Chalk one up for the channel. Dell's inability to deliver products on time has cost it the exclusive right to supply desktop PCs to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), ARN has learnt.
In a major blow to the credibility of the direct model in large corpor- ates, EDS - which is responsible for CBA's desktop operations as part of a 10-year outsourcing agreement signed last year - has awarded Compaq joint responsibility for providing PC equipment to the bank.
Sources claim the decision was in part attributable to delays in Dell's order fulfilment process which involves shipping products directly to customers from the company's manufacturing plant in Malaysia.
Robert Small, Dell's national marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, admitted that there is now a second supplier of desktop PCs to the CBA. However, he claimed that Dell "has not lost any business", despite the decision to bring in Compaq.
"We haven't been told that we've lost any business at the Bank," Small said. "But I've heard there is now a second vendor supplying desktops to the CBA."
Small conceded the company has had product delivery issues recently that have seen Dell's shipment times increase from the standard seven-to-10 day timeframe.
"As far as delivery is concerned, it is true that problems have been caused by the wharf dispute earlier this year and now the new Hong Kong airport is inhibiting delivery to some of our accounts," Small said.
"There has been a backlog with some of our products that has extended our delivery times up to 10Ð12 days, but that is a short-term problem."
Small maintains Dell's relationship with the CBA is "still very strong", and claims to have taken large orders from them as recently as two weeks ago.
EDS officials declined to comment specifically on the desktop supply arrangements at the CBA, or the company's association with Dell.
"Our only response to all of this is that Compaq are a supplier to EDS and they are supplying certain hardware products to CBA," Louisa McGanley, EDS' corporate communications manager, told ARN. Compaq officials also refused to comment.