Customisation is key as Synnex looks to mid-market

Customisation is key as Synnex looks to mid-market

Synnex has revamped its customise-to-order (CTO) business to target the upper mid-market.

The distributor has increased the level of customisation available on its PC, notebooks and servers configuration system and is leveraging its supply chain to create an end-user fulfilment service.

A rebranding service, which will give channel partners an alternative to Synnex's own in-house whitebox brand, Mitac, is due for launch next month.

The changes would allow the company to move more aggressively into the SMB market, managing director, Frank Sheu, said.

"In the past we have mainly used CTO to build systems under our Mitac brand for a number of national retailers aimed at the consumer market," he said.

"With these updates we can offer the greater customisation and longer warranties that SMB and SOHO want."

Sheu said there was now very little difference in quality and performance between tier-one and entry-level PC vendors. However, in the mid- to high-end systems market, whitebox players still had room to play.

"As overall operating costs continue to rise, the SMB market is paying more attention to increasing its productivity," he said.

"The low incremental difference in cost between low- and high-end whitebox systems can provide end-users with a high level of productivity return."

The new CTO system also promised to overcome some of the prior constraints in online customisation, Sheu said.

"There is now a huge choice of components such as motherboards, memory, graphic cards and hard drives," he said. "We can also offer more than 100 types of LCD monitor, 20 speaker systems and many different printers."

In order to attract more resellers to its SMB push, Sheu said Synnex would also institute a private label rebranding service for dealers.

"Resellers don't have to buy our house brand or a brand like IBM - they can order a whitebox to their own desired specification with assoc­iated peripherals," he said.

"If they give us a commitment of at least 100 systems a month we will also put their logo on the systems."

With the pre-arranged workflow from such a commitment, Synnex would also substantially reduce its usual assembly charge to resellers, Sheu said.

Leveraging its existing supply chain infrastructure, the updated CTO offering would also take away much of the fulfilment work that had fallen to the channel in the past, Sheu said.

"We have about 12 trucks nationally, which already deliver products to resellers. We can use them to extend the same service to end-users," he said.

"A reseller configures a system online and we can then ship it to the end-user directly."

Currently, all CTO work was done by resellers through the Synnex website but as of May the distributor would also offer the service directly to end-users, Sheu said.

"We will allow resellers to use our CTO engine on their websites, wrapped in their skin," he said. "End-users can order the systems themselves, and with our new service, can fulfil the order."

To continue promoting its own Mitac whitebox range, the company had also set up a helpdesk for end-users to contact directly, Sheu said.

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