Electronics Production | November 16, 2005

Avnet Memec EMEA Takes Off

Following Avnet Inc.'s acquisition of Memec on July 5, 2005, Avnet Electronics Marketing now announces the official start of operations of its new specialist distribution business, Avnet Memec EMEA. Steve Haynes, one of Avnet's most recognized executives in Europe, will lead the newly created business unit as its president.
Avnet Memec EMEA will serve European electronics customers with a unique portfolio of semiconductor technologies from world-renowned suppliers such as NEC, Linear Technology, Silicon Laboratories and many others.
In total, the technology portfolio comprises more than 50 different suppliers of semiconductors, displays and software products and will help customers to find the right innovation for their newest applications in industry segments such as embedded solutions, medical, wired and wireless communications and many more. With 200 employees and a run-rate of 200 million euros of revenues, Avnet Memec EMEA starts its life as one of Europe's largest specialist distributors. The company operates in all countries in Western Europe and uses its own locally based employees and a network of partners to support Eastern Europe and Turkey.
According to Axel Hartstang, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA, the creation of Avnet Memec EMEA shows Avnet's strong commitment to expand its reach within the industry and to go beyond the well-known distribution approach of the past: 'Avnet Memec has a truly entrepreneurial task -- to answer to the increasing technology needs of design and manufacturing businesses who have to find differentiation in a very competitive world.'
Avnet Memec will do that with different supplier partners, highly original technology solutions and a very aggressive engineers/sales ratio, supported by the strong logistics backbone and global scale of its parent Avnet. Hartstang: 'With Avnet Memec we are demonstrating again that Avnet has far more to offer than just distribution of well-known lines.'
Steve Haynes, president of Avnet Memec EMEA, said: 'Customers want to maintain their competitive edge as more volume manufacturing moves east. Our clear mission is to offer a very wide range of technologies and products beyond the broad line suppliers and to offer our significant engineering expertise and resources along with it.'
According to Haynes, Avnet Memec EMEA's concept of specialist distribution has a strong basis in the day-to-day reality: 'The requirements of customers to find and use innovative technology -- components that are true differentiators in function, features or integration -- are bigger and more urgent than ever. However, innovation is not a matter of size. The existence of more than 300 semiconductor manufacturers (most of them fabless) confirms the opposite.' While the top 30 of the semiconductor world may cover a significant portion of a board or a solution, there is room for much more, said Haynes, especially when creativity, innovation or simply the uniqueness of a product idea are the drivers. For those wanting to access a broader customer base, the answer is specialist distribution.
The plan is simple, according to Haynes: 'We want to be first to bring to our customers new technology from our suppliers. And we want to be our suppliers' first distributor when it comes to demand creation for them and design-in for our customers.'
To support this concept, Avnet Memec EMEA employs more engineers than salespeople. Thirty percent of the work force consists of application specialists, allowing Avnet Memec EMEA to provide customers with a vast application expertise far beyond what distribution typically offers.
In addition, an experienced sales force with a strong background in technology distribution and excellent customer relations will drive the operational side, the basic services and the logistical backbone of its business. Finally, Avnet Memec EMEA operates with a full product marketing, technical marketing and business development team to anticipate customer and supplier requirements and to explore new technology and application fronts. Eighty-five percent of the Avnet Memec EMEA employees are to be found in an active role of creating designs (for customers) and demand (for suppliers).
The new company will focus on several technology areas with high-growth potential and the ability to create significant differentiation for customers: analog, embedded micros, wired and wireless communication devices, programmable logic, displays and several more, complemented by a variety of specific technologies and software. Said Haynes: 'It is a portfolio of leading-edge products in very specific areas where our suppliers have looked for unique solutions. Nobody but they have the products, even in crowded and competitive areas like analog and embedded technologies. Now we have the opportunity to make them available to a broader audience.'
Silicon Laboratories, one of Avnet Memec EMEA's key franchises going forward, supports the strategy behind the creation of the new company. Kurt Hoff, vice president, sales & operations EMEA: 'We are pleased to see Avnet taking the initiative to provide specialist distribution to support innovative suppliers like Silicon Laboratories. Our highly integrated, mixed-signal ICs are true first-of-a-kind solutions that offer significant advances in price performance, reliability and power savings. Avnet Memec EMEA is well equipped to assist Silicon Laboratories because they offer strong design-in support and a creative technical staff to discover and develop opportunities for the future.'
And Michael Buckley, European distribution manager of Lattice Semiconductor said: 'For Lattice, the new Avnet Memec company is one of the most interesting and exciting developments to have taken place in distribution. It certainly challenges the traditional model of sales and applications and we look forward to a significantly increased level of demand creation.'
Since Avnet Memec EMEA is not a startup, but can build on hundreds of staff-years of experience and long-standing relationships from the beginning, Haynes is confident that Avnet Memec can lead specialist distribution in Europe: 'We go a lot deeper than distribution. We aspire to be the 'Source of Innovation for our Customers,' whether it is the technology of our suppliers, the brainpower of our dedicated engineers or simply the best associated service based on the strong backbone of our parent company Avnet.'
While the concept of Avnet Memec EMEA is strongly tailored to the customers' design engineers, Haynes also provided a clear message to the purchasing experts and the management of customers: 'Technology alone has no value if it does not follow a few principles -- feasibility, availability, sustainability, functionality and safety. Customers' purchasing and management have to establish the economic value of technology for their company. They want security. Here we can help through the strong position of our parent company, a global distribution giant. Avnet has enough pull to enable Avnet Memec EMEA to support a suite of manufacturers that go beyond the top 30 of the semiconductor world.'
Hartstang supports the reasoning of Haynes: 'Avnet Memec EMEA makes a lot of sense within the Avnet context. I see a huge opportunity in technology specialist distribution, alongside our existing businesses. Our customers can find more technology with deeper application support without having to leave the Avnet premises. And our specialist suppliers will experience the opportunity to have access to a far wider customer range than in the past. With Avnet's logistical, financial and service power, Avnet Memec EMEA has to worry about nothing but helping the customers create the successes of tomorrow.'
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