Innovating the RF Global Supply Chain
MWJ: Richardson RFPD works with some of the best technology suppliers in the world. Is there a common characteristic among your most successful suppliers?
GP: There are two common characteristics, actually. The first attribute would be staying in a constant state of innovation - that is, focusing on new product development and introducing those products to the market in a steady stream. The second characteristic of our most successful suppliers is a commitment to working closely with us so that we can help introduce their new products to our extensive customer base, help them gain new design wins, and ultimately generate increased revenue and margins.
MWJ:How does Richardson RFPD decide who to represent?
GP: In building our supplier base, our overarching goal is to offer a broad portfolio of RF & Wireless and Energy Management products and technologies, providing our customers with complete solutions so they can procure almost every part they need from one qualified source that has the technical expertise to expedite the design cycle from prototype to production. Richardson RFPD suppliers lead the industry with innovative products and solutions which, in turn, elevates our ability to support all aspects of our customers’ needs for design, logistics, and new product updates.
MWJ: Richardson RFPD was acquired by Arrow Electronics last year. How has the first year gone?
GP: It has been great. They are investing heavily in all aspects of our business. We continue to grow the number field sales engineers throughout the world. We are adding more resources on the Engineered Solutions side of our business and are currently looking at a number of acquisitions ourselves.
MWJ: How has the acquisition affected your operations and ability to service customers?
GP: As a separate operating unit of Arrow Electronics, Richardson RFPD independently manages our business on a daily basis, so we still have the ability to use our specialized technical expertise in RF engineering to fully service our customers. Of course, we now also have access to Arrow's extensive resources and knowledge-base, which gives us important backing and support as we grow our business.
MWJ: What differentiates Richardson RFPD from other distributors?
GP: The thing that sets us apart is that Richardson RFPD employs more RF engineers than any global distributor. By offering deep technical expertise to support the latest products from the leading suppliers in RF & Wireless and Energy Technologies, we are uniquely positioned to help customers meet the challenges of changing markets. In addition, our global footprint and visibility allows us to be a world class leader in new product introductions. It is a global marketplace, so you have to have a global infrastructure with inventory and services in place to fully support it.
MWJ: What new RF technologies or product categories do you think will be in heavy demand over the next twelve months?
GP: Several come to mind. Rugged LDMOS appears to have a supe¬rior technology to support our markets in broadcast. It has been a significant improve¬ment, especially for industrial and scientific applica¬tions which don’t see a predictable fixed load. Scintera has been a success story for us this year, as an easy-to-use linearization tech¬nology. GaN has also become a standard technology that we see expanding into more and more RF applications.
MWJ: What applications or markets look particularly attractive from a sales perspective?
GP: There are pockets of growth throughout the world that we are able to address such as infrastructure, networking, broadcast, and ISM with the global Richardson RFPD footprint. We will see nice growth in the M2M market, as well as the Energy Management markets. Products that improve energy efficiency are always in high demand.
MWJ: How is Richardson RFPD positioned in emerging markets, the so-called BRIC countries?
GP: Richardson RFPD has local sales offices in all of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and we are also expanding to other emerging markets such as Turkey. We have also added engineering resources and talent dedicated to these markets to continue our commitment to assisting our customers with their new product designs and providing the same deep technical expertise for their most challenging developments.
MWJ: What do your customers most frequently ask for?
GP: Well, again, it's the depth of our technical expertise and consistent, timely product updates. In addition, customers are coming to us more and more for our Engineered Solutions capabilities -- it's what our customers rely on and what makes us unique. I would venture to say that it's a big part of why the key RF and Wireless suppliers sign with us to distribute their products. From prototype to production, our global team of local field sales engineers provides support on the latest new products from industry leading suppliers, helping to expedite the design cycle, find complete solutions, and improve overall design performance.