Anixter's Wayne Bogart talks to ARN.
What was your first job?
I worked for a gardening service that handled residential properties and commercial buildings when I was 15 years old. A year later I started work at Anixter for two hours a day, three days a week during high school. I was working in the warehouse picking and shipping orders.
How did you end up in the IT industry?
We were selling RG62 coax and BNC connectors to companies for computer systems. Someone came along with a new idea of selling RJ45 with patch panels. Then a new supplier showed up with something called a hub, which was used to network more than one computer system together.
How did you progress to where you are today?
I was still working with Anixter when I was about to start university. After a year of study, I dropped out to continue working with Anixter in Colorado when I saw an opportunity to get into sales. I relocated to San Diego and opened a new sales office. My career with Anixter then took me across the US in various managerial roles. I ended up as vice-president of marketing. In 1997, I relocated to Hong Kong the week after the handover from the UK to China - and just as the Asian economic crisis hit. I spent three years working across the Asia-Pacific region. After the dotcom crash in 2000, I made the move to Sydney.
What do you like about your current job?
It is never the same two days in a row and I get involved in all aspects of the business. I also have time to work with specific customers and suppliers, looking for new products that we can add to our portfolio and deciding how to market them. I also like working with the sales teams to develop strategies and plan how to win new business. It's great to be working with new people and watching them grow. Our products are so diverse that we always have something new and exciting to talk about.
What is the biggest achievement of your career?
Working for Anixter since 1974, I would have to say it's being successful in many different roles across so many different industries. I've worked in its electrical, structured cabling and IT networking businesses.
What do you dislike most about the IT industry?
Last-minute price cutting by competitors. They hover like vultures and, at the eleventh hour, drop prices. This makes business harder for everyone. Even if they land the deal nobody wins in the end.