Putting the spark into the industry

2President and CEO of the Electronics Components Industry Association (ECIA), John Denslinger, believes a focus on the next generation of electronics professionals will ignite the spark of future success.

‘Future focused’ was the theme of the EDS 2015 summit in May. What could be more perfect then, than a focus on our next generation young professionals?

This year the event saw the introduction of a significant addition: a summit within the EDS summit, code named Spark. Spark was conceived as a condensed, developmental curriculum for our industry’s next generation young professionals. In fact 30 employees from 15 different distribution, manufacturing and sales representative companies participated in this forum.

I was fortunate to be a co-presenter with Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) colleague, Bob Terwall, on a short tutorial entitled: Cross Learning – How The Industry Works and Sells Together. Other speakers covered coaching, selling techniques and self-branding. Dale Ford of IHS then shifted the focus to the real world of emerging markets and disruptive technologies.

Spark members fortified their experience throughout the three days by engaging in roundtable discussions, peer networking, joining senior level business meetings and, of course, dining with celebrity engineer, Grant Imahara. If you didn’t participate this year, do it next year for sure!

Winston Churchill once said: “to improve is to change, to perfect is to change often.” Perhaps that best describes EDS 2015. Not only did the event see the introduction of the Spark initiative, it also changed venue. Early feedback from the 2,000 plus participants reveals the move to the Mirage hotel was a success.

Educate to innovate

For those who want more opportunities to refine and improve their skills, the ECIA has intensified its ‘connect, influence and optimize’ focus, with regional conferences and expanded industry statistics.

Many of you reading this article have at one time or another attended the annual ECIA executive conference held every October in Chicago. This year has another blockbuster line-up of great speakers, but the ECIA recognizes that not everyone can afford the cost and time to attend.

In an effort to get more people engaged ECIA therefore launched its first regional conference series in February with a Phoenix event, followed two months later with one in Silicon Valley. Boston, Dallas/Ft Worth and Toronto are up next. Each provides a local networking opportunity, prominent industry speakers and a formal dinner packed into a fast-paced three hour session. Whether a distributor, manufacturer, rep or customer, we encourage you to attend and be an informed member of the electronics industry.

Lastly, wisdom suggests a good business decision is best made on facts and data. To that end, ECIA recently launched a monthly analytical tool: an industry distributor total available market (DTAM) report solely generated by member distributors. Our data contributing members get full access covering 15 product groups. ECIA member companies receive executive summaries of the same, while the general public will see periodic ECIA press releases on industry trends with commentary. That, coupled with our quarterly survey results on component sales and lead time trends, is just a taster of how the ECIA can help inform and enhance the industry.