Supply Chain Trends

Top Distributors Grow More than 7%

It will be another few weeks before Global Purchasing’s 2015 Top 50 Electronics Distributors report will be published, but preliminary results show that the largest suppliers in the industry fared well in 2014. Returning companies at the top of our list reported an average 7.5% sales increase this year, and many say they plan for similar results in 2015.

Although it’s been tough to adjust to a generally slower business climate, most electronics distributors are finding new ways to build their business in an increasingly competitive global environment. Key strategies include improving information technology systems, expanding their Web capabilities, and reaching out to customers with new service offerings. Those offerings include widely diverse strategies such as partnering with technology companies to offer engineering tools (witness Digi-Key’s partnership with Mentor Graphics to offer a suite of affordable engineering design tools, announced last year) and blurring the lines between traditional and independent business models (consider America II Electronics’ push to build its franchised distribution business, creating a service-driven business model that aims to meet customers’ varying inventory needs). Whatever the approach, this year’s Top 50 are taking bold actions to grow.

Some other quick previews of this year’s report:

  • The Top 10 companies in our 2015 list account for more than $77 billion in sales of electronic components and related items.
  • Our effort to create a more global list saw the addition of two new large companies based outside of North America. This caused a shift in our Top 10 and gives a new look to the top 15 suppliers in the industry.
  • At least two of our Top 10 companies saw double-digit sales increases in 2014.
  • All of the returning companies to the Top 20 portion of our list reported an increase in annual sales in 2014.

Watch for the 2015 Top 50 Electronics Distributors report online May 1, and visit our Top 50 page for access to previous reports.

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