Distribution giant Ingram UK’s new head honcho has admitted the firm has lost ground in the UK over the past few years, but he plans to bring a fresh approach to the business and claw back lost market share and then some.
Speaking to CRN at Ingram’s combined Reseller Forum and MSPU boot camp event at Silverstone F1 circuit in Northamptonshire, McCarty was filled with enthusiasm for his new role and appeared very keen to engage with his workforce.
“I have worked at Ingram in both Canada and the US, and now I’m here, so I have experienced different sides of the business. At the end of the day it is the people in the business who make a big difference.”
He said getting staff feedback was crucial to ensure the business was on the right track with everyone engaged, and as a result one of his first tasks is to co-ordinate meetings with every staff member.
“Because we have over 400 employees, I will probably do it in groups. But I want to gather all their feedback. I am very associate-led and want to hear what our staff have to say. That is one area I will be focusing my priorities.
“Then I plan to get out in front of customers and vendors. It is good to know a few of the vendors already and get their impressions of the business overall, where they think we are doing well, for example.”
McCarty said Ingram had a slightly different outside perception in the UK than in the US, but it is a balance he plans to readdress.
“It’s a very competitive marketplace, more so than other parts of the world. I have come here from countries where we have number one market share and we have had a very broad portfolio of vendor products, where vendors come to us first and we build practices around these to provide solutions to customers.
“Here [in the UK] we have some holes in our line card that I am trying to fill. I am looking at adjacencies in the many different areas that I have experience in, such as consumer electronics.”
However, maximising business with existing partners and customers was the first priority, he stressed.
“We have a great set of customers and vendor partners already and we have not capitalised [on them] as much as we should have. It is always more difficult to build new business than to accelerate the core business, so to start I plan to drive up existing business. We are just under-penetrated in some areas. Our vendors want us to be more successful. They want us to take market share.”
Above all, it is about sharing Ingram’s goals and successes more publicly, he said.
“Our capabilities and achievements have been our best-kept secret, but I want to get our message out there. We have a great story to tell. For example, we acquired Brightpoint last year – a $5bn (£3.3bn) mobile distributor, and we are layering on our expertise of mobility and logistics on top of the existing offering to provide a complete solution to our customers. We are chasing that opportunity.”
McCarty said he was still getting to know the UK distributor landscape, and admitted Ingram had been a bit late to the party in some areas in the UK, whereas in the US and Canada it was out in front.
“But that will change," he said. "Looking at the landscape, each distributor has its strengths in different areas of the marketplace. We are going to pickpocket the opportunities where we add value. Overall we want a profitable relationship with customers and partners. The future is looking very positive indeed.”
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