Heilind, the specialist interconnect, e-mech and sensor distributor is making its first foray into Europe.

The company has invested a seven figure sum in establishing a base near Munich to service the German market.

“It is the right place to make our European debut,” says Martin Kent, President, EMEA and Asia for Heilind. “Germany represents 35 to 40% of the European distribution TAM.”

The initiative is based around the April 2015 acquisition of MPS Group, a local German connector distributor serving the south of the country.

That business has now been rebranded Heilind.

“We have invested in people,” says Kent, “the headcount has increased from 24 to over 100, we have increased the number of line items by 80%, and by 2017 all the lines will be on the Heilind IT platform.”

Heilind’s USP is to service customers without any MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). “We are flexible in our approach, we will break component packs, cut strips, add flying leads,” adds Kent. It is a business model which has proved successful in the Americas and Asia, alongside a high quality connector assembly service which says Kent, “We will replicate in Europe.”

Heilind will target the  tier two and tier three customer base in Germany, looking to grow from the 3000-strong, mostly south Germany-focused customer base it inherited with MPS Group.

“We will cover the whole of Germany from two sales offices in Munich, though I anticipate we will expand to locate offices in other parts of the country,” remarks. “Our expanded team will have a strong engineering expertise to support customers.”

Heilind will also aim to replicate its successful US military and aerospace business in Germany. The distributor strengthened its position in this market with the 2013 acquisition of specialist mil/aero distributor ICC in north America. A stand-alone division Heilind Mil/Aero has been established.

Any initial expansion outside Germany will focus eastern Europe where Kent sees plenty of opportunity.

Looking at a 2018 start Ken says, “The contract electronic manufacturers have stimulated markets in east Europe,” Kent observes. “We will establish the same level of support there as in Germany.”

Heilind was founded in 1974 by Bob Clapp in Wilmington Massachusetts, which is still home to the company‘s headquarters.

The company built its business in the Americas. In 2012 Heilind further expanded globally, opening offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Suzhou and Dongguan, China.


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