The business division houses primarily nine different categories or types of solutions—some which fit better into EM and some of which fit better into its Technology Solutions (TS) business. For Avnet Electronics Marketing (EM),the company provides TAM Transfer to help its customers address demanding global requirements coming from their direct customer base.
“They come to us when they realize what customers are asking them to do is beyond their capability or when they realize it is more cost-effective to outsource it,” explained Kent. “That’s why we call it TAM Transfer.”
Additionally, the company provides a range of services on the customer side, including its Trade Services end-of-life (EOL) program. In other words, when a customer supports a product that is reaching its EOL and it has to find some way to ensure supply continuity of that component, the customer may choose to do that through Avnet because they can financially ensure supply, enabling the customer to not have to bear inventory responsibility.
Avnet Velocity’s solutions such as Control Tower or Network Design may support all the elements of the supply chain—from planning to delivery and returns—differentiating it from other solutions on the market today that may serve only one of the basic processes.
Its’ on field replaceable units (FRU) solution enables a customer who has equipment in the field to offer to customers the ability to either switch out the equipment or make repairs to the equipment from the spare inventory that Avnet will supply on a post-service basis. Additionally, Avnet can supply equipment or parts to more than 100 countries within a 24-hour period.
Successful strategies to address supply chain risk
Yet in addition to innovation come the strategies and measures businesses must initiate on a continuous basis to address the supply chain risks of today, at all multi-tiers and across all sectors—not just in the electronic components segment.
“What we are seeing right now is the trend toward and perhaps a return to the concept of segmentation,” said Kent. “The supply chain executive today must determine requirements on a per supply chain basis. That is the notion behind segmentation. I can’t think of a single customer that can honestly say [it has] a single supply chain today unless it is a single production to a single customer business. Customers all have multiple supply chains and each of the supply chains competes on a different attribute. What’s important for the supply chain executive is to determine which of the attributes is important to which supply chain, and then we can build the network that supports the attribute of choice. For example, one may focus on resiliency, things such as agility and responsiveness of the supply chain. The other supply chain may compete on cost, where the supply chain competes on inventory improvement. What is important to executives today is that we develop and deliver solutions that support the overall supply chain segmentation of that company.”
Yet as segmentation continues to take hold, important to note that not only will customers continue to face increasing challenges in today’s global economic scope today, but that they will not always have completed all the steps necessary for segmentation. They may also have not evaluated their supply chain for current effectiveness in design, processes and implementation. One of the ways that Avnet Velocity does to help combine the two elements is through its professional, consultancy-type services to help customers figure out the unknown.
“If they don’t have it figured out, then our talents, tools and methodology have to support helping them translate their business strategy into a supply chain strategy and develop solutions that support that strategy, “continued Kent. “Second, we help them do network design and create a supply chain strategy that supports their business objective.”
As the electronics supply chain continues to face such challenges as natural and manmade disasters, severe economic downturns and more, Avnet Velocity will continue to help industry executives keep their supply chains functioning and agile to proactively counter the unanticipated changes in demand and supply.