Top 3 Concerns of Electronic Component Buyers

Aug. 13, 2014
Component availability, economic issues top buyers’ list of things that “keep me up at night,” according to new survey of 800 purchasing pros.

Preliminary results of Global Purchasing’s 2014 Annual Profile Survey indicate that buyers of electronic components remain concerned about component availability and general economic issues. The survey of nearly 800 purchasing professionals covers a wide range of topics, including economic concerns, salary issues, and general business trends, and will be published on in October. This year’s top three concerns are similar to what purchasing professionals reported in last year’s survey and reflect ongoing concern over the slow economic recovery and what some industry professionals describe as an inconsistent business environment.

Here’s a look at what buyers of electronic components told us when asked: “What business issues keep you up at night?”

  1. Component Availability. Fifty-four percent of the 800 purchasing professionals surveyed this year cite component availability as their chief concern. This mirrors what was reported in last year’s survey, when 57% cited this as their top issue. It also largely reflects the nature of the job as buyers try to manage demand for new projects and production cycles.
  2. The General Economy. Forty-one percent of those surveyed cited the economy as a top concern, also matching what was reported in last year’s survey (44%). Indeed, the economy continues to be a key issue for most buyers. Although they have remained optimistic about business conditions this year, many cite sporadic or spotty business conditions, according to Global Purchasing’s monthly Global Purchasing Index.
  3. Product Quality. Product quality edged out “supply chain risks” to take the third spot in our top three concerns, with nearly 40% of respondents listing it as a key issue. Last year, 35% of respondents said they were most concerned about product quality, an issue that ranked fourth behind supply chain risks. This brings to mind the ongoing fight against counterfeit electronic parts. Many authorized and independent electronics distributors alike continue efforts to educate and inform buyers about the risks of counterfeit parts.

Check back this fall for our full report on the 2014 Annual Profile Survey, which includes a close look at compensation issues among purchasing professionals.

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About the Author

Victoria Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.