Queensland wholesaler IT'n PC is opening a finance arm and expanding its regional network of resellers into metro Brisbane.
According to IT'n PC managing director Corey Tai, a number of Brisbane resellers have approached him to join the network of 16 to 18 regional dealers he has welded together over the past two years.
Tai said he expected the Regional Preferred Network (RPN) of IT'n PC dealers will rise to 20 members by the end of next month and reach 36 outlets within a year.
In tandem with expansion plans, members of the group may adopt the common name IT Xperts. The proposal won widespread support at a recent conference of IT'n PC dealers.
Although some resellers with long-established regional businesses voiced doubts about scrapping their traditional identify, many believe the advantages of projecting a unified image will outweigh any drawbacks.
IT'n PC is also poised to unveil a major addition to its dealer services in the form of IT Finance, a company providing a portfolio of financing arrangements for home, corporate and government customers.
IT Finance director Dan Flynn said the new service will allow IT'n PC dealers to compete on a more equal footing with large competitors such as Harvey Norman who offer financing as part of the customer package.
It will offer operating and finance leases, commercial hire purchase and consumer finance.
Flynn identified operating leases as an accelerating trend among government and corporate technology purchasers with schools now joining in. Basically a multi-year rental agreement, operating leases are winning market share because they conform well to both the tax environment and technology trends which leave desktop equipment obsolete in three years.
Flynn suggested a large organisation can save $25,000 over three years on a $100,000 technology purchase by playing the operating lease card rather than outright ownership.
He conceded that operating leases aren't a realistic option for consumers seeking home systems who make up much of the regional resellers' customer base. Even so, the volume efficiencies of a finance broker such as IT Finance can shave 5 per cent from the interest rates on personal loans financed via bank cards, he said.
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