When Acer announced in May it was shedding its distributors and moving to a single-tier channel model; the question was how? Acer now thinks it has the answer in the form of its new e-business site, known as the Acer Partner eCommerce (APeC) solution.
The secure partner site, launched officially last week with five resellers, is designed to allow resellers order, track and configure products online. To date, Acer has invested over $1 million in the site's nine-month development and plans to maintain and evolve the APeC site with a team of around six full-time staff.
Des Paroz, enterprise solutions director at Acer, claims the launch signals the first phase in a process that intends to enable resellers and eventually key customer accounts (such as government and education) to deal directly with the manufacturer's back end manufacturing and financial systems.
Paroz claims the company now receives the majority of its orders by fax, and is hoping Acer's extensive training drive will encourage resellers to use the new system. "We're working towards 95 per cent of all orders coming through this system by the year's end," Paroz said.
Acer expects to have about 200 resellers actively using the system by October. Paroz said the site received $50,000 worth of orders on the first day that it went live.