"Engineers want the same experience on a website that they have with an account manager over the phone," says Tony Chien, VP and general manager, Electronic Commerce for Newark InOne. "They want more than just a standard catalog on-line," he told Design News at the recent Electronics Distribution Show and Conference in Las Vegas. "They want e-mail ship notes, product datasheets, and information on stock availability and lead times." To provide what engineers want, Chien says Newark InOne has invested heavily in really understanding their needs. Other distributors similarly are focusing their efforts on website design, including Allied Electronics, which invested $1 million in a content management system this year. And Digikey is close to completing development of a dynamically-driven product database for its website. Why the flurry of activity? Easy: According to several distributors, website orders account for only between 8 and 40% of all orders today and they'd like to see that number grow. A lot.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.