Founded in 1937 as a Radiospares, RS Components is the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc. The company began its operations as a supplier of parts to the burgeoning market of radio and has so far transformed into a global distributor venture. Currently, it operates in Asia, North America and its latest market in Africa. It is offering over 500,000 electronic, maintenance and industrial components within 2,500 worldwide brands.
RS is amongst the first industrial distributors globally to have changed into an e-commerce venture within the B2B platform successfully. Furthermore, the company is a frequent award winner for supplier development and innovation. RS South Africa was launched back in 1996 which was the start of its operations in Africa. It now has 22 years of operation in the continent supplying engineers with components and products across the continent. The company recently launched the African website www.RSOnline.africa. The move aims at meeting the need of a growing continent with demand from many industries like industrial IOT, electronics, utilities, automotive, mining, and manufacturing.
RS South Africa’s MD Brian Andrew said that African customers had access to the company’s products before the launch of the website. But the higher cost of freight and long lead times were experienced depending with location. He added that the new website gives customers a chance to get their products much faster. The company can offer more markets in Africa with access to its various products through its e-commerce site where the use of credit card can make payments. According to him there is improved client’s experience with its Portuguese and French-speaking sales agents allowing clients to engage with agents in their preferred language freely. He added that there are a lot of things taking place in Africa. Therefore, they want their engineers, developers and maintenance professionals to access the wide range of products. They also want them to access the modern technologies to attain their goals and to come up with the future solutions and products. Both Africa and the rest of the world can now access the products.
Moreover, the company is passionate about STEM education, and it supports various initiatives aimed at equipping the next generation of technicians and engineers with the required skills. It includes a distributor of Raspberry Pi globally with the primary function as a PC and has sold out more than 15 million units globally. The company also supports many engineering activities like initiatives that develop and improve satellite technology for space, various robot prototypes, Development of 3D prosthetics, the SpaceX – Hyperloop challenge, and Solar Car Challenges. The new website is currently offering services in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Swaziland, Seychelles, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Malawi, Madagascar, Lesotho, Kenya, Botswana, and Angola. More African countries will receive its services shortly.
RS attended the Manufacturing Indaba that took place on 19th to 20th June 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. This is the leading manufacturing summit in Sub-Saharan Africa where manufacturing experts and leaders get opportunities to grow their operations in manufacturing. The company pitched some of its IoT products used in Industry 4.0 applications. It also pitched its latest tech used in automation.