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A Case Against Buying from Part Brokers
Keywords: Electronic Part Supply Chain, Electronic Part Broker, Part Selection and Management
The electronic industry has been finding an increasing number of incidents of unauthorized and counterfeit parts in the supply chain and fielded products. In many cases, parts were bought from part brokers. Part brokers are intermediaries or agents that negotiate contracts to purchase and sell electronic parts, usually without the authorization of part manufacturers. In this paper we discuss electronic part distribution and brokers, and then make a case to show why doing business with a broker is a high risk activity that should be prohibited. The manufacturer and part assessment guidelines that are used to evaluate a part manufacturer’s ability to consistently produce quality parts and also to determine the acceptability of a part for an application, while considering factors such as functionality, performance, standardization, cost, and availability are often not valid when buying from brokers. Brokers scout for parts from unreliable sources having no part traceability and thus the parts may be of poor quality or may not meet the acceptability criteria of a particular application. We will provide examples of problem parts from unauthorized sources and how those instances could have been eliminated if the part sources were properly evaluated using part selection and management tools.
Diganta Das, Research Scientist
University of Maryland - CALCE
College Park, MD

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