History

Thirty years ago, two brothers saw the coming electronics revolution and understood the challenge: to meet growing industry and consumer demand, manufacturers would need real-time access to the right components at the right price and with uncompromising quality. Existing supply chains were not going to be able to deliver. And so Bob and Lee Ackerley, working at first with two phone lines from the back of a house, started Smith & Associates on this enduring principle: There will always be business for the company that makes the client’s needs its own, and does not rest until those needs are met. From that beginning in Houston to the multinational corporation that we are today, Smith & Associates has stayed true to that fundamental principal.

2015

  • Smith gains certification to OHSAS 18001 and inspectors from its Hong Kong and Amsterdam hub offices earn certification under the CCCI-102 inspector certification, strengthening Smith’s anti-counterfeiting efforts.
  • Smith opens a sales office in Bangalore, India.
  • Cleat Kimbrough is appointed as Vice President of Operations and Quality, Asia & EU.


2014

  • Smith closes 2014 with global sales of $748 million, setting a new record for the company.
  • Smith appoints Kirk Wehby as Chief Operating Officer, while Matthew Hartzell takes on new role as Chief Administrative Officer.
  • Smith expands its Houston quality laboratory and operational facilities to a new, 57,258 square-foot space to increase lab capabilities and resources for customer support.
  • Smith celebrates thirty years of business.


2013
  • Smith closes 2013 with $586 million in global sales, a new record for the company.
  • Smith is ranked #10 on Global Purchasing’s list of 2013’s Top 50 Distributors, the highest of any independent distributor ranked.
  • Smith partners with CTI, the organization behind the CCAP-101 anti-counterfeiting program, to develop a new inspector certification. Thirty-one Smith inspectors gain Level 1 CCCI-102 certification and three advanced quality control specialists attain Level 2.
  • Smith launches its newly-designed rotational training program, allowing new salespeople to gain interdisciplinary expertise in all Smith departments to increase customer support.
  • Art Figueroa is appointed Vice President of Global Operations.
  • Smith’s Asian hub office gains accreditation under the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
  • Smith opens its Austin sales office, expanding and bolstering its strategic domestic presence.

2012
  • Smith’s stringent quality initiatives and standards earn the company its AS9120 certification and accreditation under the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
  • Choon Byun is appointed as President of Smith’s Asia-Pacific division.
  • Smith’s Asian hub office gains certification to the CCAP-101 standard, strengthening quality standards for the Asia market.
  • Smith & Associates is named as Houston’s 27th-largest private company by the Houston Chronicle, as well as being named to EE Times/EBN’s “Top Independent Distributors” list and ranked #10 on Global Purchasing’s list of the “Top 50 Electronics Distributors 2012.”
  • In the wake of its extensive “Greenovation,” Smith wins the City of Houston Green Office Challenge’s award for Greatest Implementation of Green Building Innovations, and begins strategizing for further green expansion.
  • Kent Pang is named Director of Sales, Southeast Asia, and Todd Traylor takes on role as Vice President of Global Trading.

2011
  • Smith completed a building greenovation including a 140kw solar installation, cool roof and efficient HVAC system.
  • Smith’s footprint in Asia sees continued growth with the opening of offices in Singapore and Taipei.
  • Smith attains CCAP-101 certification.
  • Smith launches its PPV Plus+ program, which provides expansive cost savings with all of the added benefits of Smith’s core strengths.
  • Smith is named an e-Stewards Enterprise by Basel Action Network, strengthening its push for corporate sustainability.
  • Dustin Ford is named Vice President of Corporate Strategy.

2010
  • Smith launches SmithSecure, a quality framework that reflects Smith's commitment to quality in every aspect of its business.
  • Smith unveils an enhanced, state-of-the-art in-house anti-counterfeit lab.
  • Smith & Associates appoints Phyllis Tsu as Chief Information Officer.

2009
  • Smith & Associates celebrates its 25th anniversary in business.   
  • Smith’s 2008 sales, announced in early 2009, show growth during a global economic downturn and put Smith at the top of Purchasing Magazine’s ranking of independent distributors.

2008
  • In its efforts to build the industry’s strongest quality assurance team, Smith & Associates reaches a major milestone, employing over 20 IDEA-ICE-3000 certified in-house inspectors.
  • Smith’s presence in China is expanded by opening an office in Shenzhen, China.
  • Smith is again ranked in the Top 100 Private Companies by the Houston Chronicle.
  • Matt Hartzell is named Chief Operating Officer and Thuy Tran is named General Counsel.
  • Kirk Wehby is named Global Vice President of Operations.

2007
  • Smith is ranked in the Houston Chronicle's "Top Private Companies" poll.
  • The Smith Networking division is launched to support customers sourcing telecommunications network equipment.
  • Marc Barnhill is named Chief Trading Officer.

2006
  • As a founding member of IDEA, an independent distributor trade association, Smith participates in the development of IDEA-STD-1010-A. All of Smith’s facilities exceed the standard at its inception.
  • Smith opens its first office in Tokyo, Japan.

2005
  • Smith secures ISO 14001:2004 certification.
  • Global sales for Smith once again exceed $500 million.
  • Purchasing Magazine, Electronic Business, and Electronics Supply and Manufacturing all rank Smith & Associates the top independent electronic component distributor.
  • Smith is ranked among the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in Houston by Houston Business Journal.

2004
  • Smith celebrates twenty years of global semiconductor distribution and services.
  • Smith opens its first office in the People's Republic of China in Shanghai.
  • Electronic Business and Purchasing magazines rank Smith the No. 1 independent North American electronic component distributor.
  • Smith is the only independent distributor ranked among Electronic Business’ top 10 North American distributors.
  • Smith's global sales exceed $500 million, a first for any independent electronic component distributor.

2003
  • Smith is admitted into US Customs' elite Importer Self Assessment (ISA) program and remains the only electronics company that has qualified to enter this program.
  • Smith opens an office in New York, New York.
  • Purchasing magazine ranks Smith the No. 1 independent North American electronic component distributor.
  • Smith obtains initial ANSI/ESD S20.20-1999 certification.

2002
  • Smith secures ISO 9001:2000 certification.
  • Smith expands its Amsterdam consignment warehouse on June 1, allowing up to 150,000 square feet for consignment/excess inventory.
  • Electronic Buyers' News ranks Smith as the No. 1 Non-Franchised Distributor on its annual "Top 50 Distributors" list.
  • Purchasing magazine ranks Smith as the No. 1 Independent Distributor on its annual “Top Independent Distributors” list.

2001
  • Smith is named a Top Global Importer by U.S. Customs.
  • Electronic Buyers' News ranks Smith the Top Non-Franchised Distributor in its "Top 50 Distributors" issue.
  • Smith’s Corporate Security division is created.
  • Smith’s Houston headquarters are expanded to include a warehouse for consigned inventory.
  • Smith Amsterdam is relocated to a facility with more space for logistics and inventory and is equipped with the latest technological infrastructure.

2000
  • Smith opens offices in Barcelona, Seoul, Silicon Valley, and Guadalajara.
  • Smith dedicates a 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse to handle OEM & CEM consignment/excess inventories.
  • Electronic Buyers' News ranks Smith the #2 Non-Franchised Distributor in its "Top 50 Distributors" issue.
  • Employees number over 250 by the end of the year.

The 1990s
  • The decade of the ‘90s is one of explosive growth for Smith.
  • Smith’s sales grow rapidly. In 1992, annual sales are $30 million; by 1998, they top $470 million.
  • The business and electronics industry media begin to recognize Smith’s growth and innovation, frequently ranking it among leading companies:
    • In early 1995, Smith is named to "World Trade 100," a list of the top 100 world trading companies.
    • The Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies ranks Smith at number 49 in 1997.
    • In 1999, Electronic Buyers' News ranks Smith the #1 Non-Franchised Distributor in its "Top 50 Distributors" issue.
    • Purchasing magazine ranks Smith as the #1 Independent Distributor.
    • Current Technology magazine lists Smith in its "Texas Top 100," along with companies such as Dell, Compaq, Alcatel, and GTE.
  • To support its growing customer base, the company invests in facilities and moves into a new 60,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art world headquarters in Houston.
  • Smith also invests in the international infrastructure critical to meeting the needs of global manufacturers. Smith’s first major international offices open in Hong Kong in 1997 and in Amsterdam in 1999.
  • By the end of the decade, Smith’s online presence is firmly established. SmithWeb launches and Smith MarketWatch® debuts on the web.

The 1980s
  • In 1984, Smith & Associates is founded by brothers Bob and Lee Ackerley with their spouses, Nora Smith Ackerley and Carmen DalPont Ackerley, in Bob and Nora's home in Houston, Texas.
  • The Ackerleys close their first sale before their fledgling distribution company has a name – they use Nora Ackerley's real estate company to invoice the deal. The name of that real estate business, of course, is N.F. Smith & Associates.
  • By the end of 1984, Smith has grown to 10 employees and leased its first office space.
  • By 1989, Smith grows to 35 employees and becomes one of the first US independent distributors to focus on buying and selling outside the USA.
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