Corporate Express was a first time winner at the 2010 ARN Industry Awards, picking up the Channel Choice Reseller category.
It’s an impressive feat. The Channel Choice categories are decided through popular vote. Gaining the accolades of its peers reflects the ASX-listed reseller’s decision to make a concentrated push over the last 18 months to reinvigorate its go-to-market strategy.
It started when Corporate Express appointed Ahmed Latif to head up its IT Solutions division in April 2009. With him came a three-year plan to transform the business from a largely volume-driven one to offering a strong value proposition as well.
“When I took on the role last year, I had this three-year business plan that we’re only about a third of the way into. To be honest, for us to be recognised so quickly as a key player in the industry, that wasn’t in the plan,” Latif said.
“I would have thought it would be next year, as a 2011 recognition, but it’s a credit to the team I’ve got around me to be recognised so quickly.” And why the need to build a business around value?
“It’s given us a better visibility from our customers and our vendors, so a lot of the vendors that have historically seen Corporate Express as a logistics machine have recognised the strengths we have in the datacentre space and the services and solutions we offer,” Latif said.
“We’ve recognised the market trends and a lot of the conversations we used to have with senior leaders within our client space demanded value from us, so we were guided by our customers and end clients in the past talking about a logistics solution. But our relationships started to take a hit when we didn’t articulate the value conversation as well as we should have as well.”
And with a solid 18 months to two years left to fully realise the business plan, there’s still much to do at Corporate Express to see it rise to still greater heights.
“We’re going to be launching a couple of key business units to the market shortly, and I think that will give us the next step up,” Latif said.