June 27, 2012

Independence Day: A Time to Celebrate Independents

On July 4th, Independence Day in the United States, Americans will celebrate their 237th year of independence as a nation. At Converge, we think this aptly named holiday could double as an occasion to celebrate independents … as in independent electronic component distributors. Why celebrate independents? Because the electronic components industry could not survive without them. 

There will always be a need for independent distributors. OEMs and contract manufacturers will always face shortages that could potentially halt production lines. There will always be obsolete electronic components and end-of-life parts that franchise distributors can’t help them procure. And they will always have excess inventory that needs to be remarketed. Without trustworthy independent distribution partners to help them navigate these commonplace supply chain issues, manufacturers would stand to lose significant time and money. This fact has long been known to almost anyone who buys or sells components, but only recently has it started to be acknowledged in the media. 

We have also started to see more articles and industry blog posts that focus on quality process improvements within the independent distribution industry. The Converge blog has long addressed topics such as the value of IDEA standards, strict vendor management policies, and advanced counterfeit detection capabilities. We even produced a video about our 76-point testing and inspection process last fall. But we are delighted to see more widespread recognition of the fact that the independent space has become very quality driven. Every major independent distributor wants to protect the supply chain – and our customers – from counterfeit and substandard parts. 

The industry is also recognizing that an “independent distributor” is not just a “broker.” In March 2011, Converge ran a blog post titled “Broker vs. Independent Distributor: What’s the Difference?” More than a year later, online searches on this topic continue to make it one of our most popular posts. This tells us that component buyers and sellers now realize that there are differences that make one more trustworthy than the other. What are those distinctions? In addition to robust quality programs and high industry standards, our original list included the facts that most independents offer a global footprint, market intelligence, and reliability. We invite you to take a look and let us know if you would add anything to that list. 

This Independence Day, we are proud to celebrate independents and the vital role we play in the electronic components industry. For Converge, it has taken three decades of dedication to build the commodity expertise, vast global network, and stringent quality processes that now make us a respected player in the game. We will continue to build on our quality and service offerings to maintain that respect for decades to come.

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