Authorized or Independent Distributor: Which One is Best for You?

Authorized or Independent Distributor: Which One is Best for You?

In the midst of exciting and significant technological advancements, the demand for electronic components, hardware, and assemblies is at a record high across industries such as automotive and transportation, industrial and automation, aerospace and defense, energy, and medical. As a result, components have become extremely hard to come by, to say the least. A lot of what companies are able to find are suspected counterfeit or counterfeit components. So the question becomes this: when looking to secure hard-to-find obsolete, or in-high-demand components, is it best to work with an authorized distributor or an independent distributor?

Most buyers purchase from an independent distributor if they are looking for a very hard-to-find, obsolete part, while others purchase from an authorized distributor if they want peace of mind knowing their part came directly from an authorized source of the manufacturer. Let’s dive a little deeper to fully understand which option is best for you. 

Authorized Distributor

An authorized distributor is one that is “authorized” and has authority in the distribution of parts directly from a manufacturer, called an Original Component Manufacturer (OCM). Once the part is received from the OCM, it is shipped directly to the customer. Companies choose this distribution line because they know exactly where the part is coming from, providing them assurance that the component is authentic. It is ideal to purchase from an authorized distributor instead of an independent distributor when you are looking for parts that are common and easy to find. 

Area51 Electronics is an authorized distributor for more than 50 manufacturers. By collaborating with Area51 Electronics, companies gain access to its large, diverse network of authorized manufacturers. Having access to a larger supply of products and resources provides more purchasing flexibility, lowers costs, a stress-free buying process and shorter lead times—which is extremely vital to those who rely on just-in-time deliveries.

Independent Distributor

An independent distributor focuses on offering its clients a diverse supply chain from a variety of trusted supply chain partners. Working with an independent distributor can be high risk, high reward. Because independent distributors obtain parts that are hard to find or obsolete, the risk of receiving counterfeit components is much higher. 

Choosing an independent distribution line means you must trust that the distributor has  gone above and beyond to ensure all products are authentic, verified, handled and stored in accordance with industry quality standards. As the leader in counterfeit mitigation, Area51 Electronics is certified as an AS6081 organization and holds exemplary quality management system (QMS) certifications including, ISO 9001:2015, AS9100, AS9120B, ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014, and FAA AC 00-56B.

To provide extra assurance that our components are not counterfeit, we remain transparent about where our components come from, whether it be from our own inventory of electronic components and hard-to-find parts, or our large supplier network of OEMs, contract manufacturers, and other distributors from around the world and different ends of the supply chain.

A Better Option: The Collaborative Advantage

Whether you choose to work with an authorized or independent distributor will depend on your specific needs. But, as we all know, needs can change and evolve. Luckily, a better option is available—you can work with a distributor that offers both an authorized distribution line and an independent distribution line. 

At Area51 Electronics, we are both an authorized and independent distributor which we call our “Collaborative Advantage”. This distinct collaborative advantage is designed to give companies a competitive advantage—maximize each other’s strengths and open up access to a vast amount of resources— as well as help your business ease supply chain issues and diversify safely.

With our Collaborative Advantage, you will also be able to better synchronize all orders and processes in one place. This eliminates the headaches associated with jumping from one distributor-type to another, giving companies more opportunities to save time, money, and focus on growing their business.

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