IInternet IImpact on the Evollutiion of the Ciircuiit Board IIndustry
future of circuit board production.
Impact on the Circuit Board
In the field of circuit boards, the Internet has created
an explosive proliferation on the traditional concept of
the quote and order process. Customization of board
specifications has made it difficult to standardize this
industry. The evolution of the ordering process demonstrates the Internet’s impact based on consumer
Face-to-face => Telephone => Faxing => Email (RFQ) =>
All of the above remain important aspects, but
online quoting (e-commerce) is the one that has
become the most beneficial to consumers. The ability to
generate quotes and evaluate parameters online has
created a shift in control of the buying process from the
supplier to the consumer. It is also important to note that
this evolution has also granted consumers more control
while reducing the level and time of interaction with
E-commerce has forced companies to reinvent traditional business practices and adopt new, consumer-focused strategies to compete online. According to
e-commerce research, the most successful online
companies provide consumers with all of the following:
usually a long and tedious process, most consumers
remained loyal to a few suppliers to avoid repeating this
hassle every time a quote was required.
The Internet has transformed this long-established
method for ordering circuit boards — to the benefit of
Nowadays, consumers can search the Internet
and obtain several quotes from many circuit board
manufacturers with minimal contact or interaction with
those companies. The time and effort saved through
online comparison has provided consumers with a
greater flexibility in their choice of suppliers. As a result,
companies are reinventing conventional ways to
compete for consumer business. Suppliers are not only
doing more and making their products more appealing,
but are also making the method of ordering those
products more convenient.
The Transformation of the
Circuit Board Buying Process
• Save the consumer money (or provide the best value).
• Save the consumer time and effort.
• Offer a unique product or service.
• Offer a unique buying experience.
Before the Internet, suppliers did not concentrate on
these concepts. They relied heavily on their ability to
provide a competitive advantage through a combination
of a company’s ability to effectively compete on quality,
price, and delivery of goods. It was the consumer’s
responsibility to seek out and obtain quotes from several
suppliers, evaluate services, and obtain the best value
(which usually meant the best price). Since this was
Due to the uniqueness and complexity of the circuit
board industry, consumers have traditionally relied on
interaction with suppliers during the buying process.
Even simple circuit boards required that many specifications and factors be taken into consideration. The Internet
has leveled the playing field between consumers and
suppliers by making the buying process available online
The buying process has undergone an enormous
transformation that has provided both advantages
and disadvantages to consumers and suppliers. As
suppliers continue to incorporate Internet strategies into
their business models, consumers will benefit in a
variety of ways. For example, the ability for consumers
to generate online, instant quotes provides the following
• Significant time reduction of the quote process.
• Ability to change requirements and evaluate their effects
in real time.
• Eliminates back and forth hassle of traditional quoting.
• Time, involvement, and interaction is decided by
• Levels the playing field for consumers.
Online Custom PCB Vendors
NUTS & VOLTS
EPic Design Company — www.epicdesignco.com
ExpressPCB — www.expresspcb.com
Micromint — www.micromint.com
PCB123 — www.pcb123.com
PCBexpress — www.pcbexpress.com
Pulsar, Inc. — http://home.flash.net/~yogii
R4Systems — www.labceneter-electronics.com
V & V Machinery and Equipment — www.vandvmachy.com
Suppliers also benefit from developing an online
presence. The Internet provides an entirely new business
medium from which companies can develop larger and
varied markets, as well as attract new and unrealized
customers. It makes the company more accessible and
provides a means to address focused messages to target
consumers. The Internet provides accessibility 24 hours a
day, seven days a week to consumers — both domestic
and international. The potential for growth is limitless,
which should be very appealing to smaller or specialized