Taming the supply chain

Aug. 18, 2022
Distributors, suppliers and system integrators use multiple weapons to fight supply chain snarls and serve their users

From the legendary Hydra to today’s viruses, trying to smash one problem often causes it to splinter into multiple difficulties.

In the same way, COVID-19 and its ongoing variants have blocked and snarled supply chains worldwide, fueled shortages of raw materials, parts and finished products, sparked inflation and economic downturns, and revealed and compounded vulnerabilities to more recent crises like the war in Ukraine and who knows what’s next? What doesn’t kill you supposedly makes you stronger, but it could also set you up for the death blow that might come just as easily.

In both cases, what’s clearly needed is a smarter approach.

Basic supply chain stresses

Allied Electronics & Automation's Mark Russell describes the essential supply chain snags and issues impacting distributors and pretty much everyone else—along with some useful strategies. Read more.

2022 supply chain survey results

After two and a half years of COVID-19 and its variants, and subsequent shortages, inflation and the war in Ukraine, 95 respondents to Control's latest supply chain survey reported that they're continuing many of the strategies they adopted earlier to locate, specify, purchase and implement components and support services. Read more.

System integrators in supply chain limbo, too

Grantek's Logan Terry explains how system integrators, projects and clients are being adversely affected by supply chain issue, and details its coping methods. Read more.

Simpler products = greater availability

While high-tech devices remain largely unavailable, items with simpler materials and mechanics may be breaking through the supply chain logjam and gaining some availability. Newark reports shortages are easing in some areas, mainly commodity and less technically sophisticated products. Read more.

Overcome logistics hurdles, reduce lead times

Greater availability of some products is welcome news, but they can’t provide any actual benefits until they’re delivered at less-than-prohibitive rates for the products and transporting them. System integrator Interstates reports, even if some products are more available, getting them delivered requires creative solutions. Read more. 

Shop local and consider refurbished devices

Logically, one of the best ways to reduce the impact of long lead times is to keep suppliers of raw materials and parts to a minimum and keep them geographically close as possible—and reduce links in the supply chain and potential delays. Here's how AVG’s Uticor division is overcoming supply chain challenges by buying locally and using TrustClarity to find surplus and refurbished parts and equipment. Read more.

How digitalized tools can help overcome supply chain challenges

Just as digitalized tools have softened the blow of COVID-19 and its related problems, they can also help distributors and suppliers with many of their related supply chain difficulties. Digi-Key reports that artificial intelligence (AI) and similar tools can enable flexibility and improve planning to help mitigate supply chain issues. Read more.

About the author: Jim Montague
About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control. 

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