Ongoing problems with return authorisations (RAs) and unacceptable waiting times when collecting goods have seen some Perth resellers move business away from Synnex.
According to several local dealers, poor customer services meant many resellers were looking to alternative suppliers.
Simline general manager, James Pearce, said he had experienced service and supply problems with Synnex for more than 12 months.
"It can take one or two weeks just to get approval to return goods, while turnaround on faulty goods can go several weeks, even on current lines," he said.
"The time it takes sales staff to input orders frequently exceeds two or three hours. What perturbs us is that we don't get any feedback or communications with issues or problems so we don't know what's going on."
Synnex managing director, Frank Sheu, said the Perth branch had struggled to meet RA demands.
"While we do accept responsibility for some delays that may have extended up to seven days, we initiated investigations and implemented strategies that we hope will overcome the current bottleneck and backlog," he said. "Although our internal target is to resolve RA issues in three days, there are some longer delays due to unprecedented increases in business and the limited administrative and engineering staff."
One dealer, who asked not to be named, said he had initiated meetings with the distributor and its vendor partners to try and overcome the hold-ups.
On one occasion, his company had waited three months for two video cards to be repaired.
"We can't afford to let customers wait that long," he said. "We have to replace product out of our own stock. But with video cards this is a major problem because they lose value so quickly. By the time the card has come back from repairs it has lost $200 in value."
To resolve turnaround issues, Sheu said Synnex had introduced an online fault reporting service last month to enable customers to register and monitor the progress and status of orders.
"We expect this innovative service will substantially reduce delays," he said. "In addition, we plan to increase the administrative and support staff to deal with customer concerns."
With regards to the long waiting times collecting goods, Sheu said Synnex had initiated a third-party delivery service to eliminate the necessity for resellers to visit its warehouse.
But in the meantime, resellers are increasingly dealing with rival distributors to lessen their reliance on Synnex. Arrow Electronics general manager, Frank Beverwijk, said he had dropped Synnex's own Mitac notebook brand and transferred sales to alternative suppliers to overcome the problem.
The decision was made after Arrow received several RA notebooks back from Synnex still containing the original fault, he said.
"Like most people, we buy from Synnex if they have a better price," he said. "But if it's available somewhere else, we'll go there." Simline's Pearce said he had also taken advantage of the influx of new distributors to lessen its reliance on Synnex. "We frequently deal with Bluechip and Altech: it is great they have come here," he said. "We are increasing our business with these guys now they are in Perth as we have less freight and shipping costs."
However, it was difficult to take Synnex out of the equation because of its exclusive relationships with several key hardware vendors, he said. They included those involving Logitech products and Asus notebooks. Another dealer, who identified himself as Synnex's biggest customer in WA, said he had transferred all LCD business to Bluechip.
"We used to do between $60,000 and $70,000 per week with Synnex," he said. "Now that is down to $20,000 to $25,000 per week."
Bluechip Perth sales soar
Bluechip Infotech managing director, Johnson Hsiung, has claimed the distributor will hit its target of $1 million in monthly sales in Perth by June. Speaking to ARN, he claimed the company was now trading close to $1m in product sales each month through the recently established sales branch.
The office now had 8 staff, up three since its launch in January, Hsiung said. In addition, local reseller ranks had swelled to between 50 and 100 dealers, he said. Most of these were brand new to Bluechip's stable.
"In the past we didn't deal direct in Perth," he said. As a result, the group had only carried over a couple of clients, he said.
While iconic brands such as Acer, BenQ, LG and D-Link had proved popular with Perth resellers, Hsiung said product demand had been even across its various vendor sets.
"I think that as a distributor, we've provided an overall alternative to resellers there," he said.
The next step for Bluechip would be to try and boost sales to $1.5 million a month, Hsiung said.
"As a distributor, you're always looking for the opportunity to grow," he said. "You grow or you're in trouble."