Jamey Mann, Director of Global Purchasing was recently featured in the September edition of Electronics Sourcing North America. Jamey shared his experience and expertise regarding having the right number of capable distributors to avoid shortages and reduce costs for Kimball Electronics in the article titled, “Buyers look to partner with distributors.” Below are a few excerpts and a link to the full story from Electronics Sourcing North America.
Distribution reduction journey:
The number of distributors that Kimball uses is down significantly from five years ago,” said Jamey Mann, director of global purchasing for the EMS provider. “Our top four global distributors make up 88 per cent of our electronic component distribution spend,” he said.
“We have been on a journey to focus on reducing our distribution supplier base through consolidation to a smaller set that are able to deliver global services and leverage. We will continue to compress our spend into these major distributors,” said Mann.
He said the four primary distributors that Kimball uses are able to deliver the “global scale that smaller, regionally based distributors can’t deliver.” In addition, Kimball’s global distribution partners deliver the flexibility “required to support our global customers and operations.” Mann said while Kimball is concentrating the majority of its spend with several preferred distributors, there are times when it needs to purchase components from other smaller distributors. “Due to the complexity of components we procure, at times we must align with smaller, specialized distributors,” said Mann. During times of shortages and for “small form-factor quantities,” Kimball also purchases from catalog distributors.
“In addition to these suppliers we do have a very small, tightly controlled set of preferred independent distributors,” said Mann. “We use these partners on a very limited basis and have a very strict process to govern the validation of materials procured as authentic prior to shipment and use,” said Mann.
Kimball “leverages the strengths of our preferred global distribution partners” by using their supply chain programs and value-added services including tape & reeling services, programming, and other services that they offer related to product lifecycle management. Partnering with distributors Mann said Kimball regards its distributors as partners and as such they are expected to develop supply chain programs that Kimball needs and have the production materials when the parts are needed, “at the cost we require, and delivered to an agreed window.” He said distributors are monitored, measured, and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are fulfilling the agreed solutions. Mann said distribution performance has improved. “Their performance is measured on an ongoing basis related to quality, service, and competitiveness and in recent years has seen solid improvements in all areas,” said Mann.
Click here to read the September edition of Electronics Sourcing North America.