Companies in this industry primarily distribute computers, computer equipment, packaged software, and office equipment. Major companies include Ingram Micro, ScanSource, Tech Data, and divisions of diversified electronics distributors such as Arrow Electronics and Avnet (all based in the US), as well as ALSO (Switzerland), Digital China, Esprinet (Italy), and Redington (India).
Top tier wholesalers have locations in dozens of countries, and typically maintain major distribution centers in multiple nations. Emerging markets such as China and India are being targeted for industry growth.
The US computer and office equipment distribution industry includes about 17,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $265 billion.
Demand is strongly affected by the level of business activity. The profitability of individual companies depends on merchandising and efficient operations. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing. Smaller companies can compete effectively by offering specialty products or superior service. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 75 percent of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major products include computers, packaged software, copiers, data storage drives, and printers. Other products include mailing and letter-handling machines and large number of peripheral computer devices and supplies, such as networking equipment, scanners, point-of-sale (POS) equipment, and ink cartridges.
Distributors buy products from equipment manufacturers or importers and resell them to retailers, systems integrators, and value-added resellers, or directly to end-users. Distributors are especially important for small manufacturers that can't...