NEC Computers Australia has run a fine-tooth comb through its distribution channel in order to focus on quality partners that will commit to a more substantial relationship.
In the process, the vendor has appointed a lone national distributor in Digiland and will appoint another regional distributor in each state. At present, Compu Wholesale has come on board in Western Australia, Alloys International in Victoria, and now Hi Tech Distribution in South Australia has been selected. The other states are yet to be decided on, according to Tim Falinski, general manager of NEC Computers Australia.
"We re-approached distributors in October last year to see which people wanted a two-way relationship," Falinski said. "We looked at the other vendors they are already distributing for and what target markets they have. We decided that dealing with a select number of people will bring about better relationships, more loyalty and better sales."
Formerly, NEC had two national distributors in Digiland and Alstom IT, and an ad hoc relationship with additional distributors in each state. Alstom IT and NEC mutually decided to end that relationship in 2000, Falinski said.
Hi Tech Distribution's Ian Vagg said he was pleased to be working with NEC again. Hi Tech began sourcing products from NEC around eight years ago, but several restructures at NEC, combined with the vendor deciding to re-apply to be on the South Australian Government's preferred supplier panel, saw Hi Tech place less emphasis on NEC in favour of the Acer brand.
"We supply a lot of resellers -- not all of them want to sell the same brand [Acer]," Vagg said. He estimates that NEC will account for around 7 to 10 per cent of Hi Tech Distribution's sales within the next 12 months.
Vagg said the NEC products are well priced, are received well in corporate markets and have won several awards for their quality.
"There are also altruistic reasons -- NEC is supporting the channel at the moment whereas a lot of vendors aren't," he said. "It is reasonable that we in the channel should support those vendors who support us."
Hi Tech and NEC will hold an official launch of the latest range of NEC products towards the end of April.