Evolving and Innovating at Smith’s Global Operational Hubs


By: Kirk Wehby, Chief Operations Officer

Continuous improvement is part of our culture at Smith. We refuse to settle for the status quo and are always on the lookout for new ways to improve our processes, services, and technologies. This drive to innovate and elevate our operations allows us to grow our business, stay ahead of our competition, and exceed our customers’ requirements.

WorksChain, Smith’s proprietary internal database, continues to be an essential component of our operational continuous improvement process. Our team of internal developers custom-built this system from the ground up to meet our specific needs within the electronic component supply chain. Over time, WorksChain has evolved to include new customer-specific requirements and more automation to streamline the system and expand our capabilities.

All that said, making a commitment to improving isn’t enough. Change needs to be measurable to demonstrate that it is effective. One of the ways Smith achieves this is through our third-party verified certifications and accreditations. We want our customers to rest assured that our products and services are maintained at the highest standards and that we’re held accountable to those standards.

We stay informed about new opportunities to have our systems externally validated as a yardstick of industry reliability. For example, Smith recently became the first independent distributor of electronic components to be formally recognized as adherent to IATF 16949. This standard, which outlines best practices for quality management and continual improvement in the automotive-industry supply chain, further emphasizes our reliability as a prime partner for sourcing top-tier commodities.

As our European footprint continues to expand, we’ve not only worked to continue building up our capabilities and equipment at our Amsterdam distribution center, but we’ve also backed up those enhancements with six new certifications and qualifications in the last six months. Our three operational hubs deliver the same trustworthy quality that our customers rely on, which is confirmed by our global certifications. When we earn new qualifications at our headquarters in Houston, we don’t stop there. Instead, those qualifications flow from our headquarters out to each of our operational hubs to provide a framework for a full supply chain improvement model.

Looking forward, Smith will continue to innovate and develop new opportunities through our commitment to progress. Equipment upgrades, expanded testing capabilities, enhanced service offerings, and new certifications to support our customers’ needs are among our many continuous improvement projects on the horizon. We strive to always keep moving so that we can maintain our position as the world’s leading independent distributor of electronic components.

Check out more of Smith’s success stories on our LinkedIn Life page.