Chief executive, Danwood
What is your greatest career move to date?
Making the move from a financially focused career (my background is as a chartered accountant) into general management and subsequently into my first MD role.
What is top of your bucket list?
Be the number one dealer for each of our core OEM suppliers.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
There is now a greater focus on data, for both ourselves and our customers. Customers' expectations have risen regarding the benefits of digitalisation, the integration of information from different parts of their businesses and the need to simplify decision-making through the use of better insight. Simply, more foresight than hindsight. Linked with this is a growing need for greater accountability, transparency and value for money. Data transformed into information helps enormously.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
Changes in the value of sterling are more impactful in the short term with likely increases in the price of machines and consumables. Medium term, I believe that different market segments will be impacted in different ways; manufacturing customers are likely to benefit from better export opportunities while financial services customers may face greater uncertainty. That being said, our industry offers cost-cutting and cost-management solutions, so core demand should not be impacted negatively.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
Any task which could have been solved quicker with effective dialogue and communication at the inception.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
An Irish setter as they are energetic, enthusiastic, determined and are able to look forward to a well-deserved rest at the end of the day in front of an open fire.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
I would thank the person who bought me the ticket and think hard. In all likelihood, I'd continue to work (investing in businesses with recurring revenue at their heart) and put aside a nest egg for a rainy day, later years and my children. The rest would be spent philanthropically.
What is your worst habit?
Impatience. I have been told I have a tendency to rush people through their stories.
How has 2016 been for you?
It has been a year of transition in our business with the rollout of new technologies and the embedding of a new multichannel communication solutions, designed to transform customer experience.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
I spent a few years working in the tropical fruit industry; I have to say that it was exotic, international and very rewarding.
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
The full impact of the HP acquisition of Samsung will begin to take effect at the back end of the year. In acquiring Samsung, HP now has a very solid technology base with excellent people and a thoroughly impressive ‘can do' culture. Together, they could create a ‘perfect storm' of market reach and capability. At the same time, other OEMs are likely to try and capitalise on short-term uncertainty.
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