@t.alex: in the rep model, which I think is comparable to "freelancer" their charter is to push their suppliers' products. Reps do not carry directly competing lines. A typical rep will carry Molex lines, but not TE, or vice versa. It is up to the reps to convince the customer of the value of the products. Distrbutors, on the other hand, will recommend the device that best fits their customers' application. That is a change from the way things used to be done, when a distributor was incentivized to favor one supplier over another. Suppliers are beginning to accept that their technology wins a spot on the board, not just the efforts of their sales channel.
With the great advancements in information technology and the expansion of engineering development centres into varios parts of the world it has become essential for the distributors to open the local offices and also provide support during local business hours. Certainly this expansion will help them to make more profits with in a year after the investment.
For freelancers, this is the most source of income. Hence they are more sincere compare to salaried engineer. They work odd hours, 18 hrs a day and on weekends. For them, retaining customer in of paramount importance.
As regarding parts, they will employ most appropriate part and first look after customer's interest. Else, they can tell customer upfront that they will use specific vendor part because he has good support for them.
Typically the freelancers might have used certain components before and they are very familiar with these. How can we ensure that these guys will recommend your parts, but not competitors' ones. Some incentive schemes have to be worked out.
Basically, these freelancers are accomplished designer, application engineer with very good inclination towards marketing and commerce. They can provide all services similar to Arrow or Avnet and others - parts selection, refernce design, design check, debug etc.
Basically they are all-in-one sales, FAE and design expert. Only limitation is they can serve few tens of customers local to them. Advantage is that, thier response is very quick, low in cost and more genuine.
This will work very well and it should be explored more.
Funny you should mention that! I've actually prepared a blog on that topic. Briefly, though, most of the value-added efforts are taking place on the front-end of the relationship: providing design and engineering assistance to OEM customers. This is in addition to the standard order fulfillment and logistics services distrbutors already provide. And they are working on strategic supply chain prodcuts and packages, whihc I will blog about next week.
Most of these services are being rolled out globally, BTW. Distributors want to provide the same expereince for their customers whether they are in Dallas or Beijing.
Barbara, The blog discussed distribution's growth strategy from the parts business. What are they doing to expand business globally in the areas of value-added service? How effective do you think they have been or will be in this area?
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.
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.