A vibrant and often volatile industry such as electronics calls for equally dynamic companies whose vision and expertise help shape the future. With the Pacific Rim expected to become the world's largest electronics market in consumption, Future Electronics is taking a leading role in electronic component distribution by combining innovation and the relentless pursuit of quality service.
While its competitors limit their inventory to avoid liability, the world's largest privately held electronic component distributor focuses heavily on making inventory available to customers - with an unparalleled continuity of supply and one of the lowest inventory turns in the industry, which provides increased flexibility to customers.
"Holding a large inventory enables us to address our customers' needs right away, thanks to a level of flexibility that is unmatched in the industry," says Lindsley Ruth, executive vice-president. "With a worldwide on-time delivery record of 99.5 per cent, we are able to develop long-term relationships and partnerships with customers who, once we win, we rarely ever lose."
Over 45 years, Future Electronics has grown to 169 locations in 42 countries with more than 100,000 customers and US$5 billion in annual revenues. Through its varied vertical markets and comprehensive inventory, it provides a wide product range, including the latest releases from the world's best electronic device manufacturers.
"There is no limitation on what types of customers we serve. About 48 per cent of our business is in the industrial marketplace, but we are also a big supplier to the medical, automotive, wireless and consumer-related markets, in addition to being the world's best supplier to the contract manufacturing industry," Ruth says.
Diverse yet efficiently integrated, Future Electronics is the industry's only company with fully centralised warehouse management and information technology systems, which give it an advantage in operating seamlessly from North America or Europe to Asia.
Beyond being a distribution company, Future Electronics adds value through its team of engineers who help customers design components precisely to their requirements. Trained at the company's Advanced Engineering University, engineers are also deployed in Future Electronics' state-of-the-art System Design Centers. World-class distribution centres also provide the backbone for exceptional quality and delivery.
"These are among the global advantages that we are bringing to Asia, where we will recruit, train and motivate future leaders of the organisation," says Y.H. Chin, managing director for Asia-Pacific. "We also aim to build relationships with promising suppliers whose strategies and principles are aligned with our own."
Future Electronics is also investing in an innovative vertical, Future Lighting Solutions, which focuses on adding value to customers' businesses by showing how emerging lighting and control technologies create enhanced efficiency, productivity and fresh revenue streams. With Future Lighting Solutions' vision to be the leading provider of solutions for lighting in Asia, the company sees key areas of growth in indoor and outdoor markets.
"People are moving to China and Asia no longer because of low costs, but because of the increasingly better quality and stronger engineering there," Ruth says.
"We strive to become experts in our customers' businesses and be able to offer a level of expertise that is unrivalled in the industry. We are also working to attract and hone people who are experts in those areas not only in terms of the products, but also their design, so we can offer a value proposition that no one else can offer."
Doing business in Asia for more than 20 years, the company plans to triple its sales in the region within five years and focus on becoming a leading brand in the electronics industry.
"Future Electronics is investing in the Asia-Pacific marketplace with a view on long-term success," Ruth says. "We are looking for customers, suppliers and other interested parties who want to participate in that success."