Pi Supply is a Raspberry Pi emporium with a difference. Starting with the Kickstarter-funded creation of the Pi Supply Switch in 2013, the company has specialised in distributing existing Raspberry Pi technology mixed with their own specially developed accessories.
Company founder Aaron Shaw developed the Pi Supply Switch as a user-friendly solution to managing the power flow to a Raspberry Pi device without the need to switch it off at the mains. Initially conceived as a hobby project, his idea proved so popular on Kickstarter that he was encouraged to develop it into a fully-fledged business model.
Having already negotiated distribution of the Pi Supply switch through our UK-based business-to-business company CPC, over the past year the Pi Supply team have developed a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with Premier Farnell and Embest, receiving support in key areas of manufacture, stock management and distribution.
“As a smaller company, resource management can be a challenge for us” explains Shaw. “Farnell already has a large distribution chain, contacts with major re-sellers and a variety of add-ons and accessories already available. Having them on-side means we don’t have to build up all of those things ourselves. It frees us up to concentrate on what we see as our main competitive advantage – which is research & development and making products.”
In addition to the Pi Supply Switch, the company has been developing a range of innovative Raspberry Pi accessories, including the Pi Juice, a portable project platform making it easier to use the Raspberry Pi without relying on access to a mains power supply, which was the subject of another successful Kickstarter campaign, and was the catalyst for Pi Supply’s closer relationship with Premier Farnell.
“We have a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline” says Shaw, “but with limited hours in the day, finding the best path to bring our ideas to fruition while balancing the day-to-day demands of running a business can be a difficult balancing act. This is where our strategic partnership with Premier Farnell has really been helpful, as their input at the manufacture and distribution level has taken a lot of the pressure off, allowing them to do what they do best and us to do what we do best. “
“We’re proud and excited to partner with Pi Supply in order to help their innovative product development to reach a global audience” adds Marcus Bergsli, Global Strategic Alliance Business Manager for Premier Farnell. “By combining the manufacturing capabilities of our subsidiary company Embest with the reach of our element14 community and our global distribution network, we are able to offer hardware and IoT start-ups like Pi Supply a truly unique proposition to help scale their company faster.”
Looking to the future, in the next 12 months Pi Supply are planning to double their employee roster, build on the relationship they’ve built with their online supporters by building a dedicated community space into their website and to broaden their product range beyond Raspberry Pi accessories into other leading brands and standalone devices.
“We’re really excited about developing devices that can appeal to the hobbyist market and serve as effective educational tools, but also bridge the gap into more industrial applications.” says Shaw. “I believe this is a shared vision between Premier Farnell and us, and I can only see the relationship getting stronger as we continue to expand and evolve as a business.”
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