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European Distribution Research

Summary Report
Napier Partnership Limited

September 08

Napier Website: www.Napier.co.uk
Our blog about the European Electronics Media: www.NapierNews.eu

Methodology

An online survey was constructed, and email invitations to participate in the survey
sent to the Tech Event Guide (www.TechEventGuide.com) database of 17450, with a
prize draw of an iPod touch offered as an incentive. Demographic information about
the respondents was gathered and is available in the full report, but is not analysed
in this summary.

The survey analyses responses from 153 people (154 responses were received, but
one was removed to avoid bias as it was from an employee of one of the distributors
included in the survey).

The survey used skip logic based upon the respondent’s country for one page to
change the list of distributors presented, allowing local distributors to be presented
as options.

Results

The following summarises the results of key questions within the survey:

How many distributors do you regularly work with or buy from?

Although there is pressure for vendor reduction, respondents who actively used
distributors tended to use more than one. 50% of the respondents use more than
three distributors, and 30% use more than five distributors.
When thinking of distributors of electronic components, what are the first
three distributors that come to mind?

This question provides a very good indication of which distributors are at the top of
the respondents’ minds. The ten most mentioned distributors are listed below (with
the number of mentions achieved)

Rank Distributor Mentions

1 Farnell 62
2 R.S. Components 52
3 Arrow 37
4 Digi-Key 28
5 Avnet/Avnet Memec 22
6 EBV 19
7 Spoerle Electronic 17
8 Future Electronics 13
9 Silica 12
10 Rutronik 8

The top two distributors are catalogue distributors – probably not surprising given
the skew of the sample towards engineers (the biggest group in the database), who
probably use catalogue distributors for development quantities. Arrow achieved the
most mentions, although it should be noted that the Avnet group includes several
different company brands. If all the Avnet brands - Avnet (22 mentions), EBV (19
mentions), Avnet-Memec (3 mentions) and Silica (12 mentions) - are combined the
score for the Avnet group would be greater than Arrow.

How important are the following when choosing a distributor?

When choosing a distributor the most important factor was stock availability,
followed by price. Interestingly relationship with the sales person was the least
important – maybe this will be useful the next time distributors negotiate the
salaries for the sales team!
Stock availability 4.44
Price 4.16
Efficiency of distributor's logistics 3.99
Range of suppliers/products 3.78
Technical support 3.69
Information given on new products and technologies 3.62
Relationship with sales person 3.27

Which of the following types of distributor do you think gives the best
service?

There are a range of distribution models. Perhaps surprisingly local distributors do
not provide the best service: a pan-European distributor with local resources is by far
the preferred model. Global distributors were marginally more popular than a local
distributor – perhaps because the greater stock levels and the least popular
distribution model is a centralised pan-European distributor.

Do you purchase from distributors' websites?

A high percentage of respondents who answered this question – 67% - buy products
online from distributors. Of these, 63% buy sample quantities and 36% buy
production quantities online.
Which of the following marketing activities have caused you to contact or buy
from a distributor in the last six months?

The best marketing activities for distributors to drive sales are their websites and
catalogues. Although this isn’t surprising, we were interested to see that newsletters
(email and printed) and articles published in the press (online and print) had also
driven a large number of customers to distributors. Product advertising had limited
effect in driving customers to contact or buy from a distributor although the research
also showed that marketing around products was twice as likely to have driven a
customer to contact or buy from a distributor than marketing around a technology.
The difference between product and technology marketing may, however, be due to
a greater level of product-driven marketing from European distributors, rather than
an indication of reletive effectiveness.

Websites 82
Catalogues 68
Email newsletters 49
Printed newsletters/magazines 43
Printed articles 35
Online articles 31
Adverts for new products 17

Full Report

The full report, including the raw data in Excel, is available from Napier at a cost of
£500.00. Please contact Mike Maynard (mike@napier.co.uk) for more information.
Appendix - Questions

The following questions were included in the study:
1. How many distributors do you regularly work with or buy from?
2. When thinking of distributors of electronic components, what are the first
three distributors that come to mind?
3. How would you best describe your job?
4. Approximately how many people are employed by your company?
5. In which country do you work?
6. Do you use any of the following distributors?
7. For each of the following criteria, please tell us which distributor you consider
to be the best.
8. How important are the following when choosing a distributor?
9. Which of the following types of distributor do you think gives the best
service?
10. How useful do you find the following marketing information from
distributors?
11. Which of the following marketing activities have caused you to contact or buy
from a distributor in the last six months?
12. Do you visit distributors' websites for any of the following?
13. Do you purchase from distributors' websites?
14. Please enter your contact details if you would like to enter the draw for an
iPod

Appendix: Distributors Included

This summary does not analyse the analysis of perception and usage of distributors
in each country/region of Europe: this analysis is, however, contained in the full
report. The distributors included in this analysis are:

ACAL Melchioni
Anglia Nu Horizons
Arrow RS/Electrocomponents
Avnet-Memec Rutronik
Axess Sagitron
C88 Sasco-Holtz
Digikey Scantec
EBV Semitron
Farnell Silica
Future Silverstar
Hy-Line Spezial
Kevin