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EXCLUSIVE: Ingram Micro 2013 - the Matt Sanderson interview

Mike Gee | Feb. 19, 2013
In his first interview since returning to Australia, Ingram's new vice-president Australia and managing director speaks about the forthcoming year and his vision for the company

Do you think IM is playing catch-up still in terms of trying to get back some of the business it lost (due to the problems associated with transitioning to the new SAP ERP) in 2011/12?

The changes made needed to happen to ensure we took a long term view and had the right platforms and resources in place to move ahead.

We have now reached a point where our systems are operating well, business is growing, and we're in a great position to capitalise on the foundation put in place.

What is the key to 2013 for Ingram in terms of staying ahead of the pack and maintaining a competitive advantage?

Our focus centres squarely on ensuring we respond to the needs of our customers and enabling them to develop their businesses.

That means making sure we're continually improving operationally and leveraging the advantages we have from the investments we've made in systems and infrastructure. It means getting out and working closely with our customers to ensure we're delivering what's important to them and what helps them to grow, and really understanding their businesses.

That's a particular area of focus for me personally -- to get out and meet with our partners and talk to them about what's working well, and what we need to improve on and then acting on that feedback.

Will the company shift further into emerging technologies?

We've already invested in emerging technologies. Look at mobility for example. Brightpoint is a clear indication of the importance we place on the mobility market, so yes, as the market moves, we'll be moving too. It's a matter of keeping close to market trends and particularly, keeping close to our customers to ensure we are providing them with the platform, tools and skillset to leverage and grow from.

Looking slightly further ahead, what would you like the dominant focus of Ingram Australia to be by the end of 2014?

Where I'd like us to be, is to be the clear distribution partner of choice in the market. That means resolutely focusing on our customer service and understanding our customers' needs both now and looking forwards.

Part of 2012 was about moving more than 100 jobs to Manila, when do those positions in Manila come into play and how do they benefit the Australian operation moving forwards?

These positions are "in play" already -- and most have been operational for quite a while now. Using a regional resource centre allows us to be more flexible -- we can leverage specialist regional skillsets, and we can call on additional resources to handle peaks in demand, or provide additional cover for staff, or as we are doing in many cases providing proactive market development support for our vendor partners.


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