Embracing the Authorized OEM Side of Repairs and Equipment – A Feature on Jim Sahli of SDA

Last modified: October 26, 2015

Civilized society has a common belief about the supply chain: it’s inherently efficient and organized into one collective silo. Regardless of our technical advancements, our automation across supply chain processes, and our ever-increasing focus on trade compliance and visibility, the supply chain is and will always be open to improvement. With that basic truth in mind and since people do business with people, not technology, we have acquired System Design Advantage.

Recently, one of our posts focused on bridging the connection between Sam Mikles and the staff and customers of Flash Global, and the focus of that article revealed how automation can never totally replace the influence of industry leaders in expansion. Today, the influence of Sam Mikles continues as we introduce our newest partner in creating a more comprehensive venture in supply chain management, Jim Sahli, CEO of System Design Advantage. In Jim’s own words, “We want to get the right message out to the players,” so let’s take a look at what Jim wants us to know.

The Career Story

Jim Sahli’s career in the supply chain began with a deep interest and background in computers. As a VAR (value-added reseller), Sahli quickly became captivated with the ability to reuse existing equipment in a new fashion for a new purpose. Soon, Jim managed to acquire a company and become an Authorized Equipment and Parts reseller for all major OEMs. He understood the need to make repairs only after testing equipment for critical failures before his career in logistics truly took off.

After 2002, the idea of merging logistics processes with reselling under authorization began to be forged in Sahli’s mind, albeit hidden from view. As CEO of SDA, Jim saw four aspects of culture as most important within the company: urgency, priority, loyalty, and a focus on the customer.

As someone from a VAR-position, Sahli’s corporate vision does not leave anything out of the supply chain. This includes working with parts distribution, repair services, and logistics under one roof, and his plans focus on the near-unlimited implications of extended parts businesses across existing and new companies within today’s supply chain.

Sahli Decides to Merge Industries

More than 10 years ago, Sahli met Sam Mikles, and the roots for the acquisition of SDA by Flash Global began to take hold. Sahli and Mikles have been friends for longer than many SCM companies in logistics have been around in total. Mikles’ opinion of leadership and teamwork seems to have rubbed off on Sahli. Sahli’s authorized team members under SDA know the value of a reputable repair beats the best-guess of an unauthorized reseller. There may not be an “I” in team, but there is definitely an “I” in Sahli’s name. Fortunately, Sahli decided to give the people, not himself, what was needed and wanted in parts and repairs.

By Popular Demand, Sahli Opts to Meet the Needs of People, Not Corporations.

The most important factor in Sahli’s determination as a businessman has been the consumer. When Sahli noticed a problem with the processes in the repairs and parts-based business, he decided to change the model. His model has led to “sleepless, nervous nights” for his competitors, said Sahli. “If [my competition’s] service model [was] falling behind due to SDA’s model, they have to [consider the capability and effectiveness] of their model.” Undoubtedly, Sahli’s model appears to be working as his customers continued to come back for contractual work “year after year.”

Sahli knows that parts-based transactions make up one of the biggest parts of a successful business, and value-based services always take credit for their worth. “If they [unauthorized parts and repair service providers] were of value, they would be sanctioned [by the appropriate authority]. When trying to obtain services from an unauthorized company, it’s like shooting monkeys in a barrel. You will find 3,000 people can tear down a computer or repair the Internet, but you’re going to get what you pay for. Why spend money on something that isn’t guaranteed or authorized?

That unyielding drive to pull ahead of so-so companies by doing what’s right is what sets Sahli apart from the profit-driven, unauthorized resellers. “[We need] integration of parts distribution, repair services, and logistics; [that will be our] niche for the next five years.”

Sahli Embraces Social Media and Holds Similar Beliefs in Reaching Customers.

Part of Flash Global’s impact on the supply chain is from their superior efforts to ensure customer satisfaction. Sahli believes, “Social media is a HUGE [part of the service parts supply chain}. Social media stands out as one of the key ways of making sure others know what you need or want. If something doesn’t go according to plan, most people will probably vent on social media.

So, Sahli wants to connect with customers through the water-cooler of today, social media, without sacrificing his hard-work and dedication to maintaining standards throughout the repairs and service parts supply chain. If you pair Sahli’s passion and drive in parts and equipment with Flash Global’s passion for advancement and improved connectivity, the acquisition was really only a formality to achieving a common goal.

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