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Simon Thompson, SVP, Global Customers, Westcon

Casting the net globally

Simon Thompson, SVP, Global Customers, Westcon explains how customers can lean on specialist distributors for global deployment

 The global economy is rapidly changing and growing in complexity. Technology is transforming, cloud adoption accelerating and new, disruptive vendors are entering the space without having the traditional routes to market. End user demand for global managed services has never been higher, but many customers struggle to provide them.

Customers today expect more than the traditional supply chain model of moving boxes, there is much focus placed on how customers need to add value to remain competitive, and how distributors can help. When it comes to global managed services, distributors need to be able to show their value by offering their expertise and experience in providing global solutions.

In order to build a successful global business, resellers, service providers and systems integrators must adapt to new business models by keeping up with developing technologies and navigating a world engulfed in complexity and nuance. For this, they need global trade experts who understand the challenges of global deployment all the way through the supply chain, and who are able to empower them to deliver truly global solutions and managed services with speed and at scale. This can be achieved by splitting the challenges into three pillars: global reach, value creation and customer experience.

Global reach
Having excellent supply chain capabilities with both local fulfilment and invoicing in multiple countries means that distributors can quickly scale support and services to their partners across the globe, no matter where they want to deploy.

Local knowledge in the management and execution of global IT distribution is crucial and means that distributors can navigate those complexities on behalf of their partners, who can rest easy, knowing that they are minimising risk and maximising margin.

Customers can lean on their partners for international expertise to decipher what deployment approach they should take – an Importer of Record (IoR) model, or local-to-local (or hybrid of both) – based on their needs.

For example, whilst IoR provides the quickest quote turn around and allows for centralised billing – where local teams go through global partners to send goods across borders – it can be costly, time consuming, and can cause a lack of visibility in transportation. A local-to-local approach, on the other hand, where goods are purchased from the vendor and sold to teams locally, may cost less in total, but often takes longer to complete, with approvals, quotes and further complexities.

Distributors can add value to their services through custom solutions for individual customers. Pre-sales tools help customers to generate quotes quickly and efficiently via self-service platforms to drive rapid sales execution. Distributors should aim to provide simplified services pricing and quicker quote turnaround in order to reduce the time to revenue.

When a customer is facing a complex project that requires multi-vendor solutions, many of whom are new or project specific, distributors can on-board vendors on a customer’s behalf. This avoids the tangled web of companies that can become difficult and expensive to manage, and reduces the number of parties in the supply chain, creating further value for the customer.

Customer experience
One of the most crucial things that a distributor can offer to a customer is excellent customer service in order to maintain a good working relationship. Understanding the requirements of your customer is paramount, and distributors must demonstrate customer-centric culture, digital transparency and predictable performance.

Offering customers a flexible, consultative approach and bespoke services to match solutions with needs goes a long way to supporting global deployment. When backed up by central project management, cost-effective delivery options, simplified deployments, and a clear and consistent pricing model, distributors can ensure they empower their customers to meet their goals.

There are a wide range of approaches that distributors can take in order to provide further value and support to partners. Utilising the key pillars of global reach, value creation and customer service, distributors have the opportunity to offer a seamless and scalable service so their customers can focus on what they need the most.

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