Builders and VisionariesTop 20 Channel ExecutivesRick Reid

In 1985, as Rick Reid was leaving a management position in southwestern Ontario to move to Toronto, he made this blanket statement: “The PC is a fad and it too will pass.”

More than 20 years later, Reid, president of Tech Data Canada, admits the irony of his words.

“We find ourselves still deeply buried in the middle of it (PC),” he said. “People became very attached to what a PC did for them and that has fuelled the fire for more.”

In units, the PC continues to outgrow any other part of Tech Data Canada’s business, said Reid.

Even “as average selling prices continue to drop, revenue continues to grow year-over-year. It’s hard to fathom that there can be that ongoing demand for the PC. It’s quite a phenomenon,” he added.

Reflecting on the changing role of the distributor over the past 20 years, Reid said “in the early days, we bought computer systems and distributed them, we were a logistics operation for most of the procurers of PC products.”

Today, he added, distributors do so much more on behalf of both the vendor and the reseller customer.

“We’ve become a really important cog in the supply chain wheel between manufacturer and end user.”

Reid joined Tech Data Canada in 1998 and since then, the size of the company has tripled. “We doubled it early through the acquisition of a successful Canadian distributor called Globelle in late 1999,” he said.

Adding to the distributor’s growth, Tech Data recently unveiled a new distribution centre in B.C. to better service resellers in the western provinces and the territories.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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