Castle Rock, Colo. Need parts in a hurry? Start-up SpotComponents, LLC is a new Internet-based authorized distributor of electronic components that touts fast quotes with immediate purchasing capability. Initially, the company will handle passive components, followed by discrete semiconductors later in year.
While many online distributors are non-franchised, SpotComponents only sells franchised product lines which means they come with the manufacturer's warranty.
Tim Herring, president at SpotComponents, said buyers who are purchasing components through the non-franchised channel are taking some degree of risk in terms of quality of the parts. "Over the past few years we've seen an increasing number of buyers relying on 'so called' independent/gray market distributors, with the associated risks of counterfeit, date code or history issues," he said.
"This is happening because purchasing agents find it difficult to get the parts they need when they need them, or because they can't get the attention of traditional supply chain distributors," Herring said.
While SpotComponents doesn't provide supply chain services that a traditional franchised distributor offers such as contract pricing, bonded inventory, proximity warehouses, or kitting services, it will provide users with fast quotes and ship parts on the same or next day.
The company's web portal SpotComponents.com uses proprietary software to provide buyers and engineers with instant price quotes, decision support tools and bill of materials (BOM) uploading with automatic part number scrubbing and matching. Users have access to the parametric part builder tool and datasheets, which are free to users who purchase parts from the company.
When buyers enter a BOM into the SpotComponents quoting and order entry system, the system automatically seeks out the correct part numbers and offers them to the purchaser. In cases of incorrect, partial or discontinued part numbers or when only descriptions are entered, the system offers the buyer the most logical options to choose from based on design requirements.
The system is quite easy to use. Simply upload the BOM at the web site, and check mark the description and quantity selections, and up comes a quote in a matter of seconds with pricing and quantity for each line item. At this point, a user can drop items into a shopping cart, view datasheets and perform side by side parametric comparisons. Once the items are placed in the shopping cart, inventory is verified. Users can sign up for pricing and quantity alerts.
In one step the quoting engine will turn a dirty BOM into manufacturers' part numbers, and provide cross references, upgrades, alternatives and datasheets; everything needed to make a purchasing decision, Herring said. The company also has plans over the next four to 12 weeks to provide users with a lead-free equivalent selection when they upload their BOMs.
Sales order entries are available for review at any time. An e-mail notification of the order will be sent with information about the purchase including shipment date and tracking number. All parts are shipped direct from the component manufacturers. This eliminates traditional distribution costs including those associated with warehousing, regional branches, layers of management, inventory carrying charges, ship & debit, etc., Herring said.
The company is a member of the National Electronics Distributors Association (NEDA).