December 2013 – TTI’s European Distribution Centre will more than double its size in 2014 to nearly 20,000m² and will continue to expand its product range and provide additional connector assembly and plating finishing capabilities.
Value-Added Distribution in the heart of Europe
TTI first opened its 10,000m² multi-level European distribution centre in Maisach-Gerlinden near Munich in mid 2005. Set up to mirror its vast 19,000m² connector warehouse, assembly and modification facility in Texas, TTI’s European Distribution Centre will more than double its size in 2014 to nearly 20,000m² and will continue to expand its product range and provide additional connector assembly and plating finishing capabilities. Optimising distribution and value-added services for European customers consolidates the number of suppliers they have to manage, shortening purchasing cycle times, minimising risk and improving the supply chain. Shipping is to customers’ forecast requirements or buyers can ask for buffer stocks to be held to meet procurement needs. Predictability of supply plus reduced transaction costs ultimately reduces customers’ total costs, as they are freed from pre-purchasing unnecessarily large component stocks to hold in their own inventories for future use.
A specialist passive, connector, electromechanical and discrete distributor
Passive, connector, electromechanical and discrete components typically make up 75% of an average BOM component count and 85% of PCB placements, yet only represent 7 – 10% of total spend. TTI’s distribution model is focussed on broad and deep inventory stocking - in Europe, this translates into over half a million part numbers held in stock, more than any other source. Its supply chain solutions are integrated into a proprietary system called Advanced Inventory Management (AIM), which was designed specifically to facilitate inventory management, ensure accurate data processing, minimise processing cost and maximise continuity of supply. AIM links TTI’s worldwide automated warehouses in North America, Europe and Asia together in a single system for global customer support – in fact, TTI was the first distributor to have all its warehouses ISO registered. The facility in Germany is currently rated to EN9100 and EN9120:2009.
Investment in stock is clearly a given for any major distributor, but it should be remembered that holding inventory can shelter customers from shortages, whether caused by disruption to supply of raw materials, high demand globally or natural disasters. During such periods, TTI restricts the quantity of line items it will sell to non-customers to avoid allocation. While it is normal for some distributors to strive for stock turns of over six times a year, TTI looks to achieve three to four, but is more interested in the right profile to support future demand for its customers’ needs. (As a comparison, the ‘Big Four’ catalogue houses have a turns ratio of 1.5x – which is necessary to support a very different business model.).
Connector assembly and plating
A key requirement for buyers in the hi-rel, aerospace and defence markets is the ability to provide a fast turnaround service, saving time both during the assembly process and avoiding any export issues. The QPL-approved facility at Gerlinden has twelve dedicated workstations and stocks over 2,800 connector piece parts, plus a full range of complementary products such as adapters/backshells, moulded parts, adhesives, marker sleeves, tubes, wire and cable and circuit protection elements. Available product ranges include Amphenol and Souriau’s EN3645 8D devices as well as D38999 series I, LJT (Amphenol), HE 308 (Amphenol) and 8LT (Souriau); D38999 series III, TV (Amphenol) and 8D (Souriau); MS26482 series 1, PT (Amphenol), 451 (Amphenol) and HE 301 (Amphenol); VG96912, SJT (Amphenol); and VG95234 GCB (Amphenol). A full range of plating options - Olive Drab, Cadmium / Electroless Nickel Plating, Black Zinc Nickel – is available and buyers can choose either composite or metal shells with signal, power and coax contacts and a range of termination methods. No MOQs are imposed and the facility will produce just one part. More details are available at http://www.ttieurope.com/page/connector-assembly, while TTI’s microsite at www.ttieurope.com/38999 includes online data sheets and a part number search engine.