After investing $6 million in its back-end systems and e-commerce partner site, Acer pledged 95 per cent of its channel sales would be conducted through the portal by year's end. And while Charles Chung, Acer's MD, is confident he'll meet the ambitious target, he's employing a tried-and-true method to guarantee it.
The carrot, according to Chung, is that Acer will launch a 1 per cent rebate program for all orders conducted through the Acer Partner eCommerce (APeC) site from October 1 till the end of the year. In effect, a reseller will be able to use the 1 per cent rebate as credit against its trading account.
In light of the current economic conditions, Chung said the move will provide an appetising incentive for authorised partners to adopt the Web-based ordering system.
The stick, however, is that Acer will not accept faxed-in orders from January 1, 2002, from its authorised partners.
Acer is gunning for 200 resellers to be actively purchasing product via the site by the end of October. Currently, Chung claimed that around 180 partners have met the registration criteria to use the site.
The crux of the program is not one of punishment or reward, Chung said. Rather, it is Acer's way of ensuring the "change management" process for resellers is effective. In addition, Acer is conducting training sessions with each of its authorised Gold and Silver partners.
Resellers that do not qualify for Gold or Silver status, which entail revenue commitments of $1 million and $200,000 per annum respectively, will be required to purchase through one of the vendor's five Master Gold partners: Hitech Distribution, Compu Wholesale, IT Wholesale, Alloys International and Elite Industries.
The APeC site is part of Acer's plan to control the amount of stock available in the channel. In doing so, Chung said Acer can maintain consistent pricing across the market and introduce new technology more effectively.