Altech comes clean: we cut 21 jobs

Altech managing director clears the air on speculation surrounding lay-offs and vendor relationship problems

Altech managing director Antony Sheen has moved to clear the air over rumours of widespread sackings and vendor unrest at the Sydney-based distributor.

Sheen told ARN the company had recently introduced new software into the company’s warehouse environment that had doubled the efficiency of warehouse employees.

“As a result of this improved efficiency in the warehouse, staff numbers have been reduced over the past months,” he said.

“Casual employees [about 10 people] were the first to be advised that they were not required and then regrettably, on Friday 15 November, 11 employees were provided with notice of redundancy.

“While as a company we are constantly in pursuit of improved efficiency and we are excited by the improvements achieved, we do regret the resulting loss of jobs."

Sheen, who had just returned from a conference in Singapore, also denied speculation linking the recent job cuts to the loss of Samsung as a vendor.

He said Altech had been engaged in a process of rationalising its pool of vendors for about the last 12 months.

“This has been a deliberate process implemented by Altech. The process has been undertaken with a view to maximising profitability and has involved bringing on new vendors and managing graceful exits with other vendors. Altech’s process with Samsung was one such graceful exit taking place over 12 months," he said.

“There are several new vendors [Infortrend, POSLab, Crucial and some more to be introduced soon] who were brought on board to improve the profitability for the company and for our respected resellers.”

Read more: Datamax-O'Neil names Altech Computers as Australian distributor

However, Sheen confirmed the departure of former marketing manager, Kevin Hartin, and the settlement of a long running court case with former sales manager, Adrian Blong.

“Mr Hartin has been a valued member of the Altech team for almost 10 years,” he said.

“Approximately 6 months ago, Mr Hartin gave us notice of his resignation as he wished to return to Samoa to join his family.

“Altech and Mr Hartin have worked together to recruit and train a replacement and we are grateful to Mr Hartin for his professional approach and assistance during this time."

He told ARN Blong had commenced action against the Company in Victoria. That action had now been settled.

“Altech denies all of the allegations made by Mr Blong,” he said. “The Company entered into a confidential settlement with Mr Blong, without any admission whatsoever, concluding the matter.”

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