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68 SMT Magazine • April 2014 by Todd Kramer Secure coMPonenTS llc KraMEr ON COMpONENTS COluMn protecting Your Supply Chain from Counterfeits and liability For a few years now, it has been clear that many contractors are not adding new suppli- ers to their approved vendors' lists the way they once did. In adopting this policy, they fail to recognize the value of trustworthy, indepen- dent distributors. By neglecting the advantages that independent distributors can offer to the supply chain, these firms potentially do them- selves a grave disservice. Despite contemporary rhetoric, trustworthy independent distributors are an essential part of the landscape of modern procurement. In the procurement departments of modern firms, it is common knowledge that line-down situations do occur. While, in a perfect world, this would not be the case, it is an unfortunate business reality. When OEMs, OCMs, and au- thorized distributors cannot provide parts, pro- curement personnel are faced with a few choic- es. They can go without procuring components, leading to slowing or even halting production. Alternatively, they can attempt to locate and purchase the needed parts on the open market from independent distributors, choosing one of two options when doing so: They can pur- chase through "trusted suppliers" or through suppliers that have not been audited by either their organization or any accredited third-party assessments. For the purposes of this column, the latter category of distributors will be termed "un-vetted suppliers," as they have not been vetted by a government organization, nor have they been certified to an internationally accred- ited counterfeit avoidance standard. The use of these un-vetted suppliers could potentially come with serious consequences. Recognizing Figure 1: SAe international—the ultimate knowledge source for mobility engineering.

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