By Bill Nulf, VP Channel Sales, MicroTouch
Value-added resellers’ (VARs) success has always depended on a network of manufacturing and vendor partnerships. Prior to 2020, it was typical for VARs to find a component or device they needed, check price, availability, and lead time, and send a purchase order. However, relationships with manufacturing partners have become more complicated, and in some cases, they impact your ability to deliver the solutions your clients demand.
When you plan for 2023, it’s smart to evaluate your vendor partnerships so you can position your business for the greatest success. Ask your partners these questions to increase transparency about your access to the hardware, devices, and other solution components you need.
How deep is the manufacturer in the supply chain for that product?
After a few years of excessive lead times – up to 40 or 50 weeks in some cases – VARs need to ensure they’ll get delivery within project timeframes. Although there are no guarantees, some manufacturers can deliver more than others.
Vendors that manufacture their components or devices rather than using contract manufacturers typically can fill your orders more reliably. They aren’t dependent on a contract manufacturer’s ability to get the parts or raw materials it needs, and the contract manufacturer’s schedule doesn’t limit them.
Additionally, businesses that manufacture their own products can approve a higher price to order parts in short supply and place an order more quickly. However, contract manufacturers can’t make that decision unilaterally. The time they need for price increase approvals may close the window on the ability to order those parts, leading to longer lead times.