SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Jan2019

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32 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 space in this industry. To give you an exam- ple, some of the most recent numbers that I've seen indicate the semiconductor industry was up 17% year after year when comparing July of 2017 to 2018. Octopart is outpacing indus- try growth by more than two times. From what we're seeing, our site traffic and activity and the number of searches is increasing by more than 40% each year. In some ways, our busi- ness is benefiting from what is a good time in the electronic component industry when it comes to sales. At the same time, I think we're outpacing that signif- icantly as well. It speaks to the desire of buyers and engineering professionals to have more readily accessible information. We do find ourselves in an interesting posi- tion, and one of the value propositions of Octopart is that there's no barrier to entry for our user commu- nity, meaning that you don't have to provide any identifying informa- tion to get access to data. The data that we have on our site includes technical specifica- tions for devices, data sheets, downloadable CAD models, and simple things for compari- son like price and availability. We have over 250 distributors and manufacturers that partic- ipate and list inventory through Octopart. We put a compelling amount of information out there that can be used at various stages in the product lifecycle of a design. Andy Shaughnessy: Dan, when you talk to designers, what are some of the biggest chal- lenges that they come to you with? What are their bottlenecks as far as components? Schoenfelder: There are several areas where Octopart provides value there. I think that designers want to know a handful of things. Typically, if you were to survey our user community when they're looking for devices and something to put in the design, we tend to have two elements of searches here. There's a search that occurs when somebody knows the particular device that they're looking for. In those cases, what folks are looking for is, "Can I get it? How soon can I get it? And how much does it cost?" When that part is already defined inside their organization, it's on their ABL or is an approved device in a design. Then, there's the part search and discovery piece, which is people who come to Octopart looking for something where they may not know the part number or manufacturer, or they may just know the function of the device. They're doing more product research. We have two different classifications of search. And again, for those who know what they're look- ing for, they're coming to us to see, "Can I get it? Is it widely available, and therefore, safe and low risk for use in my design? How quickly can I get it?" And what does pricing look like for those devices?" What we find is that's the more straightforward side of the search for us. The more challenging thing is we're trying to expand our capabilities to support folks search- ing for devices that don't know exactly what they're looking for. They might not have a part number, don't know the manufacturer, or may just have the function of the device. In those types of engagements and users, they may be looking for things like data sheets or specifi- cations on the site. Or they may be looking to download CAD models because they don't have them available on their existing libraries as well. We have a wide variety of use cases, and it's hard to pin down our user community into having just a single-use case for Octopart. Patty Goldman: We keep hearing about the shortages of components and the long lead times. How does that figure into the number of searches that you've been seeing lately? Schoenfelder: I think there's no question that constraints across various components contrib- ute to the number of searches that we see on Octopart. And certain product categories have a density of search that's far greater than others. Certainly, there are passive devices right now Dan Schoenfelder

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