Fast-Tracking Products to Market

DigiKey’s senior director of supply chain solutions, Margaret Cunha, explains how franchised distributors accelerate design, reduce costs and speed products to market.

DigiKey’s senior director of supply chain solutions, Margaret Cunha

Time-to-market directly impacts businesses’ competitiveness, revenue potential and ability to meet customer demands. This is critical for customers in any market condition. A customer can provide a competitive advantage by being first to market with a new product, which allows for faster market share increase and potentially higher sales with limited competition. Partnering with a high-service distributor is one of the best ways to support engineers, designers and procurement professionals from the initial design phase through production so they can release their products quickly and cost-effectively.

Rapid technology advancements, leading to shorter product lifecycles, cause many design challenges. In addition, regulatory compliance may cause disruptions, as industry standards, regulations
and certifications can add complexity to the fast turnaround of a new design. While improvements in the global electronics supply chain have been seen post- COVID, there continue to be disruptions, such as natural disasters and accidents like factory fires, that are impacting the supply chain. Many companies are focused on their digital transformation strategy to provide data quickly so they can make the best decision possible to meet their time-to- market goals.

A franchised distributor plays a crucial role in assisting engineers and supply chain professionals in fast-tracking designs through to production status by providing several key services and support.

Technical support and expertise: DigiKey’s TechForum provides advice, guidance and access to technical specialists who can assist engineers in selecting the right components for their designs. The company also offers detailed product specifications, technical datasheets and application notes to help engineers make informed decisions quickly during the new product introduction (NPI) and prototype development phases of their product lifecycle. Tech support also can ensure that the chosen components integrate seamlessly into the design and meet the desired performance criteria.

Component selection and sourcing: By offering over 2.8 million inventoried components from industry- leading manufacturers, DigiKey helps engineers choose components that meet the required specifications, performance and quality standards. Team members and frictionless digital tools assist in sourcing these components in the required quantities and at competitive prices in a timely manner. It is the company’s goal to have 98 percent in- stock inventory to support customers and lower their lead time to improve their time-to- market.

Supply chain management: DigiKey supports a robust supply chain management system to ensure timely delivery of components. The company can help optimize the supply chain by managing inventory, forecasting demand and mitigating supply chain risks. DigiKey also supports digital transformation with EDI, API and punch-out purchasing options.

Lifecycle management: DigiKey’s online tools and team members assist procurement professionals and engineers in managing the lifecycle of components, letting them anticipate end-of-life issues and plan for product obsolescence. DigiKey’s myLists tool can quickly provide alternative solutions and lifecycle data to mitigate risks associated with component discontinuation.