Tech Pacific New Zealand has overhauled its company structure for the first time in seven years as it reviews its market presence which has been dogged by increasingly tough competition.
Once regarded as a Titan distributor, the New Zealand arm of Tech Pacific realised it needed to evolve in today’s tough IT arena. Following six months of planning, and amid rumours of staff cuts and redundancies, the distributor revealed a new business structure that has seen it being re-arranged into three divisions.
The divisions – consumer, commercial and enterprise – were based on working with resellers and vendors to address specific end-user market segments, according to sales and marketing director, Vivienne Larsen.
Each divisional manager will report to Larsen.
“You could say we have built three smaller Tech Pacific’s in the one company.”
A spokesperson for Kerry Baillie, managing director of Tech Pacific Australia, said the Tasman cousin’s restructure emulated the structure that the Australian office had operated under for some time.
In Australia, the sales organisation was split between a division serving traditional IT resellers, a division serving communications resellers, and a specialist division for mass merchants.
Tech Pacific’s Australian marketing teams are also split by product category into groups including networking, software, PCs, servers and peripherals and the enterprise technology group.
Industry observers have likened Tech Pacific’s restructure to a bold move made by long-time competitor Renaissance some time ago, which saw Renaissance Corporation being split into independent divisions Insite Technology, Conduit International and Renaissance. The latter encompasses Brands, Itas and Apple.
This move has proven successful as the company recorded a $1.3 million profit in the year to December. The profit was on lower sales of $97.6 million against $110.5 million.
However, Larsen refutes these claims, stating the restructure is not designed to allow the company to compete better with any particular rival.
“We have competitors for every product we stock and cannot adjust our structures to be based on each one of them,” she said. “I do not even know what Renaissance’s model looks like.”
Larsen said that the restructuring, despite industry speculation, had only resulted in the axing of two jobs.
The restructure, Larson said, had created a “buzz” in the company as it had created opportunities for employees to better realise their potential. Larsen said the restructure had been planned since last September and was essential to ensure future growth for the company.
Two channel sources, who choose to remain unnamed, claim that as many as 15 Tech Pacific employees fell victim to the restructuring, but Larsen said that in addition to the two official redundancies about 10 other staff members had left the company on their own accord prior to the changes.
A former employee said sales staff had been shifted to either desk-based phone support roles or other parts of the business.
Larsen confirmed sales people had been re-deployed to other areas, but “resellers have responded very positively to the changes”.
Tech Pacific’s competitors in the New Zealand market have taken note of its move, as industry observers liken it to Renaissance’s model while other sources claim it is designed to compete head-on with HP distributor, Exeed.
A former employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said Exeed was viewed as the main competition when he was at Tech Pacific.
“I think the pressure has been coming on for Tech Pacific, with Exeed coming into the market. There have been major stock shortages,” he said.
Meanwhile, Exeed director Andrew Bain said his company directly competed with Tech Pacific because it carried the same HP products except for printer supplies.
“We had heard about a restructure but hadn’t given much thought to it," he said. "It sounds very similar to HP’s [structure for product sales].”
But Larsen said Tech Pacific adopted the structure it deemed would secure growth.
(Brett Winterford contributed to this story)