Veteran PC and peripherals distributor Dicker Data has been in the process of reinventing itself, in the last month launching its new Web-based service, and preparing to move into a new warehouse, three times the size of its existing site.
The Web initiative, dubbed ESI - electronic sales initiative, is a major step in the invigoration of the long-standing channel player. It was launched last month at what was described as an "unusual function that involved product auctions and other entertainment" for more than 300 of Dicker's reseller customers at Sydney's Star City Casino.
Dicker Data general manager Fiona Dicker said that, as well as launching the ESI Web site and announcing the new Web service, the company also ran an auction of some new release products and prizes. Among the auctioned lots were a reseller Web site, the latest Compaq and Toshiba notebooks, an Epson printer and a chauffeur-driven lunch for two, chauffeured by Dicker herself.
And while the new ESI Web site www.dickerdata.com. au is not a full e-commerce site, there is no doubt that Dicker is preparing its channel customers for a full Web-based relationship in the near future. For its first offering, it will set up Web sites for its resellers.
For a fee of $2500 and $150 a month, the distributor will develop, host and maintain a Web site for reseller customers, including the online replication of data such as pricing and availability.
"Our own revised site has already taken some of the pressure off the phone system," Dicker said, "and many of our customers have taken advantage of the online availability and pricing."
There will be some more services introduced via the ESI site in the next few weeks, but Dicker declined to reveal any details at this stage other than that they will be intended to appeal to the distributor's core customer base of small reseller business operators.
The new 2270 square metre warehouse facility, located in Dicker's beloved southern Sydney suburb of Caringbah, is due to be the distributor's new home from July 19, and represents an investment of around $2 million. "The commitment we have made in acquiring and preparing our new site is an indication of our commitment and confidence in the IT channel," Dicker said.
The need for extra space was largely associated with its recent reappointment as a distributor by Compaq as part of the vendor's channel rationalisation program. "We simply had to have the room to warehouse more Compaq stock," Dicker explained. She added that, although the warehouse is still smaller than some of the other volume distributors, as a specialist systems and peripherals operation, it will be well suited to the business model.
Dicker is also luring resellers to the Web site with "instant scratchie" tickets and a chance to win a car with every order placed.
New $2 million warehouse facility from July 19Revised Web site called Dicker Data ESI at http://www.dickerdata.com.auNew Web development and hosting service launched for Dicker's resellers