Steven Horwitz: Tech Data

Tech Data is a $35 billion global distributor of technology products, services and solutions, highly specialized skills, and expertise in technology. Tech Data is ranked No. 90 on the Fortune 500® and has been named one of “Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies” for 11 consecutive years.

The Challenge

I spearheaded the landmark multi-year $6 billion outsourcing deal with GE Capital for international logistics, supply chain and business services. GE Capital was the first major reseller group at that time evaluating outsourcing back-office functions (primarily supply chain, logistics, configuration and inventory management). Tech Data won the business competing with Ingram Micro, then the largest global distributor.

GE determined that their core competence; sales, solution development and services required focus and determined the best path forward was to find a business partner to deliver the optimal solution. Tech Data won their business process outsourcing (BPO) contract and handled all of the inventory management — a process Tech Data was able to execute due to its established distribution network and other supporting competencies.

My Role

Vice President of Client Services

As vice president of client services I was primarily responsible for managing and facilitating client relationships in partnership with our product solution and delivery teams. This included building new products and services that were not core product related, with the intention of building ancillary revenue streams aside from Tech Data’s core business operations to diversify and increase shareholder value. During my tenure in this role I had the opportunity to develop and execute several services that resulted in a significant positive impact to Tech Data’s bottom line and shareholder value.

The Work
  • I assembled cross-functional teams in all key departments within Tech Data, including accounting, purchasing, logistics, and marketing. 
  • A year was spent performing discovery and solution design for a competitive environment against our number one competitor. 
  • We developed and implemented workflow and effective system integration for inventory management at GE.
  • As this was the first business process outsourcing (BPO) project for Tech Data, the financial model had to be created from scratch, which was challenging. We had to navigate a complex field of legal contracts between two publicly traded companies, troubleshooting gaps and aligning priorities.
The Outcome

Historically, this was the first major BPO deal within the tech products and services distribution sector and it was the first deal between Tech Data and GE, so scrutiny was intense. It was an immense, exciting undertaking in terms of scope and scale — a three-year commitment at $6 billion. Tech Data had to create a new business unit that focused solely on developing BPO opportunities. Ultimately, we were successful at optimizing GE’s operations and improving profitability, which resulted in a positive impact on overall shareholder value in regards to the price of the company’s stock.

This engagement was immensely rewarding; breaking new ground and establishing data driven market opportunities while building trusted advisor relationships with client and internal stakeholders.

––Steven Horwitz, VP of Client Services