Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Digi-Key Catalog is Dead


Just in case you missed this press release on the Digi-Key site:

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota - March 25, 2011 — In an unprecedented industry move, Digi-Key Corporation, a global electronics component distributor, recently announced that it will immediately cease all print versions of its product catalog and TechZone™ Magazine, offering this content exclusively online. This all-digital decision, driven by the company's efforts to be environmentally vigilant, marks a major milestone in Digi-Key's transition into a totally integrated Internet-based distributor, using state-of-the-art technology to support customers and streamline sales for suppliers worldwide....

A colleague of mine commented today [March 30, 2011] "Yeah, they did it for the environment.  They did it to save money!"

I find flipping thought the catalog to be more productive than trying to use their web site when I'm looking for something, like a connector, but don't know exactly what it is I need till I see it. How about you?  I've yet to find modern web based catalogs and magazines, to be as fast as those in the real physical world.  With the chemicals-on-dead-trees version the pages can be turned in well under a second.  I've yet to see that happen with the digital ones.  Has our software become that bloated that the real world is faster than the world of cyberspace?

Digi-Key has not been doing the industry any favors by raising prices 50% every few days on some commodity parts due to the Japan Earthquake.  Alas they are not alone in such actions...