D&H, has made some great investments in the last three months in new manufacturers services and its team.  Although D&H has consistently pursued growth over the years, they are currently focused on rapid growth through significant new investments, such as nearly 50 new team members in areas like IT, cloud, XaaS, professional services, security, MSP services, and unified communications.  Along with the new team members they are also heavily investing in expanded vendor line card, and enhanced service offerings.  We meet up with Jennifer Walcott VP of Marketing at D&H as she shares with us their investments and plans for Q4.

Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford 

Hey nation nation we are back with D&H one of my super good friends just look over my shoulder at the old SMB Nation. D&H days is a decade ago, but boy, we had fun here today for the fourth quarter check in with Jennifer Walcott. How you doing, Jennifer?

Jennifer Walcott 

I’m doing great. Thanks. How about yourself?

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, good. So quickly. What’s, where are you located? And what’s your what’s your title at dnh?

Jennifer Walcott 

Yep, I am located currently right now I’m sitting in Toronto, Canada, although I do spend most of my time in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the headquarters. And I’m the Vice President of Marketing for D&H.

Harry Brelsford 

All right. Well, I’ll tell you a couple questions. I did a little research on what the nature has been up to. And we do this quarterly and check in. So here’s the deal. D&H, has made some great investments in the last three months in new manufacturers services and its team. Can you tell us about that?

Jennifer Walcott 

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll start with the team, I think it’s the most important pieces that we’re we’ve invested really heavily in, we’re going to continue to invest in human capital, we’ve expanded our co owner base in heading into our fiscal, we had added 100 new resources, and that’s our fiscal being may 1. And since then we’ve hired an additional 50 new co owners to our base, I think the most exciting part of that is that over 90% of those are really market facing positions. So whether it be direct sales, Field Sales, customer support operations, we’re really doubling down on our ability to service our vendor partners. And then in addition to the CO owner base, we’ve hired six new, really incredible channel leaders that have some great experience across all the facets of the business that we’re looking to help our partners grow in. So that’s kind of the people piece. In terms of vendors, I think, you know, as COVID hit, obviously, we had to take account of our offering and our line card. And we really invested a lot of resources, especially around hybrid security, collaboration, pro AV things that were really helping to maintain communication and just business continuity. So you’ll see our line card has expanded significantly there as well as infrastructure. And I’ll talk a little bit more about infrastructure later. But and then we rounded it out with our services offering. I think, you know, anybody who’s not in the services game right now, probably is too far behind to catch up. So we were definitely already in the services side. But we’ve really looked at our services and solution and how we can go to market. So with that, you know, many of you know, Jason beis track, he leads our cloud and services division, he has just launched on his team has launched our new acts as a Service Configuration Tool. And that’s pretty exciting. So it’s the ability for our partners to not just quote, but transact of either cloud marketplace and wrap all the services and solutions around whether it be their x as a service model, their hardware, model, and cloud. So for us, that’s really been just allowing the partners to really move forward through the exciting opportunities that we see ahead. And then I’d say, lastly, would be our credit, credit, it seems like such a simple thing, but it’s so critical right now in the channel. So we have proactively increased our credit offerings, our downstream credit to our partners. And if you look just at lower at year to date, we anticipate by the end of the calendar year, we’ll have extended 375 million of credit to our partners. So it’s massive, right? And we and when you talk to Dan and Michael Schwab are co presidents, their expectation is that’s only going to continue to grow in 2022.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, no, that’s that’s a big number, even in Texas. Hey, moving on, you’ve kicked off a new b f g initiative, which means built for growth, generations and giving. How’s that put into force? dnh?

Jennifer Walcott 

Yeah, so we have First of all, we’ve had fun with the acronym a little bit, right. And we have really good conversation around it internally and externally. And really, the initiative is about it’s wrapped into everything we do at dnh. It’s the strategies that we’re building or the way we’re executing. And inside D&H, our two co presidents Dan and Michael have made sure that every co owner, first and foremost understands BFG. And not just what it means to the channel, but what it means to them and how they can feel good about being a part of it, and how it aligns to our vision and strategy. But most importantly, I’d say is how it aligns to the culture of who we are. Because I think if you line up distributors in the channel dnh is very unique in many regards, right? And from a co owner perspective, I’ll give you one example I’ll talk to the built forgiving piece and how this makes us feel. So we just recently had our charitable golf tournament, we had it on September 11, on purpose, because we wanted to wrap all of the funds that we earned and give those back to those that were impacted on that horrible event of 911. So whether it be first responders or the family and victims of 911, and we rallied with our co owners and our vendor partners, and we were able to raise over $100,000, and you know, little things, right, like our volunteers at the golf tournament, were wearing bf t shirts, and, and it makes you feel really good to be tied to that. So it’s very easy when you talk about bfg, to start with the growth and growth for the channel is probably the most important thing. But we have to really understand that for us internally at dnh. The CO owners, it’s about giving in generations. And so, you know, I think the generation side, it’s obvious, right? D&H is an Aesop company. So we are co owner, owners, right. And we all have a stake in the business. And so you know, Dan, and Michael and the rest of the executive team, it’s really important that they’re building a sustained business, something that will last for generations. It’s also important to our community, because we’re in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, yet we’re this massively large, a privately owned company. So we’re a big force for the employee base, and for jobs in the local area, and wherever we have our warehouses as well, and in Brampton, Ontario, so building for generations is a very important, but I think if you look at the foundation of it and built for growth, externally, what’s happening there is we’ve actively communicated our built for growth plans, both to our vendors and our partners over the past few weeks. It started with Dan and Michael, you know, our two co owners spent out send out personal letters to all of our partners and our vendors, clearly outlining what we’re going to do and how we’re going to accomplish building for growth, and how we’re going to be committed to helping our partners build for growth as well. And I’d say that engaging with all levels within our vendors and our partners as well, and helping them understand what we can help them do. The other thing is coming up on Thursday, just lastly, as we have a vendor call, and our vendor call is we’ve got 500 registered vendors that are going to be attending. And again, our leadership team is going to be talking about the specific strategies that are going to help our partners and our vendors and D&H sustained growth for many years to come.

Harry Brelsford 

Well, any thoughts on I’ve been doing a fair amount of work and tracking in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion area. Any any thoughts on how D&H plays in that space? Yeah, absolutely.

Jennifer Walcott 

I think so many ways. So internally, we’ve got a diversity and inclusion leader, Megan Garrett, who works in partnership with our leadership team and is sitting in our human resource department. And she leads a cross functional group within dnh that really look at how we’re going to take diversity inclusion training, but also enablement and look at how we’re measuring the success of how we’re hiring, how we’re developing, and how we’re supporting diversity inclusion initiatives internally, but also into the community and with our vendors and our partners. And I think that’s the most important thing, I’m sure is, as you know, right? It’s not a jet boat, just saying it’s about how you measuring it. And we have a ways to come if you look at our channel, right? So it’s important for us that we’re taking that leadership role, I think you see, you know, whether it be some of the bipoc initiatives, which is black, indigenous people of color, and we’re running a lot of programs through our channel to support partners, supporting businesses locally, and that’s very important. A lot of our vendors, like Lenovo has a great initiative right now called evolve small that supports, you know, minority owned businesses through the time. So I think all of that is important, right? It has to go has to be a partnership. It’s not something we can do individually. It has to be collectively in the channel.

Harry Brelsford 

Yep. All right, moving on. How is dnh helping its partners grow to accommodate larger projects, both in the SMB space and breaking news, the mid market space?

Jennifer Walcott 

Yeah, good question. Um, so SMB, I mean, that’s really, that’s where dnh has played very well. We’re very strong. Right? We’re gonna double that. Yeah, you got that. And I think what’s really important for us to say to our SMB partners, because right now with channel consolidation, especially in the distribution space, I think a lot of the partners are a little shook, and they’re worried, especially if they’re the smaller partners. They’re wondering, you know, are we going to be supported as we have less distributors? Or are they going to be all moving up into the mid market and you know, you’ve got the ones that are focused on the large enterprise. And what we have clearly stated in the fact that we’ve added so much more in terms of CO owner and human capital We’re doing that. So we don’t lose focus on the SMB partners. So that’s going to be sustained and only improved mid market expansion. We’re absolutely adding resources there. We’ve added 20 individuals across mid market and our national solution provider business and leadership. So that’s important. But I think it’s really about specifically, like, what can we do to help the SMB and mid market, right. So for us, I would say, number one, we’re going to be launching a new community, that’s really exciting, that’s going to be January 1. And the community is going to be different than any other community in the channel, it’s going to be really focused on partner practice building, we have a success path, a cloud program that most people are very well aware of that helps partners regardless of where they’re at, and their maturity model to develop that practice. We’re going to be building those out for infrastructure security, collaboration, pro AV gaming, components, eSports, you name it. So the community is going to be about networking, about learning and engagement, but really about helping our partners be enabled in their practice, and then giving them the tools to go and grow that business. So that all right.

Harry Brelsford 

Well, finally, what are the hottest areas that you’re seeing these opportunities moving forward, q4 and beyond?

Jennifer Walcott 

Yeah, and I think they’re really simple, right? I’m just with the market as it is and the the world the way it is, right now, it’s security. It’s back to the basics of advanced technology, connectivity, right, but integrated with cloud and pro services. And you’ll see that we’re coming out with a new solution approach for Advanced Technology Group under Jason buys track as well. And we really see that there’s about a $1.6 billion annual business for dnh in that space and our partners, so we’re really excited about that. And then collaboration and pro AV just making sure that people can stay connected. So all of us have a role to play in making sure we have the solutions. And as I mentioned, I take components PC gaming esport. And believe it or not the creator space, that is something that everybody’s talking about, right. It’s kind of a mix, right? It’s like the baseline like stay connected, stay engaged. And then it’s a lot of the creativity solutions that people have have turned to since COVID. Hidden we all went internally into this hybrid world.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, absolutely. What we’re going to talk to you about, we’re gonna talk to you after the first year in q1, and then I’m gonna frame that up. May I be the first to wish you happy holidays in a year that was like none other and really, really going fast? Can’t believe it. Can’t believe we’re already in the q4 and that’s a couple of weeks in. So look forward to hearing Where are you going in 2022 Thank you for your time, Jennifer.

Jennifer Walcott 

Thank you so much for having me. And have a great day. Alrighty.