Steve Rawlins, CEO, Anglia Components
With a chip resistor now cheaper than a grain of rice, the only problem is making sure your bowl is always full. The frustrating thing is that despite it costing less than 400ths of a penny, it can still cost thousands in lost orders should it not be available in the amount you need it, when you need it. How do we make sure that we can meet the increasing demand for these low cost, high volume products? The key has been helping our customers to streamline their operation to provide all the tools to enable them to operate at their optimum stock levels. There’s no room for over stocks or line stoppages due to lack of components. In today’s market place, small, medium and large customers need to be treated the same way and all have access to the expertise that a distributor can provide.
For many customers, inventory needs to be held at a UK warehouse for reliable next day delivery. On some occasions, customers need instant accessibility and want stock of their regularly used components on site, but many entrepreneurial businesses lack the inventory management experience and rely on the distributor to manage this stock to avoid costly excess and expensive line stops due to shortages.
At Anglia we have seen two initiatives that have really supported our small and medium sized customers; Anglia 80/20 and Anglia Sigma. The former offers a new level of flexibility in the supply chain, which was previously only been available to large volume users through consignment/Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). There is zero cost. Customers receive an agreed level of inventory on their regularly used commodity components that are held on their site providing instant accessibility. The level of inventory is scaled according to the customer’s forecast demand and is only invoiced as it used.
We have also developed Anglia Sigma, a free web-based, comprehensive dashboard that aids the customer with their quality management. No more waiting for daily, weekly or even monthly reports to be pulled off the system, with Sigma, customers are able to see a live view of forward, current and historical orders and enquiries. Plus it also allows them to measure our delivery performance, billings, purchase orders by product type and more. Our aim with Anglia Sigma is to give customers complete transparency in their trading relationship with us. We believe we are the first and only electronics distributor to offer this level of information absolutely free of charge to all our customers, through an instantly accessible online portal.
The UK market is buoyant right now, with newly published figures from the ecsn showing that their authorised distributor (afdec) members are showing an encouraging 18% increase in new orders year against year for May 2017. UK electronic components sales revenue has also increased some 24% year on year. To ensure the market continues growing, it’s the responsibility of distributors to invest in the UK’s vibrant small and medium sized electronics manufacturers and find a flexible, instantly accessible inventory of commodity components on an invoice at usage basis, thus allowing the customers to grow.