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48 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2022 Can you still design a product and expect to see validation by the next week? e Epoch International Enterprises team of Meghan Zou, Foad Ghalili, Lillian Lin, and Crystal Zhang provide insight into what their distribu- tors have up against over the past two years as they seek to source and validate parts. Oen, it means finding alternatives, redesigning the project, and worst of all, sitting and waiting. Nolan Johnson: With the current global com- ponent supply challenges, we want to better understand how your firm manages the val- idation of inbound inventory. With so many shortages and additional vendors, it is more The Critical Balance of Supply and Inventory Control possible that counterfeits slide in. How do you handle that? Meghan Zou: e situation has worsened since last year. We are trying to build some inventory as safety stock. On the other hand, we want to manage the inventory and secure a stable sup- ply chain. We are classifying our components to vari- ous risk levels and managing them accordingly. If the supply situation looks risky, we will tag it in our system and keep our stock levels a little higher on those components. We must make sure that all components are real, otherwise it will impact the quality we sell to customers. Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team

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