Avnet: Software Distributor?

Companies stand still at their peril. So pay close attention to today’s announcement by component distributor Avnet about its acquisition of Magirus Group.

Make that component and software distributor Avent.

For Magirus not only has an attractive footprint in Europe and the Middle East, but its product line centers on software and systems for storage, cloud computing, security,  and information life-cycle management.

So in addition to adding more than half-a-billion dollars in revenue to the top line, Avnet extends its linecard into a very hot growth area.

Companies stand still at their peril.

Conflicts over Conflict Metals

A top Avnet sales executive is advocating a market-driven solution to the Conflict Metals problem; that is, that industry should go along with US legislation charging companies with oversight of their supply chains back to the mines.

Gerry Fay, senior vice president, supply chain solutions, Avnet, argues that the death of millions should be enough impetus for industry to comply with the Dodd-Frank bill that requires companies to trace the source of minerals used in their products. The law essentially bans the import of gold, columbite-tantalite, cassiterite and wolframite, and their derivatives, from the DRC by US-based publicly held companies, enacts strict reporting standards, and implements a new labeling procedure. Under the new law, any publicly traded company that makes products that use conflict minerals and buys those minerals either in the DRC or an adjoining country must exercise due diligence on the source and supply chain.

That prompted a reply from an IPC executive who rejects the notion that the electronics industry can resolve a “long-standing social [sic] conflict.”

Then there’s Cookson Electronics president Steve Corbett, who asserted last year that the US government should stay out of the matter because it simply has no hope of resolving a civil war in Africa.

I won’t begin to pretend I have the answer, but it’s interesting that three people so entrenched in the matter could have such differing opinions on how to (or how not to) address it.