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'[OT] free samplesWas Re: Maxim'
1999\02\18@224256 by Keith M. Wheeler

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It's all too easy for a hobbyist to sit and say "well, those
guys are making bajillions so why should it hurt them to
give me parts" and for engineers to think "how can I design it
in if I don't get free samples"...but...

(this is really true for all you consulants out there)

What if someone walked in and said "well, you've got to give me
a free days worth of engineering and then I might use you".

Yes, I agree, free samples are *great* (even though in the case of
Maxim, there have been plenty of times that I got free samples
for parts that did exactly what I wanted only to find they weren't
available in quantity!), but, when it comes to the bean-counters,
very few businessmen think it's good business to give away product.

I've noticed that if I've got a *real* need for samples, the rep
will usually pull through for me.  It is something, however, that
I don't abuse.  I've met too many engineers with drawers full of
neat-o free samples, that never went into products.

Realistically, yes, high volume products start with a single prototype,
but very few single prototypes become high volume products.

It's one of those things where I can see both sides.  You better believe
a lot of times I design in things I can get from Digikey--because I know
I'll be able to get 'em.

-Keith Wheeler
ARMA Design                             http://www.ARMAnet.com/

1999\02\19@005854 by Bob Blick

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At 05:41 PM 2/18/99 -0800, you wrote:
>What if someone walked in and said "well, you've got to give me
>a free days worth of engineering and then I might use you".

No, they usually lie about the "free" part. Or the "might" part.

-Bob

http://www.bobblick.com/

1999\02\19@022853 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 17:41 02/18/99 -0800, Keith M. Wheeler wrote:
>What if someone walked in and said "well, you've got to give me
>a free days worth of engineering and then I might use you".

basically, that is what happens anyway -- at least to me. before i close a
contract and see any money, i usually have spent quite a few hours in
discussions with the potential client, where i also quite often give out
"samples" of my knowledge and experience -- at this point, just like maxim
does it: without any commitment on the other side.

it's maybe not a day's worth, but two samples of a nice opamp is also not a
day's worth of maxim :)


>Yes, I agree, free samples are *great* (even though in the case of
>Maxim, there have been plenty of times that I got free samples
>for parts that did exactly what I wanted only to find they weren't
>available in quantity!), but, when it comes to the bean-counters,
>very few businessmen think it's good business to give away product.

it seems that often the cost of charging for those few samples is more than
what they're worth, for the biggies. so it may actually be economical to
give them away for free, with certain restrictions. to me, it doesn't
matter whether i get them for free or for a reasonable small-quantity price
-- what matters is that i =can= get sample quantities. and there you are
often stuck with the stock of distributors like digikey, if the
manufacturer doesn't have a reasonable sample policy -- and i sure
appreciate it if one gives me the enhanced possibilities.

ge

1999\02\19@024553 by William Chops Westfield

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   > What if someone walked in and said "well, you've got to give me
   > a free days worth of engineering and then I might use you".

I thought that was what freeware, gnu fsf, and mailing lists like PICLIST
were all about?  Free samples of wetware capabilities...

At least, I've had job interviews that went like "well, we've seen the
stuff you put on the net, so I guess mostly we need to convince you to
work here", and there are certainly people that I would be inclined to
hire based on what THEY have done on the net.  (in fact, I've sent out
a couple of those "hey, you just got acquired by XXX.  If that doesn't
work out, give us a buzz...")

BillW

1999\02\19@071303 by Harrison Cooper

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|Yes, I agree, free samples are *great* (even though in the case of
Maxim, there have been plenty of times that I got free samples
for parts that did exactly what I wanted only to find they weren't
available in quantity!), but, when it comes to the bean-counters,
very few businessmen think it's good business to give away product.

I've noticed that if I've got a *real* need for samples, the rep
will usually pull through for me.  It is something, however, that
I don't abuse.  I've met too many engineers with drawers full of
neat-o free samples, that never went into products.


I have to also agree.  Most the time, the reps/factory guys are beating down
my door wanting to know if I want samples of this or that...and I tell em,
that a sample won't do me any good until I get my board inhouse, and then I
get
samples because typically purchasing cannot get them in time thru the normal
channels.  Once its in production, its up to them (thier job, not mine) to
get them inhouse.  We use Arrow for almost everything, and because we are a
big
enough account, usually don't have much of a problem.  But there are bigger
accounts
(right Myke?) that can get better service and bigger discounts...

But I am upfront with my reps on samples.  If its for a personal project I
tell them.
In one case, I am getting a hard to find sample for another member of the
list, but
I told the rep it is NOT for a project here. He didn't really care, because
for one
he used to be a purchasing agent here, and also knows we buy $$$$ of normal
parts.

1999\02\19@102152 by Matt Bonner

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"Keith M. Wheeler" wrote:
>
> I've noticed that if I've got a *real* need for samples, the rep
> will usually pull through for me.  It is something, however, that
> I don't abuse.  I've met too many engineers with drawers full of
> neat-o free samples, that never went into products.
>
Exactly.  I look upon it as "using up favours".  Engineers need a good
relationship with factory reps and distributors since we rarely require
any more than 2 or 3 of a certain part (the production department deals
with the larger quantities).  I don't have a problem with buying these
parts, but sometimes it's faster to get free samples than to go through
purchasing.

It also helps to do most of your purchasing through one distributor - in
our case Pioneer-Standard will quickly sample me on Microchip parts even
though the bulk of our purchasing in with other companies that they rep.

--Matt

1999\02\19@133830 by Sean Breheny

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At 08:21 AM 2/19/99 -0700, you wrote:
>"Keith M. Wheeler" wrote:
>>
>> I've noticed that if I've got a *real* need for samples, the rep
>> will usually pull through for me.  It is something, however, that
>> I don't abuse.  I've met too many engineers with drawers full of
>> neat-o free samples, that never went into products.
>>
>Exactly.  I look upon it as "using up favours".  Engineers need a good
>relationship with factory reps and distributors since we rarely require
>any more than 2 or 3 of a certain part (the production department deals
>with the larger quantities).  I don't have a problem with buying these
>parts, but sometimes it's faster to get free samples than to go through
>purchasing.

Well, I am student,and I have quite a low budget for parts. I do not lie to
companies, I tell them that I am an EE student at Cornell,and I usually
will get samples. It seems to me that this is a win-win situation,because I
get the parts and can build neat stuff and learn a tremendous amount at the
same time, and the company gets another engineer in the workplace who is
familiar with their components and has a favorable disposition toward the
manufacturer.

Sean

|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
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1999\02\19@144316 by Wagner Lipnharski

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> Well, I am student,and I have quite a low budget for parts. I do not lie to
> companies, I tell them that I am an EE student at Cornell,and I usually
> will get samples. It seems to me that this is a win-win situation,because I
> get the parts and can build neat stuff and learn a tremendous amount at the
> same time, and the company gets another engineer in the workplace who is
> familiar with their components and has a favorable disposition toward the
> manufacturer.
> Sean

Just a question:   Why you feel confortable to ask samples directly
from the
                  manufacturer and not confortable from a
distributor?
                  (even if you want to pay for 2 or 3 units)

Answer:            Because the manufacturer WANTS to do that. (the few
ones)

You see the problem, if after you leave school and start to work for
yourself,
you are not entitled to get samples anymore in the same easy way.  It
looks
like the directions are to look after students (because they can turn
to be
proeminent engineers), but then, when they ARE engineers, they need to
beg it
as a "favor" from the distribution people.

As far as I read the posts here about this subject, I always feel that
you never
feel confortable to call a distributor and say:  - Hey, as part of the
agreement
with the manufacturer, you need to send sampes to me graceously, ok?
without
asking me how many million pieces I will purchase in the next couple
of months.

It is NOT totaly sure that if you say that the samples are only for
your own
delight, they will treat you like they treat students nicely as
potential
decision maker top ceo's in the future.  Come on, this is just
business, and
I really doubt, seriously, if you complain to the manufacturer, if
they will
change the distributors behaviour, or call the agreement points for
subject.

First, a distributor sell several manufacturers products, and in
general
they ARE NOT interested in your potential to buy 20 microchips because
your
prototype worked based on the ONE they sent to you.  They really don't
care
if you choose Maxim or Analog Devices, if they can sell from one or
another.
By the manufacturer side, it is very important to put their products
in the
technician and engineering  hands, so, to save few bucks to provide
this
samples mailling system, they trust the "distribution" system that the
large
distribution companies have. But we know it is not enough.

I would like to read here some post from a distribution people about
it, to
understand if it really makes part of some agreement or it is just a
"special
favor" they are doing for the "diminished consumers" like us
prototypers.

wagner.

1999\02\19@145756 by Harrison Cooper

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I guess that maybe Wagner doesn't have a good relationship with
distributors?  I just came from a lunch seminar given by IDT...and the
distributor was there...and the rep....and both asked...what can I get for
you..anything at all?
He did mention that ATMEL is coming out with some 8 pin devices, and a
larger device, based on a FPGA....should be intersting.

{Original Message removed}

1999\02\19@161130 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Harrison Cooper wrote:
>
> I guess that maybe Wagner doesn't have a good relationship with
> distributors?  I just came from a lunch seminar given by IDT...and the
> distributor was there...and the rep....and both asked...what can I get for
> you..anything at all?
> He did mention that ATMEL is coming out with some 8 pin devices, and a
> larger device, based on a FPGA....should be intersting.

Years ago I went to a TI Seminar in Saint Pittsburgh, Hilton Hotel
central FL, it was paid, promoted by Texas and a local distributor.
At the end, they offered a list of free documentation and samples
so as everybody else I wrote it down and delivered it by hand.

We were developing some devices involving optics, so all I did
in that seminar was to learn about it and ask for the samples.

Documentation arrived 3 weeks later directly from TI.
I lost count of how many times I needed to call TI and their
dist on Tampa about the samples, that I never received.
I got tired, mad, weak, our project delayed 3 months because
that, lost money, and ended using another manufacturer parts.

After I send an email to some top guy at TI, I received 3 or 4
phone calls, saying they were "all available" to supply me the
parts that I was "willing to pay for", they said "just ask",
when a written and signed paper worths nothing and was not enough.

I never got a phone call back to ask if I got the parts, and
surprisingly, the samples never arrived.  Ask if I am happy.

Now tell me, if I was from Poughkeepsie IBM laboratory
development plant, would they do it in ANY other way?

Do you really think the distribution companies are happily
wondering about the samples you need?

Wagner Lipnharski - Director R&D
UST Research Inc.  - Orlando, FL

1999\02\19@181711 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 12:56 02/19/99 -0700, Harrison Cooper wrote:
>I guess that maybe Wagner doesn't have a good relationship with
>distributors?  I just came from a lunch seminar given by IDT...and the
>distributor was there...and the rep....and both asked...what can I get for
>you..anything at all?

what is the amount your company buys at those distributors? probably
they're really nice to =their= customers, but development-only companies
don't buy a lot at distributors... i rarely buy more than 10 of a chip, and
even that's an exception. so all my contact with distributors is buying
samples -- the production buys do my clients. it seems to me obvious that
distributors are not highly interested in me, because however nice they are
to me, this might not reflect in where my clients buy their stuff, because
i don't specify =distributors=, i specify =manufacturers=. therefore, for
manufacturers, the situation is different: they are more interested in
getting a product in a design than the distributor.

i guess that's why certain manufacturers just don't show up in my designs:
they're too hard to get in sample quantities, because they're not
represented by "retail" distributors like digikey and neither have a
working sample distribution scheme. (but since i'm just starting here in
the usa, i still have to work on my channels... :)

distributors as sample providers seem not to be a good solution for
design-only shops. and it seems the manufacturers who rely on distributors
to provide samples don't really care for situations like mine (which might
not be the majority, but probably there's a bunch out there), where the
development is almost completely disconnected from purchasing for production.

ge

1999\02\19@203248 by Keith M. Wheeler

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At 03:16 PM 2/19/99 -0800, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>At 12:56 02/19/99 -0700, Harrison Cooper wrote:
>>I guess that maybe Wagner doesn't have a good relationship with
>>distributors?  I just came from a lunch seminar given by IDT...and the
>>distributor was there...and the rep....and both asked...what can I get for
>>you..anything at all?
>
>...
>
>to me, this might not reflect in where my clients buy their stuff, because
>i don't specify =distributors=, i specify =manufacturers=. therefore, for
>manufacturers, the situation is different: they are more interested in
>getting a product in a design than the distributor.

Umm, why no mention of reps?  That's what they are paid for, not
selling parts, but *representing* manufacturers.  The only times
I deal with distributors is if we happen to be burning parts (we
are a design center with medium volume production and device
programming capabilities) for a distributor's customer.  When I
want samples from a manufacturer who does not have Maxim-like sampling
policies, I go to the reps.  They are the blokes trying to get the
part designed in, and, in my experience, are very important people
to be friendly with.

-Keith Wheeler
ARMA Design                             http://www.ARMAnet.com/

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