Over the last four decades, the distribution of electronic components has evolved from a wholesale activity into that of a high-tech enterprise.
During the 1970s and 1980s, a successful distributor maintained a well-stocked inventory and supplied small to medium volumes to the relevant industry. When manufacturers pared back their sales organisations, there was a growing need for the distributor to provide technical support. The introduction of Just-in-Time delivery and inventory management saw distributors become logistics professionals. The onset of globalisation created a truly international environment in which distribution follows production!
E-Commerce marked the beginning of digitisation that accompanied the growth of the Internet.
Today, distributors serve their customers through numerous channels that include catalogues, web shops, and logistics programs such as consignment stock as well as traditional sales forces. Technical support is provided via the Internet or by engineers who assist customers in the area of design. Distributors cater to vertical markets and to the embedded community, which requires medium volumes of software and hardware design. At the same time, some distributors control the market for very small volumes supplied to engineering offices and universities
To remain successful, trends must be identified and evaluated in good time.
The sector has accomplished the following: