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Growth to continue throughout 2019

Mark Burr-Lonnon

Speaking to journalists in London at the end of last year, Mark Burr-Lonnon, Mouser’s Senior Vice President of Global Service & EMEA and APAC Businesses gave an upbeat assessment of 2018 and said that the growth, currently being enjoyed by the industry and Mouser itself, would continue into 2019.

"For distributors as a whole 2018 has been a very successful year," he said, "and the market has been good for everyone. There’s no denying we have benefitted, to a degree, from component shortages but Mouser’s success – we’ve seen growth in excess of 40 per cent in 2018 and expect our revenues to exceed $1.9billion – has been driven by an 11 per cent increase in new buyers, which is essential when it comes to attracting and retaining suppliers."

In purely monetary terms the company’s revenues have surged by over $500million in 2018, driven by some 3.9million orders.

"With over 1 million part numbers in stock it means that stock is certainly helping to drive growth at Mouser," Burr-Lonnon explained. "Inventory and marketing have been key to our growth in the past few years and the third element, making up our business model, is providing excellent customer service that draws buyers in and then helps to keep them."

It’s a model that seems to be working as by the end of 2018 Mouser saw growth of almost 50% in Europe, with a customer increase in excess of 18%. In the US and Asia growth has also been strong and is ahead 36% and 48% respectively.

"Our model seems to be working everywhere, helped by targeted customer promotions that aim to provide more of what designers need to innovate and expedite their latest projects, as well as new services and engineering and CAD tools," said Graham Maggs, Mouser’s Vice-President Marketing Europe.

"2018 has been an exceptional year for distributors, with long lead times and allocation, massive demand from new sectors such as automotive and Big Data/IoT implementations and supplier product portfolio rationalisation as a cumulative result of aggressive mergers and acquisition activity over several years."

The company’s figures across Europe certainly reflect that with UK sales up by 43.6% with an 11% customer increase, while in Germany, there was a massive 51.4% growth in sales with a 14.2% increase in customer numbers.

"That success, we believe, is due to our focus on the design engineer. The diversity of applications that rely on electronic components is huge. The roll out of 5G, smart cities and autonomous vehicles offers massive opportunities, but also requires designers to ensure that their particular implementation of these and many other technologies has a benefit over competing solutions. That requires designers to be able to access new components as early as possible in the design cycle, and also to be able to use the necessary design tools and development kits," said Maggs.

At last year’s electronica in Munich, Mouser announced that a further phase in the expansion of its global headquarters and distribution centre in Texas was being planned.

"That investment is primarily in order to house the increased stock needed to support the expansion the company is experiencing," explained Burr-Lonnon.

"As for 2019, one big issue confronting the industry will be Texas Instrument’s (TI) changed policy on distribution, which means that as a distributor we will only be able to sell to an OEM, EMS or educational account – it will have an interesting impact on the market and we could see other leading supplier following TI’s lead."

Despite international uncertainties surrounding Brexit and further unrest in Europe, aggressive trade and tariff negotiations and other global conflicts, Mouser does expect growth in 2019 to continue, said Burr-Lonnon, both for the industry and for the company itself.

"International affairs are indisputably perplexing and complex, but trade will find a way to overcome", said Maggs. "Mouser operates globally, so we are well-used to tariffs, taxes and regulations. Our great advantage is our stock position and I am confident we will rise to the challenges that will come with the new year."

Author
Neil Tyler

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