Westan has shut up shop across the Tasman

Westan has shut up shop across the Tasman

Westan has shut up shop across the Tasman after only four months in business, leaving four staff redundant , including NZ director, Paul Dixon.

Westan Australia managing director, Victor Aghtan, laid the blame at the feet of vendors who failed to deliver on promises to support the New Zealand division.

"The biggest problem we had was the implied support from some key vendors," he said. "When we opened up that support wasn't forthcoming." Aghtan said the only vendor to come through for the local venture was BenQ.

A further nail in the coffin was Synnex opening in New Zealand.

Aghtan thinks some of his vendors chose it as an alternative to Westan.

"It's a very dynamic market," he said. "At the end of the day I wasn't prepared to fight Synnex for the same market - there wouldn't have been a winner."

While some resellers were already dealing directly with Westan Australia, Aghtan said others might go to Ingram Micro or Synnex for products.

He described the situation as disappointing and estimated the failure cost about $250,000. Meanwhile, BenQ country manager, Rick Jansen, is now faced with finding an alternative distributor.

"I was trying to support Westan as much as I could and obviously expected it to be around for the long haul - otherwise I wouldn't have signed," he said.

He was surprised by the move to shut down so soon.

"It's still very early days and I know the focus was on trying to get a customer base together," he said.

Synnex NZ country manager, Richard Harri, doubted his company had an impact on Westan as it focuses on a different market sector.

"We target system builders not SME resellers and are very strict on products so they don't overlap," he said.

Harri credited Dixon with doing a fantastic job. "I feel really sorry for Paul, he put so much work in and did everything the right way," he said. "Right now he should be reaping the rewards for that effort."

Paul Dixon was unavailable for comment.

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