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"How SAND & SILICON keeps the industry going. "

Whether it's for cars, workstations or medicine, there's one thing that the current industry is constantly heavily reliant on: Chips. When companies struggle with supply bottlenecks here, they turn to brokers. One of them is Noureddine Seddiki, who founded SAND & SILICON in 2020. His startup procures scarcely available semiconductor parts and is thus an important part of a flourishing industry.

When procuring highly complex electronic parts via third parties, trust is the top item on the checklist. As a rule, young companies have to work hard for years to earn this trust. Two and a half years after its founding, Seddiki's customers already include global players in the automotive, medical technology and electrical industries.

This has mainly to do with the network in which buyers of the companies and brokers operate: Here, the trading of the commodity runs enormously fast and if a broker does a reliable job, he benefits from recommendations between the customers. These then support each other in emergency situations, such as shortages.

"Startup Sand & Silicon helps with chip shortages and overstocks"

In times of need, customers order by text message: Noureddine Seddiki used the semiconductor crisis to launch a lucrative business. Now he also wants to earn money from full warehouses.

The timing was ideal when Noureddine Seddiki launched his brokerage firm Sand & Silicon in the spring of 2021. Companies worldwide were scrambling for scarce semiconductors during the corona pandemic. The intermediary for chips was able to help desperate buyers in the greatest need more than once, Seddiki reports.

The semiconductor crisis has now passed its peak. Nevertheless, the entrepreneur is not worried about his start-up. "There will be bottlenecks until 2030," predicts the business economist. The new chip plants currently planned would not be enough to satisfy the rising demand.
There is something else that makes Seddiki, a native of Frankfurt, confident: He also earns money from full warehouses. The 38-year-old helps companies turn excess stocks into cash...

"Overstocks in many places, but Semiconductors are missing in 9 out of 10 companies"

The independent distributor Sand & Silicon has conducted a survey on the supply situation of electronic components: The automotive industry is still struggling for ICs and GPUs are generally in short supply.

Although the materials crisis has largely eased in recent months, the electronics industry is still far from being able to speak of a relaxed supply situation. In a survey conducted by Sand & Silicon in October 2023, 358 companies worldwide were comprehensively questioned about bottlenecks and overstocks. In addition to difficulties in procuring circuits and semiconductors, the industry is currently struggling to reduce excess inventories. Bottlenecks still exist for some electronic components, but 77.4% of companies state that the supply situation has generally eased. For example, the procurement of passive components (34.6%) and connectors (19%) is much more relaxed than a few months ago...

"Supply bottlenecks - How brokers get hold of scarce components"

Sand & Silicon is a broker. While brokers were often associated negatively in the past, their reputation has changed: Because brokers saved the revenue of many companies in the last two years.

While much of the economy went into short-time work in 2020, ushering in the time for the materials crisis, Noureddine Seddiki launched his company: an independent distributor called Sand & Silicon. Sand & Silicon set out with the goal of becoming the best customer service and support provider in the market.
Sand & Silicon is a broker. What was once often negatively associated has saved many companies sales in the last two years. "People always think we sell expensive fake products - but we often spend days organizing hard-to-find parts on the world market to ensure production," explains Noureddine Seddiki. And with success: Starting with 20 companies in the DACH region, Sand & Silicon now supports over 500 companies worldwide. In order to maintain proximity to customers and suppliers from Asia...

"Buyers can take precautions with these strategies"

Companies are still faced with material shortages. An additional challenge is the reduction of excess inventories. In order to define a smart strategy for one's company here, it is worth taking a look at the forecasts - which parts are in particular demand and where the situation will increasingly ease.

Recent years have shown that the supply situation can change in just a short time. This complicates dit planning and, in the worst-case scenario, leads to the fact that the assembly lines come to a standstill. The highest level of commitment and creativity was required from buyers and supply chain managers.
Currently, global supply chains seem to be recovering. In turn, however, there are parts and assemblies on the horizon for which the supply situation is not certain and others for which the situation will come to a head again. In addition, Europe's dependence on Asia is still a flashpoint that cannot be solved in the medium, if not long term.

"Semiconductors drive costs for companies"

Nvidia is achieving dream results with its specialty chips. That's because AI semiconductors are expensive and in short supply - which puts startups and companies in a bind.

Munich, Dusseldorf, San Francisco. When Mustafa Suleyman is asked at a tech conference in San Francisco what makes his startup Inflection AI so special, he doesn't have to think twice. "We have the largest cluster of Nvidia's powerful chips," says the artificial intelligence (AI) expert. One has 22,000 of the semiconductors, he says. "That's a huge advantage."

The statement is remarkable. Suleyman once founded the pioneer Deepmind, which now belongs to Google. But instead of touting his new business model or his AI assistant, the 39-year-old prefers to talk about semiconductors. Because they're expensive and hard to come by. "Everyone is after AI chips," says David DeSanto, head of product at tech company Gitlab.

"Be maximally flexible and creative when faced with problems."

Please introduce yourself and the startup SAND & SILICON to our readers.

My name is Noureddine Seddiki, I am the founder of SAND & SILICON and a family man of three children.

My background includes a degree in Business Administration, during which I completed a formative semester abroad as an intern at SAP in London. In total, I can look back on 15 years of experience in sales, ten of them in the semiconductor industry.

In 2020, I founded SAND & SILICON, a company specializing in semiconductor trading and excess inventory liquidation. We act as a broker, helping our global customers find high-quality semiconductor products (high-tech microchips) while effectively dealing with excess inventory. I also founded a startup on the side that specializes in mentoring and developing young soccer talent.

Success through diversity and competence

The majority of our employees were formerly employed by leading global manufacturers, distributors and brokers. They are professionals from different backgrounds in terms of their expertise as well as their nationalities and now form a high-performance team that has an absolute overall view of supplier structures and working methods on the global market.This bundled expertise naturally flows into our consulting.

Oliver Sand // Head of Operations

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