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44 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2024 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Mention the word "collaboration" to a group of designers, and a few of them might acknowl- edge working closely with their fab and assem- bly partners. But how many designers consider their component providers to be true stake- holders in the process and collaborate with them regularly? Duane Benson, founder of Positive Edge, has a long history of working on the compo- nent side of things. I asked Duane to weigh in with his thoughts on collaborating with com- ponent suppliers. Andy Shaughnessy: We hear a lot of talk about the need for designers to collaborate with their fab and assembly partners, but component providers seem to be left out of the mix. Do you think component providers are also "stakeholders" in this process? Duane Benson: Component suppliers are abso- lutely stakeholders in the design process. e supply chain isn't in as bad shape as it was a few years ago, but there is still too much variabil- ity to take it for granted. It's not uncommon to have easy availability for prototype quantities but limited availability for production quanti- ties, or one package may be in good supply, but the one you want, not so much. Good supply chain partners can keep you from designing with unavailable parts, and they can help you find subs. Do You Collaborate With Your Component Supplier?

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