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This is a part of the 2014 Distribution Trends Report. The annual report was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this report.
2014 Distribution Trends Report
Counterfeits and “gray market” products are a growing concern for electronics distributors. Of the estimated $8 billion electronics counterfeit market, about half corresponds to excess and end-of-life products, says Orla Lathrop, director of strategic marketing for Components Direct, an Avnet company. Because obsolescence has made these products more difficult to purchase, alternate channels are being used more extensively to find replacement parts.
Electronics infiltrates all other sectors. The emphasis on smart products that can help monitor usage, wear, consumption, etc., has increased the prominence of electronic components in every other sector. DXP Enterprises and bearing manufacturer SKF have worked to develop predictive maintenance tools for use in machinery, for example. “We used to make our living on failures of equipment,” says James Webster, vice president of the bearings and power transmission division of DXP Enterprises Inc., Houston, TX. Now, the company makes a better living by preventing unplanned, emergency downtime for its customers.
LEDs continue to grow in popularity. As the cost of light-emitting diodes has gone down and accessibility of the product has continued to go up, adoption of LED technology to replace traditional lighting has also grown, which is causing a significant shift in the electrical markets.