Ingram Micro is restructuring its UK operations in an effort to improve profitability, and will integrate its entire purchasing and business management operations into a new commercial department to improve vendor relations.
The company said the commercial department, launching on 5 February, will comprise PCs, displays, software, licensing, networking, storage, peripherals, printers and supplies. It will be headed by Mark Gregory, former commercial director.
The restructure is a move away from the US-based business set-up Ingram introduced in June 1999, to a more dedicated UK model.
Meinie Oldersma, managing director of Ingram UK, said: "It is an amalgamation of our supply chain. We need to cut down on the duplication of services. Each vendor now has a dedicated consultant, while large companies such as Hewlett Packard have one consultant for each business unit. In the past we have been too rigid, so this is a more flexible model."
Oldersma confirmed that up to 15 per cent of Ingram's 460 employees would take on new or additional roles within the business as a result of the shake-up, but he stressed that no redundancies were planned. Neither were there any plans for additional staff recruitment.
He also claimed that the restructure will not upset the distributor's existing reseller relationships. "For the moment they will remain as they are," he said.
The supplier has also created the process management group, headed by Gary Phillips, who was previously senior purchasing manager. The group will provide order and contract management, and pricing and category support to the commercial department, said Oldersma.
The distributor warned staff of the shake-up before Christmas, but did not give them any details until last week.
Andy Dow, commercial director at distribution rival Westcoast, claimed that the overhaul at Ingram was long overdue. "To be honest, I would be more surprised if Ingram was not restructuring," he said. "Distribution never stands still and what was a good model yesterday does not necessarily work today."
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