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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.

We remain very committed to acquisition being a long term contributor to our profitable growth plans for Avnet at the global level. It's really good to have the resources and money to back it up to be able to do that.

Is there anything that you're now doing differently as a distributor in light of the economic market conditions?
RH:I can't have a conversation about IT without talking about Cloud, mobility and Big Data. We've got things going on all those areas. We have allowed our team to be flexible to choose their own device and we're mobilising some of our key applications to put them in a position to respond quicker and faster to our customers, that's a change that Avnet is going through.

In the America's over a year ago we launched a pilot and we're a Cloud customer of a company called Workday, and we plan during the next two to three years that we're going to establish Workday as our global Avnet Inc standardised HRIS platform. We're a Cloud customer integrating in our own environment, we have to write 67 APIs to get Workday to integrate with all of our other systems. Internally at Avnet there are initiatives underway to take our analytics to the next level and get more predictive about where our business is going.

How does the Australian operation compare globally?
DA: I've been at Avnet for 10 years and having gone to America, spending four years on assignment there, it's the same. The integrity, core values, teamwork and innovation, that's universal. There are differences in how to serve the market efficiently, and fortunately we now have scale through the itX acquisition that gives a great opportunity that we can leverage going forward. We're more alike than we are different, we like to think we're different and certainly there are some nuances in the market. Over the next 12 months, we're getting some more leverage in the local operation and it's a great opportunity for us.

What exactly will you bringing in?
DA:We're looking at some people in the US that might be able to help us out on the ground here. Our opportunity is to look at our processes at the front and back end, before and after we sell. That may involve CRM and how we handle inventory and process orders. The US has been through a very successful systems implementation in the last few years and it would make sense to leverage some of their knowledge. SolutionsPath is something we brought to Australia not long ago, and there are other opportunities like that, in vertical markets like health, banking and finance, but also in some horizontal areas like virtualisation, where we have solution frameworks and templates. If our partners win, then we win.


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