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America Semiconductor’s differentiator is go-to-market strategy

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 8:41am
David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief, ECN

Jeffrey Simon of America Semiconductor.In March 2014, America Semiconductor introduced a new series of standard-recovery, stud-mount rectifiers in DO8 and DO9 packages. While the new rectifiers are suited for a range of commercial, industrial, and military applications, the company’s CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Simon admits that “when it comes to product, we’re not re-inventing the wheel here.”

According to Simon, many companies share his company’s corner of the market, but America Semiconductor stands out because “we know our product is better priced and the quality is better. It’s not anything that’s sexy or exciting.”
The differentiator for the company is the go-to-market strategy. “We only sell through distributors, we do not sell direct,” said Simon. “Many power semiconductor companies sell through distribution, but they also have in-house sales staffs who are selling to the OEMs and CMs.”

Simon, who has spent time in previous positions on both the distribution and manufacturing ends of the industry, knew that he could make a little more money in the beginning of the company’s venture, but in the long run he wanted to establish a true partnership with his distributors.

America Semiconductor’s cabana at the boulevard pool in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.  Not a bad place to conduct business if you’re not at a suite in the towers.“If you have good distributors selling for you, then let them sell and let the manufacturers manufacture,” said Simon. “It was the way that things were done years ago. Manufacturers made the product, hired the distributors and reps, and let them do their jobs.”

Speaking with Simon and his vice president of sales and marketing, David Geltman, the phrase “true partnership” is a reoccurring theme. “We don’t want to compete with our partners,” said Geltman. “Every manufacturer in the marketplace does and we don’t want to take anything away from the salespeople at our distribution partners. They already have the relationships; they are already out in the market talking to the OEMs and CMs.”
Instead of investing in an in-house direct sales staff, Simon and Geltman invest in marketing and advertising and forward all of the generated leads on to their distribution partners.

“There is enough money for everyone. We want to sleep well at night, treat everyone right, don’t cut corners, and don’t go behind people’s backs,” said Simon. “There is no need to drive the quick dollar, and it’s working really well for us.”

According to Simon and Geltman, as soon as distributors hear about the company’s model, they’re quick to jump on board. At EDS 2014, the pair is hoping to sign on five or six top tier distributors.  While they do many other conferences and exhibitions worldwide, EDS is where they hope to make the most headway. “We do all the shows, with booths and exhibitions around the world. At shows like NEPCON, we’re spending the money to exhibit, and we hand the 1,500 leads off to our partners, who are ecstatic, but it doesn’t do anything for us, because we’re just handing off the leads. EDS is where we’re going to shine, because we want distributors and this is the show for distributors.”

Geltman adds that the impact of EDS is in the power of the impromptu meeting. “So many top decision makers at the distributors and rep firms go to this show. You would be hard pressed to otherwise get a meeting with them, but at EDS you’re standing next to them at the bar, buy them a drink, and they give you the time of day.”

More than anything, EDS provides the atmosphere for America Semiconductor to fine tune strategies with its partners. “In four days, we can accomplish what it would take four months to achieve,” said Simon.

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