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© luchschen dreamstime.com General | September 30, 2013

Rutronik celebrates 40th anniversary

This year, Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH celebrates 40 years in business. During this time, what began as a five-man operation has developed into the third-largest distributor in Europe with offices worldwide.
In 1973, Helmut Rudel founded the company as Rutronik Passive Bauelemente and Silec Aktive Bauelemente. Since then, the distributor has grown organically in all areas: geographically, from a local supplier to a global distributor with 69 offices in 27 countries.

In terms of product portfolio, it has grown from a representative for active and passive components into a broadline distributor with a comprehensive suite of products ranging from electro-mechanical components to storage, displays & boards and wireless components.

In the early days, the company's service offering was confined to commercial support. Today, it includes comprehensive consulting services for products, applications, vertical markets and logistics. These are backed up by continuously expanding support in the form of data sheets, application notes and other information sources, numerous seminars, workshops and TechDays as well as on-line services. Rutronik has also developed in-depth expertise in the area of logistics. When it started out, the company operated a relatively straightforward, step-by-step delivery system. Today, Rutronik offers numerous logistics modules that can be combined to create bespoke and flexible solutions for optimised supply chain management.

This has transformed what was a sales company for electronic components into a solution provider and partner that provides its customers worldwide with comprehensive technical, commercial and logistical support throughout the development and production cycle. This makes Rutronik an important link between manufacturers and customers.

Above-average growth

Over the past 40 years, revenue growth at Rutronik has consistently outperformed the market and exceeded one billion US dollars in 2012. In parallel to this extraordinary growth, the company workforce has also expanded from five employees when it was founded to around 1300 today. Founder Helmut Rudel remained at the helm of the company until 2008, when he was replaced by his son Thomas Rudel, who took over as CEO and Sales Director.

Since then, Helmut Rudel has continued to be involved in the executive management in his role of President of the company. The two are supported by four directors in the areas of marketing, commercial, logistics and IT/organisation. Although Rutronik remains a privately-owned company, it operates on the basis of managements instruments used in listed companies, such as quarterly accounts and comprehensive risk management policies.

Conventional values

Despite strong growth and numerous changes, some things have remained the same. Rutronik is one of the very few distributors to remain an owner-operated, independent company. The company headquarters are located in Ispringen near Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg. The motto "Committed to Excellence" coined by company founder Helmut Rudel remains the guiding principle for the employees. Their performance contributes to the satisfaction of customers - always the top priority. The company also maintains close customer contacts through its strong presence in Europe. The focus of the company is on building long-term partnerships with manufacturers, customers and employees.

"In a sector characterised by such a high degree of consolidation, it is not easy to successfully remain in business for 40 years," explains Thomas Rudel. "We are therefore extremely proud to have established ourselves in the long term as the clear number three player in Europe. To ensure our continued growth into the future, we will open up additional markets and expand our presence worldwide."

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