Year of Formation and Background to Founding:
JH Waring and PM Sebestyen founded the business in 1937 in London under the name Radiospares, supplying radio repair shops with spare parts and replacement electronic components. When television sets became popular, Radiospares' added television parts to their product list. In 1954, the founders of Radiospares expanded the company's focus from shops and home users to the industrial sector and began selling electronic components to manufacturers. The company rebranded as ‘RS Components’ in 1971. A local distributor was acquired in 1996 to start RS in South Africa.
As a seemingly ‘traditional’ distributor RS are pioneers in B2B e-commerce and one of the first industrial distributors to take this type of business online.
Company Mission, Products & Services:
Our vision is to become the – first choice for all our stakeholders: our customers, our suppliers, our people, the communities around us, and our shareholders.
RS is a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions for engineers, designers, builders and maintainers of industrial equipment and operations. The company supplies over 500 000 industrial products and electronic components including electrical, automation and control, test and measurement equipment, tools and consumables.
We support customers across the product life cycle, whether via innovation and technical support at the design phase, improving time to market and productivity in the build phase, or reducing purchasing costs and optimising inventory in the maintenance phase.
Our global supply chain ensures that we can deliver on time and as promised. We have 12 distribution centres across the world from where over 50 000 parcels are shipped daily. We consistently invest in our supply chain to ensure our distribution centres are more automated and efficient and have the capacity and capabilities to underpin our future growth and service aspirations.
RS Components is a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, a British based holding company that is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
Number of People Employed:
RS Components employs 7 500 people globally, with 90 employees in South Africa.
Greatest Corporate Achievement:
RS Components has grown over the last 80 years to a global e-commerce company that has operations in 32 countries and sells in 80 markets, delivering over 50 000 parcels daily to over 1.2-million customers worldwide. In 2012, RS was one of two global distributors that were selected by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to distribute their $35 single board computer – the Raspberry Pi. It’s one of the best-selling computers in the world with over 40-million units sold. Its key purpose is to make computers affordable for educational purposes but over time it has become the go-to board for prototyping and testing and is now incorporated in many products across various industries.
Hope for the Future:
To see a thriving South Africa, where every child gets access to quality education and gets to pursue the career of their choice.