what's the purpose of component distributors ?

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I'm finding it difficult to understand the reason for existence of
component distributors like Arrow and Avent in this country. Non-stocked
items seem to impose 2 to 3 months delivery lead times and none have
seemed to catch on the idea of online part number searching. They rather
employ a guy sitting at a phone and have them type numbers into a
database as I spell them out. Then I'll usually wait another 3 days for
the quote. Could they get any more inefficient than this? I can't
understand who pays their wages.
At the cost of about A$50 extra I can in a few minutes search for
overseas stocked items and have them on my doorstep 4 days later.
Anyone else have similar opinions ?

Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

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With the global internet market these days, on the surface appears
there appears to be little purpose to having local distributors.
Although I have to admit to often getting better technical product
support if I go through the local distributors (who aren't technical,
but have the contacts with the manufacturer). This can be important on
high spec components like $500 FPGA chips or some beta silicon that
often need lots of technical support, sometimes talking directly with
the chip designers themselves.

It's also a guaranteed way to get genuine parts in volume, esp if the
manufacturer doesn't sell direct.

And it's also handy for the finance department who only have to set up
accounts with a couple of distributors instead of dozens. This can be
a big deal in some companies.


Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

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  Yep, we used to buy from Arrow only if the parts in question were not
available from anywhere else.  And then it was only a pricing issue.

  For some reason, everywhere I've worked always discouraged overseas
purchases unless there was simply no other option (no-one was selling them here).

Linux Registered User # 302622

Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

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The problem is mobs like Arrow ad Avnet are swallowing up the once
reliable and friendly smaller distributors. There are less people to
turn to these days.

Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

Adam S"
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**  Says a damn lot about how dopey  YOU  are and very little else.

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**  Locally based importers do not need to stock a single item.

 They just lie in wait, like hungry sharks, for YOU to order some ...

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** Those on-line sellers are likely breaking legal agreements they have with
the component makers.   Hence there is   NO  maker's warranty on whatever
TOTAL SHIT  is packed in the box you finally get.

Could sell you seconds, returned stock or   BLATANT  FAKES   -  anytime.

It happens  -  a lot.

When it does  YOU   have SFA chance of getting a refund since the purchase
was made  OVERSEAS  and hence is not covered by Australian consumer or trade


  ......    Phil

Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

can you give us a example? how much does it cost roughly?

    These days when I need parts for prototypes etc for the company I'm
doing work for, I automatically go first to the Digikey then Mouser
websites in the US, make up an order and send it off to whoever has the
best price/availability.
    OK, so freight's the killer but I always have exactly what I need
within a few days without wasting time trying to get things locally, and
time's money as they say.


Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?
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Good points Adam. My pet hate is that supposedly "technical" stores like
Jaycar clutter their ads with such nonsense as farting ashtrays. I know,
someone will say "lighten up"...

Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

Adam S wrote:
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Yep! Just recently had about $500.00 worth of components on order with
Arr0w. Originally the 6-8
weeks delivery was no problem as there was no rush on the job at that
time. After I had placed
the order, the customer decided they now needed to rush the job
through. I ended up purchasing
another lot of parts via Digikey and delivery was 1 week - excellent

When the Arrow shipment finally arrived, I did the sums and it was
actually more cost effective to
in this instance to purchase direct from Digikey and, as a bonus, get
1week delivery.

The other peeve with Arrow was the fact they charged the credit card
immediately I placed the
order, not on delivery of the goods.

Just for your information, I was speaking with the local X-ON rep
recently and she told me they
purchase quite regularly through Digikey. She said they were happy to
add any parts we required
to their orders but we would pay a "small loading fee". I dont know
how much "small" is, however
on a few low value, special components, this option may be viable as
the freight charges are the
killer on small orders. I have never done this through X-ON and would
be interested to hear from
anyone who has.


Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

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I once rang arrow to do an order and said they didn't have those parts no
more and couldn't get them. I then explained how I just made an order with
those same parts and could they try to get them. A few clicks on the
computer later it was "oh ok yeah I think we can get those for you". This
was a $13,000 order too. I have had similair experiences with breamac and

Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

On-line sellers

What happens if there is a problem with parts purchase from on-line sells?
and technical assistance is needed.... or a bug is found in the silicon?....
do they offer overseas tech support?
Who pays the freight back to get the parts inspected?

If the data sheet is incorrect or needs interpretation or better
understanding  - do the on-line sellers offer this tech service?

Do the on-line sellers advise you of obsolescence?  ... So they can prevent
you from designing in an obsolete part?
It's often said.... it is more probable to design in obsolete parts from
on-line sellers becuase the stock may have been siting on the shelf for a

During the life time of some parts they are improved and may have a
different revision or a new silicon spin -  does the on-line seller  - sell
the older "buggy" stock first before
supplying fresh new "working" silicon.

Do the on-line sellers offer product change notifications?


Re: what's the purpose of component distributors ?

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There are some wierd tax bullshit that goes on. I work for a large company
that has 30,000 employees. Basically we cannot purchase from anyone that is
not australian based and not working with Australian dollars, this is a
company that turns over billions. There are some sort of import tax reasons
behind it, but paying rediculous prices for distributors ends up cheaper. I
don't know why exactally, but last time I brought over seas for a $300
electronics part, the tax and other charges added, we ended up paying nearly
$600 AUD.

We specifically goto people and tell them how we want to order and buy, and
pay them to order for us just to get parts in a week instead of as you say,
waiting 1 week for a quote and 2 or 3 months for parts that are apprently in
stock in tiwan etc.

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