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August 22, 2014
SparkFun's Supply Chain Manager
A beginner project utilizing the SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger for two tired kiddos!
News - The MP3 Music Box
about 4 months ago
It would require some coding, but looking at the Command Set from the hookup guide I'm confident you could play a list of tracks making use of the Play_Next or Play_Track commands in a loop.
Absolutely! We did Paper Circuits (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14655) with them over the holidays, and then this was a big step up. I'm trying to show them the possibilities, and spark their interest in creating.
News - Summer of Tariffs: Q&…
about 11 months ago
Indeed. We're anticipating the customs process slowing down and increasing lead times. At the same time we're seeing indications that Customs is pushing things through without as much help as they might have offered in the past. We had a shipment last week where the supplier didn't fully complete the paperwork with the HTS code accurately. In the past Customs would have had the shipper ask us for clarification. This shipment ended up grouped into an incorrect classification that got hit with the increased 25% Tariff and now we need to file a dispute against it.
That particular shipment was for 1,700 higher end switches, so the cost went up about $.50 each.
News - Summer of Tariffs
Good question, that is referred to as a Duty Drawback, and while that is normally an option, in this case the US government has explicitly forbidden it. They implemented the 25% tariff under a special code that then gets added on to the normal tariff, and the special code is ineligible for Duty Drawback.
Jakezilla, as you alluded to, we attempt to negotiate long term pricing with our suppliers to keep our costs stable. Most of our costs from overhead to parts to professional fees are typically fairly stable. Our suppliers let us know when they are hit with raw material increases for example, and we figure out how to work that into our next long-term agreement.
The tariffs happening at this moment are far from usual, as they were implemented over a very short period of time (announced in April, effective in July) and it's very hard to anticipate if this is going to be a permanent change, or change again in the next few months.
While all of the factors you mentioned are part of doing business, in our 15 year history we've never been faced with this situation or the size of the impact. We're figuring it out just like everyone else.
"Small Business" is certainly a relative term, I believe in the US it is under 250 employees which we fall under, by other definitions we may be "medium". We're definitely bigger than a mom and pop shop, but we are just 100 or so people in a single building working together.
As Megan said the challenge is figuring out how take the increased cost to LED's, resistors, capacitors, sensors, connectors, switches, etc. and roll that through our entire catalog of products. We consume tens of thousands of those impacted components every week. Each one may be pennies, but when you add it up it is definitely in the Hundreds of Thousands of dollars over a year.
SFE Supply Chain Mgr here. Absolutely it's a complicated situation and problem to solve, which is what we're trying to high-lite. We manufacture all of our SFE Branded Boards and Kits right here in Colorado, and employ over 100 people in this building doing so. The challenge with the tariffs that have gone into effect to date is that they really hit the components, and not so much the finished products. So from your example, instead of it being a $27 to $32 comparison, it could suddenly become a $27 to $40 comparison if all of your base components were suddenly taking a hit (that's the extreme situation, but you see the challenge).
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