Ingram Micro used all its distribution muscle in partnership with HP to get laptops into the hands of underprivileged kids just as the COVID-19 restrictions were coming into place.
The platform was revealed at the distributor’s ONE Experience conference yesterday, which took virtual form for the first time.
The Smith Family’s Judy Barraclough told the conference that when the pandemic hit in March, the charity knew that it needed to get its hands on new devices to help those it serves cope with the shift to remote learning.
“We put out the call for help in finding laptops for 1000 children on The Smith Family’s learning for Life program to ensure they did not fall further behind in their learning,” she explained.
“Your team really went above and beyond not only to secure the devices within our budget, but also freight them free of charge with a very quick turnaround. The Smith Family students received the computers within weeks of the lockdown and the feedback from families was heartwarming.
“The Digital Inclusion packs will make a significant long lasting positive difference for these children.”
From the distributor’s side, the project was spearheaded by Ingram’s local director of retail, Rob Wilkinson who explained the process had “many moving parts”.
“Behind the scenes, this meant we had to move very quickly to understand what was possible to support this fantastic opportunity with the Smith family,” he said.
“Given these unknown complexities, my head said that we needed 72 hours to see what was possible. The next three days were very chaotic. There were calls to our key vendor partners who manufacture notebooks and identify those who could supply the 1000 units within the required timeframe.”
“This meant that from the very first call to the goods needing to be in a warehouse, they had 28 days to deliver.
This problem was exacerbated by limited stock coming from factories in China due to closures in January. This coupled with a sea freight time of three weeks to get the stock to Australia presented another challenge.
“A very long story short, with the amazing support of our vendor community, we were able to secure the allocation of the notebooks. The pricing was also made possible by all parties knowing about this fantastic cause as we needed to ensure we could deliver on the very tight budget.
“The final hurdle was to then deliver the 1000 notebooks to students nationally. Fortunately, this was made possible by the dropship services solution we have here Ingram Micro, and further supported by a fantastic warehouse and logistics teams.
“Personally, this was a project that I can say makes me proud to be part of an industry where partnerships matter.
“Overcoming such obstacles and teaming with people shows the power of partnerships and what it means to partner like you'd never partner before."