Series 14 – Episode 1 – Industry insights and sourcing strategies from Rochester Electronics

12th January 2024
Paige West

Paige West speaks with Stephen Morris, General Manager, EMEA, Rochester Electronics about current industry conditions.

Founded in the 1980s by Curt Gerrish in Newburyport, near Boston, Rochester Electronics originated from a simple yet impactful idea. While working at Motorola, Gerrish noticed the discarding of numerous products that still had market demand. He proposed to take these products and continue selling them to customers. This marked the humble beginnings of Rochester Electronics, which started in Gerrish’s garage and has now evolved into a significant, privately-owned company.

Under the leadership of Gerrish’s sons, Rochester Electronics maintains its original ethos of delivering quality products with guaranteed origins. The company has expanded to supply products from over seventy suppliers. Rochester’s primary focus is on ensuring product authenticity and helping customers sustain their manufacturing processes for extended periods.

The last two years have been particularly tumultuous for the semiconductor and electronics industry, with widespread shortages. Rochester, with its high stock profile, was well-positioned to meet customer demands during this period. The company has seen a shift in customer approach, with more focus on managing long-term supply and obsolescence, due to the heightened awareness of supply chain complexities.

Rochester’s unique approach extends beyond distribution. It has the capability to remanufacture discontinued components, adhering to the original specifications. It maintains strong relationships with suppliers, allowing them access to design files and test programs necessary for authentic remanufacturing.

Quality assurance is paramount at Rochester. It adheres to stringent testing processes and has recently achieved ATF qualification for automotive manufacturing. This approach ensures that every component matches the standards set by original manufacturers like TI and NXP.

Counterfeit components are a significant concern in the industry. Rochester launched an anti-counterfeit awareness campaign in 2006 to address this issue. Morris emphasised the risks associated with counterfeit parts, particularly in critical applications like automotive systems.

Looking ahead, Rochester aims to become the gold standard in authorised supply, ensuring product authenticity and long-term availability. It continuously seeks new supplier partnerships and programs to bridge the gap between product obsolescence and customer manufacturing needs.

Stephen concluded the discussion with optimism about the future of Rochester Electronics. Despite the changing market landscape, the company is poised for growth, driven by its commitment to serving the market effectively and maintaining high standards of quality and authenticity.

To hear more about Rochester Electronics, and much more, you can listen to Electronic Specifier’s interview with Stephen Morris on Spotify or Apple podcasts.

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