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Electronics Production | October 02, 2006

Abacus unveils European structure

Abacus Group today unveiled an integrated European component distribution operation focussed on delivering design in and technical support to the full spectrum of customers through a Europe-wide network of over 42 local offices and five warehouses.
The Group also announced its strategy for its specialist distribution, own-brand component, and value-add businesses. The announcement marks the completion of the integration process of the Deltron and Axess businesses that Abacus acquired earlier this year, making it Europe's fifth largest electronic component distribution organisation. The acquisitions also moved the Group into the top five in UK, France and Italy and brought it a Component Distribution operation in Germany, as well as in Austria and Benelux. Abacus Group Chief Executive Martin Kent said, "We provide an alternative model to the global distributors, focussed on local service and strong technical support. We are fully accessible to customers whatever their size, aiming to become a strategic supplier to each by offering a broad and diversified product range which satisfies their demands. Our goals are to bring something new to each market in which we operate, with a differentiated service, product portfolio and business model. We aim to have a minimum share of 5% in each major market." He added, "In each country we have created an integrated back office and an integrated warehousing operation to improve efficiency and service but maintained the customer and supplier facing technical and sales teams that give continuity to our relationships." Acquiring Deltron gave Abacus Group a 13.6% market share in the UK, consolidating its position. Abacus has transferred Deltron's Scunthorpe warehouse to the Abacus Distribution Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme. It has also transferred Deltron's business to the Abacus business system, giving sales and marketing teams across the Group visibility of all products. Deltron's distribution business has been brought into the Abacus ECD (Electronic Component Distribution) organisation under Graham McBeth. Axess Technology joins Trident and TDC as a Specialist Distributor headed up by Patrick Journo. The Group's manufacturing businesses all now come under the management of Clifford Friel whilst all own-brand companies are managed by Alan Jermyn. Lorna Finch has taken charge of marketing across the Group Europe-wide. In Europe, Abacus Group has rationalised its logistics to give one satellite warehouse in each major market: France, Italy, Scandinavia and Germany. By 2008, Abacus will complete the roll-out of its business system across Europe, linking each warehouse to the central Abacus Distribution Centre in the UK. The individual sales offices in each market have been maintained throughout Europe. Kent explained, "With the conclusion of the integration process, Abacus Group is in a position to evolve and develop as a business, responding to new customer needs and market trends." These trends include the continuing migration of manufacturing within Europe and to the Far East, and changes to the regulatory environment, such as RoHS. "We see customer migration as an opportunity for the Group," says Kent. "We have opened an office in Hong Kong headed by John Harlow and are developing partnerships with Eastern European distributors such as Soyter in Poland. The goal in both cases is to provide European customers with a reliable and cost-effective supply chain to their manufacturing operation wherever in the world it may be."
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