Company History

Princeps is founded on a mission to simplify the sourcing of safe traceable, obsolete and hard to find electronic components for its customers.

A Better Way to Do Distribution

Princeps was born from a frustration with the status quo that existed within EEE part distribution. Perceiving the lack of service from broadline distribution, poor quality parts from brokers and a disregard customer communication that characterised the industry, Dan Hughes took a leap of faith in 2006 and founded Princeps, a company that built on the foundations of Quality, Service and Flexibility.

2006 – 2009

Early Development

A focus on quality that exists to this day was demonstrated when, early in 2008, Princeps was awarded ISO 9001 certification. The fundamental value of Quality also led us to identify just how critical traceability is to our customer base and just how poorly part provenance was being communicated within the supply chain. To combat this we made a commitment to communicate – simply – the traceability of all products we sold.

2009 – 2013

Accelerated Growth

In 2009 we took on new premises to house a vibrant, growing company.

Selection for participation in the Government’s Growth Accelerator Programme was the stimulus for a period of sustained development within Princeps. We saw our first Global Tier One Aerospace approval in this period – which ultimately led to our becoming one of the first UK adopters of the AS9120 Quality Certification within EEE distribution and became the foundation for our full traceability service.

This period also saw us engage with the National Apprenticeship Scheme for the first time, to give young people the opportunity to gain new skills recognised national qualifications while working in our business.


Take Off

The continuing race between those involved in counterfeiting EEE parts and those mitigating the threat of counterfeit parts led to us attaining AS6081 certification for our Counterfeit Mitigation System.

Princeps growing team led to a requirement for new premises – in 2016 we moved to our current home.


To Infinity and Beyond!

By our 10th anniversary in 2016 Princeps had come a long way and overcome many obstacles, including global financial meltdown, over supply, under supply, a flood of counterfeit parts. Our three pillars – Quality, Service and Flexibility – enabled us to meet these challenges and remain relevant in our adapting to a rapidly changing world and where we strive to continue to exceed our customers’ needs and expectations.


Larger Premises

In 2022, Princeps moved to larger premises at 6 Astra Centre on Edinburgh Way in Harlow, Essex to accommodate its growing workforce and service its expanding customer base.

The meaning of ‘Princeps’

‘Princeps’ as a name was inspired by our mission to become the best and show there is a better way to do distribution. It comes from the Latin word meaning “first in time or order, the first, foremost, chief, the most eminent, distinguished or noble.” It was an unofficial title given to Roman emperors at the height of the empire, and is the root of many modern English words such as principal, principled, and princely – all associations we are proud of.

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