MicroAge, Inc.

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's March 2001

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MicroAgeMicroAge, Inc started as a storefront in Tempe, Arizona in 1976 selling personal computer kits to hobbyists. During their first year of operation, founders Jeff McKeever and Alan Hald sold $1.5 million worth of computer kits, priced at under $1,000 each. Twenty years later, revenues exceeded $3.5 billion dollars, while the business evolved from a computer store to a master reseller and a full time integrator of information technology products. MicroAge continually reinvented itself and its business with an entrepreneurial spirit most companies of its size cannot enjoy. MicroAge thrives on the theory that many of its fiercest competitors can also be its best clients. The case provided an excellent vehicle that helped me understand the opportunities and risks that are related to electronic commerce and the Internet. yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Background and Organizational Context: 1. Background: Original company "The Byte Shop" was formed in 1976 by Jeff McKeever and Alan Hand as a hobby oriented computer shop focused on selling microcomputer kits.

Over the next three years the company expanded rapidly opening additional stores and selling via e-mail in the US and abroad.

An aggressive growth plan hampered by a bad economy in the early 80's ended in bankruptcy in 1981. The company was reformed in 1983 as MicroAge Inc.

Bailed out by an investor, MicroAge continued their focus on the full service approach, but now focused on gaining relationships with corporate desktop computer suppliers (IBM, Compaq, Apple and HP). Strategy worked! By 1998 MicroAge was a Fortune 300 Information Technology Distributor and Master Reseller with 4.4 Billion in revenues and 3000 employees as of 1997.

Company still run by founders. Jeff McKeever named one of top 25 most influential executives in the computer industry each year from 1985-1997.

2. Services: Currently MicroAge has five distinct business units.