Digi-Key Electronics’ digital product proprietor, Cody Walseth, introduces buying professionals to the corporate’s instruments and companies designed to assist them supply different elements
Fast adjustments in digital parts and availability have at all times been a problem for our trade, particularly for procurement professionals. Nevertheless, with shortages and provide chain constraints over the previous two years, buying execs have a harder job than ever. The excellent news is there are methods and easy-to-use instruments out there to assist navigate evaluating parts that can finally save time and make sure the proper elements are in hand when wanted.
Design with flexibility and perceive tolerances
Within the present surroundings, engineers are inspired to create designs with parts that may be sourced from a number of suppliers. In fact, they will’t try this for each half, however there are sometimes methods to reconfigure a design to accommodate completely different half numbers. Having a bill-of-materials for elements with a number of producers supplies some insurance coverage within the occasion inventory isn’t out there. In some instances, engineers are redesigning finish merchandise to make use of elements which might be in inventory; or beginning the design by looking the Digi-Key web site for in-stock product and designing their product round out there stock.
From the buying facet, it’s vital to know if various half tolerances are acceptable. For instance, with capacitors, the tolerance for voltage could also be wider than with a diode. Understanding the parameters are key and will likely be useful in making buying selections or in circling again to engineers with advised substitutes.
On-line instruments to match parts rapidly, conveniently
Digi-Key’s working with prospects and provider companions to offer instruments and technical help to supply alternate options when a selected part is out of inventory, has an extended lead time or is out of date.
Earlier this yr, the corporate launched a sturdy cross-reference software that mechanically pulls a listing of potential alternate options from its database of almost 50 million half quantity cross-references. When a buyer tries to order an element quantity from the web site that’s out of inventory or out of date, Digi-Key mechanically presents potential alternate options through the cross-reference software so prospects can rapidly and simply consider these elements.
If a design’s bill-of-materials is on the market, it may be uploaded into myLists, Digi-Key’s elements listing administration platform, which can point out if any elements are out of inventory, out of date or not advisable for brand spanking new designs. myLists instruments are designed to be simple to make use of, save time and supply a greater consumer expertise with simpler collaboration between buying and engineering, as lists will be shared with others within the group with out interrupting workflow.
Together with self-serve on-line instruments, prospects can discover archived sources and work together with a group of technicians on Digi-Key’s TechForum. The technical help group is on the market to evaluation half inquiries and assist prospects discover a substitute or different. These kinds of questions and solutions are then archived and simply searchable sooner or later.
Digi-Key’s gross sales and technical help groups can be found through on-line chat, electronic mail and cellphone to reply questions on half substitutes and alternate options to interchange out-of-stock parts of their designs or to qualify a number of choices of their designs.
Communication is essential
On this line of enterprise and the present market, there really isn’t such a factor as overcommunication—merely getting on the cellphone, making that particular person connection and preserving all events within the loop.
The Digi-Key group excels at staying in shut contact with provider companions to offer as a lot visibility as attainable into the merchandise in highest demand. In some instances, Digi-Key’s already putting orders out to mid-to-late 2023 to make sure stock is pipelined accordingly.
Along with that shut human connection, investments are additionally being made in applied sciences that assist join us extra mechanically and electronically with suppliers, comparable to Advance Transport Notifications (ASNs) which give real-time, automated updates to Digi-Key’s system about when product will likely be transport. This supplies essentially the most up-to-date data from provider companions to prospects.
Digi-Key understands prospects are busy, making pace and ease the important thing to discovering alternative elements. The corporate is evolving and enhancing instruments and options to offer prospects correct details about part comparisons as quick as attainable to allow them to hold their initiatives shifting and generate income as quickly as attainable.