Careers at Insight Enterprises
Insight Enterprises’ mission is to use its world-class people, partnerships, services, and delivery solutions to help businesses run smarter.
Insight Enterprises is a provider of software, hardware, Cloud, and service solutions. The firm operates three reportable business segments based on geography:
- North America – United States and Canada; accounted for 71% of net sales in 2015
- EMEA – Europe, Middle East, and Africa; accounted for 26% of net sales in 2015
- APAC – Asia-Pacific; accounted for 3% of net sales in 2015
Eric Crown worked as a salesperson in computer retail. At a certain point he decided to strike out on his own. With his brother Tim he borrowed $2,000 in credit card funds and rented 100 square feet of office space. They then launched Hard Drives International in 1986, a provider of mass storage computer products. The items would be sold via mail-order, through catalogs.
This was no easy enterprise. Computers were still in their early stages, and mail-order ventures were characterized by tiny profit margins and strong competition from other channels such as resellers, superstores, and discount retailers. The brothers bought an ad in Computer Shopper magazine to generate attention. Their gambit paid off, with $20,000 in sales and a large profit in year one.
In 1988 they changed the name of the firm to Insight Direct. It published ads in more magazines and launched inbound toll-free telephone lines for sales. In 1991 its name changed again to Insight Enterprises, and it added several new product lines, including name-brand PCs, peripherals, and software. By 1992 it was spending as much as $1.5 million in monthly print media ads.
By 1993 Insight’s portfolio included over 20,000 computer-related items. It enhanced its marketing efforts by implementing new catalogs and employing outbound phone account executives for large corporate customers. These executives emphasized customer loyalty over market share. They would do anything to strengthen the relationship, including offering volume discounts and other deals.
Insight also utilized a number of innovative methods to please customers. One was creating 800-numbers for individual catalogs. Doing so helped ensure that customers calling a number would receive assistance from account executives with expertise in their given area – for example, small business. Some executives had individual numbers so clients could speak to a single point of contact.
All of these methods helped customer retention greatly, to the point that two out of three sales came from existing buyers. Insight’s success enabled it to introduce its own branded computer in 1993, which combined Intel’s Pentium processor with leading-edge bus technology. While sold at a lower price than competitors, sales weren’t strong, and it ultimately discontinued the line.
The next decade saw many milestones. In 1993 Insight began offering marketing services for various computer brands, helping them boost sales. In 1994 it started a same-day shipping service. In 1995 it held an initial public offering, and launched its first retail website, which generated 500 catalog requests per day. In 1997 it acquired TC Computers, and expanded its services internationally.
Benefits at Insight Enterprises
Business model of Insight Enterprises
Insight has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at business, government, healthcare, and education clients.
Insight offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It offers a broad range of hardware products from hundreds of manufacturers, including HP, Cisco, Lenovo, EMC, Dell, NetApp, IBM, and Apple. It also offers solutions from hundreds of software publishers, including Adobe, Microsoft, VMware, McAfee, Symantec, Citrix, Red Hat, and IBM Software. Lastly, it has acquired several firms since 2006, including Software Spectrum, Calence, Ensynch, Inmac, Micro Warehouse, and BlueMetal Architects. This strategy has enabled it to expand its capabilities significantly.
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for customers. Its website Insight.com lets customers do the following:
- Compare products in two ways – either by creating a custom comparison list or by using the site’s “Compare Similar” feature
- Easily identify products that offer instant and mail-in rebates
- Rapidly and easily purchase a product using its “Quick Shop” feature
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is a Fortune 500 firm with operations in over 200+ countries/territories. It has also won many honors, including the following:
- Recognition as Intel Workplace Transformation Partner of the Year (2016)
- Microsoft Excellence in Operations Award (2015)
- Recognition as Dell’s National Solutions Provider of the Year (2015)
- Ranking on the CRN Tech Elite 250 (2014)
- CIO “Ones to Watch” Award (2013)
Insight’s main channels are its website and direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in conferences.
Insight’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its service and buy the products it sells while having limited interaction with employees. Users can create an account on the company’s website through which they can manage their purchases.
The site features a “Learn” section that includes resources such as white papers, analyst and research reports, case studies, podcasts, demos, and webinars. It also provides access to a newsletter and answers to frequently asked questions. Despite this orientation, there is a personal assistance component in the form of consultants who provide guidance and advice on purchases for clients.
Insight’s business model entails distributing technology products and delivering related services to its customers.
Insight’s key partners are the 3,600 firms from whom it purchases products and software for distribution on its website. About 66% of the purchases are from manufacturers or software publishers, while the remainder is bought through distributors. Its top five partners in terms of purchases in 2015 were Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Ingram Micro (a distributor), and Tech Data (a distributor). These partners often provide incentives to Insight in the form of discounts, rebates, and price protection. The company hosts annual partner forums worlwide to discuss its upcoming plans.
Insight also partners with firms in order to combine their products/services with its offerings. The goal is to increase its capabilities and expand its reach. These firms are considered part of its Product Management Group, and receive access to its sales and marketing programs. They are required to make a payment of $12,000 per quarter to maintain membership in the program.
Insight’s main resources are its human resources, who include over 1,400 consultants, architects, and other professionals. The company also depends on physical resources in the form of the 1.3 million square feet of office and warehouse space it owned or leased as of December 2015.
Insight has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of goods sold, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed costs.
Insight has three revenue streams: revenues generated from the sale of software, those generated from the sale of hardware, and those generated from the sale of related services.
info: He graduated from West Point Military Academy. He previously held several leadership positions at Arrow Electronics, including President of its Industrial Computer Products business, and also held roles at IBM and Tech Data Corporation.
info: He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an MBA in Finance at Florida International University. She previously served as SVP of Ryder System and as CFO of its largest business unit, Ryder Transportation Services, as well as CFO of APL Logistics.
info: He earned a Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. He previously held leadership roles at Motorola, including in the areas of manufacturing, engineering, and enterprise product creation. He also spent 10 years in the U.S. Army.
info: He earned a Bachelor‘s degree in Accounting at William & Mary. She previously served as Vice President of SEC Reporting at Insight and held several leadership positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, including Director of Accounting and Audit Services.
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