“It’s a real coup for Synnex to bring Martin in and make him part of our team. He will help us with our continued momentum,” Estill said.
Kalsbeek will have the title of vice-president of business development, but his role will go beyond that. Kalsbeek said he will be identifying current reseller customers and vendor partners to boost sales. He will also assist other Synnex executives in pursuing authorizations from non-Synnex vendors.
Estill said that Kalsbeek’s job will be an outward facing one. He will be tasked to sign new vendors. Estill believes that Kalsbeek’s strengths will play into this role very well. “He is well thought of in the community,” he said.
Acquisitions will be another area where Kalsbeek will lend a hand.
“In today’s economic landscape it’s difficult for a large company to achieve its sales targets organically and Jim (Estill) has a great model in growing organically and through acquisitions. That will be a key focus for me,” Kalsbeek said.
“We needed some bench strength. We do a lot of acquisitions and you need a team that is capable. Distributors do not have resources. When we do an acquisition we tell the staff to add these new duties on top of what they are already doing,” Estill said.
For Kalsbeek, the Synnex role is a great opportunity to get back into the channel, while staying at home in Vancouver.
“I will be based in B.C., but I will be spending a lot of time on WestJet and Air Canada,” Kalsbeek said.
Another reason for taking this job, he said, is Synnex’ momentum in the market place. Long considered a third place finisher in the distie landcape, Kalsbeek isn’t so sure that’s fair.
“The common view is that they’re No. 3, but from what I’ve seen that might not be the case. We do a large amount of business in the large account space and we’re moving from a No. 2 position to a No. 1 position,” Kalsbeek said.
He added that Synnex Canada has a competitive advantage with its network of distribution centres in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The approach is to deliver product on time, and if the product is closer to the VAR because of all these distribution centres, that’s easier to do.
“Sales wise in Canada Synnex is No. 2 and if you exclude games we’re No. 1. We do not do games and toys. Our momentum is very strong and (Kalsbeek’s appointment) is just a part of that continued momentum,” Estill said.
The former CDN Top Newsmaker of the year continued by saying that it’s all about momentum and stability especially in these economic times.
“I actually think a little bit of economic tightness is good. It shakes out the weaker players.”
He added that in his career history, when EMJ took marketshare gains it was during economic down times. “When things get tight it gets tougher for the weaker players and they tend to get cut. It ends up becoming a domino effect.”
Estill will also be monitoring the situation at Synnex to make sure there is no overreaction during this economic slow down.
“Many times companies overreact to slow sales. My job is to react appropriately to bad numbers. In some cases, companies cut 40 per cent of there workforce and then they lose more business because they failed to realize that these people actually contributed something,” he said.