Disaster Highlights Component Firms

As companies scramble to fill holes the disaster in Japan has opened in their supply chains, component distributors such as Fusion Trade Inc. are on the front lines.

Fusion and other distributors work with computer, telecommunications-gear and electronics manufacturers, as well as auto makers and others, to find sources for electronic components when their normal supply lines break down.

Since Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, it has become clearer how significant a player the country is in making key components–such as flash drives and integrated circuits–that are used for manufacturing everything from computers to automobile electronics. The result has been a scramble for parts that has worsened pre-quake shortages and created new ones, keeping firms like Fusion busy.

“There are some parts we simply can’t find,” says Fusion’s chief operating officer, Paul Romano.

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