Arrow Electronics knows its target market. The company is a leading global distributor of electronic components and computer products, alongside rival Avnet. It sells semiconductors, passive components, interconnect products, and computer peripherals to about 120,000 equipment manufacturers and commercial customers. Arrow also provides value-added services, such as materials planning, design and engineering, inventory management, and contract manufacturing. It distributes products made by such manufacturers as Cree, Panasonic, Microsoft, and Intel. The company operates from some 400 locations across the globe (serving some 85 countries); more than half of sales comes from the Americas.
Electronic components account for about two-thirds of sales. Its Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) business -- which sells hardware, software, storage, and security products to value-added resellers -- makes up the remainder. ECS has added professional consulting, cloud computing, managed services, and technical training as the business unit expands its support for resellers and systems integrators beyond hardware sales.
The company generates 52% of sales from the Americas (mostly the US), with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Asia-Pacific region contributing 29% and 19%, respectively. It has facilities in some 50 countries worldwide.
Sales and Marketing
Arrow serves OEMs and contract manufacturers through its components business segment and value-added resellers through its ECS business segment. Industries served include aerospace and defense, computers, gaming, industrial equipment, instrumentation, medical and scientific devices, networking, optoelectronics, and telecommunications equipment.
After two years of solid growth, overall sales were down 5% in 2012 to about $20 billion. The results were driven by a 10% decrease in the components segment amid weaker economic conditions across all geographic markets, particularly the EMEA region, which saw a year-over-year decline of nearly15%. The components segment results were partially offset by a jump in the ECS business as demand increased for services, software, and storage in North America and Europe. Net income was also down in 2012, falling 15% to $506 million.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Arrow continues to expand its service capabilities and global presence, primarily through acquisitions. It made seven acquisitions in 2012, including three focused on electronics asset distribution services: Texas-based TechTurn, Asset Recovery Corporation, and Redemtech. Also in 2012 Arrow bought value-added distributor, ALTIMATE Group, a subsidiary of DCC plc that sells enterprise and midrange computing products and services. Intended to bolster Arrow's presence in Europe, ALTIMATE operates in eight countries in the region, including France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK. It also acquired Beijing-based Seed International's distribution business that year to gain greater access to the Chinese market. A specialist in digital signal processing technology, Seed distributes and services embedded computing products mostly made by Texas Instruments.
In 2011 Arrow made two significant purchases in its components segment. The company bought Nu Horizons Electronics, an electronic components distributor with sales offices and regional logistics centers around the world, boosting its custom logistics and life-cycle services for OEM customers and expanding its presence in the Asia/Pacific region. The acquisition of the RF, Wireless and Power Division (RFPD) of Richardson Electronics extended Arrow's presence in the wireless and power conversion markets and added expertise in radio-frequency (RF) design and engineering.
In a smaller 2011 acquisition, Arrow bought Cross Telecom, a provider of telecommunications integration and managed services specializing in VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and unified communications. The company also expanded its reach in Japan with the purchase of Chip One Stop, which supplies electronic components to design engineers in that country.