Insight Enterprises, the Tempe-based distributor of electronic products and software, said Tuesday it will lay off between 70 and 80 employees — just less than 3 percent of its North American staff.
Company spokesman Richard Burger said the move is related to increased emphasis by the company on electronic commerce and streamlining of internal business procedures. Employees were informed of the move Tuesday, he said.
The company said it has invested heavily in improving its e-business capabilities and in staff training, but to balance those costs it is streamlining in other areas.
"This will include reducing our work force by less than 3 percent," the statement said. "While it is always difficult to reduce staff size, we believe these actions are required to ensure our future success in a highly competitive marketplace."
Insight employs 3,800 worldwide and about 2,700 in North America. The layoffs affect only the company’s North American work force, Burger said.
He said he did not know how many of the job cuts will be in Tempe, site of the company’s headquarters and where it has most of its staff.
Burger said the company has purchased a new software system that will make it easier for customers to place orders online and also will help the company process transactions internally.
He said the new software system helps to automate relatively simple orders for hardware and software, which remain an important part of the business.
But Burger added that not all orders can be automated.
"We’re heading toward a solutions-oriented approach, and that can’t be handled by machine. Or it can be handled only to a certain extent by machine," he said. "The account executive will still play an extremely vital role in this company."