Flash forward: electronic supply chain in 10-years

DigiKey’s vice president of semiconductors, David Stein

Digi Key Electronics’ vice president, David Stein, says the future of the electronics supply chain looks brighter than ever and makes some predictions for the coming decade

Procurement has shifted to digital for many organizations, with purchasing professionals and engineers expecting real-time data at their fingertips. Demand will continue to grow for one-stop-shops where everything can be purchased in one place. Digi-Key provides a broad range of products beyond electronic components, including industrial automation, wireless applications, software and more.


Mergers and acquisitions will continue, meaning the number of distributors will shrink, impacting line cards. Companies providing a global footprint and support will prevail.


Self-service options will grow, providing the tools buyers need to find what they’re looking for from a central source. Customers will also receive a more personalized service based on role and industry, improving the buying experience.


As technology continues to evolve, obsolescence and product life cycles will shorten. It’s important to understand manufacturers’ product life cycles and what they’re developing.


Inventory will remain extremely important for reasons from forecasting to predictability, but also the unknown, like natural disasters, which will likely continue to become more prevalent.


Communication will continue to play a critical role, in terms of understanding customers’ needs and seamlessly transmitting time-sensitive supplier information to ensure all parties have the most accurate data to make decisions. Enhanced forecasting capabilities and tools fed by algorithms will make predictions more accurate. Expect enhanced supplier sophistication allowing seamless data sharing.