Q&A with Mark Burr-Lonnon
By Mark Burr-Lonnon, Senior Vice President of Global Service & EMEA and APAC Business, Mouser Electronics
Thursday, 01 September, 2022
To date, Mouser has received 28 business awards from its manufacturer partners during 2021 and 2022, recognising best-in-class global logistics among other things. Was this the result of a particular strategy on Mouser’s part, or just business as usual?
It is never “business as usual” for Mouser Electronics — we work to deliver on the high standards that our customers have come to expect from us. Mouser is an authorized distributor for more than 1,200 manufacturer brands, with a focus on stocking the widest selection of semiconductors and electronic components — in stock, and ready to ship. Mouser’s customers can expect 100% certified, genuine products that are fully traceable from each of its manufacturer partners. Mouser’s strategy has been to invest in inventory regardless of business conditions. This positions us well to absorb disruptions, of which today there are many, and ensure business continuity for our customers.
Besides supply assurance, Mouser’s core value proposition is the rapid introduction of new products and technologies irrespective of market challenges. As the world’s leading semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on New Product Introductions from its leading manufacturer partners, Mouser continues to introduce new products and alternatives to support innovation from the engineering and design community.
Mouser has invested heavily in state-of-the-art automation in the global distribution centre, which features the world’s largest installation of vertical lift modules, with automated extractors to bring the components to the employee workstations, plus a variety of automated packaging systems for sealing and labelling shipments. The state-of-the-art automation enables processing up to 14 orders per minute, which, in turn helps our customers gain the edge they need to reduce their time-to-market.
We understand that buyers need to easily find the right information on products and applications, and to this end we have created a Technical Resource Centre to help speed customers’ designs. Over half of our business today comes via the internet, so we continue to expand mouser.com with search enhancements, buying tools and technical resources for buyers and engineers. Overall, Mouser has strong engineering design support and buyer focus aimed at serving the global electronic design engineer and buyer communities.
A recent report from IDC found that worldwide semiconductor revenue is expected to reach a whopping US$661 billion in 2022, up 13.7% from 2021. Have you noticed this increased demand in your business, and what industries/applications do you think are driving it?
The use of electronic devices and systems is exceptionally strong worldwide as we are still shipping hundreds of thousands of components daily. Manufacturers and distributors worldwide are facing a challenge to keep up with the rising demand for semiconductors. A large part of the demand is being driven by the industrial and automotive sectors. Leading technologies like 5G, Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, robotics, industrial automation, transportation, power management, and home automation are expected to drive demand as they keep transforming our industries, homes and cities well into the next decade and beyond. There are exciting developments in new sensor technologies from our manufacturers, as well as in power management and microprocessors. We also expect to see an increased need for components for 5G phones, game consoles, wearables, data centres, and wireless, mobile and telecommunications-related devices. Mouser continuously adds new manufacturers and new product offerings and is the fastest-growing distributor in our industry. We are committed to being the industry’s one-stop source for the board-level components and development tools needed for complete project designs.
Are electronics distributors still noticing supply chain issues as a result of the pandemic, and are you expecting further shortages due to the war in Ukraine? How are you adjusting to these disruptions?
The pandemic severely disrupted manufacturing across many industries, and some supply chains across the globe remain in a state of flux. Distributors are not immune to global market conditions, and there have been extended lead times and restricted allocation on some product lines. Mouser has weathered these challenges through a variety of approaches and closely monitors supply and demand while working to stock inventory for customers.
With our wide breadth of inventory — including many alternate products — we can help customers weather supply chain instabilities. We have approximately 1 million part numbers in stock, giving design engineers a wide range of choices for their upcoming prototypes. Customers rely on us because they know we are a well-resourced, authorized distributor with the widest product selection in the industry. Our strategy remains to invest in inventory and today we have over $1 billion of inventory available to ship.
With many workers taking sick leave over winter due to COVID and flu, how important is automation to keeping factories and similar environments going, and how has Mouser serviced this sector?
Automation is a business imperative today, regardless of disruptions and uncertainty. From the earliest attempts of James Watt in 1788, industry has constantly strived for greater control and automation on the factory floor. With the confluence of a host of emergent technologies, Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing offer new modes of autonomous corrective feedback in factory machines and systems. Autonomous intelligent machines deliver higher accuracy and allow mass customization while ensuring greater safety. Organizations can thus gain more strategic value from the greater process efficiencies and higher productivity.
All this has become possible due to advances in sensor technologies, PLCs, power management systems, microprocessors, and wireless and mobile communications. Mouser stocks a wide inventory of the latest offerings of PLCs, sensors, actuators, switchgears, connectors and other components and devices that cater to the automation industry.
Finally, for businesses who are dealing with rising costs due to inflation, do you have any tips on how the smart deployment of electronic components can have a positive impact on the bottom line?
With inflationary pressures continuing, it looks like the industry can expect to see continued price increases for in-demand products. Prices will likely stabilize when lead times get back to normal. At Mouser, we are working directly with our manufacturers to minimize any impact for customers. Planning and ordering in advance for popular product lines that require regular replenishment can help. Mouser’s depth of inventory, extensive logistic support and state-of-the-art shipping and delivery can bring reassurance to customers. Our transparent pricing policy helps to maintain steady prices, even in volatile markets. I believe that despite the current instabilities and pressures, there are reasons for optimism and confidence as we look ahead to the future of the industry. Innovation is still happening and some of the major growth drivers are 5G, artificial intelligence, robotics, industrial automation and transportation.
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