Leading Questions

Space: A Market Moving at Warp Speed!

The issue on everyone’s lips right now is lead times - with them slipping out further and further across the board, what can we do to mitigate the worst of the impact? Customers are currently suffering from lead times that are extremely unfavourable, impacting a cross section of market sectors but particularly the mil-aero & space markets. High levels of activity for projects such as Captor and Galileo have led to an increase in demand for high-rel parts – this is putting pressure on capacity at the component manufacturers. They are juggling demand for higher-priced low-volume hi-rel parts against high-volume, low-cost consumer demand. This is a tricky balance to strike!

As a Specialist Distribution centre, at Charcroft we can offer Specialist support on lead-time management. Where higher capacity can lead to diluted tech-support and lack of flexibility on pricing and deliveries, Charcroft can buffer the effects of long lead times and increased demand through the technical support and knowledge that our in-house product specialists are able to offer, along with our in-house testing and manufacturing facility.

One service we provide to help to manage long lead times is by automatically checking for alternatives with slightly different specifications to allocated parts. This flexible approach to problem solving was demonstrated when one OEM required a 2% tolerance capacitor, but this was quoted with a lead time of 20+ weeks. Dissatisfied with this, our Sales team dug further to find a better solution.

A closer look at the full BoM revealed that the OEM also required the same device but with a 5% tolerance – and this was available ex-stock. The manufacturer did not have the ability to select out parts in their process, however we were able to do this ourselves using equipment in our in-house testing and manufacturing facility. We therefore purchased a higher quantity of this device and selected-out the necessary number of 2% devices. This resulted in an initial lead time of 20+ weeks being slashed to just a week, which resulted in a happy customer.

Offering flexible solutions and specialist support, challenge Charcroft to help with your problematic lead times!