"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.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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