Ingram Micro has made many changes in the past year. It has restructured its business to focus on two streams of business - the Enterprise Technology Group (ETG) and Volume Business Unit (Volume BU).
It has revamped a number of its approaches to the market – most notably the retail business, which was recently restructured to create two separate sales teams to cater for the specific requirements of large and small retailers.
And it’s the restructuring and renewed focus that has led the distributor to win the ARN award for Hardware Distributor of the Year, according to its volume and consumer business general manager, Hanspeter Eiselt.
“It’s a reflection of sharpening our overall competitiveness through some cost alignments that we’ve had, and being more aligned with specific markets, rather than relying on being the largest volume vendor in the market,” he said.
“We have created a new sales team for independent retail, and often this captures more the remote and regional locations that are doing very successful businesses that were looking for us to service them better.”
But Ingram Micro can’t afford to rest on its laurels going forward, Eiselt said. There are a number of continuing challenges the industry faces, especially on the volume side, that will require continued investment to mitigate.
“I think the biggest challenge for the Australian volume market is the entire industry needs to lower its cost of doing business with,” he said.
“There is already adoption trends visible in the retail sector where a lot more retailers are procuring through e-commerce capabilities, and we see the dotcoms of national retailers will be very successful in the ecommerce business. That’s something we anticipate, and the entire industry anticipates, to be much more successful in lowering the costs of transaction.”
But Ingram Micro is already acting. It recently announced a national call centre, based in its Melbourne office, the purpose of which is to provide better service to resellers and vendors alike.
“Being the largest distributor in Australia, we have very high penetration of the SMB space,” Eiselt said.
“We want to further the service quality that we had for these customers, and be a lot more proactive in terms of calling and building a relationship with these customers.”
And ultimately, it is that continued focus and innovation in finding new value-adding services for the volume business, as well as the simple recognition that different segments of the market have different requirements from distributors that will see Ingram maintain a leading position as a volume hardware distributor into the future.
“From a SMB reseller approach the needs and procurement processes as well as the projects that resellers are going after are much different to corporate resellers,” Eiselt added.