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5 Ways Distribution Is Helping The IT Industry Navigate The Coronavirus Pandemic

Frank Vitagliano, CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council, says in times of trouble distribution is the ‘gear box for the industry that keeps the global supply chain flowing.’

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Supply Chain Proficiency/Global Logistics

With demand for remote-worker solutions on the rise, every major vendor right now is working closely with distributors to navigate the supply chain issues to get products into the hands of partners and customers, said Vitagliano.

“Distributors have experience with all of the major vendors working on product constraints,” he said. “Distribution has worked with vendors countless times on product allocation issues. They know how to work with the vendors and negotiate to get as much supply into the system as they can.”

Supply chain proficiency and global logistics have long been distribution’s core competencies and are coming to the fore in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. That proficiency “is making a ton of difference” to delivering a blizzard of products to solution providers enabling remote worker solutions with laptops, webcams and videoconferencing software, said Vitagliano.

“The good news is the distributors have in place a global supply chain network that is enabling them to move product very efficiently,” he said.

For his part, Hume told CRN that the industry as a whole is seeing “high” customer demand for PC ecosystem products. As a $37 billion distribution behemoth, Tech Data has the “benefit of the broadest portfolio in the market” and “excellent relationships with vendors” and is working “to optimize across all the different elements of the supply chain,” said Hume.

The supply chain proficiency of distribution has been tested by other crises like the financial meltdown in 2008 and the bursting of the dot-com bubble at the turn of the century, but the coronavirus is unique because of the health threat and the deaths of more than 25,000 people so far, said Vitagliano.

Unlike critical supply chain issues in the past, all of the major distributors have had to quickly put into place policies and work scenarios to protect the health and safety of their employees, said Vitagliano. “They have all had to put significant processes on a day-to-day basis to protect their employees,” he said.

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