Apple reseller faces a hard choice

Apple reseller faces a hard choice

The drama of the Buzzle collapse has left Intelligent Technology and Systems Pty Ltd between a rock and a hard place. It is operating the Apple dealership it acquired under the trading name of Choice Connections to maintain its affinity with Apple fanatics in Queensland. But trading under a name associated with the Buzzle group has hampered its relationships with vendors and distributors.

Apple reseller Choice Connections is going from strength to strength under the guidance of new proprietors, but is battling to defend its credibility among vendors and distributors. The confusion came about due to a seperate business in Melbourne, also named Choice Connections, which was a member of the failed Buzzle consortium.

"The customers loves the name [Choice Connections]," explained sales director Mike Norton. "The building up of that name gave us 25 per cent of the Queensland Apple market."

But the name is causing Norton headaches on a day-to-day basis in his dealings with certain distributors and vendors that are paranoid about the Apple channel in the wake of the Buzzle crisis. "Two words in our trading name is enough for some of these guys to get pig-headed -- they refuse to open up," he said.

Norton said he is having a hard time convincing some of these suppliers that the business is actually doing remarkably well under its new management, who purchased the business from administrators KPMG earlier this year. "We have given [the suppliers] everything to look at -- our books and our statements, anything they want," he said. "We have never been late on payment, so I don't see why we have to work so much harder with them."

Norton describes the new owners and management as "fantastic people who are also good at managing a business". He said the company now has six outbound reps, two Apple Centres in New Farm and Woolloongabba in Brisbane, and is growing at such a pace he would not be surprised if they opened more stores. "I am getting three resumes a day from Melbourne and Sydney from people who want to work with us -- they know we are doing well," he said.

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