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By | Paul Kunert 8th October 2013 10:17

Reseller giant Misco puts UK workers at risk of redundancy – sources

Accounts, buyers and customer services bods on three-month notice, claim our moles

Reselling monster Misco has put staff working in its customer services, accounts and buyers departments at risk of redundancy, according to sources close to the company.

The European business, owned by NYSE-listed Systemax. is plotting to become the largest services-based reseller in the region inside four years by targeting corporate enterprises as well as SMEs.

But sales have been in decline as management overhauls the structure in a bid to move from being a slick telesales operation to a business that can talk the language of large and small biz tech buyers.

People close to Misco told us that around 50 people across the three departments, all based in the Wellingborough office, were last week given three months' notice of redundancy.

Staff were told in person rather than by email, say our sources.

This is the latest change at Misco, which in February rejigged account management based on verticals markets* and postcodes rather than by vendors, and sources told us targets were raised, making bonuses harder to achieve.

A number of old sales hands left the business subsequently. According to one well-placed source: "They shook it up to see who could sink or swim."

Job cuts began at Systemax last year when it revealed plans to consolidate back-office functions into a shared services centre in Hungary that will employ 500 people.

The latest change is understood to be connected to the expansion of the facility in the east.

So far, in what was billed as a turnaround year, Systemax sales have dipped 3.6 per cent in Q1 and 5.1 per cent in Q2. Senior US management blamed the UK for the slip in Q2, saying sales initiatives hadn't ramped fast enough.

The Channel contacted Systemax's EMEA CEO Pim Dale but he refused to comment. ®

* For our non-business-minded readers: verticals markets are businesses selling a product very closely linked to your own: such as raw milk products if you are a cheesemaker. The more vertical businesses within a stack you control, the greater your margin at every stage of the game (you can source your raw milk product more cheaply, lower transport and middleman costs etc).

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Frank Jennings

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