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Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Synnex Focused On ‘Health And Safety’ Of Distribution Partners

‘We are here to help and pivot to meet their needs in the changing marketplace … offering virtual trade shows, live streaming, and other technologies to keep business moving,’ Synnex President of Worldwide Distribution Michael Urban tells CRN.

Synnex Focused On “Well-Being” Of Employees, Partners

Synnex President of Worldwide Distribution Michael Urban says like many businesses, the distribution powerhouse is adapting to the rapidly changing work environments and market conditions of its vendors and partners. This while simultaneously doing its best to keep workers safe from the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“As a global company, our first priority is protecting the health and safety of our associates, customers and partners,” Urban told CRN via email. “We have a dedicated COVID-19 task force that meets daily to evaluate our efforts and maintain our focus on virus prevention and the well-being of our associates. We have also implemented travel restrictions and canceled or postponed events through April 30. We are currently monitoring the situation and will make decisions about events after April 30 in the coming days and weeks.”

The company canceled both events it had planned for the end of this month, including its partner-focused Varnex as well as Red, White & You, for MSPs and resellers in the government space.

Distribution has been particularly hard hit as the near-term demand for hardware such as PCs, webcams, and other work-from-home items has exploded, just as the nation’s workforce – and that of many other countries as well -- is living under various degrees of travel restrictions and home confinement. Urban said the demand for PCs could backlog supply for at least 12 weeks as manufacturers struggle to fill back orders amid constantly shifting requirements for workers at various points along the supply chain.

How is customer demand changing?

It is still early to tell overall, but we are making full preparations to pivot to meet customer needs and keep any disruptions to their businesses at a minimum.

From a product standpoint, we, along with our customers, are expecting to see an increase in the demand for Notebooks, PCs, Chromebooks, and collaboration-based technology with more end-users suddenly working from home. This anticipated uptick is primarily around video and team collaboration needs and will include hardware, platform and software offerings.

How is Synnex meeting customer demand changes?

We happened to recently launch COLLABSolv, which is designed to provide increased and specialized support to customers working to address modern collaboration needs and the rise of the anytime, anywhere work culture. The launch of this business unit couldn’t come at a better time as we shift our focus to ensure partners are able to support their customers in this time of change and uncertainty.

What are the effects on the supply chain?

The supply chain will certainly see challenges in the coming weeks.

Beginning in February, we began to increase our warehouse inventory to ensure continued fulfillment to demand and minimize impact to our customers. We are closely managing our supply chain and making every effort to understand and offset the potential impact of production and delivery delays.

What are you telling partners?

Our message to partners, which is currently being updated and sent out weekly, is that despite the effects of COVID-19, we are here to help and pivot to meet their needs in the changing marketplace. Face-to-face engagement is a central part of our customer approach, but we are using the latest technology, which many of our partners sell daily, to stay connected. We are offering virtual trade shows, live streaming, and other technologies to keep business moving. As always, our customers will remain our top priority.

What are vendors telling you about manufacturing?

It varies from vendor to vendor. Some are anticipating no supply chain issues while others are expecting delays for a couple of weeks.

Are PC shortages short lived or a sign of things to come?

The entire industry is aware of PC shortages. People need to work from home and schools offering online classes. Demand is very high and difficult for the entire industry to fulfill. This might be the case for the next 12 weeks.

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