After months of speculation, burgeoning distributor Computer Hardware of Australia (CHA) finalised the purchase of Western Australian distributor Micro SL for an undisclosed sum (see ARN, May 27, 1998, page 2) last week, completing its national acquisition program.
CHA picked up Queensland distributor Totally Portable in March and it purchased the Australian arm of Datamatic in December last year. CHA now has offices and warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
CHA's director of sales and marketing, Roger Bushell, said Micro SL would increase the com-pany's revenue by about 20 per cent, taking it up to the $80 million mark.
Micro SL will assume the CHA corporate identity, and the sales and marketing operations will be coordinated locally by Micro SL's current sales and marketing manager, Michelle Adams.
This latest acquisition puts CHA within reach of the top 10 Australian distributors. The main difference between CHA and the others is CHA's network of regional warehouses.
Bushell said with warehousing in each state, resellers have immediate access to product. He said many resellers were one-person operators and enjoyed the contact that came from visiting the warehouses.
Bushell predicts CHA's growth rate will be 30 to 40 per cent annually. He based that growth on the expansion rate of the notebook market, which is where CHA is concentrating its efforts.
CHA is Australia's largest Digital distributor.
"We will be working hard to integrate all of our recent purchases into the CHA model," Bushell said.
The next 12 months, Bushell said, will involve bringing CHA's resellers up to speed with the increased product range.
Now it's up to the channel to decide which distribution model it prefers: a centralised national model or a regional national model. If nothing else, another major player on the market will give resellers more choice.
Meanwhile, former Micro SL owner David Simmonds has set up his own operation to develop and distribute the Jiwa financial package. Simmonds developed Jiwa while at Micro SL.