EMS Supply Chain Trends Show Component Lead Times Growing: Review Your Orders Today


Family vacations, backyard barbeques, sitting out on warm nights with friends... these are the things we’d prefer to think about during our mid-summer days. Unfortunately long lead-times, stock outages, part allocations and ordering for uncertain demand are all a reality in today’s manufacturing.

Component Lead Time Trends 

We have seen lead times getting a little tighter in recent months. That means right now is a great time to check in with your suppliers.

Recently, I came across an article about component lead times that got my attention. Since then I’ve been listening to our purchasing team talk about longer lead times or parts that were “just there”.  I’ve received and reviewed communications from our major distributors about specific parts extending out. I’ve talked to factory Reps. I’ve called suppliers and asked their opinion. 

And here is what I’ve concluded:

  1. Lead-times are not extending across the board, although they may feel that way because stocking supplies are lower.
  2. A rise in mergers and acquisitions, coupled with distribution franchise changes, may be causing hiccups in the supply chain. 
  3. Lead times have changed in specific areas. Ceramic capacitors generally stock to 12 weeks; specialty devices 18-20 weeks or longer. Tantalum caps can vary up to 26 weeks and chip inductors can go out as far as 52 weeks.  

How’s that for testing your planning skills? 

Review Your Upcoming Orders Now!

Now, please be advised this is not a time for panic buying. It’s simply a trend towards tighter lead-times that, combined with summer vacations, makes it a good time to review your orders with your suppliers. You can share what you know about your upcoming demand and review your forecast with them. 

Many customers place blanket orders to ensure materials are available. This is a great way to share info and increase visibility with your supply chain. If you happen to have a new design, you can send the BOM to ControlTek for a BOM review, including lifecycle and lead-time analysis. 

We want you to be as successful as possible. We invite you to take advantage of our skills so you can see your big product idea sooner rather than next summer.

Sean Neill

ControlTek V.P. of Operations

Contact ControlTek for more information.   


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