Nimans Boxes Clever And Gains A Louder Voice

For many years Nimans was renowned as the bastion of traditional ‘box shifting’ distribution backed by exceptional logistics and pre and post sales support. But today the company is unrecognisable from its early origins.

Network connectivity, hosted telephony, data infrastructure and Video as a Service are not technologies you may immediately associate with Nimans. But at the start of another new year the company is going on an all-out assault to justify its growing reputation as a fully converged supply specialist. Hundreds of resellers will be invited to take face-to-face comprehensive dealer account reviews – leading them on a new and prosperous journey.

Talking to Group Sales and Business Development Director, Richard Carter, reveals the current state of play within the company.

An expanding Network Services division, boasting more than 160 years of combined expertise is testimony to how Nimans continues to evolve. Record wholesale mobile performance with O2 and the recent launch of its own SIP Trunk service are some of the many components spearheading a rapidly growing department.

“The company’s new ‘Everything Connected’ business philosophy is much more than a marketing strap line – it reflects how the £80m turnover operation has been transformed in recent years, building on its long standing ‘voice’ pedigree of systems sales and end points. This philosophy applies internally as well as externally with the business becoming more ‘joined up’ across different sales divisions to enhance the overall customer experience. Everything a reseller needs can be bought, financed and delivered from one place.”

Carter says that 2013 was a memorable year for the systems team, comprising the brands of Unify, Samsung, Aastra, Panasonic, NEC and the exclusive iQ PBX platform.

“Double digit sales growth was recorded, with record levels of demand for Samsung products as Nimans also became sole UK supplier for Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communication) – increasing staff levels in the process.

A new Trade catalogue was launched towards the end of last year – more than 500 pages encapsulating over 7,000 products and £10m worth of stock available for next day delivery. The directory reflects the company’s ‘Everything Connected’ strategy where resellers can find all the components they need to complete a job from start to finish, backed by a comprehensive service and support structure.

The world of communications continues to evolve but here at Niman our customers can find everything they need all in one place. That’s not something we’ve been able to say in the past but over the last few years we’ve been working hard to develop our market proposition and move into many new areas of activity.”

In addition Nimans has an in-house leasing division as well as installation and maintenance expertise, online ordering, technical support, a training academy and world class logistics operation.

Carter continued: “Nimans has evolved into much more than a traditional communications distributor but many in the industry still perceive us as just a kit supplier. It’s about bringing everything together. Maximising the opportunity for profit and recurring revenues.

We see our role in helping resellers develop their business as paramount. We can share best practice and help educate and inspire them to move into new areas of the market, and adapt their business models to capture more recurring revenues. Some of our customers have 70% recurring revenue and 30% sales.”

He emphasised: “The role of a distributor is to ultimately help customers grow their business. We’ve always been at the vanguard but there’s been a culture change at Nimans over recent years and a different mindset to help them embark on a new journey. Take wholesale mobile for example, it’s about giving customer ownership to the reseller.

Ultimately it’s about working even more closely in partnership with our customer base. Over the next six months we intend to conduct over 300 total account reviews where we will go along and talk about the full capability of the company and find out how much is of benefit to resellers.

I think one of the biggest objectives is to spread the word about just how much Nimans has evolved. It’s about getting that message to dealer principles and that’s why we are undertaking on this massive exercise to show how we can genuinely offer much more than what they originally thought. SIP Trunks, mobile and even video conferencing are areas not everyone associates with us. We need to be shouting louder about what we do. We have been so successful in the past that it sometimes clouds the other modern messages we offer today. Getting the ear of dealer principles can be difficult but it’s very important. It’s about getting a better understanding of their business objectives, showing them where the market is heading and how we can help them get there. We are investing lots of time and resource to help them. It’s a massive undertaking and a very strong commitment.”


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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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