What happens when you mix fun and a healthy attitude in the workplace? According to SMP’s COO, Peter Allen, and VP of sales, Chris Fox, it creates an environment for great success.
Based in Rochester, N.Y., SMP has experienced strong growth throughout its fifteen-year history, including the opening of offices in Albany and Vermont, and logged more than $92 million in 2015. On Tuesday morning, Allen and Fox shared their tale of success—and a number of recommendations—from the main stage at the Ingram Micro ONE conference.
Terms like adventure, freedom, collaboration and innovation flowed freely during their discussion, highlighting the excitement the executives have infused through thousands of customer engagements over the years. They credit a sense of excitement and experimentation, as well as proven business practices, for their rapid growth and profitability.
What are the other keys to their success? “Our clients have a great confidence in us to be innovative and they value our dependability,” stressed Allen. “We’re also very proud of the recognition we’ve received in our community, including being named a top workplace in Rochester.”
SMP’s corporate philosophy is very focused on people. That includes providing a healthy environment for employees, which also inspires productivity. And they give back to the communities they serve, encouraging volunteerism among team members and supporting a number of activities each year. “Our goal is to build the greatest place to work in the industry, to ensure our employees are empowered and fulfilled,” emphasized Fox. They back that up with actions, including:
- Investing heavily in people. That means proactive training and certification programs for SMP’s technical team, and leadership and sales advancement opportunities.
- A heavy focus on health and wellness. SMP has a gym and a full-time health and wellness coordinator on staff, and even encourages manufacturer partners to participate.
- Cultivating an enthusiastic and positive team, with a collaborative and open environment.
On the portfolio side, the SMP team credits a revamped go-to-market strategy for strengthening their sales and market opportunities. It’s focused on three well-defined pillars that are easy for customers and employees to understand:
- Data center
- End user computing
They’ve also doubled down on the work they do with their two strategic partners: Cisco, which represents more than 50 percent of their business, and the combined Dell/EMC/VMWare group. By leveraging those relationships and investing even more in their partner programs, they’ve boosted their profile and gained access to new and larger sales opportunities.
For its ecosystem partners (smaller, more tactical manufacturers), SMP relies on the Ingram Micro team for extra support. The distribution team removes some of the complexity of working with multiple suppliers, and manages some of their time-consuming, low margin activities.
The duo highlighted several other Ingram Micro resources they rely on as well. They credit Ingram Micro’s support and customer service for easing their workloads, and its major accounts team for the work they do on some rather large deals.
In a recent project, SMP was tasked with deploying 600 servers in locations across the U.S. It was a very large job requiring a number of steps and resources, which would have been extremely difficult for their company to do on its own. But with Ingram Micro’s help, they pulled it off. All 600 servers were sent to Memphis, where Ingram Micro loaded each with the proper customer image. The Ingram Micro project management team coordinated logistics to ensure the servers arrived at the right place at the right time for implementation, and the Professional Services team migrated the existing VMs. Ingram Micro also tested and certified the new units, decommissioned the old ones and created all the required documentation. According to Fox and Allen, “There was no way we would have won this more than $3 million project without Ingram Micro.”
The duo also praised their involvement in the Mastermind program. “We’ve been in it for four years and our growth over that time has been tremendous,” said Allen. “Our peers help us grow our profit levels and hold us accountable for achieving the goals we set. The program builds lifelong relationships and great success for those involved.”