If you talk to customers of large organisations, without the right people, processes and technology, customers bear the brunt of these complexities.
That’s what SVP and Country Chief Executive for Australia and New Zealand, Tim Ament noticed when he joined Ingram Micro in March 2020. He explains, “Our organisational structure was very activity based. We had teams of specialists focussed on specific tasks. For example, we had invoicing teams, ordering teams plus teams for support, sales and others. While that makes sense at one level, for customers, there was no single point of contact. So, they were made to navigate our vast value added offerings to fulfil their needs.”
Ament spoke to customers who told him that dealing with the company had become complex. However, at over $3.8B business across ANZ, customers also said that they trusted the leading distributor and could see that the company had a positive culture. Ament and his leadership team saw an opportunity to create something unique in the region and Project NEXT was born to restructure the business around customer relationships.
Ament says that while the vision for Project NEXT covers key areas of people, processes and technology, the initial focus was on their own people. Ament says, “We started with our own people because great relationships are not made by technology and processes. While those components are important, people are the key. It’s why we’ve hired over 110 new associates over the last year and worked extensively to develop new skills and capabilities with existing employees. There was already great experience and expertise within Ingram Micro and we wanted to augment this by adding new people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
As a result of Project NEXT, when a customer contacts Ingram Micro, they now have a single point of contact for the technologies they buy. That contact is now the single point of contact to support the customer through all of their interactions with Ingram Micro.
Ament adds, “We are committed to being a distributor designed through the voice of our customers to help them find what they want without having to guess which person to contact.”
Ament adds that Project NEXT started delivering benefits almost instantly:
- The customer experience vastly improved
- A specific team looks after the onboarding of new customers and partners
- Specialised teams look after specific groups of customers based on the primary technology focus of these customers
For example, the Advanced Solutions Group supports partners that work with cybersecurity, data centre, hybrid workplace, IoT, infrastructure, infrastructure-as-a-service, software as-a-service and networking products and services. Beforehand, those customers were grouped with other customers with different needs.
“We listened to customers. They wanted us to be simpler to deal with so that’s what we’ve done. We wanted to help our partners to say yes to new opportunities that came their way. We’ve achieved that by having people in the right roles so customers can do business with the people they trust,” says Ament.
Ament sees Project NEXT as a stepping stone for continuous improvement. The next phases will shine a spotlight on processes and technologies for partners and their customers. A core element called Xvantage gives Ingram Micro centralised visibility across the entire business to observe, analyse and gain insights to improve customer, employee and vendor experiences. To support this strategy, Ingram Micro is hiring for a new executive role, ANZ Director of Customer and Digital Experience. This role will report to Ament and be responsible to deliver an exceptional experience to Ingram Micro partners and their customers.
How have Ingram Micro's customers reacted?
Ingram Micro brought transformational change by selling Hewlett Packard to market as One. By building a partner community, Ingram Micro produced an innovative portal called Ingram Micro HP One.
Chelsea Rossney, Director of the Commercial Channel at HP says “As a channel-led business, in collaboration with Ingram Micro, our HP One Program is an innovative one stop shop, aimed at delivering enhanced experiences through HP support, resources and rewards now and into the future. We look forward to the continued success with Ingram Micro and importantly our partner community.”
Meanwhile, Michael Ninness, Director of xAmplify says, “Ingram Micro provides us regular engagement that has resulted in onboarding our new vendor in the Advanced Solution portfolio. The Ingram team also took the time to travel to our headquarters in ACT to meet with our leadership team and discuss what would suit best for our company’s future. We are excited to continue the conversation on leveraging our logistic capabilities to deliver their integrated solutions, supporting our Federal Government and Enterprise clients nationally.”
Ament pledges that he and his team will keep listening and learning to continue to meet the changing needs of their partners.
If you are looking for your next role in IT, Ingram Micro is hiring for a Director of Customer and Digital Experience for ANZ. Click here, to learn more.