Your company has a product in mind and it’s up to you to make it. Your task is to build a gross or two of custom power supplies. You'll need parts. Lots of parts.
Is your first instinct to turn to parts companies that specialize in transistors and diodes? Are you unsure of where to get the best deal on a potentiometer? What about sensors and connectors?
The bill of materials (BOM) needed to build your project will be lengthy. It brings up further questions that engineers of all levels face: Does the company turn directly to manufacturers and buy à la carte? Or do company buyers pick a distributor that stocks millions of choices?
Already, the choice sounds obvious. Buying à la carte would be like trying to have a full-course meal at a mall food court. Ordinarily, you wouldn't stop at one eatery for a burger, another one for the fries, another for the drink, and yet another for a dessert or salad. It's the same thought process for buying electronic parts.
People shop for convenience. Engineers and those who work on projects requiring a sizeable BOM face choices that aren’t always available from a single manufacturer.
You’ve determined a BOM of dozens of unique parts. Here are examples of how a distributor offers the best experience for engineers who must deal with organizing a project that requires a versatile BOM:
Bottom line, a distributor offers ease of purchase for projects of any scale. From a practical standpoint, you're not entering your shipping address dozens of times, dealing with dozens of different credit-card charges, tracking dozens of delivery updates, not to mention paying shipping charges to dozens of different suppliers. Who has time for all that? You have a project to complete, remember?
Perhaps best of all, you don't have to open dozens of separate shipping packages sealed with all that incredibly effective strapping tape.
To learn more about the benefits of working with a distributor, read Mouser’s post on How Buyers Benefit From Using a Distributor.
Tommy Cummings is a senior technical content specialist at Mouser Electronics in Mansfield, Texas. Tommy joined Mouser in 2018 after a journalism career that included The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle and others. Tommy covered the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley and has been a digital content and audience engagement editor at news outlets. At one time, he was actually a Heisman Trophy voter. He can be followed on Twitter at @tommycummings or on LinkedIn.
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