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The white board: field application engineers.

Field application engineers, also known as FAEs or Sales engineers are a hybrid of exactly what the title implies: Sales and Engineering. These folks are unique because they're essentially in the position of selling a product, but they can also offer in-depth technical knowledge about the product being sold. FAEs can often offer more creative solutions or ideas for how the product can be integrated into an established design. The position became popular during the recession, when many engineering firms had to cut employees.

Have you ever worked with field
application engineers (FAEs) on a project?

YES    77%
NO     23%

During what stage of development did you enlist
an FAE's services?

Concept                  38%
Research                 46%
Protyping/Development    69%
Testing                  45%
Analysis                 24%
Manufacture              17%
Other                     3%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Have you ever specified a component simply
because the FAE offered a great pitch?

YES    29%
NO     71%

Are FAEs becoming more involved in new product development at your company?

Yes, we use them all the time. 11%

We're working with them more often. 46%

Nope, we only use our in-house engineers. 22%

I haven't really noticed. 21%

Is there a benefit to using FAEs?

Yes they have
superior products
knowledge                   52%

I haven't found them
to be particularly useful   11%

I haven't used
them enough
to know either
way                         25%

Other                       12%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Is there a downside to using FAEs?

46% No, they allow us to better customize products.

11% Yes, they take away the ingenuity and creativity.

26% Sort of, they've taken away some engineering jobs, but they are better educated on products.

17% Other.

See the FAE survey infographic visit

By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

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Author:Panetta, Kasey
Publication:ECN-Electronic Component News
Date:Oct 1, 2014
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