A new reseller buying group is forming to help smaller independent resellers gain access to volume pricing and services.
ITAC Options has been devised by IT Asset Care Pty Ltd; a company providing third-party claims services and product procurement to insurance companies. Managing director, Steve Marks, said the buying group idea followed Ingram Micro's recent decision to cull resellers. ITAC has an Ingram account.
"We thought we could do something to help smaller retailers," he said. "We have been a small business ourselves and know it's difficult." ITAC will launch a website providing members with daily pricing and stock availability information from Ingram. Marks said IT Asset Care did not have a retail business and would not compete with its members.
Ingram announced a review of more than inactive accounts earlier this year. At the time, sales director, John Walters, suggested many were not bona fide resellers because they did not buy regularly. Marks said he was not concerned whether ITAC members bought frequently.
"There are smaller retailers out there that have to buy equipment from the larger retailers," he said. "There's no way they can continue that type of purchasing and survive. All we are doing is trying to give them a level playing field to compete."
Resellers interested in joining ITAC will be required to pay a monthly $20 membership fee.
While a major focus was product procurement, ITAC is also planning to offer discounts for related goods and services. The company has struck a relationship with rental and leasing finance company, TrueRent, and is looking to provide members with an additional rebate on those offerings. Marks said it would provide home, store and car policies via third-party insurance partners, Lumley General Insurance and Australian Unity General Insurance. Depending on numbers, it was hoping to offer these at a 20 per cent discount.
"There's really no end to the products and services we could offer. We'll look at ancillary services like phone call charges, or office and stationary supplies, and ask for discounts based on our member numbers," he said.
Further down the track, ITAC hopes to offer complementary services such as business and sales training. Marks said there was no reason why the group couldn't attract thousands of members.
"The more members we get, the greater the value and the higher the account level we can obtain from Ingram," he said. "It will allow smaller retailers to move up the tiers and buy product at gold or platinum prices."
The ITAC buying group and website are expected to launch on December 4.