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Q&A: Avnet's Rick Hamada and William Chu

Julia Talevski | June 27, 2013
Hamada and Chu talk about the distributor's plans for the year ahead and further growth in Asia-Pacific.

The third G is great people. I'm always interested in talking about our people, not only do we have the right people in the right places, but what are we doing to invest in their development, tools, infrastructure and resources to put them in a position to deliver consistently in our commitments to our customers and suppliers.

Nothing is more frustrating than having management fly around, make big commitments, and then everyone has to kill themselves to try and deliver on those. We've got to invest in the infrastructure and resources to help them be able to consistently deliver on that customer experience that hopefully differentiates us from our competition as we continue to evolve our value propositions and strategies specifically for the market.

Are there any plans to increase your investment in Australia infrastructure wise?
RH: We have grown tremendously via acquisition in the last 10 years. When you grow via acquisition, you acquire different ways of doing things, different systems and IT platforms, and it's normal course of business for us to be optimising, consolidating, standardising and centralising platforms where we can. Right now, there are some major ERP platform consolidations taking place, we're also standardising on a global warehouse management system, we're embarking on a more globally standardised HRIS platform.

In Australia we recently consolidated our ERP platforms. We have to constantly be challenging ourselves along these lines not only for great automation, but a great process before we automate.

WC: We're also doing CRM across the Asia Pacific. It's a very important project for us as we want to learn, retain and service our key partners.

Darren Adams (DA): Global systems integrators is one of the areas we're really looking into. Those organisations really need help in the supply chain acceleration areas of their business. They're also looking at how do they converge in a market where storage, networks, servers, software and databases, all need to be consumed and packaged in certain ways for clients.

That type of supply chain challenge is something companies like Avnet, have been dealing with for sometime. We're seeing some interesting developments in that area. It's just not the Accenture's, Wipro's and some of the local system integrators like DiData, they're looking at how they get more leverage out of distribution.

We went through this period of value and pick, pack, ship concept, which was important, but now its far more complex to get products into the customers in an efficient and timely manner. That is driving renewed interest in some that integration and supply chain work that we're known for.

What is your fastest growing market at the moment where does Australia fit in Asia?
WC: Australia is more a stable and advanced market in terms of its maturity. On a growth perspective, China and Indonesia, because of their nature, it's a high and fast growth market. What we leverage on A/NZ is their maturity, and look at how we can leverage some of their best practices and share it with the rest of the region. On a services level, we have Adam Chicktong, who will help me grow the software services business, so we're looking at how do we leverage him to help the whole Asia Pacific to grow this Cloud business.


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