CRN: Why should partners care about Lenovo making Think products here in the U.S.?
Parker: They do. It's given us a few advantages. For example, I can do last-minute configurations and point-of-sale type changes to the order. It's more flexible. I can put asset tags on systems, I can put images on systems, I can engrave the back right at the last moment.
But here's why Lenovo partners care. I can get the product to you fast. If you are a channel partner that doesn't want to carry inventory and I tell you, 'Hey, this order doesn't have to be on a boat or even on an airplane from China. It's coming from North Carolina this afternoon and it will be to you in two days.' That's a big deal and that's an advantage to this model.
CRN: Have you been able to bring any other Lenovo jobs related to system manufacturing back to the U.S.?
Parker: Onshoring is not just manufacturing. In the April time frame, we moved our consumer service hotline from Bangalore, India, to Raleigh, N.C. If you buy a consumer product on our website and you call in and want to know where your order is, now you are getting somebody in Raleigh.
Our customer satisfaction in a period of 30 days from April to May went up by 25 percent. That was a multimillion-dollar investment that we made, hiring 150 people, specifically for the purpose of customer satisfaction. And we believe it is paying off.
It's not only about products and product design. It's our willingness to invest our entire sales experience. We believe our North Carolina presence can help us grow that gap with our competition and make being 'Made in the U.S.' a differentiating factor.
This report originally appeared on the CRN Tech News App for iOS and Windows 8.