Distribution world – The new boy once again

Distribution world – The new boy once againPat Frizoni may have played the business start-up game before, but he is relishing his new challenge. Mick Elliott
Laid back is the apposite description for Pat Frizoni. If you were asked to undertake the interview horizontal it would not come as a surprise.
In fact on the way to our interview Frizoni’s car had broken down in pouring rain. A few people spring to mind who would have arrived steaming.
Frizoni explains it in a matter of fact manner which suggests it is but a minor hitch to the day.
Which just goes to show that you do not have to be gung-ho and over the ramparts to be a start-up artist in the component distribution game.
I can recall Frizoni from his days with Avnet Time, and despite a schedule which seemed to include announcing a new line very week, I never once saw him flustered or upset.
In the strictest sense Frizoni’s new job as president for TTi in Europe is not heading a start-up. But that has not stopped Frizoni from approaching the task in the same manner.
This is a guy who during the early nineties started and headed Avnet Time, one of the most successful interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) start-ups seen in the UK.
Now Frizoni will look to work a similar magic and kick start TTi’s European passives and interconnection product business.
“I’m having as much fun as I have ever had,” smiles Frizoni. And you believe him when he adds: “TTi gives me the same buzz and adrenaline rush as the other start-ups I have been involved with.”
This is the sort of fun which encompasses at least four different airports in the course of a week in order to keep up a hectic meeting schedule. So far Frizoni has got round all the company’s European offices.
“The people need to see me, and they have issues and problems they want to discuss,” he says. “The suppliers want to see me and I want to see them to help them understand our strategy.”
“And the customers,”adds Frizoni, “want to see me and I want to see them so they can understand how we will help them be more cost effective in their market.”
The relaxed approach is a boon.
“I’m not the type to waltz in and throw my weight around,” he remarks. “I’ve always observed an open door policy. Anybody can come and see me any time.”
This week had been typical. Two new branch openings, one in Cork and one in Stuttgart graced, Frizoni is pleased to observe by many of TTi’s suppliers and local customers.
The opening of new outlets is a crucial element in Frizoni’s plans and his approach is to let the managers “take ownership” of each business unit.
“It creates a much better environment, and an office of happy, smiling faces, and that is something customers like and pick up on. Create that environment and I think you get more out of people,” he adds.
The plan is to start up new companies rather than acquire existing ones. “Then you set the tone for the culture from day one,” Frizoni points out.
It also puts a greater emphasis on training within the company. “Everyone who joins and that includes me, goes on our training course in Munich,” says Frizoni. “It covers all the important tasks. So dealing with suppliers, quality control, customer service would all be covered.”
Frizoni’s work so far has elicited positive responses. “Let’s get going is the word from the suppliers,” he reveals. “They say they need and want a focused pan-European IP&E specialist.”
According to Frizoni, the aim is to make them feel like “the semiconductor guys in a broadline distributor and we can do that as a specialist.”

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