Electronic components are the building blocks of the current advances in technology.  Two of the most significant advances are AI and blockchain. Both these technologies will have an impact on the electronic component supply chain.

AI is making an increasing impact on every aspect of the business world.  In June 2024, Nvidia overtook Microsoft as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, with a market capitalization of over $3.3 trillion.  This growth is largely due to the use of its components in AI systems.

Blockchain had perhaps been over-hyped in the last few years, and its association with Bitcoin and illicit data mining (the process by which transactions are validated digitally and added to the blockchain ledger) has made some companies wary of it.  Its need for massive amounts of computational power, and therefore massive amounts of components, is well known Despite that, its ability to deliver a secure, decentralised  trustable distributed ledger offers potential benefits to all supply chains.

Many OEMs operate a Just In Time supply chain, ordering components to arrive at the time they are required.  This frees up both storage space and working capital.  We’ve  written before about the move from Just In Time to Just In Case, as OEMs look to protect their supply chain.  AI can, in the future, help them improve their ability to predict demand.  Given access to the right inputs, AI can make almost instant decisions based on a very wide range of data.  It will be able to decide when to  order components, and the quantity required, with great accuracy.

It’s essential for OEMs to be sure the components they buy are not counterfeit or of poor quality.  This is straightforward when the components are bought direct from the manufacturer, or their chosen reseller.  It is harder when the components are obsolete or on a long lead time.  (As you probably know, we are experts at solving these problems). The components may be sourced from a reseller like us, or from another company selling on its excess stock of the components.  Blockchain offers the possibility of having a complete, secure and trustworthy record of every part of the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the OEM.