Re: buyer's guide

Subject: Re: buyer's guide
From: Ginna Dowler <gdowler -at- questertangent -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 13:26:21 -0800

Christi Carew wrote:

> Do you any of you know where I can find samples of good buyer's guides?
> Do you know what exactly should be in a buyer's guide?
> How exactly does it differ from a data sheet about a product? (I do believe
> that the buyer's guide is more in depth.)

I have yet to see a good equipment buyer's guide. But having spent vast
amounts of time in the last week sourcing connectors, I can tell you
what I'd like to see.

The buyer's guide should be aimed at the purchaser - not the engineer.
It should, however, have a VERY clear link to the appropriate data sheet
so that you can go back to the engineer and say "manufacturer specified
doesn't have the part in stock. This one looks like a match to me -

The guide should contain many different ways to describe relevant
information - the index should be extremely detailed. Parts should be
listed by type etc. and also by the standards they meet. That is, the
buyer should be able to enter the document at several points. "I need a
type E DIN connector with footprint X." or "I need connectors which
conform to MIL-XXXX".

The part number generation should be crystal clear. Each element in the
number should be described, and (nearly) impossible to mess up.

Having said all of this, I question the wisdom of a paper guide at all.
I don't know anyone whose purchasing is based on paper guides - in fact,
most buyers assume that paper books are already out of date. Maybe
things are different in telecommunications, but we've been burnt so many
times by paper data sheets for parts which are obsolete. In the world of
electronics (well, here), the web is the only way to go.

Ginna Dowler
Quester Tangent Corporation
Sidney, BC
gdowler -at- questertangent -dot- com

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