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Rand Tech’s CEO: From Kitchen Table to ‘Formidable’

When she started Rand Technology more than 30 years ago, the owner sometimes signed her faxes “A. Klein.”

“When you bought offshore, you bought from Japan,” Andrea Klein said about the company’s early days. “They didn’t want to work with women. They didn’t respect women.”

The result of her modified fax signoff: “No one even knew we were woman-owned.”

Rand Tech is a global distribution company for electronic components and the supply chain solutions that go with the electronic components. The company has 220 employees around the world.

It ranks No. 4 in the Business Journal’s list of top women-owned companies in Orange County, reporting revenue of $150 million.

Customers include top names such as Dell, HP, Cisco, Arista Networks, Microsoft, Meta and Apple – the Fortune 100 hardware technology companies.

“I started this at my kitchen table,” she told the Business Journal on June 26. She describes her business as “formidable.” The company says annual revenue is $150 million.

‘Fight for It’

If a person can create efficiency and make people money, “you’re going to win” whatever the race, religion or gender.

Still, she says while some things have changed in her sector over more than three decades, others have stayed the same.

“You have this boys club in hardware technology that they’re out on the golf course; they’re going to strip clubs; they’re doing whatever they do,” she said. “We don’t do that as women.”

Besides, she doesn’t play golf.

She says that smart beautiful women stood out in meetings and were remembered, “but I think in the bigger business they gave it to the men.”

Her advice to women: “You have to fight for it.”

Klein also sees fundamental differences in how men and women do business.

Men in her industry are very good and competent competitors, “but their culture is that they transact with customers.”

“A woman-owned company is actually trying to help the customer, rather just transact against the customer,” according to Klein.

“We are willing to help them solve a problem where we don’t benefit, we don’t get the order.”

That can even result in a suggestion to purchase from a different company.

“We actually, really truly care about helping the customer.”

6.1B Parts Sold

The numbers on Rand Technology’s website tell a big story: 6.1 billion parts sold, more than 5,000 clients and 72 countries served.

Rand Technology will be exhibiting at the giant Electronica trade show in Munich in November.

Klein summarizes the company’s business this way:

“Anything electronic in the world whether it’s a car, a computer, a phone, your alarm system, your refrigerator that’s now computerized – anything computerized in the entire world uses a myriad of electronic components. There’s millions of them. We sell every one of those.”

Rand Tech has offices around the world, buying and selling electronic components. Just a year ago, it opened an operations center in the Netherlands, its seventh worldwide.

“We sell millions and millions of components every year in all different commodities.”
Rand Tech calls itself a “sophisticated, full-service technology hardware supply chain company offering a comprehensive suite of services including NPI, production, global services, and sustainability solutions.”

Rand Technology became the first ISO-certified independent semiconductor distributor in 1995.

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