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RS Components marks 80 years of business operations in the UK

Published: 19 September 2017 - Sarah Mead

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, today celebrates 80 years since opening its business operations in London, UK.

Founded as Radiospares, in 1937, the company started as a supplier of parts to the burgeoning radio market, and has evolved to become a global distribution enterprise, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia, offering a diverse portfolio of more than 500,000 electronic and industrial components.

The company’s founding principle of service excellence, with ease of doing business at its core, has been a major factor in its success and longevity. This continues to underpin the strategy now being implemented by the new leadership team at RS as it prepares to transform the business to serve the changing landscape of the high-tech industry, and leverage opportunities in areas such as mechatronics and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Today, 60% of the company’s revenue is generated online, and the ability to create value for customers by using website metrics to analyse data is an area that RS seeks to exploit in order to remain responsive and agile.

Innovation is another vital keystone for supporting customers and suppliers through the product life cycle, and RS is continuing to develop its DesignSpark engineering community, offering technical support, free tools and inspiration to engineers in the design phase.

RS is also focussed on inspiring the next generation of engineers. The company has a dedicated university programme and is involved in various projects aimed at nurturing partnerships with schools, government, investors and business, to create an ecosystem where innovation and engineering talent can thrive. For example, RS has recently partnered with STEM Learning ( to recruit STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassadors within the business to inspire schoolchildren through a series of workshops.

Mike England, UK Managing Director and Head of Northern Europe region at RS, commented: “RS has a unique offering and an unparalleled 80-year heritage, which we are proud to celebrate today. Customers are at the heart of everything we do, and our focus remains on service excellence, which we will achieve by keeping abreast of technology and market dynamics. This approach, along with our passion to innovate and to inspire the next generation of engineers, is vital in ensuring that RS continues to prosper for the next 80 years and more.”

The RS timeline, and more about the company’s 80-year history, can be found here:

This video illustrates how RS has been inspiring a generation of engineers for 80 years:

Industry Connections: RS Components Ltd

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