element14 makes manufacturers ready for tomorrow

element14

element14, an Avnet company and one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and embedded solutions, speaks about the products that can help manufacturers be “ready for tomorrow.”

element14 is part of the Farnell group of businesses – a global technology company with over 80 years in the high service distribution of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, production, maintenance and repair.

This supports element14’s broad customer base in working with leading brands and start-ups to develop new products for market and supporting the industry as it seeks to develop the current and next generation of engineers.

element14 continues to invest in services and products to make sure manufacturers are “ready for tomorrow” in an ever-changing market.

“At element14, we strive to deliver resolutions to our customers’ everyday pain-points but also go beyond that so we can add value at every stage of the product life-cycle,” element14 regional sales director, Australia and New Zealand Luke Grigg said.

“Our line card includes products, services and solutions that support the design journey, from prototype and test right through to production and maintenance. Our product team actively identify and source innovative, niche products for today’s most in-demand application areas. Our technical team is always there to support you with component selection and a wealth of essential learning resources.”

By providing customers with local support, element14 is a reliable partner that distributes products and services from brands such as Fluke, Maxim Integrated, Microchip, Molex, TE Connectivity and Tektronix. Its range of products include single board computing applications; passives; connector, cable and wire products; semiconductors; electromechanical components; and a test and tools range that supports electronic design and preventative maintenance.

The company’s services include:

  • Local support in person, via phone or online;
  • Dedicated account management – account holders are assigned an individual account manager to assist with queries, product resourcing and orders;
  • Quoting on volume requirements – a dedicated team will provide quotes to give customers the best possible price;
  • Not in catalogue sourcing – when a product is not available, the element14 team can help source it directly from the manufacturer;
  • Contract pricing – special pricing is available for eligible customers;
  • Flexible scheduled ordering – place an order on the spot and opt to schedule the delivery at a later date; and
  • Exclusive buffer stock arrangements – qualified customers can reserve stock for a future order.

element14 aims to add value for manufacturing clients throughout the stages of the product lifecycle by understanding what those clients want through attaining feedback as part of the buying process.

“Technical support is at the heart of business communications,” Grigg said. “Customers rely on element14 to provide solutions from concept through to prototype and we meet this need in several ways.”

This includes:

  • Robust product and technical content on the website;
  • Sales resources accessed by phone and in the field;
  • 24 hour tech support from in-house experts, five days a week;
  • Proactive information, advice and forewarnings, where appropriate;
  • Product demos and tests; and
  • Access to the element14 Community for research or peer-to-peer questions.

The company has also adopted several customer outreach initiatives like Design Challenge, Design Centre, element14 presents, RoadTest, Online Learning, Tech Connection, Project14, and Prototype to Production. The community produces original video content concerning valuable solutions to common and occasional engineering complications.

Poised for success
element14
element14 regional sales director, Australia and New Zealand Luke Grigg.

According to Grigg, not being able to find the right part to meet demand is something many segments faced for the majority of 2021, causing delays in product rollouts, disrupting planned expansion, or halting the production of vehicles in the case of the automotive industry.

“Our team has endured the challenges of a complex market, but I truly believe it has resulted in a stronger, more resilient organisation that is poised for long-term success,” Grigg said. “Even as we’ve continued to navigate a difficult operating environment, our priority has remained investing in our people, our relationships and digital enhancements that make our business more effective and efficient.”

During the COVID-19 period, element14 realised the benefits of their pre-pandemic strategic investment decisions in bolstering inventory. This ensured they were able to meet market demands – and the business continues to do this as they plan to further expand the breadth and depth of product range in the next financial year.

Additionally, element14 has significantly strengthened their business in the past year, despite ongoing supply disruptions and restrictions. They are currently experiencing a supply driven marketplace as extended lead times persist throughout the year, driving high book-to-bill ratios in every region.

“Suppliers and customers are coming in droves to find products they cannot get elsewhere or find an alternative that could work around current designs,” Grigg said. “element14’s high service distributor model enables us to fulfil the majority of orders from stock.”

With inventory available in a number of distribution centres around the world, element14 provides sourcing assistance in shortage situations and allows for order scheduling.

The company has also used the time to position itself to operate more efficiently within challenging macro environments, Grigg said.

“Digitisation is a game-changer for us,” he said. “We have invested in expanding our e-commerce capabilities and self-service design tools, enhancing search and site speed, building our customer and supplier digital channels, and automating our supply chain. We are also continuing to leverage data, pricing analytics and driving progress with robotic process automation.”

Ready for tomorrow

First to market

Part of supporting customers as they develop tomorrow’s products is responding to the latest trends in the market and providing access to new and innovative product introductions. element14 is continually investing in expanding the breadth and depth of its product range, making new brands and technologies available to its customers on a regular basis.

To support this growth, element14 invested in a new state-of-the-art distribution centre with 40 per cent increased stock capacity.

Strong relationships

Access to the latest technologies and most innovative components is only possible through strong relationships with leading manufacturers. Following a 25 per cent increase in stock in the last year alone, customers can now enjoy element14’s best range ever.

The in-stock range features an impressive array of Single Board Computing products from leading suppliers such as Raspberry Pi and BBC micro:bit. element14 added 64 per cent more products to its portfolio and has widest range of Single Board Computers from over 100 manufacturers.

element14 is the world’s largest provider of semiconductor development tools and evaluation kits from STMicroelectronics, NXP, Microchip, Maxim Integrated, Cypress, Xilinx, Renesas, MPS, Infineon and other leading brands. More stock has been added in silicon carbide technology inventory with over 700 products from brands such as Infineon, On Semiconductor and Littlefuse.

The company has increased stock across its whole passives range, including investments in magnetics, sensors and antennas giving customers access a greater product range from Panasonic, Vishay and Kemet.

Successful customers

The trend to move online is present, real and irreversible yet distributors also need to be flexible to service customers in the manner they demand, be that online, in person or over the phone.

element14’s omni-channel approach focuses on helping customers be successful as they bring their products to market. Local and professional customer service is available online, via phone and in-person. Customers can benefit from no minimum order quantity, contract pricing and flexible pricing options as well as scheduled and consolidated orders.

In addition, element14 provides technical support 24/5, free access to online resources, data sheets, application notes, videos and webinars as well as technical hubs on the website. The IoT hub and the Embedded Hub provide access to a wealth of articles developed or curated by element14 to support design engineers on topics such as the IoT and Artificial Intelligence. Also available are exclusive tools such as the IoT battery calculator and AI configurator to help tackle early stage design challenges.

Not just about stock

Having close to one million products in stock enables “Just in Time” delivery, which can support working capital and reduce customers’ stockholding, but it also enables the kind of logistics capabilities, service and support that makes customers’ lives easier.

element14 has continued to invest in unique ways to improve its customer experience offering. This investment is reflected through the provision of fast quotes for customised or not-in-stock products, e-procurement and e-invoicing to reduce cost of acquisition and administration.

element14 Community is a key resource for design engineers providing a forum for over 800,000 engineers, makers and educators to connect, collaborate and support each other. Customers also benefit from the content-rich element14 website, which includes a suite of industry-first online tools including Connector e-Guide and Soldering Tip Selector.

With all factors combined, element14 ensures a strong vision for the future so customers will always be ready for tomorrow. Find out more at au.element14.com/ready4tomorrow.