Tech Data is practicing what it preaches.
The distributor is rolling out a new unified IT system for its internal sales people in the biggest internal IT development project the firm has ever done.
Speaking to Channel Insider following the distributor’s record Q3 results , Bob Dutkowsky said previously Tech Data’s sales people had to look at several computer screens and access several computer systems when a VAR customer called with an order. “It was time consuming for us and for them. It is a miracle we sold anything.”
The firm has now deployed a front-end sales tool called OneDesk, allowing all its legacy systems to be accessed from a browser-based system. “We can now find out previous orders from that VAR, recommend alternative products, track shipping and decide which warehouse a product should ship from to get to the VAR the quickest,” Dutkowsky said. The technology also allows Tech Data’s sales people to recommend other related products, which the firm hopes will improve attach rates.
“We will be more responsive to our customers needs, be able to clothe the products better and service their demand with an alternative product if we don’t have a particular one in stock,” he added.
He said the roll out started this month and will be gradual, with the U.S. sales teams all running the system by early next year.
Dutkowsky said the new system fits onto the company’s three main focuses for the coming year: execution, diversification and innovation. He said Tech Data’s strong Q3 resultsnet sales of $5.9 billion and net income of $40.9 millionwas a solid performance and down to good execution. The firm intends to focus its diversification into areas such as wireless (the firm opened a wireless unit in Q3), unified communications, pro audiovisual and virtualization.