When asked about the greatest change in the industry since the 2012 Top 50 report, TTI’s Michael Knight doesn’t hesitate when he says: “the Internet factor.” Though electronics distributors have been steadily increasing their online investments and development for the last several years, Knight says 2012 stands out as a year of heightened investment and growing struggles about how to best integrate the technology into the electronics distribution model. The Internet’s presence as a leveler and at the same time a disruption makes it a force difficult to manage, he adds.
“Last year, it seemed the Internet factor became more prevalent and more obvious,” explains Knight, senior vice president, Americas for TTI, number four in the 2013 Top 50 Distributors report. He points to new competition from non-traditional sources and distributors’ pursuit of new ways to best serve customers online as key examples. He also points to pricing as a key challenge in the Internet age. A lack of Internet resale pricing guidelines is a particular sticking point, and one the industry will eventually have to confront.
“The Internet is the place where people go to shop,” Knight explains. “I do think it’s a growing challenge for distributors and OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], and we really need to give some thought to Internet pricing."
Paul Andrews, President and CEO (pictured right)
Company Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
2012 Sales: $1.6 billion
Company website: http://www.ttiinc.com/page/home