While everything has changed in the electronics industry, everything has pretty much remained the same. In the 2014 installment of the long-running Top 25 distributors list, the top half of the list has remained steady, marking a continued period of stability for the electronics distribution industry.
At the same time, there's good news on the list. Global revenue for nearly all the top 10 global electronics distributors grew from 2012 and 2013, with rates ranging from 3% (Premier Farnell) to 12.2% (WPG Holdings). WPG, the largest distributor of semiconductors in Asia, has continued to capture strong growth, reporting a nearly 43% increase in consolidated sales for March 2014 from a year earlier. In its sales report, the company credited its growth to "increased demand and growing shipments of smartphone, tablet, and cloud computing, combined with Chinese New Year hot season and booming e-commerce."
An exception to the growth rule, Electroncomponents PLC, saw a modest decline of 5.4% in its global revenue. The company expects that fiscal 2014 will bring it on par with the others on the list. "In October, we've also seen 4% year-on-year sales growth," Ian Mason, its group chief executive, said in a recently published interview. "So as a trend, we had 1% for the first half. That was the same as the second half last year, but September/October moved up to the 4% level, which is encouraging and in line with the improved PMIs we see around the world."
The remainder of the list was marked by a combination of stasis (with half a dozen names remaining in place) and improved rankings (for another six companies). Only one distributor dropped down the list. Sager Electronics, a 125-year veteran of the electronics industry, reclaimed its spot on the list, coming in at No. 16. Hammond Electronics dropped from the list this year.
We also look at some of the hottest topics in the supply chain. First, we talk to Arrow Electronics' chief executive, Mike Long, to find out how leading global electronics distributors are weathering the evolving marketplace to survive and thrive. Susan Fourtane tackles the important topic of supply chain agility -- using Nokia as the poster child for evolving with the times. Nicole Lewis explores how OEMs are leveraging the influx of big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to design and build wearable technologies that improve human health.
Enjoy these stories and more, along with more detailed information about all 25 of our leaderboard distributors, in this issue.
||Dependable Component Supply1
All revenue figures expressed in US$ millions
1. EE Times estimate
Methodology for Top 25 distributors survey
The EBN Top 25 Distributors survey is conducted annually between March and April for publication online and in tablet versions. The listing ranks electronic component distributors by calendar-year sales; in the few cases where those numbers are unavailable, fiscal-year sales are used.
The data is collected via questionnaires that are emailed to private and public companies worldwide. The information provided is matched against public records; in cases where such records are unavailable, companies are asked to provide a signed letter confirming the numbers. EBN estimates the results for companies that do not complete the questions or that decline to offer letters confirming sales figures. Companies whose numbers cannot be independently verified are not ranked.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN
This story is part of the Special Report: Top 25 global electronics distributors on EDN, a sister site. Read more from this report, including coverage of the evolving market, the supply chain, and the impact of big data and the IoT.