How would you describe current business conditions in your industry?
Challenging, but with good growth potential for distributors that successfully evolve and adapt to the current market requirements. There is a marked dichotomy between straight brokers and VARs right now. The distributors that are thriving are those who add true value to the supply chain process of their customers. Kitting, VMI, scheduling, and part screening are all basic requirements for successful distributors now.
What are your greatest concerns about the electronic components market?
The recent economic challenges over the past several years have created perfect storm of shrinking supply, lengthening lead-times and JIT buying. Contiguously we’ve seen intensified competition by OEMs to get to market first and best. Throw in the plethora of recent world-wide floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that have disrupted the already limited supply flow and you can imagine the bind that can put the purchasing professionals of our industry into.
What are some of the supply chain issues that “keep you up at night?”
Our overseas vendors keep us up at night and get us up early in the morning. This is a global economy when it comes to electronic components and there is rarely a time when there are not transactions occurring somewhere. To be competitive we need to stay in that mix.
Do you think the overall economy is improving? Why or why not?
Yes. It feels like it bottomed out about 12 -18 mos ago. We are bullish on 2014 bookings. Already we have seen a large % increase in sales for February over January and are on a pace to have our highest gross sales since 2008.
How would you assess your business confidence over the next month?
We are gearing up for new hires, new software, and other enhancements to meet our increasing demand. Confidence is as high as it has been since the recession started.
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