Oemsecrets.com started over 10 years ago with a goal to assist engineers and buyers access pricing and inventory from the biggest distributors of electronic components. With over 120 distributors including Mouser, Future, RS, Digi-Key, Farnell, Avnet and Distrelec, the company provides free access to a range of tools to help users find the best pricing & availability as well as technical specifications for over 30,000,000 parts and components.
Interview with Sam Cowley, Founder of Oemsecrets.com.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Sam Cowley: Engineers and buyers can search manufacturer parts line by line with our easy-to-use Price & Inventory Comparison Tool. Our filtering and sorting features help quickly identify the distributor’s products that match the quantity requirements.
Our BOM Sourcing Tool is another free and intuitive tool we offer to help save time when working with a bill of materials. After uploading a list of part numbers as an .xls or .csv file, we’ll automatically find the best priced and quantity matched distributor products for a bill of materials. Preferred distributors and autofill preferences can be changed at any point. Once complete, all products can be added to a distributor’s basket, including quantities, with a single click. BOMs can be saved and refreshed by creating a free account.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
S.C: The Price & Inventory Comparison Tool has had a major update to make finding the best distributor for a part much easier. The update has included a refreshed interface which now includes part specifications, technical resources, price analysis, factory lead times, 3D models and packaging types. The new pricing matrix feature gives an overview of pricing and stock at glance.
The BOM Sourcing Tool has also been updated to include new features such as currency selection, location selection and additional controls to help identify stock and price deficiencies.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
S.C: In addition to our comparison and bill of material tools, we are also able to provide the data through our user-friendly API. The Part Search API provides the same up-to-date pricing and inventory used for our BOM tool and comparison in a JSON response.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
S.C: The current chip shortage has meant ensuring our data is as up to date and accurate as possible. Local pricing & stock is now used for many of our distributor partners, meaning the data we share is more relevant to the user’s location when making purchasing decisions. The comparison tool, BOM tool and part search API all allow for specifying country preferences.
In addition to this, we have also integrated several “real-time” distributor APIs into our data which reflects changes to stock & pricing throughout all our tools.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
S.C: With the digitalization of the procurement sector, the updates to the way we collect data has led to several innovations throughout our toolset including adding a refresh option to our BOM Sourcing Tool. Running a data refresh on BOM has assisted many buyers and engineers get access to their list of short supply products.
Creating custom built software using the product dataset has been a large component of our business. This has included reporting software to identify purchasing discrepancies as well as software for manufacturers to identify reselling inconsistencies.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
S.C: Our BOM Sourcing Tool is designed with buyers and engineers in mind to make for the easiest possible solution to sourcing a list of parts. The free to use web application has an intuitive BOM parser to assist with file errors, a simple interface for changing settings in a BOM and quick system for placing an order with a distributor in a single click.
Amongst the many features is a distributor preference selection system which, within seconds, calculates the cheapest price based on the preferences set. It’s has proved incredibly useful for buyers to see the price differences when adding / removing distributors. To accompany this system is the ability to add a target to price to a part, to help identify any savings / overspend.
E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?
S.C: With the chip shortage forecast to continue throughout 2023 we will continue to innovate with our tools and data. Some of our planned updates include an add to basket system for our comparison tool and a system for allowing buyers to add their preferential pricing from distributors into our toolset.
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