Ingram Micro’s global chief has highlighted growth, strong business execution and investment as key to the distributor’s 2010 strategy.
In a interview with ARN during a Sydney visit this week, Ingram Micro global CEO, Greg Spierkel, said the distributor was focused on grabbing hold of vendor and market opportunities early to take advantage of the upswing. Unlike last year, where the focus was inward and on cost efficiencies, this year was about building capabilities and skills in areas of growth, he said.
“It was a tough late 2008 and 2009, and the whole IT sector went down further than the overall GDP growth rates – typically IT expenditure runs at a better rate than GDP rates do, but when there are recessions, as there has been recently, IT goes down much further,” he said. “There is variable capital and people won’t spend as much on product, which is what has been happening in the last 18 months. People are running systems hotter and longer, and rather than let people go, they decided not to put as much into IT infrastructure. That has been a phenomena across the board and what we’ve seen from our VAR and vendor community. Some of the data we hold on aging of products we hold in the marketshare show that as well.”
But Spierkel claimed the ugliness of the past 18 months was now behind us. Catalysts for new IT infrastructure discussions included the consistent movement towards mobility, along with the launch of Microsoft’s new Windows 7 platform.
“What we had been focused on was what we could change internally to be more efficient, so there was a lot of focus on that in the last three quarters. All our sights and canons had been shifted from running a lean operation to getting the most out of the improving market. That is priority number one, all of which is going over well internally,” Spierkel said.
“A perfect example is here in the region, where in about half a dozen key vendor relationships where we are all saying we struggled a bit last year, but now we all have new plans for the new year. We’re having a lot of dialogue about getting greater traction out of the growth rates – let’s say it’s two per cent, we need to grow five or 10 per cent. And that’s exciting, because everyone feels like they’re back on to something after a tough ride.”
On a broader level, Spierkel also hinted at more investment through acquisition and building specialist and solutions skills. He claimed there were still plenty of opportunities in Australia as well as globally and pointed to the distributor’s acquisition of point-of-sale specialist, Vantex, as well as VAD in New Zealand last year, as instances where Ingram had been able to build capability.