Avnet: Thinking Globally

When asked about the key challenges facing electronic components distributors today, Avnet’s Ed Smith doesn’t hesitate to put globalization at the top of the list. Whether it means helping a customer design in one country and build in another or giving customers access to products and technical information in their local language and currency, meeting customers’ global needs is a top priority among the largest distributors in the industry.

“Customers want us to act globally,” says Smith, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, explaining that customers want more information, delivered faster and to a wider audience around the world.

Avnet has responded in a number of ways, including implementing IT systems that track and communicate information to a global customer base and launching regional pages within its AvnetExpress Web site that localize the distributor’s product and service offering for customers in the Americas and Asia as well as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Avnet took the top spot on Source ESB’s 2011 Top Distributors report, with global sales of $22.92 billion in calendar-year 2010.

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About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and GlobalPurchasing.com, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.