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Continuous 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 1000x1184 1
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 third C – continuous – captures our ongoing commitment to innovation and process improvement. Counterfeiters and other nefarious players in the market are finding new ways to improve their methods and make it more difficult to identify their products as inauthentic, and, as such, we must work to always stay one step ahead of them.

We are always on the lookout for new opportunities to provide better product and service to our global customers. As new products are released, Smith develops new requirements for inspection and quality assurance to identify and understand the minute intricacies of those components. And, as we gain new customers with their own unique needs, Smith works with them to craft processes and procedures that address their specific needs.

From new equipment and facilities to automation and robotics, Smith is focused on investing in continual improvement to drive our growth. Last year, we added 30,000 square feet to our operational hub in Hong Kong, and, looking forward, we are preparing to add a new, 30,000-square-foot global services hub in Houston, as well as a 20,000-square-foot distribution center in Singapore later this year. With this 72 percent increase in operational space worldwide, we are also adding new equipment and greater automation capabilities to help us more efficiently move product without compromising our exacting standards for quality excellence.

We have spent more than 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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