By Barbara Jorgensen
Electronic Buyers News, April 25, 1994, Issue: 901, Section: Distribution

BOSTON – In a decade filled with defense cutbacks, does the military electronics industry need another distributor? Four former Zeus Electronics employees think so.

Albert Phipps III, once with Zeus, is now president and chief executive of All Tech Electronics Inc., a minority-owned and -operated distribution company based in Hawthorne, N.Y. His other executives, Frank Berte (vice president of strategic marketing), Mike Sammarco (vice president of sales and marketing), and Mike Weiss (regional sales manager), were also with Zeus. Combined, according to Phipps, the management team has 40 years’ experience in the distribution business.

“We felt the market was right for a well-financed, well-experienced minority distributor,” Berte said. “As for the demise of the marketplace, many cuts are coming from personnel ranks and base consolidation. The electronics part of it will stay pretty much intact.”

All Tech is specializing in military semiconductors and electromechanical products; it also supplies computer products to defense-oriented businesses. Although its business mix is currently 80% military and 20% commercial, All Tech plans on increasing its commercial business to approximately 60%. The company is already in negotiations with AT&T Co. and Nynex Corp. for commercial business.

Since its Jan. 1 launching, All Tech has been running at about 130% of its projected business plan, according to Berte. In addition to appointing an experienced staff, Phipps has secured relationships with a financial partner that he said will provide adequate resources and is in for the long haul.

“I think a start-up! may not seem as crazy as at first blush,” said Clarke Walser, senior vice president with Hamilton Investments Inc., Chicago. “Since the principals are from Zeus, they know the military semiconductor business. Secondly, as a minority-owned firm they will get preferential treatment from government contractors and non-government people that want to minority-source. Another factor in their favor is a major player in the market went away, and there are guys doing business with the now-combined Arrow/Zeus that want to add another distributor.

“Finally,” he said, “the military market has cycles that don’t necessarily correspond with the commercial market. There will always be room for the so-called mom-and-pop distributor.”

“Our objective is to provide customers with a distribution program that has the capabilities to allow them to pursue the ideals of minority participation without compromising their procurement standards,” said Phipps.

All Tech has already signed nine franchise agreements with semiconductor and electromechanical manufacturers, including Microsemi Corp. and Amphenol Corp., and expects to sign more in the near future. All Tech’s offerings will be available in military and commercial grades.

“While we’re seeking a diverse product offering, we’re trying to avoid line card redundancies,” Phipps said.

For More Information Contact:

Frank Berte
All Tech Electronics, Inc.
105 Fairview Park Drive, Elmsford NY 10523
Tel: (914) 592-7726
FAX: (914) 592-8134