Avnet is a service provider, a key partner within the global electronics industry.
Playing a vital role in the technology sector, Avnet accelerates the success of its customers by offering millions of electronic parts used to manufacture consumer, medical. military and industrial electronic products. It also configures enterprise computing systems and provides storage products and embedded systems. Electronic supply-chain and design-chain services, cable and connector assembly, semiconductor programming, forward and reverse logistics, demand creation, and a wide array of related services and solutions round out the company's value proposition.
What began with 33-year-old Russian immigrant Charles Avnet buying and selling surplus radio parts in New York City in 1921 has grown organically and by numerous acquisitions.
|Avnet CEO Rick Hamada|
Today, Avnet is one of the world's largest industrial distributors, with sales exceeding $25 billion, and ranking No. 117 on the Fortune 500 for 2013. It is one of only 350 publicly held corporations to have celebrated 50 years on the New York Stock Exchange. But what the company is even prouder of is its inclusion in Fortune's list of Most Admired Companies, for eight years in a row.
Why is Avnet admired?
"Being named the most admired company in our industry is a distinct honor and huge tribute to Avnet's talented team of employees around the world," says Rick Hamada, Avnet CEO. "We have been consistently investing in building a premier organization that delivers superior value and accelerates the success of our trading partners."
|Avnet Core Values|
Delivering the highest value to customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders is the company's vision, but how Avnet achieves it is what makes it a Most Admired Company. Integrity tops Avnet's list of core values - followed by customer service, accountability, teamwork and innovation - demonstrating the high ethical standard for all employees around the world.
|Veronica Biggins |
member of Avnet's
board of directors
Avnet has always focused on ethics, but it now has one of the strongest ethics programs I've seen - one other companies could and should copy," says Veronica Biggins, partner at HNCL Search and a member of Avnet's board of directors since 1997. "Although it operates in many countries and some cultures view ethics differently, Avnet is committed to adhering to its ethical rules in every location.
In addition to signing a Code of Conduct, employees receive training on how to recognize and manage ethical challenges. "I haven't seen other companies dedicate as much time to ethics," says David Birk, Avnet's chief legal officer. "Devoting so much attention to it demonstrates a real commitment from Avnet leadership."
Likewise, Avnet is committed to being a good corporate citizen, with a well-established community relations program focusing on education and children's issues. Since relocating from New York to Arizona in 1998, the company has contributed more than $6 million to Arizona organizations. Additionally, in a time when the job market is at its most competitive, Avnet created and sponsors the Avnet Tech Games, an annual competition that helps college students obtain real-world experience — and scholarships.
Beyond championing education and children's causes, Avnet also encourages employees to get involved in their communities through a program called Dollars for Doers, which provides cash grants to nonprofit organizations where employees volunteer.
Avnet has a history of good corporate citizenship, and Dollars for Doers demonstrates its commitment to support employees in their efforts to help the nonprofits that are important to them," says Priscilla Kadi, director strategic planning at Avnet and president of the Avnet Cares Governing Board. "The program also encourages them to volunteer during a time when these organizations need it most because of declining donations.
Avnet employees not only give time and money to Arizona, but also serve in a variety of leadership roles. Avnet Chairman Roy Vallee was asked by current Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to join the Arizona Commerce Authority board of directors. This board was established to provide private-sector leadership and support for Arizona's economic development. Mr. Vallee was also named to the Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF). Economic Advisory Council members provide information on current and pending developments in the regional and national economy.
Clearly, Avnet is a financially strong, reputable company. But what, exactly, do its employees do?
What does Avnet do, anyway?
Step onto the floor of Avnet's Chandler, Arizona, Distribution Center, and in addition to seeing more than three miles of conveyors moving the 10,000 semiconductors, passive electronic components and electromechanical devices the facility ships each day, you'll notice many employees working to ensure these parts are shipped to the right places at the right times. Drive five minutes to Avnet's Global Solutions Center - also in Chandler - and you'll witness technicians assembling computing hardware, loading and testing software, performing custom quality inspections and customizing computing products with a wide variety of labels, packaging and reporting.
From each, the components or assembled equipment are shipped to customers around the world. But that's not where Avnet transactions begin, nor do they always originate from orders placed online, by email, or with account managers. Instead, they often start with Avnet engineers who work with companies to help them design a product and determine which parts will work best.
Many transactions can also be traced to Avnet's variety of lead generation and marketing programs, which include events and other efforts to help customers reach new markets. Additionally, Avnet provides extensive training to its customers' engineering and sales teams; via workshops, seminars and Webinars, employees involved in these efforts train thousands of people each year.
Global Command Center
Other employees don't interact with customers but perform a role just as vital - keeping the company up and running around the clock 365 days a year. Because computer systems are essential for quoting, ordering, shipping and communicating, Avnet cannot afford disruption. Fortunately, Avnet has a state-of-the-art command center, where employees monitor all of the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used around the world. The command center, which is adjacent to several rooms filled with servers and storage equipment, looks a lot like NASA's mission control room — or at least a Hollywood version.
If you visit Avnet's headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, you're invited to stop by the Avnet Technology Museum, a showcase of more than 100 consumer and business technology products developed throughout the past 90 years, memorabilia from Avnet and other companies that played important roles in the evolution of the technology industry, and a number of related historic documents and photographs.
But no matter whether you walk into Avnet's local offices in Phoenix, Tempe and Chandler, or one of more than 300 other locations around the world, what will be evident is the tremendous pride our employees have in the company and the work they do.
Why work at Avnet?
Just as it was 50 years ago, Avnet is still a great place to start your career, especially through a paid summer internship, project-based internships, part-time work opportunities or co-ops. Each year, an average of two dozen students from around the U.S. participate in the summer internship program, rotating through various positions and working on projects tied to current business objectives. What the interns enjoy most is interacting with company executives, who participate in lunch 'n learn meetings with interns and also critique the project presentations interns give at the end of the summer.
"Although the entire Avnet internship was an incredible experience, the most memorable aspect was the one-on-one time spent with managers and executives," says Brittany Allemann, a 2007 intern, and now a product manager for Avnet Technology Solutions. "They provided personal and work-related advice that will guide my entire career."
Another way the company helps guide employees' careers is through extensive training and development. Employees create development plans with their managers, and in addition to offering more than 1,500 e-learning courses, Avnet provides a variety of cross-functional, cross-regional and cross-group opportunities that benefit individuals as well as the company.
"At Avnet, 60 percent of performance improvement comes from on-the-job challenges, including short-term rotational and long-term expatriate assignments," says Steve Church, chief business development and process officer. "Not only do our employees learn about other cultures and ways of doing business, but they also bring a different perspective to the offices and departments they visit, resulting in improved teamwork."
When asked about their favorite benefits, many employees place the Avnet Job Flex program at the top of their lists. In fact, 90 percent of employees in Avnet Electronics Marketing's supply chain department participate in the program, which includes options for telecommuting, compressed work weeks and flexible start and stop times.
As hard as Avnet employees work, they also have a lot of fun. Decorated cubicles and offices at Halloween rival elaborate production sets, and there always seems to be a baking competition happening - often to raise money for charity. Avnet also sponsors an annual 16-inch softball tournament, where teams go to bat for local youth sports programs by playing teams from other Phoenix-area businesses.
As a company operating at the center of the technology industry, Avnet offers a wide variety of careers for students interested in technology and engineering. Check Avnet.com for more information!