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Electronics-Sourcing article, Sept. 2019-top connector sourcing questions…

September 26, 2019

September 2019:

Tricky part numbering, environmental ratings, and complex material considerations
prompt detailed purchasing questions when sourcing specialist connectors. ECCO
president, Bernard J Gizzi, lists the FAQs

#1. Who is the manufacturer?

Sounds simple, but connectors share similar part numbers
across competitors. Certain customers dictate that the connector can only be sourced from the manufacturer referenced on the print, so defining this early is important.

#2. What is price and availability?

Economics are key and while some connectors can be easy to make and source, it is important to understand
buyer requirements early in the sourcing process. Availability may also be a deciding factor.

#3. ROHS Y or N?

Now more than ever, buyers have to check this box, given government and international requirements for the reduction of hazardous materials.

#4. Where is this made and where is it shipping from?

Tariffs play a role here, but also risk. Supply chain challenges brought on by geo-political issues such as trade wars and unstable
governments can wreak havoc on keeping the pipeline
of material on time/in full
quantities/and cost effective.

#5. Ratings IP67 or EXP proof?
Mil aero, industrial and harsh environment connectors are often subject to additional requirements such as fluid ingress, temperature, and current/power ratings. Verifying ratings during quotations is essential to meet the application’s needs.

#6. What does this prefix or suffix mean?
Part number complexity can be an issue. For example, a MIL-DTL-5015 series connector is a stalwart in many industrial and mil aero
applications. It can go by its mil-spec callout or by its commercial callout, which is used to identify a specific manufacturer. Suffixes are used in commercial part numbers to help identify key changes in material, contact style, or any customization.

#7. Can you cross this?

Too often price or availability become problematic and buyers need to seek alternatives. An ability to provide a commercial callout against a mil spec callout helps distributors support buyers in times of need.

#8. MOQ’s and price breaks?
Often connectors are used in maintenance, repair, and operations applications where only a minimum quantity is needed. Online retailers such as Newark or Allied offer online pricing with no minimum order quantity and sometimes free shipping. Price breaks are also important — the higher the quantity ordered, the lower the end column pricing.

#9. Can we waive the NCNR?
Non-cancellable, nonreturnable order conditions exist for special parts not easily resold to other customers. To get around this a buyer can ask for the closest standard part number and specs and verify engineering cannot use a standard in that application.

#10. Price history of the SKU?
The best way to determine longer term sourcing trends for a given connector is to understand whether it is made by multiple suppliers and used in higher volume applications. This will dictate how a given part might be priced early in its life versus mid and late in its life cycle.

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