With the help of distributor eXeed, Hewlett-Packard is set to attack white-box and Dell strongholds with the introduction of "special build" PCs without the restriction of minimum order quantities.
Under the new build-to-order system launched by eXeed, resellers will be able to select from a multitude of options - including memory, storage, operating system, CPU and monitor - to supply the PC best suited to their customers.
"There are literally hundreds of different configurations available," said Michael Bosnar, eXeed's managing director. "This counters what Dell has been offering in the market while also offering a level of flexibility very similar to what resellers have been obtaining with white boxes.
"A lot of resellers selling into SME markets are finding it too hard to build boxes themselves and they don't want to stock brand names because they are perishable items. This is a strategy that allows them to supply one of the best-known brands in the industry with a level of flexibility not seen before."
The new program is currently available with the VL420 and E-PC series but there are plans to add notebooks in the near future. The PCs are ordered online through eXeed's Web site (www.exeed.com.au) and put together in HP's Singapore assembly facility.
"We can deliver these PCs within six to seven days," Bosnar said. "This is much better than the two weeks that Dell offers with their systems, which are assembled in Malaysia."
Bosnar said eXeed has been supplying HP Intel-based servers under this system since the business kicked off last year and has already started taking orders for PCs.
While there is no premium associated with the service - "in fact there is a saving", according to Bosnar - resellers wanting to use the build-to-order program should be aware there is a slightly stricter returns policy.
"Because we are offering unique configurations, resellers cannot just return the PCs if they don't need them," he said.
Bosnar is confident that eXeed is onto a program that will appeal to many resellers. "We are banking on it being popular," he said. "This is all about just-in-time instead of just-in-case.