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Distributor Preferences Move Only Marginally Among Readers

More than 60 percent of survey respondents polled by SourceToday said that they prefer using Digi-Key Electronics or Mouser Electronics above all other electronics distributors. More than 40 percent pointed to the former as their favorite while just under 20 percent voted for the latter, according to almost 1,100 responses used by SourceToday’s 2018 Distribution Study.

Preferences scarcely shifted over the last year, according to Electronic Design and SourceToday subscribers in executive management, procurement and engineering roles. Most prefer to purchase parts from the same distributors as always, with none of the companies moving more than two percent since last year, which suggests that manufacturers are trying to weather parts shortages with minimal changes to their supply chains.

Occupying the third position is Arrow Electronics, which was preferred by around 10 percent of the survey respondents, up slightly from eight percent in 2017. The Centennial, Colorado-based company, the world’s largest electronics distributor with more than $26 billion in revenue last year, has been trying to reform its reputation with electronics engineers, which favor many online distributors that those with procurement jobs tend to steer clear of.

The fourth position is filled by Newark Element 14, which was the preference of eight percent of survey respondents. The company is a subsidiary of Phoenix, Arizona-based Avnet, which won over around six percent. Together with its subsidiary, Avnet’s polling improved marginally over the last year from 14 percent to 12 percent as company attempts to refocus its business on the Internet of Things and compete with Arrow in the hunt for electronics engineers.

Companies that curry less favor with executive management or engineering staffers are generally more beloved by procurement professionals. While 13 percent preferred to source components from TTI, only four percent of executive and engineers combined concurred. The same gap affects Allied Electronics and Automation and Quebec, Canada-based Future Electronics, the survey results show.


Respondents were asked which electronics distributors they prefer to buy or specify components from. We listed the top eight companies.


Results from the same question, which asked about the electronics distributors that respondents prefer to buy products from, were organized based on job function.


Respondents were asked which of the following distributors they bought products from over the last year.


Results from the same question, which asked about the electronics distributors that respondents bought products from over the last year, were organized based on job function.

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