One of the industry's largest independent distributors has announced it is moving toward a "blended" model, selling both authorized and non-authorized product lines.
America II Electronics Inc. says it is seeking more of a balance in selling both franchised and nonfranchised semiconductor and passive components. Independent distributors typically source parts from OEMs and other distributors. Authorized distributors source directly from suppliers. America II says it now buys directly from nearly 400 component makers.
Independent distribution has historically been viewed with skepticism by the electronics industry because of its sourcing practices. Sourcing components from OEMs and EMS providers increases the risk of picking up counterfeit parts the OEM or EMS has unwittingly purchased. In other cases, fly-by-night distributors will set themselves up strictly to market in counterfeit goods. Buying from sources other than suppliers is seen as a risky practice overall in the supply chain.
In recent years, however, such independents as America II have been increasing their diligence in inspecting for counterfeits and have secured direct ties with suppliers. “Over the past year, America II has been evolving,” said Dan Bisaillon, America II chief operating officer, in the company's press release:
- We’re creating a completely unique experience for our customers by blending traits from the independent space with those from franchise distribution. We still have a team of commodity specialists who source the globe for components daily. But now, we also buy direct from almost 400 manufacturers. We’re truly combining the best of both worlds to effectively serve our worldwide customers.
“We call it the evolution of distribution,” Bisaillon added:
- We’re adapting to the needs of our customers. We still do all the things that made us a successful independent distributor, such as offering asset recovery through excess purchasing programs and supply chain management services. But we’re also buying direct from manufacturers and continuing to sign authorized distribution agreements. We’re finding the right balance between independent and franchise distribution to meet the needs of our customers.
America II stocks nearly 4 billion components. It also employs global component engineers and a 57-person team of quality control inspectors.