Case Study: Database Development – Arrow Electronics


Arrow Electronics, Inc. is one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and computer products and a leading provider of services to the electronics industry, with 2001 sales of $10.1 billion. Headquartered in Melville, New York, Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 600 suppliers and 175,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers, and value-added resellers through more than 200 sales facilities and 23 distribution centers in 40 countries and territories.

Arrow Objectives:

Eliminate long turnaround to answer RFPs.
Improve sales process by automating quotes.
Reduce pricing and inventory errors.
Expand information capture capabilities.

Arrow Electronics was experiencing a competitive disadvantage due to long turnaround times on customer requests for product pricing and availability. Although Arrow had a sophisticated quoting system , their customers submitted RFPs in multiple different formats such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Word, or CSV text file. This created turnaround and accuracy problems and required Arrow personnel to manually post data and then prepare a response to the customer’s RFP. These costly delays often resulted in lost sales.

ISG Solution:

After reviewing the technical and work flow issues involved with the process, ISG recommended and built a custom database that would allow all RFPs to be consolidated in a common format for import into Arrow’s quotation system. During submission to the common database, each part was also cross referenced against an Arrow part number and then checked in the parts catalog for validity, pricing and availability. Invalid items were electronically flagged for the attention of Arrow’s sales staff. This work flow solution dramatically reduced the handling and processing time required to setup and prepare the quote. Once the quote was completed, the ISG interface provided logic to populate the customer’s original RFP with Arrow’s part number, pricing and availability. The file was then returned to the customer as a completed RFP.

The solution improved the company’s sales process by eliminating pricing and inventory errors and improving the response time back to the Arrow customers.

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