In a previous blog post, we introduced Francois Schultz, one of Converge’s leaders in the high reliability market. Next in our spotlight is Daniel Perret Gentil, Purchasing Manager for Converge EMEA, who will share his knowledge and insights on the high reliability market.
Q: Daniel, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I am originally from Curacao, Netherland Antilles, but I grew up and attended university in North Carolina, US. I moved to the Netherlands in 2000, and now live in Amsterdam with my wife and daughter, only a short distance from the Converge office.
I joined Converge in 2001, and have seen a lot of great changes throughout the years – both internally and externally – including the market landscape, which has kept me interested in the direction technology is taking us.
Q: What is your role at Converge and especially within the high reliability sector?
A: I started at Converge in the distribution purchasing department as a buyer, sourcing component shortage requirements in the open market and qualifying suppliers.
In 2007, as the Distribution Purchasing Manager, I started working with our team to grow and expand our EMEA supplier network of franchise and independent distributors. My primary focus has been to help create opportunities for Converge in the high reliability sector, providing technical sourcing information, particularly for obsolete components, and information about the market availability and type of suppliers showing the product, potential replacements, and alternatives.
I have a particular strength in passives, preferring to offer alternatives/upgrades to older parts out of the authorized channels.
Q: Why do you think Converge is strong on this market?
A: Converge has 35 years of experience sourcing electronic components, with a global footprint and a strong network of vendor and customer base. Our quality commitment is backed up by our Q360 quality management and inspection process, our secure sourcing, and professional IDEA-certified engineers.
While we operate independently, we are also an Arrow company, which provides us with additional resources, as well as a strong financial and infrastructure backing. We can rely on resources such as Silicon Expert for data regarding product lifecycles and obsolescence management.
Converge is also well-aligned with the increasing demands from the market in terms of quality standards, gaining certification of the AS6081 standard and being compliant with AS9120 (certification is pending). I feel that the combination of experienced traders, commodity managers, quality, and operations in the industry makes one’s job easier.
Q: Why is there such a focus on product obsolescence?
A: There are several reasons why obsolescence occurs, including changes in the market, technological advancements and upgrades, allocation, and planned obsolescence.
Electronic components tend to have increasingly shorter lifespans until obsolescence compared with the applications for which they are intended. Proactively considering manufacturers’ suggested replacements on time could help prevent the cost and supply constraints once a product goes end-of-life (EOL).
Converge has a unique position as a subsidiary of one of the top global distributors in the industry, while also having a network of other secure suppliers, with the resources available to track when products are going to be obsolete and a solid network and quality department to source EOL products.
Q: What challenges do independent distributors face in this market?
A: Personally, I see three main challenges:
- Changes in environmental/governmental, economy, and other restrictions
- Competition for market share, which is part of the business
- The increasing prevalence of counterfeit components in the market and the consistent developing of anti-counterfeiting measures and mitigation
A: I see opportunities for independent distributors to rise to some of these challenges, particularly in mitigating risk from counterfeit components in the market. The changing landscape molds those that want to remain market leaders to adapt and be ahead of the curve, keeping the bar high.
Opportunities for focus of resources and growth include:
- Maintaining and growing an exceptional team of talented employees throughout the whole organization of sales account managers, commodity management, fulfillment and logistics, and management support
- Ensuring a foothold in the market with constant improvements in providing market intelligence, quality assurance programs, global/local footprints, and high industry standards and quality certifications
- Continuous development of efficient, effective, and cost-saving comprehensive solutions offerings to clients
A: They would be:
- Product and Supplier Reliability – Needing a dependable supply chain partner.
- Obsolescence Management – This involves both reactively solving ongoing supply constraints and proactively minimizing/eliminating these constraints before they occur.
- Quality Management System – The importance of maintaining a process of monitoring and controlling the essential activities of the business.
A: Customers should look for a supply chain partner with market strength, experience, and resources to support them in meeting the market’s demanding supply chain procurement needs − especially in the high reliability area.
Although having certifications and affiliations is important, they should also look for a supply chain partner with a consistent, structured quality process with a team of industry-specific component engineers, inspectors, and logistics specialists who are focused on meeting customers’ needs.
A partner’s quality process should have secure sourcing through an extensive, global vendor management program with established suppliers ensuring timely access to high-quality components, and also include consistent vendor monitoring and evaluations.
A quality process should include a team of certified engineers and access to test facilities to test components with a disciplined approach that helps them stay ahead of the counterfeiting curve.
In the end, customers must continue to demand the very best products and services from their partners.
Thank you, Daniel, for your expertise and valuable insight on this hot topic!
For more information about our obsolescence solutions for your high reliability needs, contact us.