Anixter ups the ante

Anixter upsizes operations to roll out greater numbers and variety of its cabling products. The increased demand for infrastructure has been fuelled by the region’s construction boom.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  September 23, 2004

|~|constuction-shot_m.jpg|~|Anixter regards construction growth as the main driver of business in the region. The distributor is expanding its Dubai operations to help it meet the demand for more cabling products.|~|Anixter is gearing up for a busy 2005 by unveiling expansion plans for the region. The company, which distributes cabling and related products, has boosted its sales force in anticipation of increased business. It has also invested in more warehouse space to cope with the introduction of a wider range of products to the region. A further string to Anixter’s enterprise bow to win more business is a non-exclusive deal to distribute HP Procurve products in the region. “We’re investing in a new facility in Dubai, comprising warehouse and office space, which will be up and running by January 2005. This will allow us to increase our capacity, and increase our ability to service the market,” says Seamus Ryan, president, Anixter EMEA. “We’ve also added new staff, including six new sales guys across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” he adds. The construction boom in the region is encouraging the distributor to introduce a greater variety of its products to the Middle East. Worldwide, Anixter holds more than $500 million in an inventory of more than 225,000 products. “The construction growth is the real driver here. We help businesses to grow so that’s the reason we’re expanding in Dubai. We’re bringing in more products to satisfy our customers’ needs and help them deliver on time,” says Jim Stevenson, sales director, Anixter MEA. The most important countries in the region for Anixter are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and, most recently, Iraq. However, the company will work in 15 countries across the region and make efforts to improve services in less developed countries. These measures will include training seminars for systems integrators and end users, which will be backed up with vendor input from Anixter partners. “We aren’t the kind of distributor that makes a small margin and sells products on. We understand the products, help to design and install infrastructures and work with consultants and architects to add value,” says Stevenson. Anixter claims to have two other stand-out advantages over other distributors in the region — the first being that it can leverage its global relationships to win business and fulfill orders quickly. “One of our unique advantages is multinational accounts. If a company does an installation in New York, they are likely to want the same footprint and design for an office in Dubai and that’s what we can give customers,” says Ryan. The distributor has also made extensive use of its online catalogue to extend its business beyond the confines of the US. “By leveraging off Anixter’s eVantage e-business solutions portfolio, our customers can lower their procurement and transactional costs, increase service levels and realise unprecedented productivity gains. With a variety of e-business solutions to meet different customer needs, our solutions remove the restrictions of the working day, giving users the freedom to find technical, product and standards information, check pricing and make orders, any day of the week,” says Mike Smith, regional vice president at Anixter.||**||

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