier level has it’s own criteria and requirements that suppliers must meet.