Rochester Electronics

Jan. 18, 2022
Q&A with Colin Strother, Rochester Electronics

1. What has been the impact of pandemic-related issues on Rochester Electronics in 2021? In 2021 the lives of people around the world became a series of complex events centered around the COVID-19 pandemic. As a global society, we joined together to overcome a challenge most have never experienced in their lifetime.

Manufacturing companies, across a myriad of industries, banded together to transform production lines focused on constructing ventilators used in the frontlines to support and sustain life. In parallel, other companies increased the production of research equipment used to better understand the disease and to discover a treatment, cure, or vaccine.

As an authorized distributor and licensed manufacturer of end-of-life and hard-to-find semiconductors, Rochester shipped millions of critical components used in ventilators and diagnostic systems to countries like Japan, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Canada and across the United States.

We have been honored to be a part of the global initiative to provide those in need with critical components used in the process of saving lives.

2. Is Rochester Electronics considering retaining any business practices that were implemented in 2020 and 2021? If so, please name them.

Rochester Electronics is committed to continuous improvement with our focus on supplying products and services that satisfy customer expectations for quality and service.

The current state of the semiconductor industry has presented some challenges to the supply chain and to manufacturing, resulting in lead-time extension for many key products. Rochester Electronics, with its extensive inventory, has been well-positioned to help alleviate supply chain disruption. With our 100% authorized and guaranteed inventory, we have experienced an extraordinary increase in volume of customers seeking our risk-free solutions both with end-of-life (EOL) and active products.

Despite being traditionally known for EOL products and solutions, today around one-third (5 billion devices) of our in-stock inventory is active product, as always and without deviation, factory direct, 100% Authorized and Guaranteed.

During this unprecedented, time new and existing customers from around the world have turned to Rochester for support. To better satisfy our customer expectations for quality and service, we have continued to develop more efficient digital processes, expand our sales offices in each major market providing 24-hour global service and support. We are dedicated to enhancing our eCommerce and online digital customer services via and through a complimentary range of global and regional Channel Partners.

Our focus, now and in the future, is to better service our customers’ immediate need by further developing our supply chain solutions, while continuously expanding and supporting the world’s largest portfolio of in-stock inventory available for immediate dispatch.

3.What are Rochester Electronics investment priorities in 2022? (e.g., inventory expansion, digital marketplace, new product categories, new end markets, etc.)

While developing and expanding our product focused service solutions, so are we increasing warehouse capacity, automating processes for efficiency, and further expanding global sales support, both physically and digitally.

In 2017 Rochester released version one of a web-based buying application. This year marks the 5-year anniversary of our online program which has evolved well beyond its initial unveiling. Today content is available in 11 different languages serving customers around the world.

In 2022 the Rochester team is focused on transforming this platform into a full-service easy-to-use online customer portal to meet the needs of an audience beyond our traditional ecommerce customer base. Our plans include diversifying our payment options and enhancing transaction services such as order status, order history, product list management, online quoting, inventory notifications and much more.

4. What is the driver for enhancing the digital marketplace in 2022?

The driver for enhancing our digital marketplace, MyRochester, is simply our commitment to our customer, and our desire to make them glad they called. This principle is engrained in everything that we do at Rochester Electronics.

With the industry shortages over the past year combined with the events centered around the COVID-19 pandemic, our phone and online order volumes rose dramatically; the Rochester Team was put to the test. Though we prevail, opportunities for improvement have motivated us to do better. In response, enhancements to MyRochester and further automating processes for efficiency has become our focus for 2022. Since much of this work began in 2021, look for this new functionality to be available at throughout the new year.

5. Which end market segments (automotive, aviation, communications, computing, industrial, military, etc.) do you think will provide the strongest growth opportunities in 2022 and beyond?

As many semiconductor components extend across market segments, so do the opportunities for growth. However, Rochester’s focus in 2021 has been to achieve IATF-16949 certification.

Rochester is pleased to announce that we have earned a letter of conformance, confirming our Quality Management System (QMS) complies with the requirements of the standard:  IATF 16949:2016 for the Design and Manufacture of semiconductor components. Obtaining this letter demonstrates Rochester’s commitment to providing customers with the highest standards of products and services within the automotive industry.

As most are aware, the use of semiconductors in Automotive applications has dramatically increased over the last decade and continues to grow with the electrification of vehicles and the introduction of advanced safety features.

The semiconductor supply chain has now become an integral part of the Automotive manufacturer’s product plan. Procurement in the industry is further complicated by the high standards of quality and reliability that are required. Many of the components are designed and manufactured to standards such as IATF-16949- for quality management systems, AEC-Q100- for qualification testing, and ISO-14001 for environmental management. Consequently, finding an alternative solution that meets the same requirements during these times of constrained inventory has become a much more difficult task.

Over the past year, Rochester Electronics has provided solutions for a number of these customers. Through our supplier partnerships, Rochester provides 100% authorized stock of active and end-of-life (EOL) devices from over 70 leading semiconductor manufacturers covering a full range of product grades from commercial, industrial, military and aerospace, to automotive. Many customers have found that by re-examining their performance requirements, opening date-code restrictions, and even qualifying new package options that they can find alternative automotive options to keep their production lines active.

Specifically, Rochester has available stock on 110 million units of automotive-classified devices, composed of over 4000-part number options with 33% exhibiting industry lead-times of greater than 20 weeks. The inventory represents many top suppliers including Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies, NXP, Nexperia, Analog Devices/Maxim Integrated, and ONSEMI. The stock covers a variety of products category such as power management, interface devices, amplifiers, sensors, data converters and processors, along with many discrete and logic devices.

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