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Comprehensive Shortage Support: Smith’s 4Cs Quality Framework

The ongoing semiconductor shortages have had massive impacts around the world, throwing a wrench into the production of consumer electronics, automobiles, industrial automation, and more. As companies scour their supply chains for available product, many are entering the open market for the first time.

Kirk Wehby headshot
By: Kirk Wehby, Chief Operating Officer

But the waters in the open market can be murky and difficult to navigate for some. Inexperienced buyers, in their desperation to find the parts they need, can overlook major red flags and end up paying huge sums of money for counterfeit parts – or worse, no parts at all. To prevent this worst-case scenario, buyers must educate themselves and properly vet their suppliers. By partnering with an independent distributor like Smith, companies can rely on our vast market knowledge and expertise to reduce their risk and obtain the components they need to complete their builds.

For nearly four decades, Smith has been a leader in the semiconductor open market, backed by our commitment to quality and emphasis on proactive supply chain planning. Our operational framework is built on the 4Cs – comprehensive, consistent, continuous, and certified. These four pillars of quality underpin our role as the world’s leading independent distributor of electronic components.

In this series, I will break down the 4Cs and discuss how each one plays a vital role during times of shortage, ensuring that the quality of our products is unmatched and without question.

Our first C – comprehensive – represents the keen attention to detail in everything we do, from how we qualify and manage suppliers to how we package and deliver products. Our systems-based approach to quality ensures electronic components meet the highest standards.

Our end-to-end quality process accounts for all details that affect the caliber of our products. Smith’s comprehensive processes and procedures are thoroughly documented in our proprietary operational platform, WorksChain. We inspect, measure, verify, and test electronic components from the outer packaging inward to confirm that the product’s characteristics are consistent with manufacturer specifications.

Microscope Smith

But our comprehensive Intelligent Distribution™ model starts long before components ever enter our operational facilities. It’s always important to be vigilant of nefarious players in the market, but it becomes even more essential in times of shortage. Our stringent supplier screening process helps keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain by formally selecting, qualifying, and continually evaluating our vast network of trusted suppliers to ensure their ability to provide product that meets our customers’ requirements.

We have spent nearly 38 years developing Smith’s framework for quality excellence. In that time, we’ve seen numerous shortage situations unfold and have continued to incorporate new technology, training, and processes into our systems to confirm our products’ functionality and authenticity, so our customers can rest assured that Smith has taken the necessary steps to mitigate their risks.

Keep an eye out here on our blog and our LinkedIn page for more industry news, analysis, and insights.


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