Minnesota-based distributor Digi-Key Corp. announced 11% sales growth for 2014 as demand for device-to-device communication drove product innovation among its design engineering customers. This brings the company’s sales to $1.76 billion.
Digi-Key cited the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market and the desire to “connect” more systems and solutions wirelessly across a wide range of end markets as keys to its strong performance. The company also cited demand for its engineer-centric, fast, and efficient distribution model. Advances in wireless, embedded, single-board computers, sensors, motion control, and cloud-enabled applications in particular helped spur growth during the year. Pre-built modules and development kits also saw strong demand, and the outlook is for similar growth ahead, company officials said.
“This year, we experienced an innovation-fueled demand for emerging technologies to support the development of new applications,” said Executive Vice President of Sales and Supplier Management, Chris Beeson. “A spike in new product introduction (NPI) activity lends itself extremely well to our model, which is ideal for fast-turn production runs and high-mix, low-volume orders. By constantly adapting to the needs of our customers, we’re one of few distributors able to respond quickly with exactly what they’re asking for—new product availability, design resources and fast delivery.”
Digi-Key has worked to enhance its strong e-commerce model in the last few years, adding support, value-added, and supply chain management services globally. New partnerships that offer high-end design tools—such as its work with engineering design software company Mentor Graphics—is one example.
“It's an extraordinary time of growth in this industry,” said Dave Doherty, Executive Vice President of Operations for Digi-Key. “Particularly here in North America, we’re seeing a combination of market trends driving innovative new products that will literally change how we work and play. Along with breakthrough wireless and embedded technologies, the cost of components continues to drop, high-value EDA tools are now affordable and other game-changers like open source software and crowdfunding resources are breaking down the walls for the design engineer...”