Follow up - reseller woes
Thank you for the exposure you gave my recent letter complaining about the poor service the dealer channel receives from our suppliers. I would like to let you know about the most recent developments.
My first contact was from HP. They informed me of a new Reseller program they were offering, which sounded very interesting. While the HP representative was enthusiastic, even excited by the opportunity and signed us straight up, this has not been reflected by their wholesalers. Despite numerous calls to Digiland, we cannot establish a reasonable working relationship. Dealing with Prion has been even worse - about as pleasant as pulling teeth, manually.
I have been visited by Pinnacle Micro, a South African company selling the Proline PCs and I hope these discussions prove fruitful and improves our business in this area.
Microsoft have started running courses in regional areas like Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. We have attended some already and will be attending more soon.
However, I still feel the major players are overlooking the potential of building strong relationships directly with retailers and resellers. As the main point of contact between customers and the computer industry, it is our skills and bias which will sell their products. Epson, Dataflow, Microsoft, HP and Compaq are some of the bigger players in the computer industry, and if they win over the reseller sales force we will sell more of their products. It is only by direct contact that we will be convinced to promote their offerings.
Computers & Things
I refer to the August 5 issue of Australian Reseller News regarding the letter to the editor from Craig Webster of C&T Systems in Taree. We have researched the background to Mr Webster's query and would like to respond to both Mr Webster's letter and also your editorial the following week on the same issue.
It was mentioned in the letter that Mr Webster's product was faulty for five months.
The product was initially purchased on March 17, but the fault was not brought to the attention of our Compaq service centre in Newcastle until May 21, over two months after the machine was purchased. As soon as the fault was registered, a replacement product was sent to Mr Webster within seven days.
Mr Webster sent three replacements. However, following thorough testing of the returned units, it has been determined that there was no fault with the actual machines.
After speaking with C&T technical support, we also believe there was no technical incompetence that may have led to a fault. We conclude the difficulties must have had something to do with the docking of the machine.
Mr Webster now has a fully operating Compaq product and we have been in touch with him to ensure that he is happy with the replacement.
We recommend in future, that both Mr Webster and any of your readers contact CompaqCare on 1300 363 669 as soon as they have any issues with a product. This number is a dedicated service line for resellers. When our CompaqCare centre is made aware of any issue, we make it our business to solve the problem as soon as possible. This includes recommending the closest service centre to our customers.
To avoid a recurrence of the type of situation encountered by C&T Systems, Compaq is currently reviewing the processes for notification and problem escalation from both our service centres and also from distributors.
I would also like to address the issue of servicing small regional resellers, mentioned by both you and Mr Webster. Compaq endeavours to have a broad reach to all of our customers both through resellers and authorised service centres.
Our services are further extended using a nationwide network of agents that provide local knowledge and technical expertise.
We try to provide close contact with each of our business partners, including resellers such as C&T Systems. Channel relationships are a very high priority at Compaq and as we move forward, we will continue to look for ways to improve communications and service regardless of the location and size of the partners.
Service channel manager,
Compaq Computer Australia
Profit vs revenue
I was interested by the graph on page 96 of the Sept 30 issue of ARN. It depicts a breakdown of revenue sources for resellers.
I was reminded of the maxim "Sales is vanity, profit is sanity". I believe that this graph and others that are similar would be more relevant and informative if they showed profit rather than revenue.
We consult in the application of computer technology to sales and marketing. One piece of advice that we often give is to focus sales analysis on the contribution each product and product category makes to the bottom line.
Applied Marketing Technologies