History of ECOM Electronic Components Trading GmbH
Many successful global players these days started out in a garage, and that too was figuratively the case prior to the establishment of ECOM Trading GmbH. As the nationwide IT distribution was still in its infancy, our product range still fitted on a DIN A4 page, and customers still received their quotes on their fax machines, the first steps were taken to grow the PC component trade. Given the current breadth and depth of our product range, this almost seems like an eon ago.
How it all began
Gerhard Ellinger started working in component sales in 1984. Eight years later, having established good contacts and possessing an outstanding knowledge of the market, he and his colleague at the time decided to build up their own company. ECOM Trading GmbH, one of the most successful IT distributors today with its headquarters in the greater Munich area and a branch office in the idyllic Bavarian Forest, was then founded in 1992. Since then, the company has acquired new resources, expanded its sales channels, extended its product range, and increased its employee count. It has also been continuously expanding its warehousing and service capacities over that time.
It was not surprising, then, that consideration was given to expanding the company’s premises, and this was finally implemented in 2008. A lot has happened in the meantime, and company management has not been resting on its laurels either. It was strengthened in 2009 with the addition of Jürgen Ellinger, who is responsible for purchasing, and in 2015 with the addition of the financial specialist Dr. Roland Dietl, who joined the company in 2012 in the HR and Finance department. ECOM's recipe for success lies, in particular, in its personal attention to its customers, short sales channels, fast delivery, and the continuous expansion of its product range.
- Partnership sealed: Satisfied faces at ECOM and Tenda. The reason for this is our recently concluded distribution agreement to seal the partnership between the two companies. Tenda Technology is one of the leading manufacturers of network products and accessories.
- Covid 19: A pandemic comes into our lives and dictates our everyday life, both at work and in private. We don't let it get us down, however, brace ourselves against it with all our might and succeed in maintaining our regular business with almost no restrictions to this day.
- Nicest ad: *Drum roll*…Over 600 participating readers vote and the CRN magazine gives us the “Best Visual” ad award in the IT field for our new image ad with a space-themed design. The designers and creatives are extremely pleased about this.
- Souped up product range: We now offer not only our existing product range of motherboards and mini PCs but also SSDs and memory from the company GIGABYTE.
- Distributor Award: We’re delighted! In this year’s CRN magazine awards for Excellent Distributor we have once again taken a spot on the podium in second place.
- Cooperation with Nordanex: From September 1, 2018 we are now also a part of this national IT network and can therefore offer all Nordanex partners our comprehensive range of services. By working hand in hand, all the participants have the opportunity to secure significant market advantages.
- Strongest Sales Performance: In the enchanting Mozart ambiance and Rococo surroundings at the Mondsee Castle Hotel near Salzburg, our managing director Jürgen Ellinger accepts the “Strongest Sales Performance” award from Seagate. As customary in royal courts, further details remain behind closed doors.
- Arrival in the top ranks: While predominantly still regarded in technical circles as a specialist distributor, we land the sensational first place in the “Full Line Supplier” category in this year's CRN Excellent Distribution Awards.
- ECOM turns 25: To celebrate our company anniversary, we hold exciting giveaways and customer campaigns throughout the year. A suitable occasion to celebrate and say thanks!
- Top distributor: The CRN again awards us the prestigious “Excellent Distributor 2018” award and the channel partners together with the GfK even crown us “Rising Star” in a newly created category.
- Eging training location: This subsidiary will in future also be offering traineeships to become a Digital and Print Media Designer as well as a Management Assistant in wholesale and export management. The future begins now!
- Braunschweig subsidiary: More sales professionals move into the offices at this location for even better nationwide support of our customers.
- Warehouse capacity increased: We are bursting at the seams! Our continuously increasing turnover, expanded product range, and additional services such as fulfillment require appropriate measures to be taken. We add a new building to extend our warehouse capacity by a further 3,700 sq.m to a total of approx. 10,000 sq.m storage space.
- Shop facelift: Around three years after our last relaunch, we give our online shop a facelift in the form of a slightly changed design, new technical features relating to pricing and availability, and improved search and filter functions.
- New agreements: After concluding distribution agreements with the globally renowned manufacturers Gainward and Gigabyte, we can now offer a wider range of products in the area of graphics cards.
- Management board extended: Economist Dr. Roland Dietl, who had been working in the business management area of ECOM since 2012, strengthens the existing management board comprising Gerhard and Jürgen Ellinger in the areas of finance, controlling and human resources.
- So test therefore, who join forever: The distribution agreement with the hardware manufacturer MSI is renewed. We are immensely proud to have the opportunity to continue to pursue common goals and have such a competent partner at our side.
- Partnership sealed: Agreements with the globally active and well known manufacturers Thermaltake, Enermax and Gigabyte are in the bag. Thanks to this strategic collaboration, we are able to offer our customers even greater choice and top quality in the areas of PC housings, power supplies and cooling.
- Flood assistance: The flood disaster in May/June robs thousands of people of their livelihood. ECOM contributes 22,500 euros to the reconstruction effort.
- Online shop relaunch: The ECOM online shop has been completely revamped with many additional functions. 24-hour online shopping for our customers!
- Stepping on the gas for a great time: “My car is doing 210 km/h. And the cops didn’t see me. This is fun!“ Our incentive guests are spending an unforgettable weekend in the Bavarian forest with the high-end RS and R8 sports cars from Audi. And yes, the police had fun on the day as well!
- More manufacturers: Additional distribution agreements with ASUS, BenQ and iiyama round off the year and boost our expertise especially in the display sector.
- Anniversary: ECOM turns twenty! A remarkable achievement, we think, in one of the fastest paced industries. Customers, employees and business partners alike celebrate this company anniversary in high spirits and with great cheer.
- Customers in the ice channel: A select group of customers were invited to Berchtesgaden for a “Bavarian weekend”. Besides convivial evenings and a visit to the Bobsledding World Cup in Königssee, courageous participants got to hop on the bobsleds themselves and go on a hellish ride down the ice channel at over 125 km/h. Some are still pale in the face from the experience!
- Our family grows: So our customers can benefit from an increasingly comprehensive range of products, we have added the manufacturers Edimax, be quiet! and XFX to the ECOM family with new distribution agreements.
- Well-positioned: Our specialist dealers & retail business segments are being strengthened. We are also concluding further manufacturer agreements with Mad Catz and Netgear in order to expand our portfolio in the area of gaming peripherals and networking. The purchasing groups emendo and IDAS World are also offering our product range to their specialist dealers.
- Build to order: We take our first steps with our online PC configurator. Assembling your own PC based on five base models. This sounds incredibly exciting and was also met with great interest from our customers. In 2021 we launched our latest generation of the configurator with countless technical features and thousands of configuration options. You can do just about everything with it but fly!
- At home in Bavaria with the world as our oyster: Given our growing market presence in countries such as Spain, Italy, France and the ever increasing number of inquiries from countries such as Hungary, Slovakia and Turkey, the expansion of our sales network has been successful.
- ITscope: In the thick of it, not on the sidelines! We now present our product range including up-to-date daily prices and availability on the comparison and trade platform ITscope.
- Synaxon: Behind every successful man there is an even stronger woman! We have taken this saying literally and grasped the opportunity to now also offer our IT product range to the largest IT group in Europe.
- Networking: Whereas we usually associate this word these days with establishing contacts for career or business purposes, we laid the foundations in 2010 for comprehensively expanding our product range in the area of network solutions by entering into a distribution agreement with TP-Link.
- Management board expanded: ECOM expands its management board to include the purchasing function thereby acknowledging with this step the rapidly growing importance of our purchasing activities. Jürgen Ellinger, as the second managing director alongside Gerhard Ellinger, will be responsible for this area going forward.
- New team member Gainward: We are, of course, also keen to have these multi-award-winning graphic cards in our portfolio. To be able to offer a top lineup of beginner to mid-range right through to high end cards, we have concluded a distribution agreement with Gainward.
- Relocation: At last! The relocation to the new office and warehouse spaces in Dachau and Eging has been completed. And the employees continue to feel on top of the world in these modern and Feng Shui designed buildings. Be honest, who would want to even go home now!?
- E-commerce: New technologies have arrived. We have jumped onboard the e-commerce train and released our first online shop this year. We are really pleased about this because one group of customers is using it as a purchasing tool, and the other as an information platform for products and prices – 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week!
- Channel champion: ChannelPartner has added us to their list of best distributors in the category “Specialist Distributors”. We are enormously proud of this!
- Our own subsidiary in Asia! To support our purchasing and product exploration activities in the Asian market, we have established a subsidiary on the island state of Taiwan in the capital Taipei. The advantages are obvious: our employees on location speak the language and understand the local market, culture and customs, which makes the purchasing process smoother and faster.
- Across the big pond! To ensure our presence on all the strategically important continents and to be able to respond as quickly as possible to specific market situations, the company Dependance EC International Trading Inc. is founded in Fort Lee (New Jersey) in the USA.
- A holding company forms the basis for our new company structure! Our continuous growth and efforts to orient our individual companies and brands to the international market have led, as a logical consequence, to the founding of the company ECOM Holding GmbH & Co. KG to better serve our financial and structural needs. All our subsidiaries such as ECOM Electronic Components Trading GmbH, ECOM International GmbH, CAPTIVA GmbH, NEXOC. GmbH & Co. KG have been incorporated into the holding company and now form a single company group.
- Further specialized subsidiaries created! While our general wholesale business is becoming increasingly aligned to the international market, we establish the companies ECOM International and NEXOC. GmbH & Co. KG which, thanks to their huge warehouse, are able to concentrate on the assembly of notebooks and PCs and benefit from the growing customer base in the B2B sector.
- Establishment of CAPTIVA GmbH! CAPTIVA GmbH began with the sale of graphics cards under its own label CAPTIVA®. CAPTIVA now manufactures complete PCs and notebooks of extremely high quality using the so-called build to order (BTO) process. While the company originally focused predominantly on the stationary retail markets for the expert segment, these days we are also listed on well-known retail and online platforms such as Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH, Amazon, Otto GmbH & Co. KG and Digitec Galaxus AG.
- Creation of ECOM! Gerhard Ellinger, who has been working in component sales since 1984 and has an excellent knowledge of the market, establishes the company ECOM Trading together with a colleague. While the product catalog at the time fitted on a DIN A4 page and was still able to be sent to prospective customers via fax, today more than 5 million items are dispatched from our logistics center annually to over 12,000 paying customers. The specialist distributor for PC components and accessories with its head office in the Munich area and international subsidiaries is now one of the most successful European companies in this industry.