Semiconductor start-ups aren’t quite as common as they were 20 years ago, and even fewer have their roots in New Jersey. But America Semiconductor LLC isn’t a typical start-up. The company entered the semiconductor market with experienced management, solid financing and existing relationships with fabs. Electronics Purchasing Strategies Managing Editor Barbara Jorgensen had the opportunity to get acquainted with America Semiconductor’s management and posed the following questions to the company’s CEO and Co-founder Jeffery Simon.
EPS: Although I see from the website America Semi is a comparatively new company, how old is the company exactly? And can we review the legacy of the company to enforce the “non-start-up” message?
Simon: While founded in 2013, America Semiconductor LLC, a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-industry high-power semiconductors, offers OEMs and CEMs decades of industry experience. I am a 25-year semiconductor industry veteran with extensive experience in the manufacturing and distribution of electronic components. Just prior to launching America Semiconductor, I worked at a global stocking distributor and electronic component supplier. I’ve had a number of responsibilities including sales, product development, offshore manufacturing, quality control and supply chain management.
Equally central to America Semiconductor’s entry into the semiconductor manufacturing arena is our co-founder, Bruce Wilpon. Bruce is a life-long friend and business associate. I think we provide a unique combination of entrepreneurship and international financial acumen, together with electronics industry know-how.
Rounding out the America Semiconductor executive management team is our vice president of sales and marketing David Geltman. Mr. Geltman came to America Semiconductor with over 15 years of electronic component-related sales and marketing expertise with the Hearst Electronics Group. In that capacity he was in charge of advertising sales for Hearst’s digital and print products targeting the electronic component industry in North America, Europe and China.
EPS: How/why did the company decide to only sell through distribution?
Simon: Throughout my involvement in the electronics business, I recognized that more and more component sales were going through distribution. I also noted the growing trend of manufactures competing with their distributors, rather than partnering with their distributors.
When developing the business model for America Semiconductor, our mission was to build a business that would grow through building relationships. To ensure this, America Semiconductor only sells through distribution. No in-house sales department to compete with/take business from distributors by taking large orders, and/or holding back leads and trying to turn them into house accounts. America Semiconductor never cuts out the distributor and turns all leads over to its distribution partners.
EPS: Does America Semi emphasize the design-win/demand creation aspect of the chip business? Why/why not?
Simon: Design-win/demand creation is currently not an integral part of America Semiconductor's business plan, however the company is firmly committed to provide state-of-the industry solutions that promote increased efficiencies and product demand along with assisting distributors and OEMs identify new opportunities for their products.
America Semiconductor believes design-win/demand creation must be a collaborative effort of channel partners working together towards a common goal that is a win-win for all involved. The company would consider every opportunity on a case-by-case basis.
EPS: How is the company getting the attention of distributors and customers in this highly competitive market?
Simon: America Semiconductor’s marketing and sales strategy is to clearly and repeatedly communicate its business model to distributors while developing strong brand recognition within the global electronics component industry. The company’s strict adherence to its policy of selling only through distribution has already gained the attention of the world’s largest electronic components distribution companies.
America Semiconductor has also committed to a wide range of digital and online lead and awareness generation campaigns focused on creating brand recognition within the OEM market as well as leads for distribution partners. Moreover, America Semiconductor will continue to attend/exhibit at regional, national and international trade shows to meet face-to-face with potential and existing customers and distribution partners.
These advertising and trade show initiatives will also drive traffic to America Semiconductor’s distribution partners. Superior customer service, quality manufacturing practices, highly competitive pricing and short lead times have captured the attention of thousands of new customers. Further, America Semiconductor’s Hong Kong office and global network of distributors provide a worldwide feet-on-the-street presence.
EPS: How much engineering support does the company provide directly? How about through the channel?
Simon: America Semiconductor employs a full staff of highly skilled and experienced EEs at their manufacturing facilities in Asia. Through their global network of distributors, FAEs located in all major markets are trained to communicate clearly the capabilities and advantages of America Semiconductors' product lines. Also charged with proactively pursuing and visiting potential OEMs who can benefit from America Semiconductor's product offering, they work locally with customers to give practical, hands-on technical assistance in specifying components meeting the requirements for their projects, as well as offer in-depth technical and design assistance.
Moreover, they follow-up to ensure parts meet expectations and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Distributor FAEs continuously confer with the America Semiconductor team to deliver accurate, up-to-date technical information throughout every phase of the design cycle.
EPS: What would you like to tell me about the company (that I didn’t touch on?)
Simon: With headquarters and warehouse located in New Jersey, America Semiconductor is a global leader in the manufacturing of mission-critical, high-power semiconductors, low-power semiconductors and discrete semiconductor components to help OEM companies solve their design challenges.
With over 50 years of accumulated expertise in the semiconductor industry, America Semiconductor's rugged high-reliability high-power standard, fast and super-fast recovery rectifiers, low-power and bridge rectifiers, diacs, IGBT modules, SCRs, Triacs, TVS and Zener diodes are employed in an range of industries including alternative energy, oil drilling, power grid, welding, HVAC, and transportation.