Mitac becomes Synnex - enters distribution game

Mitac becomes Synnex - enters distribution game

Mitac is merging its local operations with the worldwide distribution network of US-based Synnex Inter-national in a bold move to establish itself as a major distributor in the Australian market.

Synnex, itself majority-owned by Taiwan-based Mitac, is ranked as the third or fourth largest distributor in the US market, with annual sales there expected to reach about $2 billion this year following its recent acquisition of Computerland USA.

(Computerland operations in Australia are not affected by the US moves. Computerland's local operations are owned by Singapore-based interests.)Globally, Synnex is expecting revenues this year of about $3 billion.

Frank Sheu, managing director of Synnex Australia, said the company is poised to deliver superior service levels to its dealer channel. "Focusing on being better at everything than our competition means we can achieve our goals in a short time frame," said Sheu. The company is making no secret of the fact that it soon expects to be seen alongside or above other major local distributors such as Tech Pacific.

It was tongue-in-cheek with ads announcing the formation of Synnex. They told resellers they were about to get a distribution company with the global standing and resources that would give them the pricing, service and support they deserved. The major PC lines being carried by Synnex Australia will be Mitac and Fujitsu. The addition of Computerland USA to the Synnex operation also gives the company access to product from IBM, Compaq and HP, although Paul O'Connor, product marketing manager for Synnex Australia, said he could not comment on any additions to the product line here. "We'll be concentrating on our present lineup," said O'Connor. "The Mitac range includes a branded PC with a sub $2000 retail price tag," he said. "It's up to us to increase our marketing efforts with the Mitac range of desktops and notebooks but we are looking at other high profile products.

Flying start

Other lines in the Synnex Australia catalogue include Adaptec, BTC, Creative Labs, Deltec, Hercules, JTS, Panasonic, PowerPlay and ZenTech.

The company expects to have its price list finalised within a few weeks. In the Synnex US catalogue, the company also lists distributorships for other leading vendors including 3Com, Exabyte, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Seagate and Toshiba.

Resellers for Mitac products in Australia include about 100 retail outlets, about 300 dealers, VARs and OEMs.

"In the past, Mitac has been seen as a competitor to many PC assemblers and OEMs," said O'Connor. "As Synnex Australia we are now clearly a professional distribution house. Our focus now is on our customer being the reseller."

IDC estimated Mitac's revenues from PC sales in 1994 to be $24 million. Estimates put Mitac Australia's 1996 revenues at about $35 million.

In Taiwan, Mitac lists itself as a diversified company with interests in food, education, financial services, petrochemicals and industrial gases as well as information technology.

Total revenues for its most recent financial year was $US1.1 billion.

Synnex was founded as a wholesale distributor in 1980 as Compac Microelectronics. Another company (you can guess which) persuaded the fledgling Compac to change its name.

Mitac bought the majority of Synnex in 1993 to launch itself into the US market.

Synnex Australia (03) 9540 0555.

For catalogue and price list details call 1800 035 645.

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