Web-based services across the product lifecycle

ESNA Jan14 p4 Arrow VftT 1Jim Ricciardelli, Vice President of eCommerce Strategy at Arrow Electronics, explains that, for companies such as his, there is an imperative to provide innovative applications and services that add value to customers’ activities throughout the product lifecycle.

Engineers, as well as supply-chain and procurement professionals, are all harnessing the power of the web to select the right components from project-start, based not only on performance and price, but also lead times and longer-term availability issues. Suppliers need to provide tools that are far more powerful than simply looking up datasheets and querying inventory.

Powered by one of the industry’s most comprehensive components database and interactive design capabilities, Arrow recently launched the first fully integrated online product lifecycle services engine for electronics parts. Available via, users can search millions of parts from hundreds of suppliers by using comprehensive features, such as product selectors, cross referencing and Bill of Materials capabilities.

This places a database comprising literally hundreds of millions of components at the fingertips of key decision makers spanning the entire product lifecycle process, from design to purchasing and after-sales. Also, associated software tools streamline and provide access to compliance information such as RoHS status, chemical data and WEEE.

This web tool provides engineers with interactive reference designs and advanced design applications for faster development cycles. Once users are finished designing using the interactive features, they can simply generate a Bill of Materials and purchase the parts, all without having to leave the site.

Developed by engineers for engineers, this platform is focused on making it easier to research and select the best solutions for designs by providing truly interactive applications. Engineers and other buyers can search, cross reference, and simulate their component selection, all with the support of Arrow’s global field application engineers, supply chain capabilities, inventory and logistics infrastructure.

We saw that the time was right for an application that supports early design phase exploration and collaboration, and moved to integrate proven design capabilities onto the web tool. These powerful web-based capabilities include design sharing, messaging and live updates, giving online access to expert technical support within Arrow’s technical teams and at our supply partners.

By building interactive capabilities such as these, through a combination of internal development programs as well as recent acquisitions, we are able to deliver lifecycle services using state-of-the-art web-based applications. Given the developments we are currently seeing, 2013 could be seen as the year when the web truly arrived as a tool for the electronics supply chain across the entire product lifecycle.