Compaq Computer Australia will soon introduce a new, Direct Fulfillment service. MD Ian Penman told ARN the operation was meant to assist the existing channel rather than take business away from it. "Our aim isn't to sell systems this way, but all those bits and pieces like hardware replacements that can otherwise be a nuisance to supply. Many of our resellers find it isn't profitable to order a special part, like a monitor, for a customer, collect the money and then pay us."
Compaq will appoint a single reseller to fulfil all these orders, "next day, anywhere in Australia". Penman said he was down to a shortlist and would soon announce the successful reseller. Orders will be accepted directly via a Compaq phone number, or will be taken by existing Compaq resellers. In the latter case the resellers will be paid a margin for their involvement.
Penman explained that the system will probably be introduced later in a few European countries. "Getting it to happen in the US is harder because of the size of reseller we'd need."
Compaq is also gearing up to assemble machines locally in its Australian Technology Centre in Sydney. While it won't initially be designed to do one-offs, Penman explained that it will be able to pull some quick fixes out of the bag. "Say a reseller urgently needed 200 machines of a particular configuration because a customer was in a panic . . . that's the sort of thing we'd be able to do very quickly."