Calling All Component Distributors

{complink 11911|United Business Media Ltd.}, the parent company of EBN and EE Times, has been tracking the global electronics component distribution market for decades, offering insights into the sales and operating performance of this crucial segment of the industry to enable OEMs, contract manufacturers, and component makers better understand the evolving dynamics of the market.

As part of this annual assessment, we publish a ranking of the Top Global Component Distributors online (both EBN and EE Times ) and in the print issue of EE Times . (Click here for the 2010 Top 25 Global Distributors ranking.) This year's listing will be published in May for distribution at the National Electronic Distribution Association's annual Convention in Las Vegas. The show, dubbed EDS, will take place this year from May 24 to 26 and is being held in conjunction with the Electronics Components Association, which has joined with NEDA to form the Electronic Components Industry Association.

In this year's package, we will be featuring articles on the role of distributors in the electronics design chain and exploring how the industry segment has evolved to take on additional responsibilities in response to customer demand. The introduction of value-added services — including design, supply chain management, end-of-life information, and other engineering-related functions — has helped components distributors remain relevant in the market and safeguard their operating margin as prices continued to decline across the board in the high-tech sector.

As part of our own service to the industry, we want to ensure the ranking is as comprehensive as possible and would appreciate any feedback that can help us achieve this goal. The Top Distributor ranking is based on verifiable sales, which we source directly from companies and also through public records for those enterprises that are publicly listed. In the case of private companies, we look to get third-party verification through auditors or via investment firms.

In addition to the ranking, we will also be compiling a list of all distributors globally. This list, which will be updated on a constant basis, will be available online on EBN to all our readers. So, even if your company's sales are not big enough to make the Top Distributor ranking, I want to encourage you to send details about your operations to EBN.

To participate in this year's Top Global Distributor ranking, please email or contact me directly at .

Also next week, UBM will be sending out the questionnaire for the Annual Distributor Brand Preference Study, a benchmark report on how customers rate their distribution partners. This year's questionnaire, to be mailed out Wednesday, March 16, will feature questions on how design engineers, procurement professionals, and OEM/EMS executives rate the services they are getting from distributors in a wide range of product markets, including semiconductors, connectors and interconnects, power and passive components, and electromechanical devices.

In recent years, the study has been expanded to include a review of more recent service offerings from the distribution market, including Internet commerce, the use of social services, prototyping, supply chain, and logistics.

8 comments on “Calling All Component Distributors

  1. mfbertozzi
    March 12, 2011

    Bolaji, I believe your/EBN tecnique of collecting details, infos, suggestions to make ranking distributors list closer to the market from customers point of view, is very nice and could support all professionals across the globe in their job and tasks. Nowadays services from distributors are crucial in the electronics arena and it is not easy to map them in a comprehensive way in terms of quality perceived.

    Could it be the chance to understand better how distributors are “integrating” Internet & Services from social providers for countinuously improving ?

  2. Wale Bakare
    March 12, 2011

    Coming out with event like this will surely create more competitiveness in market. Especially as more sensitive and high critical things are going smarty/digital. 

    Undoubtly Designers/Assemblers of the electronic devices expect more qaulitative electronics components so also suppliers/distributors will need to up the customer service request. I think ranking might drive the market seen more of quality and better services.

  3. Adeniji Kayode
    March 14, 2011


    I share your opinion on this technique talked about by Bolaji.

    It will create a more Quality Control system in the marketplace.

  4. tioluwa
    March 14, 2011

    This is a great initiative, it has the potential to bring some “underdogs” to the limelite, giving them an opportunity to show what they can do, while also enabling them to see where they are short of others in the chain.

  5. Tim Votapka
    March 14, 2011

    Looking forward to seeing this data in May. Some years back, the annual Top 50 (yes 50 at the time) Distributors Supplement was an eagerly awaited issue at EDS, along with the annual OEM Buyer Preference study. 

  6. elctrnx_lyf
    March 14, 2011

    This is going to be really atough exercise. I wonder howmany factors does actually effect the distrbutor rankings. Does prototyping with respect the supplier parts is one complicated measure and not many except the Tier1 distributors can actually get good marks.

  7. bolaji ojo
    March 14, 2011

    Tim, You were right. We used to track the Top 50 Distributors. And that was only about 10 years ago. In North America, it's a struggle to count 25 today whose sales can be independently verified and can actually be considered major players in the market.

    That the market consolidated was expected and perhaps desirable but it also meant the big guys have gotten much bigger and the smaller ones have almost disappeared into niche sectors. Distributors are a resilient bunch, though. They, more than any other segment of the industry, have always been good at reading the signs of the times and have always responded smartly either with new offerings and initiatives or by squeezing out inefficient competitors.

    EBN's Top 25 list will be global — to the extent we can independently verify sales — but we are also creating a database of all distributors, big and small alike. This database would enable customers identify small but equally efficient players. It might also start another round of consolidation!

  8. Kunmi
    March 20, 2011

    It is interesting to know that EBN has created the database to tract the most effective TOP 25 global distirbutors. Does EBN consider the networking strength of these companies as part of the criteria for efficiency? What is the effect of sourcing on ability of these distributors to rank high among others. Most stable companies swallow up the staggering ones that can not read the signs of the time. Is there any monitor on what can help the baby distributors find their feet in what they believe in?

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