Natasha Baker: Supply Chain Transparency Inside the CAD Tool


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Natasha Baker, CEO and founder of SnapEDA, an online parts library, discusses the benefits of transparency in online libraries to designers, and discusses strategies on how to solve supply chain challenges, and more.

Nolan Johnson: Natasha, can you give us an overview of what your company does?

Natasha Baker: My company is SnapEDA. We launched in 2013 and built the internet's first parts library for circuit board design. SnapEDA is a place for engineers to access the libraries they need to build PCBs. Users can drag and drop symbols, footprints, and 3D models right from our website. There are many challenges to face when designing a circuit board in both the design and manufacturing process. Our mission is to remove the barriers and make the process more seamless when bringing a product to life.

Johnson: This is an emerging space in the entire PCB marketplace. How do you handle conversations around supply chain issues?

Baker: What we do is give engineers transparency into different areas that they've never had transparency in before, including where to find the part, how to select parts that have availability in the marketplace, how to substitute a part if it goes out of stock, and how can you find a part with particular specifications. The biggest thing we’re giving engineers is ready-to-use data, transparency into the quality of that data, and a view into the supply chain. We address questions such as, “Is this component available? Who has it in stock? Would this part be wise to put into my design, or is the component obsolete and I should not use it?”

Johnson: What are some ways that transparency might help your users and what are the bottlenecks your users are talking to you about in this area?

Baker: The most direct example is that engineers can see right away whether an item is in stock or not, and how much it costs at various distributors. If it's not in stock, we’ll recommend one they can use with similar specifications and functionality, and even give them the CAD files.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the January 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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