Sustained growth in the volume of sales and member numbers has incited retail buying group Leading Edge Computers (LEC) to undertake a review of its OEM PC supply arrangements, currently held with Optima.
Ross Whitelaw, general manager for LEC, told ARN he is in the process of appraising white-box manufacturers to build the Leading Edge brand PCs sold throughout the group's 120-strong dealerships.
Whitelaw would not reveal the exact number of PCs involved, preferring to just label it as a "significant piece of business" and "a great opportunity" for a local PC assembler.
"Optima is a high quality builder - there is no doubt about that - and we enjoy our relationship with them. But there comes a time when you have to consider options," Whitelaw said of the search for a new supplier.
"Our volumes are growing and so are our membership numbers. Our needs are changing, so it is just essential business practice to review supply contracts."
According to Whitelaw, the contract with LEC requires a combination of stockholding of four basic configurations and a build-to-order component with a three-day turnaround. Despite dispatching to all 120 stores around Australia, the successful bidder benefits from LEC's central billing system while the buying group also guarantees all members' debts.
The LEC-branded products sell in members' stores alongside global brand names and have been a growth market for LEC because of good price/performance factors, according to Whitelaw.
"Quality control is of the highest importance, as is competitive pricing," he said.