Lexel’s Troy McCallum talks saving time and money with better procurement management
Lexel Procurement Services Manager Troy McCallum has seen just about everything there is to see in the IT procurement industry, so we thought it might be interesting to find out what he thinks is happening right now in the sector and pick up a few tips along the way about what makes a great procurement process and why HP remains one of the keystones to Lexel’s success.
Let’s start with those insider tips.
1. Talk to the right people
Make sure you talk to everyone who has a stake in the successful outcome of the procurement process, from the IT department and internal end-users to customers and clients who experience the UX. Never assume you know it all.
And of course, talk to your procurement services provider.
Lexel has an outstanding reputation for procurement professionalism and for being a collaborative partner. There are many reasons for this, but Troy puts it down to one thing in particular, “Our Procurement Team is people based, it’s not a website you log on to and type in your demands. Anybody that works with Lexel knows we’re not a faceless organisation, we’re real people you can actually talk to and whose opinions and knowledge will help make your work life easier and your IT run smoother. The ability to have that back-and-forth discussion about exactly what solution suits your requirements is something we put a premium on and all our customers really appreciate and value.”
Lexel’s Procurement Services Team consists of 4 procurement experts and 2 pre-sales professionals, all with extensive industry knowledge and a broad range of technical skills and expertise spanning both the Lexel business and the vendor ecosystem. This 360° overview helps ensure procurement solutions are scoped correctly across our full range of procurement service offerings.
IT technology is constantly changing and evolving, that’s why having a procurement partner you can trust is essential if you want to keep up with the latest advances but still ensure your organisational or business goals aren’t being compromised. Focus on hardware and software updates that are relevant to your needs.
As Troy points out, “Fit-for-Purpose is one of the areas in which Managed Procurement really comes into its own. A customer might ask for something that’s not the best option for their particular problem, or the item could be unavailable or about to go end-of-life but the customer might not realise that. That’s when our team can step in with the knowledge the customer needs to make an informed decision about the technology they’re about to invest in. And whether you’re buying one laptop for Lorna who starts on Monday or 400 devices for your brand new, state-of-the-art operations centre, having technology that’s fit-for-purpose can make a massive difference to cost and efficiency.
Some of our customers are very tech savvy and come to us with clear ideas about what they want and how they see it fitting in to their existing system, or what they need to build a solution from the ground up. And that’s great, but we’ll still make sure we do our due diligence and check everything they’re asking for really is ideal for purpose.
And occasionally we still come across the guy that simply says, “Hey, I’d like some laptops.” To me, that’s like going to a car showroom and saying, “Hey, I’d like a car.” It’s such a catch-all statement that the poor bloke selling the cars wouldn’t know where to begin. And that’s when people see another benefit of coming to Lexel because we won’t just sell you some laptops, our experts will help you focus on what it is you want them for and how to get the best deal for you in terms of technology and cost-efficiencies.”
3. Think about tomorrow today
How will the devices and solutions you put in place today stand up to known or even unknown business and technology changes in the future? Ensuring you have robust systems and the right procurement experts on your side can go a long way to mitigating future challenges.
“It’s not just about buying a box. The procurement journey is about making sure our customers successfully navigate the whole hardware lifecycle from fit-for-purpose research, to how do you manage your device and feed and water it during its lifecycle, to what happens to it when it’s had its day and it’s time to move on to the latest and greatest?”
4. Get Lexel and HP on your side
With over 35 years’ experience in IT procurement, we’ve built long-term relationships with third-party vendors and OEMs in order to give our clients access to the best, most cost-effective hardware, software and IT services. That’s why Lexel is an HP Platinum Partner, because HP delivers high-quality products and services we trust and know our customers will enjoy using.
Troy says, “Look, a very high percentage of our business is with HP because everyone knows you can rely on the hardware. It’s tried and tested, built to a very high quality and there’s never any issue of not being able to get the model or component you need. And from a procurement point of view, HP has a strong focus on development which means they’re always looking to improve their products and bring onboard new features, functionality and devices. For us, that makes it easier to find a solution that works for each individual customer because there’s a greater range of flexibility to choose from.”
HP customer support and security
HP provides the best customer support of any IT manufacturer in New Zealand. Downtime hurts any business or organisation in more ways than just financially, so knowing the back-up of a dedicated HP specialist is there if you need it is just one more reason Lexel recommends HP.
Troy says, “We have a very strong relationship with HP and we often offer our customers the chance to get together with us and HP’s experts to learn about new updates and new devices and network around different topics that affect the IT industry in general and the businesses they work in in particular.”
HP devices also provide enhanced security and cyber-resilience. HP Wolf Security endpoint cyber-defences deliver integrated IT and security risk management to protect your critical data from malware, phishing and ransomware attacks, wherever and whenever you’re online.
The future of Procurement Services Management is…
We all know Windows 11 is coming. From this October all HP devices will ship with the new OS pre-installed, so what does this mean for your procurement options?
According to Troy, your best option is to continue to do business as usual, “We’ve seen before that when a new OS appears it makes all the headlines, but there are often things that need patching, so the real story is that most customers are going to run a hybrid model until their old devices run out and then migrate across as, and when, the need arises.
I think best practice is to take it step by step and give yourself the chance to secure your environment and work out a roll-out schedule. That way you’ll be able to upgrade your whole organisation seamlessly.”
But anyone who is keen to upgrade immediately, and in a position to make the change all at once, really should think about doing it with Lexel via a managed environment.
In a managed environment, Lexel controls all of the updates, upgrades and patching for your end-point devices, right down to the security level. The benefit for organisations who choose this approach is that unlike the hybrid model where you’re supporting two different environments, your whole network and its support system is talking the same language, there’s no confusion about what OS each individual is using and what upgrades or patches have been installed on which device.
Encouraging people to draw on our knowledge
Many clients see Lexel as a vital partner in their IT procurement process, helping them save time and money thanks to our extensive experience and long-term connections with vendors, local distributors and post-sale support services.
Others see us simply as a supplier whose job is to provide the best devices at the best prices. For those customers the advantage of being with Lexel is that in addition to providing great value for money we also have a full service capability that means we can buy the device, connect it to their network, image it as the end-user and send it out pre-packaged so that all the customer has to do is take it out, plug it in and send their old unit back to us for back-up, storage or disposal.
Either way, all our customers are drawing on Lexel’s deep well of IT experience and knowledge and for us that continues to be the goal – to use our skills to improve our clients’ future through technology, consulting, services and translating their success into a long-term, mutually rewarding relationship.
We hope you enjoyed reading Troy’s Top Tips and we’d like to add one more of our own – whatever your IT needs, talk to Lexel today.
Connect with Lexel today