Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) recorded its first year of $1 million in sales in 1956. Today, even though we’ve expanded across the globe and have sales upwards of $20 billion, we still remember what it took to get here -- strong partnerships with suppliers and customers.
For Avnet's Electronics Marketing Americas (EMA) division our success can be directly linked to the partnerships we formed in those critical early days, relying on our suppliers to provide us, not only with products, but with expert guidance and technical assistance along the way. Throughout the years, we’ve proudly carried on the tradition of partnering with our customers, and working together to help them prosper and grow.
I was reminded of this tradition not long ago when I joined one of our sales managers for a customer meeting. We sat down with a prospective client and, as we do in most meetings, started the conversation by asking the customer what his needs were and discussing how we can help. During our conversation it was clear that this customer needed more than just competitive pricing. He also required engineering support, the ability to buy in small quantities, and the flexibility to shift from placing orders online to working with an account manager, when needed.
I was happy we had the opportunity to share with this customer all the resources Avnet has, tailored to fit his specific needs. Avnet EMA has put together a dedicated sales staff that works with small customers. This team is made up of industry veterans who can offer true guidance and help customers as they develop and grow -- or at the very least avoid some of the pitfalls they have seen in their years in our industry.
In addition, we offer a centralized technical support team of engineers who can offer technical advice through the design process, alleviating the extra expense of adding additional resources; and our Website is always available when customers need component information or want to purchase online. In this way, we serve as an extension of the customer’s own team.
At Avnet, we haven’t forgotten the path we’ve taken to get to where we are today. We believe in the importance of building partnerships that last. We also believe in providing our customers with options tailored for their business needs. Whether it be the ability to find what they need online, or receiving the service of one of our dedicated sales representatives or technical experts -- we want to help customers of all sizes succeed.
In order to get ahead in your business, you must go beyond just offering basic services to the customer. Success requires building strong partnerships and taking steps to understand your customers' current and future needs.