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D&H Co-Presidents On Standing Out Amid The Tech Data-Synnex Merger: ‘We Are Like Evolution Versus Revolution’

‘When you have big mergers, a lot of times there are big revolutions. There’s a lot of major changes that have to occur. We like to have lots and lots of little tweaks, survey our customers monthly about what’s important to them, about how we can serve them better and lean in on service,’ says Dan Schwab who, along with his brother Michael, speak to CRN about the merger and a host of other topics.

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What does that mean for D&H?

Michael Schwab: From D&H’s perspective, we play a pretty good role in helping to diversify the go-to-market strategy for a number of the vendors that we work with. From that perspective, we’re happy to be here, one of the survivors. I’ve been at this 30 years, Dan’s been at it 25 years. We’ve seen a lot of mergers. And inevitably, when you get to the other side, D&H has found itself to be both resilient and even perhaps more relevant to the customer base than we were before the mergers. ...

[Resellers may be] trapped in some ways where they don’t have the ability to scale and grow their business because of credit lines and credit facilities being consolidated. We look at that and take it quite seriously. In fact, in just this past year, even before any mergers were announced, we deployed over $160 million in new credit downstream to our reseller community, which has created growth opportunities not only for ourselves but for our vendors and for our reseller partners as well. That, from my perspective, is the No. 1 thing that’s top of mind. Change creates uncertainty. I think if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s if you have built strong relationships, partner in this environment, you can really have a synergy with those accounts and customers that perhaps can’t be matched by somebody offering at a dollar or two lower. It really does become meaningful, particularly as our business has evolved where it’s not just products anymore. It’s services, it’s solutions, it’s cloud solutions. So there’s a much more integrated sales motion that transpires, particularly as we think about as-a-service and all the intricacies of the business today.

Dan Schwab: Our ability to bring technology products that help our SMB resellers move upstream is one of those critical components in our investment in presales tech support and all the iterations of what makes a distributor sticky and relevant in the marketplace today. Our runway continues to be strong, and these consolidations or mergers will continue to happen around us. But being 104 years in the making, being privately owned, being employee-owned, allows us to think very long term.

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