What is a “Trusted Source” of Supply?

Beginning November 15, 2012,  the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) requires suppliers who are awarded contracts to supply electronic parts (in the FSC 5962 category) to use SigNature DNA marking from Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. Also, it was announced by the DLA that “effective immediately, only trusted sources who comply with Deoxyribonucleic Acid marking requirement in DLAD 52.11-9074 are eligible to receive FSC 5962 awards from DLA. There are no exceptions.” and that “trusted sources will be reimbursed through a CLIN for ‘Contractor DNA Marking’ in the award document. Those companies will be reimbursed for one license per year.”

In the ongoing effort to combat counterfeiting, remarking and theft, the U.S. Government has contracted with the sole source provider of botanical-DNA based security services, Applied DNA Sciences, Inc.

No doubt the effort to combat bad parts will continue to create many different solutions for OEM, CMs and ODMs.

So what is a “trusted source” of supply? For the purpose of this blog post, sourcing from a trusted source of supply will have to be defined by your organization. If you are a government contractor or subcontractor, guidelines and mandates have already been established. If your business model doesn’t include government customers, it is still worth defining your “trusted source” of supply.

The “Trusted Foundry Program” is managed by The Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA). The DMEA was established by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The DoD Instruction 5200.44, Protection of Mission Critical Functions to Achieve Trusted Systems and Networks (TSN) requires that;

 “In applicable systems, integrated circuit-related products and services shall be procured from a trusted supplier accredited by the Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) when they are  custom-designed, custom-manufactured, or tailored for a specific DoD military end use (generally referred to as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)).”

Accredited Trusted Foundry Suppliers have appointed a representative to ensures the electronic part is trusted from the design, mask, foundry, packaging, assembly and test services.  This chain of protection applies to parts identified as requiring “Trusted Product Flow”. Accredited Trusted Foundry Suppliers are not required to apply these stringent rules to commercial product flow.

Protecting our national defense is a critical goal of the “Trusted Foundry Program”…but what about protecting your company?

Procurement from a “Trusted Source” is quickly evolving into short Approved Vendor Lists (AVL’s) with requirements designed to weed out the uninformed and untrained. The barrier to entry in the aftermarket electronic component distribution market place has risen to great heights with standards and regulations increasing every year.

What have I learned from my customers about the definition of being a Trusted Source of Supply?

The words quality and trusted can be used and overused until it becomes a cliche’. To say we are a perfect supplier would be an overstatement.  I am proud of our commitment to getting it right as opposed to being right. I am proud of my team to make adjustments and provide solutions when you can not get the product you need when you need it.

I (we) have learned to:

  1. communicate and respond to you regarding RFQs, questions and potential issues or recommendations
  2. provide education to you so you can make an intelligent informed decision about your buying choices
  3. continue to be members of ERAI and read the daily alerts for reported bad parts and questionable suppliers
  4. choose our suppliers wisely based on their ability to communicate and respond
  5. recommend testing parts, cross references and other alternatives to a circuit board redesign
  6. stay on top of changes in our industry by attending trade shows and reading industry updates
  7. keep an eye out for the best and latest technology and changes that will benefit you

This list is not all inclusive and my definition may not match up with your definition of being a trusted supplier.  

I’m interested. What is your definition of a “Trusted Source’ of Supply?

You can email your response to trustedsource@tomg115.sg-host.com

Inland Empire Components, Inc. provides customers with safe electronic purchasing supply chain solutions.


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