MSI swaps local distributors

MSI swaps local distributors

MSI Computers has cut ties with eSys and Also Technology to sign Altech Computers as its local distributor.

The component vendor's marketing executive, Harlem Chiang, said the decision to part company with both existing distributors had been reached by mutual arrangement.

MSI was prompted to overhaul its channel following the departure of former country boss, Allen Liu, and general manager, Tracy Tsuei, in January.

"We were going to tidy up our distribution structure when Frank [Chen, current country manager] first arrived but it didn't happen until March," Chiang said. "eSys started carrying Foxconn motherboards and Also Technology put on Albatron."

The restructure was also designed to eradicate confusion in MSI's channel.

"We won't be selling direct to resellers anymore. We will only sell to distributors," Chiang said. "Our previous management was trying to be price competitive but we'll now be better focused on our distributors and after-sales service."

Also Technology managing director, Ming Ho, said after-sales service from MSI had been a primary concern during its term as a distributor.

"Instead of a two- or three-day turnaround [when a customer returned a motherboard] we might wait 3-6 months," she said.

Ho claimed 10-15 per cent of MSI's motherboards had failed and required some form of replacement or repair.

Altech managing director, Antony Sheen, said past experience with the brand overseas was the primary reason he signed with MSI.

"It is a great company I have known for many years," he said. "Unfortunately, it wasn't in good hands before. At the beginning of the year, however, it changed management and I now think there are a lot of opportunities to make it as popular here as in other countries."

In addition to taking on the core components business, Altech will start distributing MSI branded notebooks. It currently distributes Samsung models into the mid- to high-end market.

"We've been looking for notebooks for a long time and I think we've found them," Sheen said. "We'll be selling under the MSI brand, although we'll do some modifications here to make them more flexible for customers."

MSI would probably deliver barebones notebooks, to which Altech would fit CPUs, RAM and, possibly, hard drives, he said.

Altech joins Legend, Ingram Micro and Impact Systems Technology as an MSI distributor.

Chiang said the vendor was now on the lookout for distributors to handle its consumer electronics products including MP3 players and portable TV tuners.

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