In the electronic supply chain, time to market (TTM) is increasingly challenging as the needs of technology evolve and manufacturers struggle to meet demand. Delayed production, unreliable supply and global economic inflation has caused unpredictable delivery schedules and price increases. While supply chain obstacles are unavoidable, how can customers combat continuously expanding lead times and establish best practices to stabilize TTM?  

There are strategies to lessen the blow of supply chain disruptions. Proactively adjusting TTM methods with adaptable design, buy and management processes can better ensure a successful product lifecycle. 


In a healthy supply chain, customers would easily be able to design a product, order parts from a preferred vendor and commence manufacturing. However, today’s market can be disturbed by workforce shutdowns, end-of-life notices or shortages in necessary materials. While the supply chain dictates what components are available, companies must plan to incorporate alternative electronic builds and employ multiple manufacturers in order to mitigate risk. 

The scales between supply and demand tip quickly and without warning, even for the largest manufacturers. If allocation becomes difficult for engineering electronic builds, companies must compare and forge alternative supply channels as backups. Having multiple suppliers will help companies stay ahead of the curve. 

Additionally, the testing process is vital and shouldn’t be sacrificed for faster TTM. When Samsung pushed the 2016 Galaxy Note to market too quickly, valuable procedures were omitted. It was later discovered that there wasn’t enough room for the device’s battery to expand when it overheated. The results were phones spontaneously catching fire and being banned from certain airlines. 


Navigating the supply chain purposefully is crucial to solving market volatility. While manufacturers try to forecast, resources are not guaranteed. Inflexibility can lead to delays that impact revenue, so adaptability is essential for success. 

Purchasing buffer stock can alleviate some of the pressure on supply lines, but it cannot safeguard against future interruptions. It can take between 16 – 18 weeks to manufacture components. Average lead times for delivery can be over 90 days, sometimes reaching 12 – 16 weeks depending on freight method. When lead times extend beyond the forecasted window, it results in costly manufacturing setbacks. 

When suppliers cannot secure allocation, companies must navigate the open market. In these instances, it is important to have reliable connections that ensure quantity with quality. An effective way to maintain quality standards is to partner with a certified test house. Fusion Worldwide recently acquired Prosemi, Singapore’s largest testing facility. Customers are now able to cut lead times in half by partnering with Fusion since the supplier can directly control and expedite the component testing process. 

Vertically integrating testing services grants Fusion power over workflow and delivery schedules. While other distributors are forced to quote 4 – 6-week LTs, Fusion can confidently quote 4 – 5-day turn times. 


To develop effective lead time strategies and secure supply, companies must be transparent when working with suppliers. Remaining up to date on market effects allows companies to make informed decisions and create a robust forecasting and sourcing plan. 

Obsolescence is a common challenge and a perfect example of why planning is essential. Working with an independent distributor to develop strategies can prevent delays in TTM by securing supply. Using a trusted network of distributors versus a single supplier helps manufacturers be prepared, instead of struggling to fill supply gaps. 

Companies shouldn’t wait for supply chain management plans to break before assessing risk. Injecting flexibility into builds and purchasing, plus working with a company like Fusion to shorten lead times and to receive real-time market intel, creates a TTM strategy that is prepared to overcome market challenges.


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