Tony McMurray, Managing Director of Ingram Micro Bulgaria, on the company's limitless ability and enthusiasm to change
In a world of rapidly changing technologies, Ingram Micro is the trusted partner that helps businesses across the world to benefit from transformation. With its vast global infrastructure and focus on cloud, mobility, technology lifecycle, supply chain and technology solutions, Ingram Micro enables businesses to operate more efficiently and successfully in the markets they serve. We talk to Tony McMurray, Managing Director of Ingram Micro Bulgaria, about how the company works, grows and adapts to the challenges of today and tomorrow.
What is the role of your Bulgarian office?
Ingram Micro was created in California in 1979 and today is the worlds' largest technology distributor. Ingram Micro Philippines, our first global Shared Service centre, was established in 2009. A few years later the European Shared services centre was created in Sofia. We chose Bulgaria for the multilingual and highly educated workforce and the strong IT infrastructure.
In nine years our Sofia operation grew to more than 1,000 people servicing 9 different languages across over 50 different processes including Accountancy functions, Sales and Licensing, Customer Service, IT support and Legal.
As we continue to automate and digitize, we are also growing additional value-added services that involve complexity and higher-level thinking. This excites me as we continue our journey to provide more fulfilling roles for highly educated people.
How has your company managed the COVID-19 pandemic?
In 2020 we adapted our business world to an entirely home office environment just 5 days after the government announced the lockdown. All associates immediately started remote work. They not only maintained our service levels, but they supported an unprecedented increase in work volume due to global rise in technology consumption.
For the past year we have maintained the mantra "Communication, Communication, Communication." We achieved this through daily touchpoints, regular Town Hall meetings and increased use of online communication.
Associates' health and well-being were always our priority and each critical decision was made and will be made with this in mind.
We kept connected to our teams through regular touchpoints – a short catch up over a virtual coffee, a formal Town Hall or messages of recognition with gifts delivered to associates' homes. I initiated the novel idea to meet online randomly chosen contributors. In a year I had formal one-on-one meetings with over 120 managers but the "Coffee with the Boss" was an opportunity to connect with the wider team. Twice per week for 30 minutes we talked about hobbies and talents, and I practiced my conversational Bulgarian.
We tried to replicate online the strong engagement of office environment with online "IM In Shape" fitness program, cooking courses and a quiz that generated great team spirit. Our virtual Christmas Party was a great success!
To date we have encouraged office attendance on an exceptional basis. Eventually, we will return to our Sofia office, ensuring the safety and well being of our number one asset – our staff!
How did digitalization of your business processes support the company in 2020?
Ingram Micro GBS has adopted an organizational structure with a dedicated function to support and develop Digital technologies. They include (but are not limited to) new application tools for key processes such as Accounts Payable and Vendor Debits, Machine Learning technology, RPA (Robotics), Process Mining and embracing the latest technologies.
Recruitment and new team members on-boarding changed dramatically under lockdown, with virtual final interviews. Over 150 new starters were successfully onboarded in the past year through recorded leadership videos, a new starter pack geared towards the virtual environment and a reduced, more focused Induction.
INGRAM MICRO in Facts & Figures
• 2020 was the most successful year in Ingram Micro's 40-year history, fueled by the increased need for technology.
• We organized 24/7 free support for our associates on health, psychological, financial, or legal issues through the Employee Assistance Program in partnership with LifeWorks.
• We digitized our HR processes. Hiring virtually saves up to 6 hours and 39 sheets of paper to every new associate joining the company.
• We plan to further modernize our HR operations in 2021 with a more "E-Admin" approach to our work (see the infographic below).