Mitch’s expanded role
Mark Mitchinson is a ‘big character’ in the UK mobile industry, held in high esteem by the market and his paymasters in Korea. But the IT channel is a different sector in many ways, and the broad remit he is to be handed by Samsung will test him.
This industry is still relatively young. Its pace and verve cannot be matched by the IT sector, which has developed over a longer period and is staffed by older folk. Technology and sales do no work themselves out at the same pace.
Mitchinson will have charge of seven disparate business units for Samsung UK, which loosely cover two product types: portable consumer electronics (mobile, MP3/4, netbooks) and bigger-ticket business items (laptops, PCs, print and monitors). To unite them will be a task in itself, in terms of the right personnel and some cultural common ground in sales.
Mobile, where Mitchinson has spent his career, has grown fast on box-shifting. It claims always to be moving away from the practice but cannot yet break the habit of a lifetime. The IT market sells differently. Hardware is more expensive, discussions more drawn out. Customers shop for solutions, and not for shiny gadgetry.
Mitchinson drives his customers hard, and requests they take large volumes of stock and at the same time adhere to strict trading criteria. The big manufacturers all make customers in retail and distribution work hard for their discounts. And Mitchinson is clearly successful. His Samsung is vacillating number one/two in the market.
Full article in Mobile News 458 (March 1, 2010).
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