Mouser Electronics Inc. has had a China presence for a number of years with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as Taipei, Taiwan. But according to Glenn Smith, CEO and president of the broad-line catalogue distributor, Mouser has big plans for expanding operations in 2011 and 2012.
Indeed, there are plenty of opportunities as the domestic electronics market is exploding. Mouser is going to exhibit at the West China Electronics Fair along with parent company TTI August 25-27 and will participate in the China Electronics Distribution Alliance (CEDA) meeting conducted by China Outlook Consulting, CNT Networks, and China Electronics Fair.
Smith's vision for Mouser is to provide Chinese engineers with high-quality and quick-turnaround service to complement the company's resource-rich Website. " 'Quick' is our strategy," he says.
Support services are important to remaining competitive in the country as Chinese engineers demand technical assistance, according to findings of the small-order purchase survey conducted by China Outlook Consulting and CNT Networks. Mouser has provided Chinese engineers many niche online services and tools to make their jobs easier. The company's product knowledge microsites are created to educate engineers on product features, benefits, applications (via videos), block diagrams, drawings, and access to all types of technical documents. Mouser's mobile site enables engineers to shop and search anywhere and anytime. Furthermore, Mouser also provides product lifecycle status of components to design engineers to save time and money.
Mouser has historically supported customers in China through phone and online services, but the company is expanding its capabilities by hiring field application engineers (FAEs) and setting up local offices in key markets, and it may visit local customers depending on market needs, according to Smith. Mouser may open new offices in cities that host many of China's research-and-development facilities, which are focused on designing industrial products and power electronics.
Mouser has announced it will start selling in China’s currency -- the renminbi -- later this year, which will open a new page for the company’s business in China. "We track sales online and see that when people get to the checkout and see that they must pay in US dollars, they give up. This limits our sales," notes Mark Burr-Lonnon, Mouser's vice president for Europe and Asia. Burr-Lonnon believes that selling in RMB will accelerate Mouser's business growth in China.
China Outlook's small-order purchasing survey revealed that Chinese engineers consider lead times to be the second most important criterion after quality when evaluating a distributor. Currently, Mouser ships globally from its US warehouse, with delivery times of two days to Europe and three-to-seven days to Asia. Mouser recognizes that lead times in China need to come down to make the company more competitive and meet the expectations of local design engineers. The company expects to provide local warehousing service in the future, after it sets up the system to allow customers to purchase product in RMB.
Of course, business growth will depend on how well Mouser can execute on all of its plans. If those plans go well, the company’s China business is poised for strong growth in the next few years.