Careers at Avnet
Avnet’s mission is to help technology make the world a better place to live, work, and play.
Avnet is a distributor of computer products and electronic components. The company operates two reportable business segments:
- Electronics Marketing – Markets semiconductors; embedded products; and interconnect, passive and electromechanical devices (IP&E)
- Technology Solutions – Markets datacenter and IT lifecycle solutions that include software, hardware, and/or services
In 1921 Russian immigrant Charles Avnet founded a business in lower Manhattan. It distributed ham radio parts to hobbyists and ships, a venture that thrived in the initial days of radio broadcasting. Charles also made repairs on ham and commercial radios. In the 1930s, he began manufacturing car radio kits and automobile antennas, and started selling his products to dealers and manufacturers.
The launch of World War II made radio parts an in-demand product. Consumers were prohibited from making home radio sets, so Charles and other radio shop owners began marketing parts to defense and government contractors instead. At this time, he named his business Avnet Electronic Supply. After the war he focused on buying and selling surplus electronic parts.
The next few years saw several milestones. A huge contract with Bendix Aviation Corporation helped contribute to greater revenues, and Avnet soon began assembling electrical connectors for the client. In 1955, Avnet was incorporated, and by year’s end it had generated $1 million in sales. In 1958, it was renamed Avnet Electronics Corp. In 1960, it became publicly listed on the NYSE.
That same year, Avnet acquired its first firm, British Industries Corporation. More acquisitions followed, including Hamilton Electro in 1962, Fairmount Motor Products in 1963, and Valley Forge Products in 1964. In 1964 the firm’s name was shortened to Avnet to reflect its expansion into other areas. By the end of the 1960s, it was one of the top three electronics distributors in the country.
Benefits at Avnet
Business model of Avnet
Avnet has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), electronic manufacturing service providers, original design manufacturers (ODMs), value-added resellers (VARs), independent software vendors (ISVs), and systems integrators (SIs).
Avnet offers two primary value propositions: risk reduction and brand/status.
The company reduces risk by maintaining high quality standards. Several of its global facilities have received third-party quality and environmental system certifications. These include ISO 9001, ISO 13485, AS9100, ISO 14001, and ANSI/ESD S20.20.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It is a Fortune 500 firm with revenues of $27.9 billion in 2015. It bills itself as the largest distributor of computer products and electronic components for industrial and military customers in North America. It has over 800 suppliers, over 100,000 customers in more than 115 countries, and ships over 30,000 line items daily. Lastly, it has won many honors, including a #4 ranking on the InformationWeek Elite 100 (2015), recognition as “World’s Most Ethical Company” by Ethisphere Institute (2016), and one of Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the 10th year in a row (2016).
Avnet’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, forums, and conferences.
Avnet’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its offerings while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Avnet’s business model entails distributing software and hardware to its customers. The company purchases its products in volume from suppliers and resells them to customers.
Avnet has the following types of partners:
IT Supplier Partners – Supply the products that Avnet sells to its customers. Specific partners include Cisco, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Informatica, Intel, Juniper Networks, Micron, and Oracle.
Software Development Service Partners - Supply the software Avnet sells to its customers. Specific partners include Kentico, Microsoft, NCC Group, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Serena, and Sybase.
Business Service Management Partners – Supply the business intelligence and analytics solutions that Avnet sells to its customers. Specific partners include BMC Software, Bomgar, Hitachi ID, KANA, and xMatters.
Avnet’s main resources are its more than 50 centers (including data centers) and locations in over 34 countries. The company also depends on human resources in the form of sales/marketing staff that promote its offerings and customer service employees that provide support.
Avnet has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed costs.
Avnet has one revenue stream: revenues generated from the sale of the products and services it distributes to its customers. Sales staff must be contacted directly for pricing quotes.
info: Rick earned a B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University. He previously held various sales and leadership roles at Avnet, including Global President of Avnet Computer Marketing and Global President of Avnet Technology Solutions.
info: Kevin earned a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University. He previously served as VP of Finance and CFO of Honeywell and VP of Accounting and Reporting at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and as an audit partner at PwC.
info: MaryAnn earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago and an Executive Master's degree from Arizona State University. She previously served as SVP, Global HR at Avnet and VP of HR of Electronic Systems at Goodrich.
info: Steve earned a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from Essex University and a post-graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the University of West London. He previously served as SVP and CIO of Memec and Gateway, Inc.
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