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San Diego: Perfecting Paradise, Copyright 1999 by Heritage Media Corporation


Insight Electronics, LLC is one of San Diego's high technology success stories. In 1985, the company's first year of operation, revenues were $1 million. Thirteen years later, Insight Electronics' sales had skyrocketed to $525 million. Insight Electronics has now grown to become the largest specialty distributor of semiconductors in the United States. The company employs 495 people to support its product lines and has 65 divisions in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America. Since 1993, Insight Electronics has been a wholly owned subsidiary of VEBA AG, a $50 billion distribution conglomerate located in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Insight Electronics' unique organizational structure allows for speed and efficiency. Communication is direct and unfiltered and Insight Electronics' salespeople have the authority to manage and control customer inventories according to the projected needs of their customers.

Paramount to the company's continued success has been providing value-added services to clients. Insight Electronics, for example, offers a single-point-of-trade service center and is one of the top providers of supply- chain solutions worldwide. In addition, Insight Electronics' customers have access to a number of other services, including: auto replenishment, bar coding, bonded inventory, dock-to-stock programs, EDI, just-in-time deliveries, labeling and supplements documentation, order fulfillment center, programming services, ISO 9002 certification, special component packaging, damage resistant packaging, and tape and reel service.

Another important element to the company's success is its staff of technical sales engineers (TSEs) - experienced digital and analog engineers who understand the complexity of the products and the need to get them to market on time. Every Insight Electronics division has a TSE available to facilitate design efforts - from information and suggestions to software installation and design support.

A key corporate strength is a focused product offering, known in the industry as a "linecard." Over the years, Insight Electronics has assembled a team of suppliers providing comprehensive solutions to various technological challenges. The end product is a linecard featuring five core semiconductor technologies - programmable logic, analog ICs, RF/wireless, communications ICs and the "three Ms" - microcontrollers, microprocessors and memory.

Key suppliers in these core technologies include AMCC, Atmel, Cirrus Logic, Dallas Semiconductor, IDT, Infineon Technologies, Toshiba and Xilinx.

Insight Electronics believes that educating customers in these technologies is important. Through its Marketing Innovative Products (MIPs) program, Insight Electronics' TSEs conduct analyses for each customer's needs and present the MIPs program to them onsite. The company also offers the "Demand Forecasting Network," a unique program that allows Insight Electronics' account managers to enter what materials a customer requires during the design stage. By anticipating material needs at this phase of the project, customers' time to market is dramatically reduced.

Lastly, as part of its commitment to customer service, Insight Electronics provides seminars on products and software at locations throughout North and South America. Topics cover merged technologies, compatibility, design performance, algorithmic advancements and methodology support. The seminars are tailored to each customer's needs.

Insight Electronics is cognizant that technological advancements occur continuously and rapidly in the semiconductor industry. The company will continue to offer semiconductor solutions that provide a competitive edge via a synergistic combination of semiconductor products, technical design support and advanced logistics technology. This strategy has helped redefine distribution for the industry.

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