Skilled staff key to delivering CDW strategy

Channel player's CEO opens up about the importance of having the staff to deliver its growth ambitions during a call discussing its Q2 results

CDW has outlined its growth strategy after delivering a strong set of second quarter results highlighting the importance of finding and retaining skilled staff.

The channel player delivered a 10.6% improvement in net sales to $4.6bn and non-GAAP operating income improved by almost the exact same margin to come in a $358m.

The UK and Canadian operations delivered close to $2bn for CDW last year but issues with currency have had an impact on the latest set of numbers and the US performance was the driving factor behind the Q2 results.

"The UK team delivered excellent increases in software and services, but as expected, local currency growth slowed on top of last year's more than 25% growth, and UK was flat year-on-year," said Christine Leahy, CDW CEO.

She added that its three-pronged growth strategy had underpinned the growth and it would continue to focus on acquiring new customers and share, enhancing solution capabilities and expanding its services offering.

"A key way we do this, is through disciplined sales management programs, like category penetration goals and book management. Prescriptive programs don't work unless we have the talent in place to execute them. So for CDW, a key way we drive productivity, is by hiring and retaining the right talent. This is more critical than ever in today's tight labor market," she told analysts in a conference call.

"Retaining the right coworkers requires hiring the right coworkers. In this competitive market, we are implementing innovative approaches to ensure we continue to attract targeted talent. We are currently piloting artificial intelligence solutions to identify top talent within an applicant pool," she added.

Leahy said that the firm remained confident about the rest of the year and some of the political and economic threats had become concerns for later in the year.

"The wildcards we spoke about last quarter like Brexit and tariffs has pushed out, but still exist. We'll keep a watchful eye, and as is our practice, update our view, as we move through the year," she said.

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