Anglia accelerates in its 50th year – Cambridge Wireless

Member News published by Anglia, under Business Development, Components, Manufacturing, Operations, Product Design
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Anglia celebrates its 50th anniversary in some of the most difficult market conditions that any of us have known. As we mark this occasion in the company of the customers, suppliers and staff who have journeyed with us for many of those years, we remember that we and the industry we serve has weathered many storms over those years and will encounter new ones in the next 50. It is consistency of approach, and strong core values, accompanied by dynamic innovation in line with those values, which will allow the relationships that have brought us this far to prosper and continue to grow in the coming years.
Anglia accelerates in its 50th year
By Steve Rawlins, CEO, Anglia Components Plc.
Anglia celebrates its 50th anniversary in some of the most difficult market conditions that any of us have known. As we mark this occasion in the company of the customers, suppliers and staff who have journeyed with us for many of those years, we remember that we and the industry we serve has weathered many storms over those years and will encounter new ones in the next 50. It is consistency of approach, and strong core values, accompanied by dynamic innovation in line with those values, which will allow the relationships that have brought us this far to prosper and continue to grow in the coming years.
 
Anglia Components main office
Lessons from the past                  
Anglia started as a proverbial ‘man with a van’ back in 1972. It has grown from our founder working from home as a sole trader to an organisation with a turnover approaching £100 million this year, employing over 150 people and representing many of the world’s leading electronic component manufacturers across every component category.
From the start, our principle was to offer immediate product availability of popular lines through investment in inventory, with a more flexible and customer focused approach. This successful formula remains the cornerstone of its operation. It is augmented with industry leading and award-winning sales and design support for the very latest technologies now represented in our product offering. These core elements of our business have stood us in good stead in the current market conditions. We continue to maintain high levels of inventory by industry standards. Our inventory turn is less than half the industry average, which helps our suppliers and allows us to continue to support customers when lead times start to lengthen. Some of our key supply partners tell us that we hold more inventory per customer than any of their other European distributors – which means that we’re much more likely to be able to support any demand we find. As the market started to tighten, we invested in our customers and our business by vastly increasing our forward ordering when inventory was still relatively plentiful, against the lean times that we saw coming ahead. We’ve been told that we started ramping up our ordering at least six months ahead of the market.
Anglia warehouse interior
Today, we hold over 2 billion components from more than 1.3 million product lines. We are carefully monitoring and adjusting this inventory position constantly to allow us to support customers who partner with us.
Service and relationships
Having the inventory may well lead to a customer buying from Anglia once. What keeps them coming back is the service. We believe that Anglia offers the best component distribution service in the UK. Our customers consistently place more and more of their business with us each year showing that they agree.
Business is based on relationships, which is why we maintain a strong, experienced and very well qualified team of field sales and applications engineers. Anglia has one of the UK’s largest field sales teams in electronic component distribution, and we believe in getting to know our customers. As our business grows, we are building the team. We have added several Field Applications Engineers to the technical support team over the last year as well as further expanding our customer facing sales staff.
We communicate with our customers using every tool now available, Zoom, Teams, email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and phone – but we are also able to meet more of our customers face to face. By getting to know them personally, we can continually improve without losing sight of the values that our customers most appreciate.
Continuing innovation
These personal relationships lead to mutual understanding, which means that we introduce innovations that really make a difference, to support both the design and logistical functions.
Both design and logistics benefit from Anglia Live, our e-commerce website launched in 2013 and offering a comprehensive parametric search engine, live inventory, live pricing and online ordering for same day despatch with free of charge shipping.
To help with design, we added Ezysample in 2016, a service offering fast, free samples to every registered Anglia Live customer. To smooth logistics, in the same year we added Anglia 80/20, an intelligent inventory management service offering a whole new tier of customers the benefit of their own on-site inventory which is only invoiced when it is used. In 2017, we added Anglia Sigma, a powerful, Online Dashboard offering customers complete transparency in their trading relationship with us.
In 2019, the Anglia Design Partner programme was launched. Another industry first, working very closely with a select and agile group of prequalified independent design companies across the UK and Eire, the programme enables us to match their design experience to the requirements of our customers.
In 2020, we brought the hosting of Anglia Live in house, improving the speed and user experience, and enabling us to add major upgrades. These included BOM+, allowing customers to load a Bill of Materials (BOM) and get a volume quote in under two minutes. We also introduced Anglia API, giving customers access to inventory, pricing and availability data in real-time directly from Anglia Live in their own business system, and then place orders directly with Anglia within that system for speed and simplicity.
We also innovate to help specific groups of customers. Last year, we launched Anglia Unicorn, a made to measure service supporting start-ups, university spinouts and technology investors. We marked the occasion by partnering with Start-Ups magazine and sponsoring the Hustle awards for technology start-ups.
At the other end of the scale, our customers small and large will welcome the fact that on 1st August 2022 Anglia achieved PLC status and changed the registered company name to “Anglia Components plc.” The change in status reflects the current scale of the business and provides assurance to the wide array of companies we now trade with. The more rigorous scrutiny to which a PLC is subjected allows us to demonstrate our growth, quality and capabilities and reflects positively to potential customers and suppliers.
The future
Many of the innovations described were put in place well before the global pandemic and the chip shortage became apparent but have positioned Anglia and its customers well to face the challenges that they brought. Today, in consultation with our customers we are continually seeking to introduce the innovations that allow us to confidently face the new challenges that we will see in the coming years. During our 50th year we will be unveiling further exciting plans to expand our team, enhance our service and continue to grow our share of our customer’s electronic component business. This will include innovations in design support, logistics and service. We are building a business that can accommodate the next phase of Anglia’s growth as we grow beyond £100 million to £150 million and more.
Today’s market conditions will pass. We’ve a great track record of growing quicker than the industry – something that we continue to maintain through the current challenges. This track record demonstrates that we are consistently delivering for our customers, leading them to expand their business with Anglia. It is our outstanding team that gives Anglia its future. Anglia is a great place to work and a great company to deal with as a supplier and a customer, and that is something that won’t change. We have grown extremely rapidly and faster than the market. I am as excited about Anglia’s prospects today as I was nearly 50 years ago when I joined the business.
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