Brightpoint to triple UK and Europe share


US distribution giant Brightpoint is ready to roll in Europe and the UK following integration and reorganisation of the old Dangaard Telecom business, with plans to handle 15-20 per cent of all handsets sold in the market by 2014

Brightpoint is to redouble its efforts to increase the volume of handsets through its warehouses following integration of the Dangaard Telecom business in Europe.

Brightpoint wants to at least triple its share of handsets in Europe that it handles, up from around five per cent at present to more than 15 per cent within three years.

The firm currently handles 33 per cent of all handsets sold in the US market, either as distributor handling stock it has purchased outright or as fulfilment agent performing work and running logistics on behalf of operators, MVNOs and retailers.

Brightpoint founder, chairman and chief executive Robert Laikin (pictured) told Mobile News: “We consider Europe and the UK to be a huge growth area for the company. I don’t know if 33 per cent [in Europe] is realistic, but certainly 15-20 per cent [is]. I would be disappointed if we do not get to that [within three years].”

Laikin said Brightpoint has retained its lead in Europe through acquisition of Danish firm Dangaard Telecom, the leading European distributor on its purchase in 2007.

But the firm has restructured to knock out much of the old distribution structure to set up pan-European supply from just five or six massive ‘Centres of Excellence’ logistics facilities on the continent.

It held around 30 smaller sites across Europe on completion of the Dangaard purchase, and has invested heavily in Europe since to organise new centralised facilities to carry out services beyond straight distribution of boxes, including order and inventory management, fulfilment, billing, collections, activations, kitting, packaging, flashing, reverse logistics, warehousing, returns, repairs and refurbishments.

Laikin said: “It is our unique and innovative supply chain solutions which set us apart in the field… We are doing this in the US and Australia, and in some countries in Europe. In a year, we will have all of this in the UK. There is a huge initiative in the US to have all of these services across Europe.”

He added: “As a public company, this expansion in Europe is not for our ego. It is for shareholder value. Our revenue in Europe is highly-slanted towards distribution. But we wouldn’t have invested in Europe and specifically in the UK if it was not to replicate the model in the US and to bring value to shareholders.”

Brightpoint’s UK business, Brightpoint GB, currently has distribution arrangements with HTC and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, but it trails 20:20 Mobile, Brightstar Europe and Data Select in the market.

However, Laikin said Brightpoint GB can be open for much bigger business as soon as the market is. “I would argue I have a record that, where I get a contract, I can build a facility from scratch in 120 days or less.”

Laikin said specifically of the UK business, and its leader Hugh Roper: “Hugh Roper is doing a fantastic job. He’s educated us. And we will continue to develop channels and services in the UK. We understand the market. Hugh Roper understands the market. He is an expert there, and has our full backing, and the UK business will benefit from all our innovations and all our contract wins. We are ambitious for that business specifically.”