Matrix Group has begun the integration process of its three distribution companies into one unit, following its acquisition spree last year.
The firm, which bought Network Partners, Norwood Adam, and equIP, has already started to move sales people from Norwood Adam's offices in East Grinstead, to equIP's offices in Basingstoke. Network Partners is based in Liverpool and will not be moving, according to Ian Smith, chief executive of Matrix. "Moving the [Norwood] sales staff is the first stage of the integration so all of our hardware and logistics will now run from one office," he said.
Smith added that there would be no redundancies as part of the process and that the firm would maintain vendor relationships. "Where there is cross-over [of technologies] it is where we want it. We don't want to be at the beck and call of one single vendor," he said.
equIP's three co-founders have all changed roles as part of the strategy. Graham Smee will now run the hardware distribution division, Ian Morris will help the Matrix Group identify new technologies and vendors, and Neil Ledger will take a strategic role in looking at potential acquisitions.
Smith said the second stage of the integration would be to unite the firms under a single brand identity. "We will be renaming our distribution arm within the next 90 days," he said.
Alastair Edwards, senior analysts at Canalys, said integrating any number of companies after acquisition is always a challenge. "Combining people and cultures can be difficult, but the economies of scale from an integration such as this will far outweigh the problems. The crucial thing is that integration takes up a lot of management time and can lead to them taking their eye off the market and competitive advantage could be lost.
"That said this is the way the channel is heading. Companies that can integrate specialist needs across sectors and provide a range of expertise are the ones that will succeed."
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