bisco industries Blog

Helping to Build Ventilators in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Marcia Williams

On a spring morning in March, Scott Rowden wakes up early and looks through the window. Thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic come into his mind. Scott reflects on how this situation has evolved from a distant virus in Wuhan, China to being spread rapidly in the United States and throughout the world. It seems unstoppable.

How our lives have changed with COVID-19

We are living in unprecedented and challenging times. ABC News shows ten ways in which COVID-19 has already changed our lives. They are as follows:

  1. Greetings – elbow pounds replacing our traditional handshaking
  2. Politics – uncertainty about 2020 presidential elections; no large crowds
  3. Hygiene – hand washing has become critical
  4. Public gatherings – limitations on the number of people
  5. Economy/markets – major hit to the US stock market and high volatility
  6. Travel – bans and restrictions are in place
  7. Stockpiling and price gouging – prices 50% higher for sanitizers
  8. Closed schools and offices – online classes and telework
  9. Clothing/ masks – medical face masks rose 319%, per Nielsen data
  10. Fears and anxiety –staying positive and productive becomes challenging


Scott grabs a quick breakfast. After reading articles and watching the news about the coronavirus pandemic, Scott gets ready to go to work. Yes, he drives to the corporate office located in Anaheim, CA because his company is considered essential amid the novel coronavirus.

The Ventilator Manufacturer Challenge

That Monday, Scott jumps on his work at his desk, as he typically does, without knowing that it would be an unforgettable day for him and his team at bisco industries. bisco industries is a premier distributor of electronic components and fasteners.

A major challenge from a ventilator manufacturer was awaiting Scott. Ventilators are artificial breathing machines that help patients with severe respiratory issues. They are very effective during coronavirus treatment. In these times, demand exceeds the available supply of the so needed ventilators, despite innovative approaches being tested to fight the imbalance. For instance, an article in The Guardian highlights how the Australian government is asking Ford for help in boosting production of ventilators.

Hospitals in Italy have been experiencing alarming issues with ventilator production capacity. This is to the point that doctors have made the tough decision of which lives to save.

“The capacity in northern Italy hospitals is a preview of a movie that is about to play in the United States,” said Marty Makary, a John Hopkins University surgeon and health policy expert, to USA Today. “The best two indicators of what things will be like in the U.S. are the number of COVID-related deaths in Italy and the number of ICU beds.”

This is not far from happening. Patients in the U.S. could be prioritized based on determined criteria for the allocation of ventilators, states an article titled As coronavirus pandemic surges, hospitals prepare for grim possibility of ventilator triage” on ABC News.

Ventilator manufacturers are facing three main issues:

  1. Demand is increasing at an extremely high pace
  2. Availability of raw materials for production
  3. Availability of staff to keep production running


Working against the clock to get the critical component

Precisely, the email that Scott received from the Palm Springs ventilator manufacturer was looking for a solution to the availability of raw materials. Amid this crisis, a function that many times is overlooked by companies’ leadership, has started to shine and getting the attention it deserves. That function is supply chain management.

As its names denotes, it is a chain from the raw materials to the end customer. This process covers purchasing and inventory optimization, operations and manufacturing, as well as warehousing and logistics.

To ensure supply chain continuity, the echelons in the chain need to be well-linked and have the flexibility and agility to respond to the rapidly changing environment. Guess who are orchestrating the chain with their multiple participants and complexities to have a resilient and streamlined supply chain?

Supply chain professionals are the ones behind the scenes. They juggle cost, quality, deliveries, lead-times, quantity, among many other pieces. Their motto is that the show must go on. With that motto, Scott took immediate action to find the requested critical component. He knew he was helping fight COVID-19. This created an immense energy that translated into effort.

An hour later, another e-mail from the same Palm Springs ventilator manufacturer flashes into his inbox. The quantity needed was 10X the original quantity. His knowledge and experience told Scott that the quantity required would probably increase. Scott was able to reserve all available inventory for the manufacturer in less than two days. The end result? A very pleased customer, impressed by the extremely quick response.

This is a clear example of how our communities are reliant on the functions performed by supply chain management professionals. This becomes visible when issues arise in the supply chain; for instance, material shortages and delays, among many others.

 The Rewards

Contributing to supply chain continuity during these times of disruption provides a real purpose and meaning to my job,” Scott said. We are in this together. The thought and action taken by Scott and the team at bisco industries enabled the ventilator manufacturer production line to keep running, thus saving lives. This challenge made a fantastic day at work. Scott couldn’t be happier. How great is the feeling to contribute to fight COVID-19. But, how did they do it?

Scott and his team’s fast turnaround were because of their relationships with their suppliers. Of course, knowledge and experience are key pillars of the foundations as well. Nonetheless, the most relevant aspect in this wonderful true story is bisco’s relationships built and solidified over time with their suppliers. That was the factor that made it happen.

Remember the sad situation that doctors are faced with in Italy as they are forced to choose among patients? And, the possibility of ventilator triage at hospitals in the United States noted by the article on ABC News? Yes, when doctors need to prioritize lives based on certain criteria?

This is the race suppliers are running against – the race Scott and the bisco team are running against. Based on the relationships they have built and their expertise of the supply chain, Scott and the bisco team were able to provide a fast response and deliver the exact products that were needed. This is how they enjoyed and are proud to be helping build more ventilators in the fight against COVID-19.

Customized Vendor Managed Inventory

When it comes to managing your supply chain vendor managed inventory (VMI) can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Imagine reducing the cost of carrying inventory, replenishing stock automatically, and customizing packaging all in one solution. That’s just a flavor of what a customized VMI program from bisco industries can offer.

At bisco we customize each and every VMI program to meet the unique needs of your business and help you improve profit margins. Here are 3 popular VMI features to help you meet your business challenges: Read more…

VMI Solutions from bisco industries: Bonded Inventory

Bonded inventory (also known as dedicated inventory) is a value added service that bisco offers our clients. Bonded inventory gives you the advantage of high-volume pricing and immediate availability. bisco will stock your dedicated inventory in one of our 7 strategically located warehouses and even use your own custom part numbers. Our bonded inventory program ensures that your products will be delivered on time – at the right time.

Benefits of bonded inventory include:

  • Reduced inventory carrying costs
  • Automatic and targeted inventory shipments preventing production down time
  • Reduced costs by obtaining next price break discounts

Contact your dedicated sales rep to develop a bonded inventory package that meets your unique requirements.

Minimize Risk With Long Term Pricing

Pricing for commodities can fluctuate greatly depending on the cost of raw materials and product availability. That’s why long-term pricing agreements are an important tool for minimizing risk in your supply chain. Long-term pricing agreements ensure that product prices stay the same or within a specified range for a given period of time. By entering into these agreements purchasing managers are able to better forecast costs, typically resulting in higher profit margins.

Keep Costs Predicable With bisco’s Long-Term Pricing Agreements

With over 40 years of industry experience, bisco industries understands how to craft pricing agreements that keep your costs both reasonable and predictable. Minimize risk and maximize profit by working with bisco industries. Our customer representatives are standing by, contact us today!

What the Internet of Things Means for Electronic Manufacturing

There’s a lot of talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) these days and for good reason. The IoT refers to electronic devices communicating and sharing data through wireless connections. For example, your clothes dryer will be able to send an alert to your phone letting you know your clothes are ready.  Not only is the IoT set to change our daily lives but it will also transform electronics manufacturing.

Automated Equipment Monitoring

Instead of requiring constant monitoring from workers, equipment will, in many ways, be self-monitoring. The IoT allows equipment to automatically collect and communicate data such as the number of items produced, down time, and malfunctions to production managers. Using this data, production managers will be able to make real-time decisions to increase efficiency and reduce down time. The end result of manufacturing equipment connected to the IoT will be increased production.

Increased Demand For Connected Devices

While the IoT will likely make manufacturing processes more efficient it will also cause a spike in demand for connected devices. While the IoT is making headlines the demand for connected devices still hasn’t reached a fever pitch. As more end users learn about the benefits of the IoT demand will only rise, driving growth in the electronics manufacturing industry. In fact, “According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide Internet of Things market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9%”.

A Partner For The Future

At bisco industries we believe the past informs the future. With over 40 years of experience bisco understands the challenges of technological change. A franchised distributor of electronic components, specialty fasteners, and hardware, bisco industries offers e-commerce shopping as well as a large staff of customer representatives. We’ll help you locate the components you need and more importantly provide the value added services to make your supply chain even more efficient.  Make sure you have reliable a supply partner as you navigate the rapid expansion of the IoT. Contact bisco industries today!

Lean Manufacturing & Component Kitting

Running a lean manufacturing environment? Kitting is a process often utilized in lean manufacturing to reduce material handling and processing times as well as to improve line side assembly. Kitting involves gathering the required components for the manufacturer of a particular assembly or product and packaging them together. Once required a kit can easily be issued to the point of use.

The Challenges of Kitting

Kitting has numerous benefits with the overall objective of reducing processing time for parts and downtime for the assembly lines. Despite the benefits of kitting it is only effective as long as all the components are available. Thus it is imperative that all the members of the supply chain meet deadlines and provide accurate demand information. Many manufacturers who do kitting in-house encounter problems with inaccuracies in their inventory levels. Even if one component is below the required inventory level, production may be delayed. Scenarios like this exemplify how bisco industries can be a key partner in your supply chain.

Contracting Out Kitting

bisco industries will take your bill of materials and package items together to provide production ready kits. That way you only have to monitor inventory levels on a single kit rather than multiple components. bisco industries’ kitting services aid in reducing inventory, inspection, transaction, and acquisition costs. Kitting also streamlines procurement and speeds up the manufacturing cycle.

Learn more about bisco’s kitting services by visiting and locating your local sales representative.

Quality Is Always King

Quality Control Services from bisco industries

Buyers often focus on price and availability as determining factors when choosing a supplier but quality is truly the deciding factor. If products don’t meet quality standards then they are useless. bisco realizes that quality is absolutely key to manufacturers and fabricators and that’s why, in addition to our standard quality inspection process, we offer customizable quality control services.

Common Quality Control Services:

  • Dimensional Inspection
  • Quantity Verification
  • Special Packaging (Example: No packaging “peanuts” or “popcorn”)

The goal of bisco’s quality control services is to ensure that your requirements are met each and every time. That’s also why our quality control services are fully customizable.

As an AS9100/ISO9001 certified company, bisco is committed to quality and was recently named among the top 100 quality leaders by Quality Magazine. To learn more about bisco’s quality control services, contact a local bisco representative today!

4 Ways bisco Connects Your Supply Chain With Excellence

As our customers’ primary source for components and fasteners, we have learned to constantly adapt to our customers’ diverse needs. In so doing, we have developed the ability to provide just about any service our customers require. We understand that providing top-quality service and products is what keeps our customers coming back year after year.

Are you short on time and resources?

Here are four services bisco offers to increase the efficiency of your supply chain:

Cable Assembly

To reduce your in-house production time, bisco industries can pre-assemble cable harnesses at our facility. Not only that but we are able leverage our supplier network to procure all the necessary components from cable ties and wire to connectors and heat shrink. The result is that you save both time and money.

Part Modification

bisco will work with our supplier network to locate the ideal manufacturer for your custom product requirements. We will then work with the manufacturer from prototyping through design to ensure the parts meet your specifications.

Special Labeling and Packaging

Whether you need products packaged a 100 pieces to a bag or labeled with custom barcodes, bisco can deliver parts packaged and labeled to your specifications. Custom packaging and labeling helps speed up warehouse receiving and inventory management in addition to reducing production times.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Looking to streamline order placement, expediting, and suplly chain communication? bisco will set up an EDI allowing you to locate inventory, obtain pricing, and place orders. bisco’s EDI solutions also allow you to make changes to current orders and request expedites. All this can be accomplished simply by logging into bisco’s secure portal.

To learn more about bisco’s supply chain services contact a local representative today.

3 Core Benefits of Dock-to-Stock Programs

In any business efficiency is a key. That’s why bisco offers customizable dock-to-stock solutions that help your company run at peak efficiency. Dock-to-stock programs put you and your clients first by expediting procurement and receiving processes. This in turn speeds up turn around to end customers which translates into you getting paid faster. Read below to learn even more about how a dock-to-stock program can benefit your company.

Three Core Benefits

  1. Reduces Duplicate Work

Typically, a dock-to-stock program is based on a yearlong contract. So what does this mean for you? Set-up occurs only once instead of every time you need to re-order because your product information is already in the system.

  1. Minimizes Quality Findings

Because orders are prepared in advance, parts aren’t being produced on a whim or in a rush. Planning allows for proper engineering, set-up, and manufacturing.

  1. Reduces inventory

Not having to stock extra inventory in your warehouse saves you time and money since you need less warehouse space and fewer people managing inventory.

Contact Us Today!

Dock-to-stock programs allow you to control the processes of planning, production, and quality assurance. At bisco industries, we work closely with you to setup a program that meets your unique requirements. Call your local sales office for more details about setting up dock-to-stock solutions for your company.

21 Value Added Services from bisco

bisco industries’ greatest strength is our customer service and local support. Our team is trained and equipped with solutions for problems that arise in every step of a products development and production.

Looking for a certain product specifications?

Bisco is an authorized, preferred source for the top manufacturers in the industry with access to spec sheets and technical support.

Ready to order?

bisco has 7 stocking warehouses throughout North America. Our relationship with our top supply partners allows us to receive price breaks that we pass on to our customers.

Still not convinced?

bisco industries, offers a wide range of value added services that will streamline your purchasing and supply chain operations. In fact, here are the top 21 value added services that we offer:

  1. Assembly
  2. Barcoding
  3. Bin Stocking
  4. Bonded Inventory
  5. Consignment Inventory
  6. Consolidated Billing
  7. Dock to Stock
  8. Drop Shipments
  9. Electronic File Sharing / EDI
  10. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  11. Just-in-Time (JIT) Delivery
  12. KanBan
  13. Kitting
  14. Long Term Pricing
  15. One Stop Shopping
  16. Quality Control
  17. Rebate Program
  18. Schedule Sharing
  19. Special Packaging – Bag and Tag
  20. Special Payment Terms
  21. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)
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