Among the key trends shaping the electronic components industry today are inventory and expertise, says Lindsley Ruth, corporate vice president at Future Electronics.
“We’re now back in the cycle where inventory matters,” Ruth explains. “Last year that was certainly the case, and we’re seeing it again with the situation in Japan.”
This is causing customers to seek security of supply more than ever, he adds. Future addresses this issue by letting customers see the inventory that’s been purchased specifically for them in the distributor’s system.
“They can always see exactly what we have reserved for them,” says Ruth. “No one else can touch it. We’re willing to bond up to 35% of what the customer needs annually.”
In addition to inventory security concerns, customers are also increasingly looking for design assistance and solution-based selling, Ruth says.
“There is a greater expectation surrounding design from both customers and suppliers,” Ruth says. “Especially as we move to more application-specific solutions, we have to be more versed in the technology of our customers than ever before.