If you need an electronic component, Avnet probably has it. The company is the world's top distributor of electronic components (including connectors and semiconductors), enterprise computing and storage products, and embedded subsystems, ahead of Arrow Electronics and Ingram Micro. Avnet's suppliers include more than 700 component and systems makers; its largest supplier customer is IBM. Avnet distributes these products to some 100,000 manufacturers and resellers worldwide. Avnet distributes products from around 300 locations in more than 80 countries. It also offers a host of value-added design, supply chain, and aftermarket services.
Avnet's products are sold to customers in the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia/Pacific. In fiscal 2012 the Americas region generated about 45% of the company's sales.
Avnet is composed of two global operating groups, each led by their own management teams and each with their own sales and marketing units geared at the Americas, EMEA, and Asia/Pacific markets. Avnet Electronics Marketing (EM) sells semiconductors, embedded products, and interconnect, passive and electromechanical devices (IP&E) to the world's leading electronic component manufacturers. EM also offers design tools and engineering services to support product design, as well as supply chain services to OEMs. Abacus Group, or Avnet Abacus, is a UK subsidiary that distributes electronic products in Europe.
A second operating group Avnet Technology Solutions (TS) is a global IT distributor that collaborates with customers and suppliers to create and deliver services, hardware, and software. It distributes enterprise computing servers and systems, storage products, and complex systems from top technology maufacturers to value-added resellers, large end-users, systems integrators, and software vendors.
Additionally, Avnet provides aftermarket services -- from electronic product repair and refurbishment to asset recovery and reclamation -- through a business unit called Avnet Integrated, and it offers supply chain services, including warehousing, postponement, and device programmining, through a unit called Avnet Logistics.
Avnet quickly rebounded from the global economic downturn by the end of fiscal 2010. That fiscal year it returned to profitability after reporting a net loss in 2009 for the first time in five years. In fiscal 2011 it achieved record revenue, favorably impacted by the acquisition of Bell Microproducts, as well as strong organic growth driven by demand for storage and servers. Then in fiscal 2012 Avnet's revenue took a slight 3% dip on a year-over-year basis mainly due to double-digit declines in the EMEA region in both the EM and TS operating groups.
As one of the top industrial distributors of electronic components, computer products, and services in the world, Avnet works to maintain its competitive advantages through several means. It enters into distributor agreements that protect against price erosion and allow Avnet to cancel or return inventory within a given time frame; it offers value-added services to diversify its revenue stream; and it keeps its supplier base large so that customers can procure from a one-stop shop rather than purchase from several different vendors.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Additionally, Avnet has a strong history of using acquisitions to grow its geographic footprint across the globe. That practice continues to be a key part of its strategy today, with Avnet seeking to acquire primarily smaller businesses in markets where it is trying to expand its presence or increase its scale.
With five acquisitions in calendar 2011 and eight acquisitions in 2010, Avnet has already made more than half a dozen acquisitions in 2012 so far, including a tender offer bid for Japan-based components distributor Internix. The $80 million deal brings new suppliers and customers to Avnet's EM Asia/Pacific group, including virtually all major Japanese electronic OEMs. It also broadens Avnet's design service offerings.
Other Avnet buys in 2012 included Nexicore Services, Pinnacle Data Systems, and ROUND2, all of which support the growth and expansion of Avnet's EM Americas group. All three companies were subsequently integrated and rebranded as part of the Avnet Integrated business unit.
In support of its TS operating group in the Americas and EMEA, Avnet in 2012 acquired Texas-based Ascendant Technology, a value-added reseller that offers IBM products to customers in North America, Europe, Brazil, and India. At the start of 2012 Avnet scooped up Arizona-based Canvas Systems, an IT lifecycle management services provider that specializes in the remarketing, refurbishment, and disposal of IT products, with operations in the UK, the UK, and the Netherlands. IT asset disposal is becoming a popular service for distributors to offer, as Avnet rivals Arrow Electronics and Ingram Micro are busy acquiring and launching their own IT asset disposition services. – less