It comes without saying that any manufacturer will market their own product – it is what they are in the business for. While they can answer technical questions quickly and demonstrate products, the manufacturer is unlikely to proactively disclose downfalls, or comparisons to the competition (unless it’s favourable). Design-in distributors usually represent several manufacturers and have a good understanding of customer requirements, enabling them to better recommend the right product for you.
- Technical Know-How
Many design engineers like utilising the same components from the same manufacturers, time and time again, when actually there may be new, innovative products on the market offering a variety of advantages over utilising the same technology over and over again. Jay Gasson, the technical manager at Rhopoint Components says: “Representing over 25 different manufacturers, means we launch several new products a year. It is always a challenge when new technology is introduced, as customers just don’t know they can suddenly do things more effectively”.
Rather than asking for a particular part number, try discussing what it is you want to achieve – you may find that there is a better solution out there with numerous benefits including accuracy, pricing, physical board space, lead times or even eliminates the need for other components.
- Local representation
Good old-fashioned sales representatives showing off example products, demo boards and brochures. Not always required, but what if the manufacturer is located on a different continent and you need the answer today? Or you think the component is just what you need, but could do with a few samples or seeing a demo first? Manufacturers employ a network of distributors for that purpose – there is no reason why you shouldn’t utilise them!
Vast majority of industry-leading component manufacturers are capable of offering much more than what you can buy from online marketplaces. Are you spending ages browsing through websites and datasheets, but what you need is nowhere to be found? Speak to a design-in distributor. They know which of their product ranges are customisable, and they may be able to arrange the perfect component just for you.
- Stocking and Logistical Services
You may usually rely on product being stocked via online stores, allowing you to order as and when required. Only a few clicks and you get what you need, when you need it. However, what if your supplier runs out of stock and you are quoted numerous weeks for the next delivery. This can have a negative impact on your production, although, all is not lost, a design-in distributor could be the answer. They may be able to offer alternatives from the various suppliers they represent on shorter lead times or even stock, as well as offer stocking options / call off orders or up to 12 months to better suit your requirements and help combat future potential shortages.