Lenovo CEO Maps Long-Term PlanBy John Hazard | Print
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Lenovo Chief Bill Amelio said the company is getting ready to broaden its market presence through process improvements, new products and partnerships.
Lenovo CEO Bill Amelio plans to greatly expand the vendor's footprint in the market, but not before significantly improving the company's ability to execute orders.
On the heels of Lenovo's recent financial results, Amelio said the company needs to hold its suppliers more accountable to their service level agreements, better synchronize manufacturing times with flights that ship product to the United States from China and hold carriers more accountable for delivering product in good condition.
In addition, he said the company needs to emulate the manufacturing model of Lenovo in China by building orders in singular units rather than in small batches.
Once these improvements are in place, Amelio said Lenovo will begin to expand the number of systems its sells at price points between the Lenovo 3000 series and the ThinkPad product line.
In addition, he said customers should expect Lenovo to build in cooperation with IBM a line of low-end servers with an eye to creating OEM alliances to bring a wide variety of peripherals to market under the Lenovo brand.
Speaking at the CompTIA Breakaway event here, Amelio also said Lenovo will significantly expand its route to markets by selling products online, through direct marketers, retail and an expanding base of solution providers.
But before any of this can happen, the former Dell executive said it is critical for Lenovo's U.S. operations to first be able to execute more aggressively.
"I've always said it's a lot more important to focus on the critical few than the trivial many," he said.
Lenovo partners attending the CompTIA event said Lenovo appears to be squarely focused on competing with Dell across the board.
Christine Redmond, president of Future Vision of Raleigh, N.C., said her company already has converted 15 customers that formerly used Hewlett-Packard, Dell and ThinkPads from the IBM days before Lenovo bought its PC business to Lenovo's 3000 series.
"We have started moving more of customers to Lenovo. It hasn't been as difficult as we thought it would be in the beginning," she said.
"We had been worried about convincing customers it was the same technology [that was in the ThinkPad]. The price is no concern. The prices are outstanding. They are offering some great rebates. We're swamped. We can compete effectively against Dell and HP."
Brian Deeley, general manager of Graymar Business Solutions, a health care and public sector VAR in Timonium, Md., said the ThinkPad's brand and reputation have made a smooth transition to Chinese ownership, but added that he thinks the 3000 series has little future in the business space outside of the consumer and SOHO markets.
"The 3000 series isn't really a factor, that's down at the lower end, the consumer level."
Deeley added that one area that Lenovo does need to focus on is creating a deal registration program for partners.
"They need to get a deal registration program together," he said. "With HP, I can register the deal, someone else can sell it, and I can still get something on the back end."