Heard in the Channel: Distributors enhance online programs

March 19, 2013
TTI launches updated Android app, element14 adds new microsites, plus news from BTC Electronic Components, Mouser, Sager and more

Electronics distributors continue to boost their online offerings for engineering and purchasing customers, with top distributors TTI, Inc. and element14 making headlines recently. TTI announced an update to its Android app this month and also launched a new episode of its online video series The Specialist—this one focused on the supply chain and materials management. Element14 beefed up its online offerings with a new series of the Ben Heck Show, a Texas Instruments microsite and a new online catalog targeting industrial and automation customers.

TTI’s Android App, now in its second year, has been revamped with a new look and sharper presentation based on continuous user feedback, the company says. Enhanced buttons and icons offer a more intuitive and engaging mobile experience. Users can access Part Search, Barcode Scan and Part Builder to find the parts they need and request detailed quotes, then purchase directly from the app with a step-by-step mobile shopping cart process. Order status and additional support is a step away with the app’s mySupport Team Account Information function. The upgrade is part of the distributor’s ongoing commitment to provide mobile customers with better and more useful tools, company officials say.

Adding to its online offerings, TTI also launched a new episode of The Specialist titled “Lord of Supplies,” in which the hero delivers supply chain solutions to a materials manager gone mad due to myriad supply chain disruptions. The specialists at TTI come to the rescue with their materials management expertise, developing and deploying an inventory management solution to keep the customer’s supply chain running smoothly.

Distributor element14 also launched a new three-part series of its Ben Heck Show featuring the Ultimate Combo Gaming System composed of three of the gaming industry’s most prominent products: Playstation S, Xbox s60 and WiiU. The series features modding guru Ben Heck as he deconstructs, reconfigures and transforms the three separate consoles into one ultimate gaming creation, complete with a custom-built Ben Heck enclosure. Element14 offered exclusive previews of the series Friday, March 8and Friday, March 15, with a final preview of part 3 this Friday, March 22, before the official series launch on Monday, March 25.

In other news, the element14 online community recently launched its TI LaunchPad microsite, a one-stop reference library that helps users select the right development kit for their application and instructs them on how to use it to evaluate the latest devices from Texas Instruments or start developing a new application. The site is accessible to North American customers via Newark element14’s DevKit HQ.

Also this month, Newark element14 launched an online catalog for industrial automation and control products. The site offers multiple ways to find the right product: users can browse by product category or manufacturer or search by keyword or part number. Pricing and availability data are instantly visible by hovering over a part number, and one click takes the user to a detailed information page with access to a shopping cart and 24/5 live technical support. Users can also customize their own PDF versions of the catalog by selecting a page range, product, product category or manufacturer

In other industry news:

  • Connector distributor BTC Electronic Components received a 2012 Boeing Performance Excellence Award, recognizing its superior performance as a Boeing supplier.
  • Digi-Key added new sales and customer support resources based in Europe to serve customers across the continent as well as in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The distributor established an EMEA sales leadership team and added a customer support center in Munich to build business, especially with production-focused accounts.
  • Mouser Electronics received a 2012 Global Product and Market Outreach Award from interconnect manufacturer Harwin. The award recognizes Mouser’s outstanding sales, service and delivery. The distributor also announced a new global distribution agreement with IC solutions manufacturer Micrel. Mouser will represent Micrel’s broad range of high-performance semiconductors and solutions.
  • Mouser also announced the appointment of Jeff Newell as senior vice president of products, actives and passives. Newell will oversee active and passive product categories, including semiconductors, embedded solutions, development tools, optoelectronics, LEDs and lighting. He joins Mouser from Texas Instruments, where he was director of distribution for the Americas.
  • Newark element14 announced an expanded distribution agreement with Panasonic to include a wide range of passive components, semiconductors and wireless RF modules. The agreement builds on the companies’ partnership to supply relays, sensors, electromechanical components and industrial automation products, and increases the range of capacitors, resistors, inductors, electromechanical switches and discrete components available for same-day shipping.
  • Sager Electronics announced the expansion of its distribution agreement with Pancon Corp., which manufactures custom and standard connectors as well as multilayer polymer capacitors.  In addition to Pancon Connectors (formerly ITW Pancon), the expanded authorization now includes Ark-Les Connectors and Paktron Capacitors.
  • TTI received a 2012 North American Sales Excellence Award from interconnect manufacturer Harwin and was named French Distributor of the Year for the second straight year by Radiall, global manufacturer of interconnect components for the industrial, medical, telecommunications, aerospace and defense industries. TTI was also named a partner-level supplier for 2012 in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program for the second consecutive year


Don’t miss these upcoming industry events:

CARTS International
March 25-28

ISM 98th Annual International Supply Management Conference & Educational Exhibit
April 28 - May 1, 2013
Dallas/Ft. Worth (Grapevine), Texas

EDS 2013
May 6-9
Las Vegas

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About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and GlobalPurchasing.com, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.