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Looking for the “wow” in digital transformation

Sanjib Sahoo, Chief Digital Officer, Ingram Micro

January 18, 2022

It’s the dawn of a new year, of great expectations in delivering to customers the solutions that will help them move forward on digital transformation with results that positively impact their top and bottom line. It’s also a perfect time for us to do a mental reset and check what’s driving us to do more. With that said, I offer this consideration: When you think of digital transformation, is technology your first focus?
At Ingram Micro we’re modernizing our customer-facing platforms and, in so doing, changing our thinking about and around digital transformation. For us, it’s not only about the technology but adopting a new spirit, a new mindset. In serving our customers – and the same holds true for you – we must always start with the business problem or opportunity, then create the solution to solve that business challenge now and think forward for what’s next.
To see and share the rationale in digital transformation and its investment, we must clearly identify the customer journey, share the ‘why’ behind our efforts and stay true to the objective of serving our team and our customers better. From an internal perspective at Ingram Micro, we want our stakeholders to see tangible value creation in the move and investment. Remember, this is a company-wide effort, and the value must be clear from the beginning so your business, your team continues to perform while they transform.

Next, to get to ‘what’ customers need, we’re using artificial intelligence and breaking down silos of communication to understand the human pain points in relation to technology adoption. AI enables us to better understand customer behavior and deliver the solution at time of need. This helps our customers, our partners – you – focus on the right audiences to roll out a new technology, solution or service and generate more targeted results.
After the ‘why’ and the ‘what,’ our goal is to elicit a ‘wow!’  To get there, we encourage our teams to rally around the spirit of bringing value creation and proper execution planning to ensure value capture. This goal - value creation AND value capture - can be shared and applied to your success too. From experience it's important to note this goal necessitates a well-thought-out operations plan to ensure the solution is ready in time to sync with customer needs.
This is our mindset moving forward at Ingram Micro, and here’s the beauty of it: When it comes to achieving the wow factor, there is no set ending, as there is no finish line to fully achieving digital transformation. It is an agile, evergreen process to reflect change and this belief in continual improvement has to be part of an organization’s DNA.
And yes, the bottom line and top line must factor in. Digital transformation must deliver tangible dollars and have a positive impact on EBITDA, as well as the overall experience for everyone. Case in point: A lot of people talk about AI, machine learning and the cloud. Going to the cloud does not mean digital transformation. But if we use data in the cloud to better understand customer behavior and help predict what they will buy, and meet that demand at the speed of need, that is digital transformation.
A thought to carry with us in 2022:  In all of this digitizing, remember the human factor. We need to engage our employees in this collective spirit, solve their pain points in working together, then bring this shared vision to helping our customers solve their business problems, scale their success and receive and deliver an exceptional experience.  It’s a virtuous cycle!

Tune in to more of this DisrupTV discussion on digital transformation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16f6fKytsdE 

I joined Manish Sharma, group chief executive of operations services for Accenture and Whitney Johnson, CEO of Disruption Advisors. Our panel covered the widespread impact of supply chain disruption, use of automation to improve customer satisfaction, growing in your career and other topics. Hosted by Ray Wang of Constellation Research and Vala Afshar, chief digital evangelist of Salesforce, it’s a great perspective on moving your business forward in 2022!