PCM's UK boss: 'Everyone assumed we were just a traditional reseller'

Nov 27, 2018

PCM has proved to the UK market that it is not just a traditional reseller, according to UK MD Donavan Hutchinson.

The US giant launched on this side of the Atlantic last year, and reported a UK Q3 revenue of $17m (£13.3m) last week.

This was up from $2.7m in 2017, when the UK arm had just started trading, and was also an increase from the Q2 revenue.

The wider PCM business saw sales for the period ending 30 September decline 10 per cent year on year to $381.6m.

UK boss Hutchinson (pictured) told CRN that the UK growth has come mostly from new customers, with the UK arm yet to tap into the global customer base of its giant parent.

"We are in start-up mode," he said.

"We have no annuity-based business to springboard from, in terms of things that started last year.

"The majority of the business has been based on net new acquisition, so effectively going out there and driving the PCM brand to new customers in the UK. We haven't yet really capitalised on our international collaboration because we wanted to establish who we are in the UK market; but we are doing so now.

"We wanted to make sure that we had a solid platform to be able to go to those customers and transition and expand upon those relationships."

PCM expects the UK arm to see its growth accelerate once it has gained access to more public sector frameworks - which CEO Frank Khulusi has mentioned on the firm's last two earnings calls.

Hutchinson said he is particularly keen to land a spot on Technology Products 3, which is set to launch next year.

He also said that PCM is preparing to boost its marketing activities over the coming months, to show that its capabilities go beyond traditional reselling - adding that half of the firm's UK employees are in services and solutions roles.

"We have not done a great job on marketing ourselves and the reason for that is we have been building the business," he said.

"We will be doing that going forward and we will be driving all the services and solutions capabilities that we have, along with the ability to deliver.

"The market has assumed that PCM would be a traditional reselling-based business, but we have made very strategic acquisitions as part of our plan. By doing that we have aligned ourselves to not only sell the technology, but also service everything we sell."

PCM's UK launch was met with scepticism by some in the channel, particularly as its arrival came not long after the demise of Misco.

Hutchinson said that this scepticism may have helped the firm get started in the UK.

"The channel has been very, very welcoming; if anything I think it needed another player within the market, and it was helped by the way we came in organically," he said.

"There was a lot of speculation around PCM: what are we here for? Are we going to gain any market share and survive in a heavily saturated UK market?

"There was a lot of curiosity, but I think that has in some respects allowed us to be the underdog within the industry. We have put a stake in the ground and made a mark - probably not as big as I would have wanted - but people can see that we are here to stay.

"We are excited for the future and I think there is plenty of business for every VAR, reseller, or whatever they call themselves."

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