suppliers. The following analogy puts these ideas into
The Internet is like a new interstate highway,
where traffic passes by on a continual basis. The goal
for companies is to make that flowing traffic stop and
buy. Websites and Internet strategies provide the
roadside storefronts and exit ramps from which these
goals can be achieved.
What Does This Mean for the
Future of Circuit Board
Circuit board suppliers will continually streamline
processes to drive down costs. Suppliers should hone in on
the manufacturing capabilities they do best and streamline
those processes. This will continue to drive down prices,
while maintaining quality levels.
The Internet provides a level playing field for smaller
board shops to compete with larger ones. Smaller board
shops will focus on more concentrated product offerings,
based on limited manufacturing capabilities. As more
circuit board suppliers — both large and small — adopt
online strategies, distinct product offering and categories
will begin to emerge.
Consumers will have a greater variety of choice and
options. As a result, consumers may not remain loyal as
comparison shopping becomes much easier. Consumers
will be able to first sort through what services they need
and then compare between suppliers who offer the
specific services or specifications required.
Finally, will this online evolution bring about the
elimination of traditional face-to-face customer service? Not
at all, since there will always be consumers who prefer
human interaction. Offline interaction will decrease, but
it will evolve into more of a complimentary method for
ordering when problems and questions arise that cannot be
accommodated through the online buying process.
However, consumers will continue to increase
their use of online purchasing as long as the buying
experience remains beneficial, providing lower cost
products and processes while remaining easier, faster,
and hassle-free. NV
About the Author
Robert Schnyder is the Marketing Manager for he Circuit Board
Division of ECD, Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For circuit board designs, the company offers three options to
consumers: PCBexpress.com provides low cost, prototype pricing with
set parameters and product features. PCBpro.com was created to
provide more flexibility by allowing consumers to generate online
quotes based on a variety of options and purchase boards online.
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Circle #37 on the Reader Service Card.