Avnet Americas Reorganizing

Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas is reorganizing the way it goes to market in its 48 branches. Executives told us the new structure will unify Avnet EM's product offerings throughout the region and utilize its specialty divisions more effectively.

“Within our more concentrated markets, our specialty structure works really well,” Ed Smith, president of Avnet EM Americas, told us. “In other markets, we need to reach out and touch more customers with more products.”

Currently, three specialty divisions — Avnet Electronics Marketing, Avnet Memec, and Avnet Embedded — sell and support their respective linecards throughout the Americas. Those divisions will remain intact in 15 markets. In the other markets (which the company now calls “EMA” markets), all products and services provided by the three specialty units will be combined into a single, unified linecard. “Instead of having three people selling parts of the linecard, we have nine people selling the whole linecard,” Smith said.

The new structure will also streamline customer interaction within the Avnet branches. Currently, Avnet Memec sells a limited linecard of semiconductor products. Avnet Embedded sells motherboards, chassis, and subassemblies, and Avnet EM sells the remainder of the product offerings, including IP&E. Customers may deal with as many as three Avnet salespeople to source a BOM. “Now these accounts can be handled by a single person,” Smith said.

The reorganization does not redeploy FAEs or technical support services within the branches, Avnet said. These resources are simply no longer tied to a specialty division.

The working model within Avnet refers to markets as “specialized” of “EMA.” In the Northeast, for example, the specialized markets include Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Rochester, N.Y. The EMA markets include Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey.

The distribution market in general continually reevaluates how to deploy resources. Distributors increasingly have been hiring engineers to help customers with design and bring increasingly complex products to market. In sales-driven businesses such as distribution, engineers are expensive. Distributors have to allocate their technical resources where they will be most effective.

In addition, broadline distributors such as {complink 577|Avnet Inc.} and {complink 453|Arrow Electronics Inc.} are competing with catalogue distributors for small and emerging customers. These accounts typically source a wide array of products in small volumes, and broadlines have been struggling to provide the right mix of products and services to this diverse customer base.

Avnet's restructuring affects only the Americas and will not be rolled out globally. The Americas market has not been growing as quickly for Avnet as markets such as China, and the distributor says it wants to increase its marketshare.

“You have to touch more customers to fuel growth. If the market isn't growing, the way you increase your marketshare is to increase your customer base,” Smith said.

I think the Americas customers have changed the way they want to be serviced. They want the option of dealing with you face to face or call you up or go online. We have to make it as convenient as possible for customers to do business with us. It's pretty simple, really — we have to touch more customers with more products. Our success will be measured in more customers, more sales, and profitability.

6 comments on “Avnet Americas Reorganizing

  1. Alisdad
    September 25, 2012

    Never understood the overlap in divisions, so the consolidation is overdue. However, I just heard today that the only 2 Avnet salespeople for all of West Michigan were let go. How are you going to reach more customers that way?

  2. _hm
    September 25, 2012

    FAE is very speciality field. You need to have 10 years of design experience before you become FAE for that product. When you merge product line, how effective will new FAE with no previous knowledge?


  3. SP
    September 26, 2012

    While I was in design and development, we used to source many parts through Avnet. Their FAEs were knoweledgable and approachable. Also they always used to get back. I guess Avnet has done and continue to be doing some remarkable business in sourcing.

  4. Houngbo_Hospice
    September 27, 2012


    “Thanks for improving our trade relations with China. It's really paid off!”

    I can see the irony. Trading with China and other low labour cost countries is driven  by the will of companies to be more competitive and make profits. We just have to accept the consequences.

  5. stochastic excursion
    September 29, 2012

    Didn't know what Rich was talking about and it made me look into it.

    The FT uses “bullies workers”, where the independent blogs use “struck workers” which is the kind of specific description I look for.  But their forum entries I'd say are pretty on the mark.

  6. Taimoor Zubar
    September 30, 2012

    “You need to have 10 years of design experience before you become FAE for that product.”

    @_hm: I've never heard this word before. What are the key resposibilities of an FAE?

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