Top 40 IT distributors you need to know: Part Three

Doug Woodburn
clock • 28 min read

The UK's top 40 IT distributors generated nearly £13bn revenues in their latest years, CRN research has found. Here we count down those ranked 10th to 1st...

"We've seen strong growth in the most challenging of circumstances"

2. Exertis

UK revenues: £2.529bn (+8%)

UK headcount: 1,748

Specialism: Broadliner

Key vendors: Lenovo, Vestel, Samsung, Seagate, Huawei, Dell, Microsoft, Asus, Facebook, Acer

HQ: Burnley

Recent UK acquisitions: Cohort Technology (2013), Computers Unlimited (2015), Hammer (2016), Hypertec (2018), Kondor (2018)

Built on the historic brands of Micro-P and Gem - as well as subsequent acquisitions including Hammer - Exertis' UK business turned over more than £2.5bn in its year ended 31 March 2021 - an eight per cent hike.

Although trading conditions in higher-margin B2B sectors, including pro-AV, remained "challenged", higher-volume, lower-margin consumer and WFH products flew off its shelves during the period, it said.

Globally, Exertis - or DCC Technology as it is more formally known - is a £4.6bn-revenue business following rapid expansion into the US (mainly through the 2019 acquisition of Stampede) and in mainland Europe. It is one of four divisions of Dublin-based conglomerate DCC Group, making it one of 14 firms in this list based overseas or with an overseas parent.

Quickfire Q&A with DCC Technology MD Tim Griffin

What specialism is your firm known for, and what sets you apart from your peers?

We are collection of specialists across 22 countries providing reach for vendors and simplicity and leverage for retailers, e-tailers, resellers and integrators - from your hand to the home with mobile, computing and music; AND from the datacentre to the auditorium with enterprise and ProAV.

Which emerging vendors are you betting big on this year?

Those at the Edge ...

Have you made any significant vendor signings in the last 12 months?

Significant vendor signings over the last 12 months include:

Seek Thermal

Parallels

Aftershokz

Antstream Arcade

Triangle Hi-Fi

Fitbit

Largest UK warehouse?

NDC Burnley: 450,000 sq.ft. + 63,000 sq.ft. (mezzanine level)

What's the biggest misconception about distribution?

That we simply trade and fulfil. However, we are so much more, providing genuine reach and market access, supply chain simplicity and technical skills, certifications and capabilities that our customers leverage, allowing them to focus on their customers and doing more.

How would you summarise the health of the distribution sector in 2021?

Our value has been understood through the pandemic, and leveraged by more people to do more - all the way to the front doors of homes around the world.

What's been your biggest disappointment of the last year?

Losing those near and dear and not seeing our teams and customers.

Do you expect to grow in 2021?

We do. We've seen strong growth over the last year, despite the most challenging of circumstances, so as things open up we will continue to rise to new challenges and be at the forefront of delivering the products and solutions that help our customers win.

At first glance, the rise of cloud must be pretty devastating for distributors if there is no physical product to ship. How have you adapted?

Distribution is not only about shipping. Software or XaaS are technologies that still need to reach the market: the supply chain still needs simplifying - quoting, provisioning and invoicing is complex and we have a key role to play in all of this. Similarly, cloud can be part of a complex architecture that is new to many businesses. They often need support through migration and maintenance and we can provide this very effectively.

Tell us one thing most people won't know about your company?

Exertis is part of DCC, a FTSE 100 Company, the best kept secret on the Stock Exchange.

See final page to discover who topped our revenue rankings...

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