Tech Pacific has revamped its online ordering site with added security and search features, but some resellers are still having difficulty dealing with the distributor's recently introduced $33 small order fee.
According to John Foxe, managing director of Sydney reseller IT National, the improvements to the system are redundant in the face of the fees.
"The fact is the online system encourages small orders," he said. "If the drop ship system sends an order directly to a customer, the order has to be over $1000 or there is a $33 penalty."
Foxe has been lobbying for the management at Tech Pacific to make changes to the online system to minimise the impact of the fees. However, he said suggestions he made and what he views as constructive criticism, has fallen on deaf ears with the distributor.
In contrast to the disgruntled Foxe, Lorenzo Coppa, managing director of Melbourne reseller City Software and International Software Warehouse said he has high regard for Tech Pacific's systems and its management policies. He said while another large distributor was unable to deliver on the size and complexity of his orders, Tech Pacific could and was "prepared to bend over backwards for my business."
Foxe's comments about being unresponsive to criticism were also rebutted by Anne Mossman, Tech Pacific's E-business manager, saying the distributor is open to suggestions.
Mossman claims the changes to the system were based on pilot feedback from when it was first launched and is by no means inflexible.
"We are always reviewing our processes and will take action on feedback where it makes sense," she says. "The more feedback we get, the better our decision making process is." For example, the company recently acted on reseller feedback by dropping its $7 per consignment service fee on drop ship orders.
An unsatisfied Foxe thinks otherwise. "I've noticed they are offering great discounts on various products at the moment, to move more product," says Foxe. "I think instead, they should re-think putting up a barrier to business [the introduction of fees] and do without the discount."
So what are the changes to Tech Pacific's systems and management policies?
Added security - An increase in the depth of options resellers have in choosing what level of access their staff has to different parts of the site. Resellers can now ensure that only certain users (staff) can make orders or view accounts, based on their position in the company.
Invoice archives - Online archiving of invoices for a three month period and searchable through a variety of fields means Tech Pacific won't have to field hundreds of calls daily from resellers asking for another copy of an invoice.
Search functions - Added advanced search options to the site mean users can refine their queries down to the manufacturer's name, to only include those goods currently in stock or within a certain pricing range.
Pricing - Tech Pacific has updated the information available on quantity-based pricing, whereby resellers receive better pricing when ordering goods in the same quantities as Tech Pacific receives them from manufacturers.
Drop ship system - adjustments to its drop ship system allows resellers to have goods delivered directly to the end customer from Tech Pacific's warehouse, packaged and branded as though they were sent from the reseller.
What's next - Tech Pacific says its working on improving the site's software licensing capability. Attempts to automate the returns process based on qualifying certain criteria, will allow resellers to generate their own return numbers and documentation.