CDW Divvies Corporate Sales Team

It&'s a similar model to what CDW, Vernon Hills, Ill., already has with state and local government, education and health-care customers, Edwardson said at the Raymond James IT Supply Chain Conference in New York last Tuesday.

“This is a move we should have made a couple years ago,” Edwardson said. “It&'s a big change for us, but something we need to do to align our sales force and our vendors&' sales force.”

For example, vendors&' field sales reps now may routinely have to work with hundreds of CDW account reps to cover metropolitan New York, Edwardson said.

CDW intends to adjust sales reps&' compensation plans to ensure a smooth transition for customers, he added. He expects the number of regions to be less than the public sector, which has about 10.

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Meanwhile, CDW aims to more effectively serve customers, particularly those on the West Coast, with a new 513,000-square-foot distribution center in Las Vegas slated to open at the end of the year, Edwardson said. The new warehouse complements CDW&'s 450,000-square-foot facility in Vernon Hills, a suburb of Chicago, and features dramatically improved operations capability, he said.

“It is only 10 percent larger but, thanks to new automation, when it is fully built out our hope is to ship twice as many boxes per day as our current capability,” he said.

“This is a significant investment,” he added. “We debated about doing it the way we did with our Vernon Hills center, which was initially 150,000 square feet. We added 100,000 square feet, then another 200,000 square feet. There were disruptions regularly. We thought a better thing to do was to build for the next five or six years without having to expand every couple of years.”

The Las Vegas center also features a configuration center three times the size of CDW&'s current facility, Edwardson said.

Gautam Shah, CEO of Colfax International, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based system builder, said CDW has not effectively competed for his California customers, but that could change as CDW looks to develop its West Coast presence.

Some Colfax customers have already turned to Whittier, Calif.-based, Shah said. “ is extremely popular among geeks. With smaller budgets and staff cuts, purchasing decisions are more decentralized now. If an engineer needs something, he has a [credit] card and just goes and buys it,” he said.