Bell Micro brand to be history by October


Bell Micro brand to be history by October

Microscope contributor

Avnet Technology Solutions has put a timetable in place to axe the Bell brand and have all front office staff in place by the end of next month.

The close to $600m acquisition of Bell Microproducts was completed by Avnet TS in June when it named the executive team in Europe: Graeme Watt picked up the top job in the region and John Toal assumed control of the UK.

The next phase, which is about 85% determined, is to put in place the structure for the vendor/reseller facing teams to ensure there is minimal or no disruption to business. Although Avnet employs around 1900 staff in Europe, it has refused to discuss headcount cuts.

"We have got a deadline in place around firming up the vast majority of the organisation, at least the commercial operation this quarter," Watt told MicroScope.

"We can have the best laid plans and the best relationships with suppliers but if we are not executing on the ground then it won't happen, so I have got very close, very quickly to country operations to understand the people and the business," he added.

The grand plan is to wring out $50m to $60m in "synergy savings" from the expanded Avnet by reducing staff duplication, consolidating systems and premises.

"We will be looking at synergy savings and benefits all over the place. The fact Avnet is well funded gives us the immediate opportunity to earn more in areas like prompt payment discounts and it will give us a cheaper cost of finance."

The distributor has in the region of four ERP systems but Watt predicted Bell would migrate to Avnet's infrastructure by Q1 and aims to adopt SAP in the mid-term to harmonise procurement, inventory management and scale with the business.

With numerous premises in the UK, including Bracknell, Chessington, Haslingdon, Leeds and Swindon, consolidation of office and warehouses is another obvious target for savings, although no date has been attached to these decisions.

The Bell brand, which took an eternity to arrive in the UK from the US to replace Ideal Hardware, will disappear from 1 October.

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