Mark Burr-Lonnon, vp Europe and Asia, Mouser Electronics

2 mins read

Graham Pitcher talks with Mark Burr-Lonnon, vp Europe and Asia for catalogue distributor Mouser Electronics.

GP: Where does Mouser fit in the supply chain? MB-L: There are some critical supply chain issues that Mouser attempts to address. Foremost is the fact that not all suppliers can communicate the availability of the latest components to design engineers. These days, design engineers are looking for the latest parts and we try to get the information out to them as quickly as possible. The reason for this is that a designer waiting for a component is losing their critical time to market advantage. Alongside posting information immediately on the Mouser website, we issue catalogues four times a year, two a year in Europe at the moment. The other issue we see is that volume distributors only stock volume components, so it's harder for smaller companies to get their parts into the distribution channel; we're trying to make things as easy as possible. GP: How quickly are you getting new products into your system? MB-L: About 25% of the parts we offer are new. They are either from new suppliers or parts introduced within the last six months. In fact, Mouser has already added nine franchises this year, as well as 33 in the last year, taking our total to 390 lines. Included in these is an agreement to handle Honeywell products in Europe, Tyco as a global franchise and Hirose. Big names are voting for us. GP: Who are Mouser's targets? MB-L: We target anyone working in the area from concept to small production and new product introduction. We're looking to serve electronics designers from companies of all sizes, with a focus on high mix, low volume. We also serve educational establishments and individuals, with none of these any more important than another. But we don't compete on price. This approach has served Mouser well. We added 104,000 new customers last year and the number of new designs we have worked with is about 250,000. However, Mouser doesn't try to be everything to everyone. GP: How is this approach performing? MB-L: We're running ahead of the market – and the catalogue in particular. Mouser is outperforming everyone. GP: What about web based sales? MB-L: The web is growing faster than anything else. We've now got more than 1million products online, as well as around 1m datasheets. In fact, we're taking 55% of orders via the web and 60% of European orders are placed on the internet. GP: Bearing in mind this level of performance, why is Mouser establishing a European presence? MB-L: If you don't have local people, we believe it slows what you can do in the region. GP: How up to date does Mouser keep its catalogues? MB-L: We're printing more than 1m catalogues a year, adding and deleting pages as we go along. In the last year, we've added 341 pages to the catalogue and deleted 165pages, most of which related to obsolete components. GP: How is the economic downturn affecting Mouser: MB-L: Engineers are still designing, although these projects are not reaching production at the moment. Because engineers are still designing, they are coming to Mouser – and similar companies – for information. The market is being hit, but not as much as other distribution sectors. With Mouser's focus, it has a chance to remain a strong business this year; it started well, with January sales up on a year to year basis. GP: What about design support? MB-L: We don't see that as being of prime importance. Most design engineers know what they want and can access the data without us providing design support: as an example, more than 10million datasheets were downloaded from our site last year. But we provide links into manufacturers websites and have the right people available when they need support.