One of the advantages of the paperless catalogue, which I can foresee, is that I may be able to customise my own catalogue. For example if I am interested to see only the micro controllers and not interested in the other periphral Ics or memory Ics then I will be able to set my own filters and get only the information I want. I do not know whether the currently implemented catalogues have this feature but this is very easy to do when such information is available on line. This automatically saves me from the searching through the index everytime the catalogue is opened.
Later when most of the companies have their product catalogues on line , I will be able to use google like search engine and get comparison data sheets of all the equivalant parts for my functional requirement and based upon my selection criterion -price, performance, form factor, packaging, operating range , will be able to quickly home onto the part that I want to put in my design.
As a design engineer I prefer paperless distributor. First of all I can find a part I am looking for much faster than browsing through pages and with more selections of technical details and second I can download full spec immediately and print it on my printer. Besides printing only a few chosen parts saves paper compare to printing info on all the parts in a book. I like getting email confirmation of shipping and billing process. Yes, possibly nothing is perfect but these advantages make up for other inconveniences.
Going paper-less is a very good decision considering the fact that everything is going digital. But I am sure it would do no harm to Digi-Key if it gives Traditional catalogue to the customers who prefer it that way.
I see this as a statement from Digi Key more than anything that has got to do with research on ROI from different promotional material. An environment friendly angle probably. I, for one , do not think eliminating printed material is a good idea. There are still many many senior design engineers who are much more comfortable sitting down in their chairs with a cuppa and thumbing away at catalogs reading about devices than they are with having to decipher the maze, that some of these websites have become! If you are having to put an ebook version of it, you better have a print version of it available as well. For anything other than a regular hyperlinked webpage, I would prefer to read it off a hard copy instead of a pdf reader. It is okay to reduce the quantity or control the flow, but eliminating literature is not a good idea.
I think we are ready to go paper-less. I have received the Digi-key catalogue for the past few years, but rarely actually look at it. Most of the time I know what part I am looking for, and so I just do searches online. One good thing about having a paper catalogue is the ability to easily browse through sections of parts to see what options are available for a particular purpose during the devlopment stage of products.
I feel all the catalogues provided by the manufacturers are rarey used now a days. Because of the no of middle people like sales and distribution always have something in their brains to suggest particular components for any design. It is good to go paperleass and improve the user experience on the websites to simply the efforts to find the parts suitable for the application.
The true indicator will be in Digi-Key's site visit or page hit metrics. That's golden data for a marketing coordinator. The other thing the company will need to do is promote, promote, promote...and that can be done very smartly based on the data gleaned from the metrics.
This is a bold move for Digi-Key which is usually pretty conservative about major chnages, although they always are thinking one step ahead in terms of what their customers need. Initially, I was a littel surprised, but I have no doubt this decision was made with a lot of customer feedback. What I wonder, is, will users have someone else's catalog on hand while they are working on the Digi-Key site? And does that matter as long as Digi-Key gets the order?
Thanks HC--this is the kind of feedback that really helps. I know Digi-Key--as are other catalogs--is very conscious of ease of doing business and have therefore eliminated a lot of registration information a volume distributor may ask for to set up a volume production system. To me, a fully-integrated systems would have as few steps as possible, although a certain amount of information has to be input by the engineer.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.