Thacker to sharpen Ingram supply chain

Thacker to sharpen Ingram supply chain

Ingram Micro has appointed Steven Thacker to the newly created role of supply chain director as it looks to improve delivery performance. He has no previous IT experience but accrued more than 25 years in supply chain and logistics roles with Sigma Pharmaceuticals, TNT and Simplot.

His new job will see him responsible for Ingram's forecasting systems, distribution centre operations, purchasing and transport.

"We wanted somebody with experience of working in a similar role with fast-moving consumer goods," Ingram sales director, John Walters, said.

"This is a significant appointment for us. It shows how keen we are to get supply chain delivery right, both from a vendor and reseller perspective."

Walters said Ingram would look to fulfill 90 per cent of orders from its warehouses, with the exception of custom builds, rather than having to put stock on backorder.

"We were hitting those numbers at Tech Pacific prior to integration but it is inevitable that people become internally focused when you go through a process like that," he said. "Improving supply chain efficiency increases satisfaction among vendors, resellers and end-users. It is also more cost effective."

Walters said Ingram would be looking to grow its share of the high-end solutions pie this year through its Enterprise Technology Solutions (ETS) and Licensing divisions.

He claimed the distributor had doubled its ETS revenues in the past 12 months while recording a 30 per cent increase in licensing.

"These divisions have been very successful during the past year but we will continue to push the envelope," Walters said. "There might be the odd technology gap that we need to plug by adding a new vendor but we will be concentrating on building deeper relationships with our current line-up."

In other news, Ingram has now received a report from a market research firm it hired to assess the buying habits of 3600 smaller resellers.

The survey was conducted with a view to rationalising its database following the amalgamation of Ingram and Tech Pac customer lists. It asked questions on a range of topics including capacity to purchase and distributor preferences. One of the main objectives was to weed out any customers that were posing as resellers in order to gain access to wholesale pricing.

"There was some really good information for us to look at and we will be making some measured decisions based on the feedback we have received," Walters said. "The survey has identified a lot of resellers that don't exist anymore and others that are not bona fide.

"But there were also some that indicated they were spending elsewhere because they had been unable to build a close relationship [with Ingram] or wanted a more flexible approach.

"It is our job now to do something about winning those customers back. It all comes down to communication."

New reseller services being planned for this year, according to Walters, include online services and an ecommerce solution.

Julia Talevski contributed to this report

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