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TD Synnex focused on taking market share

Distributor’s UK boss updates on progress made so far this year and the prospects for an improved 2024

This year will be remembered for rising interest rates, inflation and the pressure on wages, but it will also be a period that was characterised by gaining market share in TD Synnex’s UK offices.

Tough market conditions have highlighted the benefits of operating with a mixed portfolio that can offset some of the lows across different product categories.

At the same time as keeping an eye on sales, David Watts, managing director UK&I at TD Synnex, has to ensure staff are best placed to cope with the rising cost of living, its ESG goals remain on track and it continues to invest in technologies that will drive the business forward.

There is no doubt that the year has been challenging, with hopes at the start of 2023 that a rebound would start in the second half yet to be realised. But Watts has seen parts of the business fare better as a result of delayed projects coming through in the first eight months of this year. 

“We’ve been growing faster than [the overall market]. We’ve been gaining share during that period. Most of that has been in our advanced solutions business, our infrastructure, cloud and security. Those [technologies] which were in the doldrums during lockdowns, have really bounced back, this enormous backlog on infrastructure vendors has been releasing out,” he said.

“The endpoint business – so mostly PCs, laptops, tablets – that market has been in 20% plus negative through the channel for the whole year,” he added. 

The differences between the infrastructure and endpoint business have underlined the benefits of having a wide portfolio and helped the distributor take share.

“We need to control the stuff that we can control, which is an obvious thing to say, but the biggest thing we can control is our relationships with our customers. And impacting our market share performance, which is what we’ve known, year on year with a growing market share. That’s the thing that we are doubling down on,” said Watts.

“We [will] burn through a lot of that backlog of big infrastructure vendors and components shortages and I think we’re looking at sort of a turnaround back end of this year,” he added.

On the staffing front, hiring has been more tightly scrutinised, and steps have been taken to make sure staff are being supported through cost of living pressures.

“We have doubled the size of the pot that we provide for teams, and we targeted the majority of that for the lowest earning in the organisation. We’ve been progressing, reducing our gender pay gap as an organisation, and we continue to [invest],” he said.

The messages shared with staff across UK&I have been to remain positive in the face of high inflation and rising interest rates.

“We are a stable company. We don’t make knee-jerk decisions. You know you’re in the right industry and in the right company for some stability – that’s what we’ve tried to consistently message to people, which I think has been well received,” said Watts.

Another reason to keep focused and remain upbeat about the future is the ongoing strength of distribution in the channel.

The past few weeks have seen Dell go all in on the channel on the storage front and once again highlighted the important role distribution and partners play. Watts views the current state of the channel as one that underlines the strength of the two-tier model.

“What’s interesting about distribution is that it’s long been discussed about this potential disintermediation of elements of the channel, either the distribution layer or the reseller layer. During that time, the available market to distribution has got bigger all the time. Distributors are skilled up more and more,” said Watts.

“Although there’s been a lot of consolidation across Europe, there are more distributors now than there have ever been. And that’s because of the need for specialists and solution aggregation,” he added.

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