AFTER coming close to losing the plot last month, Ingram Micro is reporting greater efficiency following its merger of three warehouses into one new location in Otahuhu, South Auckland.
Managing director Tony Butler says his company owes its customers a massive apology after seriously miscalculating the disruption the shift would cause.
“I’d describe the situation as bordering on a nightmare. Our customers ask that we achieve a performance to promise and we should have told them what was going on. The disappointing thing was that we couldn’t tell our resellers what their expectations of us should be,” he says.
Butler says the company underestimated the size of the shift.
“Our main challenge has been in locating the stock. We lost the IP sitting inside the heads of people who knew where things were and that impacted severely — in theory that isn’t supposed to happen.”
During the worst period of the transition Butler says he was throwing people at the problem, employing over 100 temps a day and even seconding his marketing managers to the warehouse.
“My temp bill for the last two months is in the hundreds of thousands and we’ve been in a state of apologising but I think we’re over the hump.” He says a number of staff chose to stay on at the North Shore warehouse, offering third-party logistics for customers such as Vodafone.
Now, he says, the situation is looking an awful lot better than two months ago.
“We’re already ahead in some ways; the speed of inwards goods has improved and with all the goods in one warehouse I’m starting to see better levels of performance.” Prior to the warehouse shift Butler says the company was already stretched with the merging of Tech Pacific and Ingram Micro, although he says he wasn’t expecting sympathy from resellers.
“The company has had a great deal of support from resellers and customers and I must say things are looking very pleasing. We may have had our reasons for things not working but I know that doesn’t help a reseller trying to deliver to an end-user.”
A definite improvement
SIMON Scott of online reseller Acquire.co.nz says he has seen a definite improvement.
“Thank heavens. Our back-order rate has come way down and Ingram seems to be back at normal strength so we’re feeling more positive,” he says.
Scott believes the upheaval has been a wakeup call to many resellers to look at their procurement processes. “During that period of un-funness with Ingram there was no huge opportunity to buy off another distributor. That was when I realised just how powerful the beast is.”