As the economy recovers and new opportunities emerge well run businesses will be using the uncertain markets to improve their systems and processes, increase their efficiencies and work out how they will market to and outperform their competitors.

Premier Farnell champions the cause of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and as part of their commitment to provide the sector with valuable information, knowledge and support, Farnell, the leading multi-channel distributor of electronic and industrial components, has launched the SME Business Information Hotline. This new service provides a direct link to Farnell’s technical experts to provide support and information on a wide range of electronics topics plus support on legislation and training.

Faced with post-recession headaches many SMEs find the regulatory burdens complex and time-consuming. Legislative issues like RoHS, WEEE and REACH, for example are seen as resource- sapping and a major challenge to SMEs. Other challenging issues are access to funding difficulties around breaking into overseas markets, especially the emerging markets, the need for more transparency in public sector procurement and the skills gaps.

Available five days a week and linked to Farnell’s element14 online technology portal, the new hotline offers numerous ways for SMEs to contact Farnell; these include phone, live online Chat and email. In addition to providing tailored technical information, the service will support users in their work in securing government and public procurement contracts and create key relationships with relevant partner organisations like Business Link, Train to Gain etc.

“The research conducted jointly by Farnell, the Electronics Leadership Council (ELC) and the UK Electronics Alliance (UKEA) earlier this year highlighted an unfulfilled requirement amongst SMEs for fast access to expert help, support and information to enable them to understand technology and further develop their business and train employees,” said Alan Paterson, Commercial Director, Farnell Northern Europe. “With our in-house technical experts possessing detailed knowledge across the broadest range of electronics technologies and related matters such as Legislation, Farnell is perfectly equipped to provide such a service to its customers.”

As a result of a comprehensive survey of 1000 UK small businesses, Farnell launched the Small Enterprise Resource Centre on element14 earlier this year, which has been a host for active discussions around the biggest headaches for UK electronic SMEs.

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