“We’ll never see another year like it.” Mark Burr-Lonnon’s succinct summary of the component distribution market in 2018 is backed up by his account of another stellar year for Mouser Electronics where he is Senior Vice President, Global Service.
By the end of 2018 the high service distributor expects to have achieved a growth of almost 50% in Europe, with a customer increase in excess of 18%.
Globally, this year will see Mouser edge closer to $2bn in sales. Burr-Lonnon (pictured) puts the current run rate at $1.87bn, a 40% increase on $1.34bn in 2017.
Sales in North America will finish the year up 36%, and Asia-Pacific sales are on track to rise 48%.
The number of buyers globally rose 11% from 627,000 last year to 695,000 in 2018. And while Burr-Lonnon acknowledges that product shortages helped the momentum, they were not the be-all and end-all.
A broader product portfolio along with depth of inventory and savvy marketing nous are major drivers of this growth.
Semiconductors provided the impetus for this progress, advancing 50% in 2018. “It’s where engineers go first when they are starting a design,” observes Burr-Lonnon.
Passive components, where shortages were most acute, grew 58%.
By early next year Mouser expects to have one million parts in stock.
Investment will also drive new office openings. Poland and Brazil will be ready for business this coming February .
Later in the year Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam and Manila in the Philippines will be added. An office in Australia is also being planned for later in the year.
Added Graham Maggs, Mouser’s Vice-President Marketing Europe: “Of course, 2018 has been exceptional, 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. Yet our figures across Europe have been fantastic: UK sales are up by 43.6% with an 11% customer increase, and in Germany, it’s a massive 51.4% sales growth with 14.2% increase in numbers of customers. France is up 43.2% and Italy up 47.2% with customer growth figures of 13.6% and 12.3% respectively.
He continued: “Our success, we believe, is due to our focus on the design engineer. Our ever-increasingly connected world means that 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 to be able to use the necessary design tools and development kits.”
Mouser is confident that despite international uncertainties surrounding Brexit and further unrest in Europe, aggressive trade and tariff negotiations and other global conflicts, growth in 2019 will continue, both for the industry and also, especially, for Mouser.
“International affairs are indisputably perplexing and complex, but trade will find a way to overcome”, concludes Maggs. “Mouser operates in 220 countries or territories 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 2019 will provide.”