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From Prototyping to Production, Distributors Can Help

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Nancy Golden
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Re: Help for design engineers
Nancy Golden   5/1/2013 11:25:45 AM
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I guess it's a trade off and you are right - there are a lot of valuable communities that are supported by distributors. I had a sticky problem about a PIC program I was writing in assembly and jumped onto the Microchip forum. Not only did I find help there - I found an opportunity to collaborate on a project with a guy from another state. I never would have met him if it wasn't for the online forum - he and his wife actually had an occasion to come our way and our families dined together at Red Lobster - which proves that the eating component is still an important factor in engineering LOL

notarboca
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Re: Help for design engineers
notarboca   4/29/2013 8:33:29 PM
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Ah yes, Nancy, those were the good ol' days.  Many distributors have added helpful training and valuable communities that I enjoy now, but still miss those lunches.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Help for design engineers
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2013 1:29:27 PM
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Well, Nancdy, there is one benefit to giving up the seminar lunch. That is, we can probably make a healthier, tastier lunch at home.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Help for design engineers
Nancy Golden   4/11/2013 1:23:49 PM
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Good point, Rob - the online seminars that are offered are awesome and a great learning tool for venturing into new areas of technology - yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks and the online offerings are a great place to start. Now if they could only figure out a way to serve us lunch during an online seminar LOL

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Help for design engineers
Rob Spiegel   4/11/2013 1:16:17 PM
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You're certainly right about that, Nancy. However, with travel budgets cut, distributors are offering plenty of new services online. Digi-Key has made quite a name for itself with its education programs. Element 14 has also shifted services to an online format.

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Help for design engineers
Nancy Golden   4/10/2013 6:21:28 PM
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In the good old days we had reps courting us all of the time with lots of added value services and samples. Phone calls were returned promptly and visits to the plant buying the engineer's lunch was the norm. In today's economy it's a different world (and not as much fun)...companies are all struggling to remain profitable and are looking for cost effective measures to do business wherever possible.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Help for design engineers
Rob Spiegel   4/10/2013 5:48:35 PM
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That's right, Chuck. The audience at the continuing education center is well-targeted for distributors.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Help for design engineers
Rob Spiegel   4/10/2013 5:45:22 PM
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Good point, Nancy. In the case of small companies with low-volume sales, some distributors would like to sell their services. Don't know how well that's going. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Help for design engineers
Charles Murray   4/9/2013 7:00:19 PM
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Good point, Rob. Yes, the Digi-Key Continuing Education classes are a very good example of how both sides benefit: Engineers learn and the distributor gets name recognition that may help down the road.

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Help for design engineers
Nancy Golden   4/9/2013 12:42:08 PM
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Not to be a wet blanket, but that help is typically a direct correlation as to how many components the company will be purchasing from the distributor. Of course this is just good business sense - why devote a lot of your resources when the payoff is not going to warrant it...but something to keep in mind if you are hoping for a dedicated application engineer to become involved in your project and you are not looking at large volume sales.

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