The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

2014 Trends Snapshot: Electronics Distribution

This article is part of MDM's 2014 Distribution Trends Report. It provides a quick look at key trends affecting the electronics distribution sector.

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.

The full report is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2014 report include:

  • Leaving Economic Uncertainty Behind
  • Connecting the Dots Online and Offline
  • Need for Access Whenever, Wherever, However Drives Mobile Adoption
  • Avoiding Information Overload Essential with Analytics
  • Making the Case for Millennials in Distribution
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies
  • Better Inventory Management Through Data, Collaboration
  • Distributors Seek More Complete Strategy for Vending
  • Private Equity Consolidating Markets
  • A More Practical Approach to Product Expansion
  • Other Trends
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2014 MDM Market Movers
    • Engman-Taylors Cost-Saving Teams
    • Capitol Coffees Proactive Problem-Solving
    • Redwood Plastics Online Success Story
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • DGI Supply: Building on the Core
    • F.W. Webb Takes Diverse View of Market

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.

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