On June 2, components distributor Digi-Key Electronics announced the release of PCB Builder, a tool that lets customers have PCBs shipped directly from the fabricator. PCB Builder also allows customers to perform file layer checks and receive instant quotes from multiple fabricators.
Andy Shaughnessy spoke with Josh Mickolio, supplier business development manager for Digi-Key, about the development of PCB Builder and what this tool means to PCB designers and design engineers. Josh also discussed PCB Builder’s part in a larger Digi-Key program, Marketplace, and some of the market drivers that led to this new expansion.
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Andy Shaughnessy: Hi. I’m Andy Shaughnessy with I-Connect007. Today. I’m talking with Josh Mickolio, supplier business development manager at Digi-Key. Josh, welcome.
Josh Mickolio: I’m glad to be here.
Shaughnessy: We saw the press release that just came out yesterday. It’s some pretty big news. Digi-Key just announced a new tool, PCB Builder. Why don’t you tell us all about it?
Mickolio: Yes, it’s something we’re really excited about. We put a lot of work into it, and the PC Builder is the first of several new tools and resources that we’re going to be introducing to the market. It’s for customers who have a need for a PCB. They can visit the site, upload a Gerber, select parameters that they want for their PCB, and get a quote instantly. It’s designed to be simple and confidential to the customer, and the intent is to get them what they’re looking for in just a few clicks.
Shaughnessy: We saw that the PCB Builder is part of a larger project called Marketplace. Can you tell us what’s your vision for Marketplace?
Mickolio: Marketplace opens up access to a wide array of new technologies, products, and resources to our customers. Digi-Key has always been committed to improving that customer experience and providing more to our customers, listening to what our customer’s needs and Marketplace is another one of those initiatives.
Shaughnessy: What are the overall customer needs that you intend to serve with Marketplace?
Mickolio: Yes, the first round components themselves. Customers have a lot of needs around different types of components and might need slight changes. Part of Marketplace is offering a much wider assortment of components, but also some customization, configuration, and capability so that they can find the right part first time, every time, and it will expand beyond that. We have engineers across a wide range of industries that have a lot of unique product needs, and Marketplace is a good tool to bring more of that product offering to them quickly.
Shaughnessy: Josh, how did you get this a tool developed, and what were some of the market drivers that led you to come up with the tool?
Mickolio: The development was a collaboration with some of our PCB supplier partners, working with them to identify what an ideal tool should look like, what the parameters should be that concerns the vast majority of the market, and how the communication and data collection should work as far as getting information from the customer to the port house. For the market drivers, it was a natural extension to a component sale. The next step for that component is to be put down on a PCB, so it was kind of a natural part of the process to bring PCB ordering in-house.
Shaughnessy: Is there anything else you want to mention that we haven’t covered?
Mickolio: No, I think I’m good.
Shaughnessy: Okay. We appreciate it. Thanks for speaking with us. Once again, I’ve been speaking with Josh Mickolio, supplier business development manager at Digi-Key. For I-Connect007, I’m Andy Shaughnessy. Thanks for listening.