While the distribution of electronics components is dramatically different from selling electrical supplies, it’s still always interesting to watch what’s happening with electronics distributors. This week’s announcement that Avnet Express, part of the Avnet Electronics Marketing operating group of Avnet Inc., Phoenix, has launched a comprehensive e-commerce website in Asia will intrigue mainstream electrical distributors who wonder how far they can push their online presence.
According to a company press release, the Avnet Express website, www.avnetexpress.com/asia, represents the first distributor website in Asia to offer customers in China an online payment capability. The new website provides design and purchasing executives at OEMs with rapid access to inventory held across Asia. They can also enjoy online access to Avnet Electronics Marketing’s global component menu, which now includes more than four million different parts.
In a press statement announcing the initiative, Beth Ely, senior vice president of new channel development for Avnet Electronics Marketing (EM), said, “Right now about 15 percent of our web customers are shopping from Asia and having their parts shipped from the warehouse in the U.S. The ability to access and purchase inventory within Asia will provide Asia customers reduced cycle time and logistics costs, enabling them to order products from the location closest to their operation.
“Local payment options and local customer service support from within the region will also make it easier for them to do business. Avnet Express is the first distributor to launch a website which will provide a consistent global platform with localized content and functionality.”
The Avnet Express, Asia e-commerce platform enables a comprehensive end-to-end online service from part and inventory searches, price checking, ordering to online payment. The site has been designed with functions such as parametric part searches, Bill of Material (BOM) optimization and parts cross-referencing. It can be viewed in 13 currencies and nine languages, including simplified Chinese and Japanese, and payments can be settled via AliPay, UnionPay, Visa and MasterCard.
In other news at Avnet, the company announced this week that it has completed its acquisition of the Tallard Technologies, a distributor with a focus on Latin America, and Bell Micro, a distributor of storage and computing technology with more than $3 billion in 2009 sales, Avnet’s largest acquisition to date when measured by revenue. Avnet generated 2009 revenues of $16.23 billion and has 12,000 employees.