RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents, the global distributor for engineers was founded as Radiospares, in 1937. The company started as a supplier of parts to the burgeoning radio market that has evolved into a global distribution enterprise, with operations in Europe, North America, Asia and now Africa offering a diverse portfolio of more than 500,000 industrial, maintenance and electronic components across 2500 global brands. RS is renowned as one of the first industrial distributors to transition into an e-commerce business within the B2B space.
RS South Africa opened its doors in 1996, the flagship operation in Africa with 22 years of experience distributing products and components to engineers around the African continent. RS South Africa recently launched the Africa portal – RSOnline – geared to meet the requirements of a growing continent with demand from various industries such as manufacturing, mining, automotive, utilities, electronics, and industrial IOT.
“Customers in Africa had access to our products prior to the website, however there were long lead times and higher freight costs depending on location. With the new website customers receive their products much quicker and we can give additional markets in Africa access to our range through our e-commerce platform where they can pay via credit card. There is also an improved customer experience with our French and Portuguese speaking sales agents, so that customers can comfortably engage in their language of preference. So much is happening in Africa – we want our engineers, makers and maintenance professionals to have access to the widest range of products and the latest technologies to achieve their goals and to develop the products and solutions of the future. The rest of the world has easy access to these goods, now so does Africa,” said Brian Andrew, MD of RS South Africa.
The new RS Africa website currently services the following countries Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe with more to follow in the future.
RS also focuses on STEM education and globally supports a number of initiatives aimed at upskilling the next generation of engineers and technicians. This includes being a global distributor for Raspberry Pi (a credit card size single board computer at $35) which essential functions as a PC and has sold over 15 million units worldwide. RS also supports numerous engineering endeavours such as Solar Car Challenges, the SpaceX – Hyperloop challenge, Development of 3D prosthetics, various robot prototypes, and initiatives that develop and improve satellite technology for space.