Electronic Design

Tool Suite Promotes Smarter Component Selection

As a major components distributor, Arrow Electronics of Mel-ville, N.Y., has extensive access to data about the component supply chain. This data is now available to customers through Arrow Digital Solutions, a Web-enabled, subscription-based tool suite that facilitates procurement risk management.

These tools will certainly aid those involved with production scheduling. More importantly, they promise to improve the decision-making process for designers at the start of a project. Using the tools, designers can better gauge the real-world availability—now and in the future—of the parts they select for their designs.

Determining component availability is no trivial task, given that there are many more part numbers on the books than there are actual parts in production. According to Arrow, there are 13 million potential part numbers. But of these, only a million are currently in production. Moreover, inadvertently choosing components that later go on allocation or become obsolete can slow product development or even shut down production lines.

Though other vendors have at-tempted to manage procurement risk, Arrow believes it has a major advantage over its competitors. Company spokesmen say Arrow has the most accurate information on components because of its extensive and close ties with its suppliers and customers. Suppliers tell Arrow who's making what parts, and customers tell it who's buying what parts.

Arrow Digital Solutions currently includes three subscription-based tools: Arrow Risk Manager, Arrow Alert, and Arrow Collaborator. Risk Manager gives users access to the distributor's proprietary knowledge about component procurability. Alert provides real-time notification of component changes of interest on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Collaborator addresses production concerns by looking for potential problems in a customer's supply chain.

The first two tools are available now. Collaborator will go on sale in early July. In addition, the company plans to launch other supply-chain-related products in the future. For more information, contact Maria Neder at (516) 391-8535 or [email protected], or see www.arrow.com.

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