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D&H Co President’s Dan And Michael Schwab: The ‘Most Exciting Time In Decades To Be In IT Distribution’

Steven Burke

D&H Co-President Dan and Michael Schwab sound off on the company’s robust sales growth during the pandemic, future growth and the future of IT distribution.

How surprised are you by the triple-digit cloud sales growth and the overall 19 percent growth in the U.S. during such a trying year?

Michael Schwab: We truly are humbled by the success. Obviously there are many industries that fell on very difficult times because they were unable to operate for long periods of time or suffered because of a lack of demand. It is really fortunate that we are in an industry that was able to help enable others to succeed with technology. We were able to get availability despite some of the challenges of the supply chain which continue to this day. All in all, we were able to be efficient and operationally excellent in our delivery for our resellers.

What was key to helping partners with the shortages and supply chain issues?

Dan Schwab: I think our nimbleness is a strategic differentiator for us. We’ve always been the David vs the Goliath. We have always been the smaller distributor but today we are one of just three broadline distributors in North America (in the wake of the Tech Data -Synnex merger).

We are no longer a small business. We are a $5 billion plus entity but we still have that small business, roll up your sleeves mentality where there are no egos, no silohs within the organization. Everyone is rowing in the same direction. We are all working for each other, our partners and our vendors. I think that nimbleness and caring a little bit more about the business because you are part owner makes a difference.

We really feel that our employee co-owner’s quick responses, their commitment, and their collaboration exceeded our expectations. We thought our employees were great before, but they blew us away this year.

We grew at four times the rate of overall distribution. We outgrew the market and I really think it is because of our service. We have this demand generating customer service mentality. As the big distributors get bigger they become more enterprise, more fulfillment based. We are a little bit old school in our go to market in that we want to help our vendor partners create demand. We want to be an extension of their sales force to grow the business. Relationships and service stood out for us over the last year.

 
Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at sburke@thechannelcompany.com.

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