Dynamic Supplies managing director, Scott McLennan, kicked off his career in finance before making the switch to distribution and to ASX-listed player, Cellnet. Following a successful career as CFO, where he was on-hand to witness Cellnet’s growth and acquisitions strategy, McLennan joined Dynamic Supplies. He caught up with NADIA CAMERON to talk about expansion plans, market sentiment and his aspirations.
What was your first job?
My first job straight out of university was with Ernst and Young in the audit division. It was a graduate program and I worked in Sydney. I was auditing people like Qantas, HP and the like. It was a big job but really, lackey work. I did that for a couple of years before going into the corporate finance group.
What did you study at uni?
I studied accounting. The reason was that my best mate and I had no idea what to do when we left school. So we went to a careers night and met some guys from KPMG. They had just finished uni themselves, and we snuck off and had some beers with them. We thought that if they were that cool, it must be okay to work for an accounting firm.
Where did you go from there?
I went into Credit Suisse First Boston investment bank for five years. I was in Brisbane, and they wanted me to go back to Sydney, but I didn’t want to. So I joined Cellnet, who had been a client, and that’s how I go into the industry. From Cellnet, I moved over to Dynamic Supplies in May 2006.
What do you like about the IT industry?
I love that it doesn’t stay the same, the products are always changing, and everyone has to adapt. For those who can adapt, it gives them a competitive advantage. People who can’t adapt are obviously the losers. In saying that, it’s also a dislike as well, in that you start to feel comfortable and then something changes. IT seems to change a lot faster than other industries.
The other thing is pricing – it’s the hardest thing to deal with at the moment. As a distributor, it was great when prices were coming down, but people began to expect that. Now prices have been going up for nearly six months, and that’s hard for customers to accept, and then pass on those price rises to their customers.
What’s the biggest achievement of your career to date? It would have to be getting to the current position I have [as managing director of Dynamic Supplies]. It wasn’t something I expected, but something I accepted happily and gratefully. I came on as CFO effectively, and then Alex [Piccinini, founder] decided it was time to step back. He’d been working 14-hour days and his whole life was Dynamic. I think he realised he needed to let the staff grow and do something else. He built up a great team – we have a fantastic team of people, and many of the guys have been there more than 10 years. He was still managing things from a distance, then asked me to takeover and run things.
What’s your key focus for the next 12 months?
Our key focus, which is also a challenge, is that we want to grow our hardware business in the printer and copier space. We have always been, and will continue to be, a consumables distributor. But we feel we have the ability to change the landscape a little bit in the print area, and I think it’s a good opportunity for us. We may look to bring on another brand or two, but we don’t want to lose focus on the consumables side. We’re authorised with Lexmark, Kyocera and Samsung, but we sell every brand there is on the print side.