I think yes we are ready to follow this eco-friendly movement. I looked into my drawer to check out the last digi-key catalog. Even though it is very well organized if you want to search a specific spare part it is a bit messy the paper version. Also the 1168 pages of the catalog contributes making the search process difficult. I believe that it will be much better with the on-line catalog.
You're absolutely right to bring up the assumption that Digi-Key must have researched or surveyed its audience before making the move. You don't make a sweeping change of this magnitude without having some objective data to justify it. Bright ideas don't always turn into successful actions!
I think the paperless trail will continue to expand, and that's just fine as it only speeds the process of procurement and inventory management. It also opens up intriguing possibles for secure JIT and replenishment contract services...digitally speaking that is.
I think we are definitely ready for the changeover. As it is right now most companies offer both versions. Generally the print version is going to end up in a drawer, on a shelf or in the recycle bin. Why not help the environment by not printing them in the first place. In todays age most of the people doing purchasing, business or personal, have access to a computer and generally do their ordering online anyways.
I am ready for the change over. On-line catalogs with their search capability make putting your fingers on exactly what is available much easier. Even in the consumer world, I can't believe companies spend so much money on catalogs that just go into recycling. When I want to buy something, I go online and search for it.
I don't mind using the web for ordering and processing parts, but it would be nice if such interfaces were a little cleaner, the Maxim one for example is obviously designed for hardcore engineers, in fact we could say that the Maxim site is 'a shrine to click boxes and sliders', it resembles some sort of web based front end for a piece of complex test equipment.
Is this sort of web ordering /part interface system the result of web designers and engineers conferring or is it a direct result of the web designers trying to shoehorn too much data into the browser window?
When any company decides to take such a significant step, as to moving catalogues and order systems from paper to the Browser window, then they really need to consider the result far more carefully.
Well HC, thnx for details reported in outlining topics and opinions as feedback about article from Barbara. I was doing some thinking in the following senses: paperless is a matter discussed so far; it was about office automation, integration between fax and mail and so on. Believe or not paperless is not strong implemented especially speaking about day-by-day life, procedures from Public Administrations and so on and picture is various and depending or regions (Latam, Northen Europe, MiddleEast, Asiapac). Could Govs all together push and speed up paperless advent definitely or finally end users are in charge of its adoption?
They are tightly integrated, web interfaces and 'paperless offices' or paperless order processing, in-fact a true paperless system extends far beyond the boundaries of the office fax and photocopier.
Long gone are the days of custom applications written in C++ or other such languages,where users needed to load software/specialized apps into their computer system before being able to join into the 'paperless' office.
Since such systems have expanded beyond the bounds of the 'majority' computer systems (MS) there is a requirement for a highly refined and understandable layout format to communicate information.
what better medium that a web browser to act as the portal to such systems. (we can say that everyone with a computer has a web browser, and in fact most other digital devices are capable of handling the the various incarnations of data available.)
However many 'paper-less' implementations are designed incorrectly,that are only capable of handling certain fixed format screen layouts (try taking a look at digi-key, maxim on a portable device), other implementations have usually been hacked onto the outside of the system as new devices/technologies have become available.
As a result too many check boxes/sliders/ tables become difficult to layout correctly on portable systems, not to mention that every single byte of layout data has to be transmitted over what ever medium is being used to connect the systems,(imagine an order system that needs to transmit several hundred K of data to a portable device, so that the user can reply back with an order consisting of several hundred bytes), on mobile devices you pay for the bandwidth, both financially and time wise then imagine that user stuck some place in the middle of a poor network coverage area.
These are the things that many of these systems do not take into account.
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.
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?
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.