Businesses run on software, and as external providers are able to offer increasingly specific solutions, the utilization of third party platforms becomes increasingly attractive. Software providers are likely making greater investments into technology than your organization could independently allocate, resulting in solutions that may be more robust, more secure and more aligned with your business requirements than was the case just five years ago.
When evaluating software solutions, it is important to not only consider the technology itself, but also the company behind those solutions. Are you and your software provider aligned with respect to managing corporate privacy and data integrity risks?
In the Electronics Industry, software providers may be broken down into a few key groups:
- Online search engines & data aggregators: while this segment does provide a valuable service to the industry, their core requirement is that Component Manufacturers and/or Distributors turn over large blocks of data, and more importantly, the information that goes along with the usage of that data, including quote activity, search results, related search activity and user data, is retained by the data aggregator. Their core business is to observe the interactions between your potential customers and your products, and then optimize that transaction for their profitability and advertising opportunities. The issue here is that they are optimizing the transaction for their own profitability, and while they may be developing some online traffic on your behalf, the larger benefits they retain, and may share with your competitors, is not necessarily aligned with your interests.
- Marketplaces: There are also a class of marketplace-type providers, who’s core market proposition is to embed the ability to compare & buy, even at volume, from a single source. Amazon is the most obvious, but there are also other providers in the industry whose work to assemble information in a unified presentation is done in such a way as to allow for the automated selection of providers based upon price and availability, without recognition of any other value proposition. Many refer to this type of value destruction as “a race to the bottom”, or in some cases, may even result in a reverse-style auction. These providers can be useful, but again, are their interests aligned with yours? Are they furthering your brand, or are you furthering theirs?
- Outside of the industry: There are a number of providers from outside the industry whose products can be made to work for the Electronics Industry. Many of these tools are excellent, and many of them are a good fit for the industry. Particularly in the ERP/MRP space, there are excellent options. These come with a cost, however. These solutions are often incredibly costly due to the customizations required to align the business processing automation with industry requirements. The data structures and workflows of the Electronics Industry are unique, and the volume of data is far greater than most other industries.
- Solution specific from inside the industry: Ideally, the preference would be to select a provider from the industry, who knows your business, and who can provide the required automation and security out of the box.
Orbweaver remains one of a very few in this class who work to bring the correct level of modernization, data integration, and process automation, while explicitly protecting the privacy of the data you exchange with your trading partners. Orbweaver works entirely in support of your business model, not against it. Orbweaver’s contracts include the stipulation that we will never mine, sell, or distribute your data in any way that you do not explicitly instruct. And we don’t have any other business unit that works by a different set of rules.
Orbweaver, by means of our Lockbox technology, provides the highest level of data security for government and corporations in the transfer and maintenance of sensitive information. We never mine or share data and customers always retain ownership and control. All customer data belongs directly to our customers, and is only used when explicitly approved.