If you haven’t yet heard of an application programming interface (API), you will soon enough. In fact, I expect API solutions to be the most disruptive innovation for the electronics market in the next five to 10-years. Whether or not you realize it, you’re already using APIs. Simply put, an API is a machine-to-machine connection. Every time you visit a modern web page, you are interacting with a remote server’s API.
The customization available with APIs make them a popular choice for procurement executives. Digi-Key found 70 per cent of companies surveyed are exploring APIs. That’s because a business can streamline existing processes and introduce automation, producing an immediate return on investment (ROI).
For example, APIs allow purchasers to quickly get prices, without having to price compare every website. With Digi-Key’s API, pricing is updated in real-time and can be honored for 30-days via a digital quote. With these reduced hard costs of product prices (plus the soft costs of time spent on invoices, quotes and returns and the cost of stock) companies who utilize API solutions can expect significant cost savings. Digi-Key already has 200 to 400 active API customers in North America.
Not only do API solutions improve speed, efficiency and costs, they also improve accuracy. The accuracy of a fully digital solution benefits the entire supply chain. With North America’s highly competitive environment, solutions that improve accuracy and result in greater customer satisfaction should be a priority.
API connectivity can be implemented in three different ways, depending on a company’s size and needs. Customers can implement API via their own internal resources, by subcontracting to an external developer team and by using one of the third-party software solutions from Digi-Key’s list of qualified partners.
Digi-Key’s API solutions are free to use. Interested customers can download a free eBook and try the free ROI calculator which shows how much they can save per year using Digi-Key’s price, availability and ordering APIs. Customers who have utilized the calculator have seen an average of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand dollars in cost savings.
Digital transformation is no longer an option, it has become a necessity in a world where financial budgets and available human resources continue to shrink. If you don’t see your competitors utilizing API solutions yet, don’t be alarmed. If they want to remain in the market in the next five to 10-years, it’s only a matter of time before they embrace these technologies.
The introduction of APIs can be compared to the introduction of the internet. At the outset, it may seem like a complicated and confusing process. But just as the internet did, API solutions will revolutionize our industry landscape, and whoever embraces them first will come out on top.
In our increasingly digital world, data and speed of information are king. As a result, finding ways to harness digital solutions like APIs for cost savings is critical. I encourage you to learn how API solutions could benefit your business and improve your operational efficiency: you simply can’t afford not to.