Electronic technologies constantly change the global economy and at the core of this transformation is the electronic component industry. This evolution is forcing a paradigm shift in the manner electronic component distributors must conduct business, now and in the a long time, if they would like to succeed.

Some, but not absolutely all, distributors have adapted to the change by giving more than simply a product. They’ve shifted from strictly distribution of components and connectors to add value-added services, such as just-in-time (JIT), custom design capabilities, assembly and kitting, as well as engineering services.

Benefits for OEMs

Offering value-added services provides several benefits to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their designers/engineers. OEMs aren’t always knowledgeable about these products available for them or conscious of the most recent component technology. There is an occasion when manufacturer’s representatives were the conduit by which customers were educated on the manufacturers’ product offerings. Today, manufacturers are dramatically reducing their outside sales forces, and so the duty of educating the OEM has become the responsibility of the distributor. This places the onus entirely on the distributor to be a professional in what they sell or face the results of lost opportunities.

This shift benefits the OEM because a producer doesn’t look beyond its own product line when assisting the designer/engineer with part design. A supplier with a wide variety of products and product knowledge is able to provide OEM viable alternatives they might not need known existed.

When designing an entire system, the designer/engineer is confronted with several challenges through the entire development of the project and may overlook conditions that are essential to the success of the design. Since the distributor services many different customers from various industries, it is exposed to diverse applications utilizing numerous design concepts. The distributor is able to utilize this expertise to offer suggestions and alternative solutions to the OEM, possibly avoiding costly design mistakes.

Consultative Selling

Today’s distributor needs to utilize consultative selling. It will need the data to aid the designer/engineer when troubleshooting problems such as inter-connectivity issues or environmental concerns. Will it be exposed to gases, liquids, pressure as well as salt spray? How about the size, shape and configuration of the machine? Design panels do not always allow for adequate space or unusual locations. How about mating? The distributor can offer alternative mating solutions and so the OEM isn’t forced to rely on one manufacturer. The distributor must be knowledgeable enough to judge the surroundings, size restrictions or obsolescence of the components being designed in, and then inform the designer/engineer of any possible issues while offering viable solutions.

Another change happening at the distributor level is product customizations. For applications where standard products or solutions aren’t always available or a producer isn’t willing to utilize the OEM on a brand new design, today’s value-added distributor is able to offer customization services 총판  such as plating, custom cable assemblies and custom pin configurations. Not totally all distributors have this capability, but the ones that do add significant value to their relationships with their customers. In return, this creates loyalty, and it is loyalty that keeps the customer coming back.

The New Distributor

Today’s successful distributor must stock a wide selection of inventory to truly have a differential advantage in the marketplace. They are able to typically reduce manufacturers’ lead times from weeks to days. Like, BTC Electronic Components (BTC) – a value-added interconnect supplier – is able to offer 24 to 72 hour delivery on back panels and custom connectors to the aerospace and military markets that traditionally experienced lead times as high as 12 weeks.

Sales through distribution will continue to improve over the next few years. A sizable section of the reason being OEM’s have started to rely on theirs relationships with distributors a lot more so than its relationship with the component manufacturer. OEM’s rely on the distributor because of their product expertise, as well as, design because redesign today simply costs a lot of time and money. A correct solution must be found quickly and on the initial go-round.

The electronics industry is consistently evolving, and value-added distributors have their fingers on the pulse of new trends and technologies. They are in tune to these changing trends and will often have the resources to implement, and at times, perfect the idea. You will find notable examples when a distributor has been accountable for an industry design that is now commonplace.


Component distributors cannot continually be everything to everybody. What they can do is find their niche(s) and service their customers well. It’s important for distributors to supply continuing education programs to their organizations, and keep current on emerging technologies and markets, as well as constantly changing old markets. Whether large, small or mid-sized, a vendor must offer quality products and on-time delivery. But above all, it must add value to the OEM and its engineers/designers.