2015 Trends Snapshot: Electronics Distribution

This article is part of MDM's 2015 Distribution Trends Special Issue. It provides a quick look at key trends affecting the electronics distribution sector.

The annual feature 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 issue.

The full special issue 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 2015 report include:

  • Good & Bad News for U.S. Economy
  • Distributors Get Back to the Basics
  • ‘Doubling Down’ on Distributor Relationships
  • Distributors Embrace, Expand Online Customer Base
  • Distributors Seeking ‘Lean’ Supply Chain
  • Distributors Adapt to More Sophisticated Supply Chain
  • Distributors Combine Traditional, New Means for Recruiting
  • Distributors Change Tune on Generational Shift
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2015 MDM Market Movers
    • AJ Adhesives Takes Service to New Level
    • Plumbers Supply’s “Win-Win-Win-Win”
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • Culture Drives Success for ERIKS North America
    • TTI’s Strategic Approach to Global Growth

This is a part of the 2015 Distribution Trends Special Issue. The annual feature was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this issue.


2015 Distribution Trends Special Issue


Sensors are all the rage. From casual wearables such as the Fitbit to more sophisticated medical technology, sensors are everywhere, says Ed Smith, president of Electronics Marketing Americas for Avnet Inc., Phoenix, AZ. This trend is especially beneficial for distributors like Avnet that handle sensor technology from the "edge to the enterprise," meaning they not only distribute the product but also process the data those sensors receive.

"Not as sexy as the app companies" but still an attractive career option is how Smith describes the industry's recruitment of millennials against Silicon Valley giants. "We're a little bit of an older, more mature industry, so trying to get younger employees is really a challenge," he says. With this in mind, electronics distributors are ramping up their internship programs as one way to get in front of college students early.

The Internet of Things and its use of embedded technology should be a key growth driver for the electronics sector.

Counterfeiting continues to be a significant issue for the industry. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, which made selling counterfeit parts to the government contract fraud, has helped somewhat, but private-sector companies are still exposed to counterfeiting and need to take a collaborate approach to fighting it.

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