Move down the road looks A1 for Avnet

Move down the road looks A1 for AvnetA move from Letchworth to Stevenage has seen Avnet gain an office environment “you’d expect from a $5bn plus company”. Mick Elliott. Not missing a bit of business during an office move is a tough criteria to meet. Avnet managed it. The company’s short hop down the A1 from Letchworth, where the faithful 1950s style offices were beginning to fray at the edges, to a spiffy new building in Stevenage was undertaken over last Christmas. Even the new UK plc production lines tend to go quiet at this time, so Avnet had a brief respire, but when the celebrating was over they were ready. The teams moved just before Christmas and during the break the information systems and telecoms infrastructure was installed. And the staff are happier according to Andy Groom managing director of Avnet EMGUK. “Morale is higher. The previous offices were a converted manufacturing facility.” And he is more relaxed about inviting suppliers and customers to visit. “We are now in an office environment you’d expect from a $5bn plus company,” he asserts. Groom is in no doubt the company is benefiting from the purpose built approach it was able to take in a new building. A new telephone system is enabling customer calls to be handled faster and more efficiently and an upgraded IT system throws up more information on PC screens. Even the office layout has been thought through. Groom is keen for teams to sit within earshot of one another. The PC Components Group and credit control sit close because the volatility of that business requires a close liaison. “We can be asked to quote on a big order and now we can carry out all the necessary procedures and close the deal in 20 minutes.” Groom emphasises the importance of having a communications structure which expedites business. “It wasn’t there in Letchworth,” he comments. The teams from Avnet EMG UK’s two arms – Avnet Access the semiconductor outlet and connector and passives specialist Avnet Time now literally sit closer together. “Even a simple thing like overhearing a telephone conversation and realising you can make a contribution is a benefit to the business,” says Groom.
“The two teams retain their specialisation,” he emphasises but they have physically moved closer together. “That’s important when they are working with the same customer.”

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