Guest Blogger : Justin Cary
Your design team has just completed your newest PCB project and sent off the final Gerber’s to customer “X”. You can finally relax knowing that soon your newest PCB design will be headed through the board fabrication process and into your customer’s hands. It is a great day.
Is that your phone ringing?
Oh, it’s your customer, probably calling to congratulate you on a job well done. You eagerly answer your phone expecting the praise your perfect PCB board design deserves. Smiling happily (because they can hear it when you smile) you answer your phone in your cheeriest voice. “Hi, Steve! What do you think of the … design…?”
You don’t hear them smiling on the other end of the line. In fact, this is not the reception you expected at all. “Say that again.” You get in edgewise. “Did you just say that IC is OBSOLETE?”
“Yes,” the very angry voice on the other end of the line says. “And half the components you called out have lead times of 8 weeks or more. Do you have any suggestions?”
“Of course, you say in your most confident voice. I am sure I can procure some alternates for you.”
The voice on the line begins to simmer down and by the end the conversation you have promised to find a solution to his problems right away.
But you’re a designer. The design was good. If only there was a resource out there that could do this work for you so you could get back to what you’re really good at, design. It would be great to have a kitting and procurement “ace” up your sleeve right now.
But no! You get to slog though search engines to finding an alternate. Instead of some well deserved R&R it’s websites and data sheets for you, Buddy!
The next day as your relating this disaster to your colleagues at the office and explaining that this is why you aren’t your bright eyed and bushy tailed usual self this morning. Your mentor; laughing and shaking her head, pulls you aside. ”Why are you doing all this. You’re a designer. Let me send you a link to California Integration Coordinators.”
Your colleague sends you the link and as you begin looking over their site you realize this is exactly the kind of expert service you needed to help you out of last night’s debacle.
With 25 years of PCB kitting and procurement experience and an excellent reputation in the industry you realize that they could have headed off the problems that ruined your previous evening. They have the expertise to suggest component alternates, source materials, and provide your customer with a professionally kitted, pick-and-place ready product. All that searching that has you drinking your sixth cup of coffee for the day could have been handled for you.