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3 Tips for Reducing Single Source Component Risk

3 Tips for Reducing Single Source Component Risk

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Published by psp710
Sourcing Management; Supply Chain; Risk management
Sourcing Management; Supply Chain; Risk management

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Published by: psp710 on Apr 06, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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3 tips for reducing single source component risk | Arena Solutionshttp://www.arenasolutions.com/blog/post/reducing-single-source-component-risk/[3/28/2014 2:34:46 PM]
By  Alyssa Sittig |Posted in  Arena, Business Strategy, Product Development Share on linkedin Share on twitter Share on facebook  Share on Google + Designing with a single source part—meaning a part that is only available from a single vendor ordistributor—is one of the riskiest moves an engineer can make. With all your eggs in one basket, whathappens if the supplier raises prices, begins limiting component quantities or goes out of business alltogether?However, that risk may also deliver rewards by enabling you to differentiate your product. And if you optfor the single source strategy, you’ll be in good company. Our 2011 manufacturing outsourcing surveyfound that about 62% of manufacturers rely on a single source for critical components in their designs.Regardless of the prevalence of single sourcing, you’ll want to mitigate the risks associated with singlesourcing a part or parts. Below are our top 3 tips for protecting your product from single sourceuncertainty.
Tip #1: Know how to handle worst-case scenarios
If you discover that your sole source for a critical component has dried up, can you avoid a production halt,lost revenue and lost time?The best way to keep production moving is to take advantage of reliable component searching tools likeOctopart. Octopart is a Google-like search website for electronic components that makes it easier to findalternate components or sources in a pinch. Arena PartsList is a nifty tool that integrates with Octopart to organize and track your part information inone place. Because PartsList connects directly with Octopart, you can instantly pull the latest datasheets,compliance status, pricing and availability information for any component in your PartsList—saving youhours of copying / pasting this information from scattered websites into a spreadsheet.
Tip #2: Nurture your existing supply chain relationships
In the business world, relationships are everything. By building trust and loyalty with your existing supplychain, you’re opening up the opportunity to leverage your suppliers’ networks to help you out of a sourcingbind.GSCS, LLC, an Arena partner, is a group that helps small to mid-size manufacturers manage theircomponent supply chains. If you’re interested in tailored advice on making your component sources moreefficient, check out what GSCS, LLC can offer.
Tip #3: Keep track of the lifecycle of your critical components
 You can get a good sense of how risky a component is by paying attention to its lifecycle. Is it stillevolving? Reaching maturity? Close to being discontinued?If you discover that your design stability is lower than you realized or are comfortable with, adjust yourdesign decisions accordingly.
When the risk is too high
3 tips for reducing single source component risk | Arena Solutionshttp://www.arenasolutions.com/blog/post/reducing-single-source-component-risk/[3/28/2014 2:34:46 PM]
If creating a dependency on a single source component is too risky for your situation, consider using partsthat have multiple distributors. An easy way to do this is with ‘Distributor Selection’—the newest feature of PartsList that lets you comparecost and availability of parts across multiple distributors. For any component in PartsList, you can select aprice from the associated price break chart and instantly collect distributor information such as description,distributor name and part number and unit cost. You can also view a list of several potential datasheetsbefore you select the datasheet you want.
What have you learned about the risks and rewards of single source components? 
 Alyssa Sittig
 Alyssa played an instrumental role in the development of the Arena Blog and social media channels from2011 to 2012. Joining the team with a background in public policy, Alyssa was particularly interested in thechallenges that manufacturers face both domestically and overseas when taking products to market.
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