Ingram Micro: UK to see cuts, but remains a centre of investment

Ingram Micro’s European boss Gerhard Schulz moves to reassure the UK market that in the wake of major structural changes at the distributor, it will remain a focus of heavy investment

Ingram Micro European president Gerhard Schulz has revealed the UK market will remain a key centre of investment for the distributor.

Schulz today rolled out a number of deep structural changes at the distributor in an attempt to make the firm more agile and better able to respond to changing market conditions, whether positive or negative ones.

Schulz’s master plan – which has been a work in progress since he took over the running of the European business last year – includes the centralisation of a number of back office functions – such as human resources and procurement – at its facility in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the closure of superfluous logistics facilities in Belgium and Germany, among other things.

Ingram Micro pulled no punches in admitting that such sweeping changes will inevitably lead to job cuts across the region.

Its UK operation in Milton Keynes will not be immune to this, with a number of back office roles affected, said Schulz, although he was unable to give numbers at this time.

“We will have to transform the UK, but net it will be a growth story, compared to other countries, particularly in Southern Europe, where we need to make deeper adjustments,” said Schulz.

“In the UK we have such great momentum that it will remain a country in which we will invest. We will add 30 go-to-market people here.”

Speaking to MicroScope, Schulz touched on a number of other aspects of the restructuring plan, noting that taking a more consistent approach to the running of its business across Europe would make the integration of future acquisitions run more smoothly.

Further reading

Find out more about Ingram Micro's plans, including its intention to offshore a number of back office functions to Bulgaria.

While he did not disclose any concrete plans for inorganic growth, Schulz nevertheless said there were a few circumstances under which Ingram Micro would look to acquire other distributors.

“At the core we are relatively complete, but on the datacentre stack we are not so complete in each country. We’re not complete in the UK,” he said.

Ingram’s current strategy would, however, see it look to forge new relationships with relevant vendors before whipping out its chequebook, said Schulz.

Asked whether or not Ingram anticipated its move would provoke its major competitors to respond in some way, Schulz said: “Obviously I am not familiar with their thought processes, but we’re just trying to do the best job and devise a strategy that allows us to build sustainable growth.”

The restructuring will be complete later in 2014, with bottom line benefits running into the high double digit millions realised in 2015.

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