BASED: Scoresby, Victoria



REVENUE: $133 million

BRANDS: HP, IBM, Toshiba, TraxData, Tektronics, Intel WhiteboxPrion suffered something of a setback last year when it lost its valuable Digital business and then failed to secure one of the six slots in Compaq's new distribution lineup. However, the company has since picked up a number of new distribution agreements to supplement its traditionally strong Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba business, including a plumb IBM agreement.

In fact, Prion's business is growing and heading in three very distinct directions, according to managing director Michael Bosnar.

In addition to expanding its core five-year-old commercial business serving corporate dealers, enterprise resellers and integrators, Prion is ramping up its consumer business and will soon launch its Web-only division, PCEzy.

Bosnar claims Prion's strengths are its "best of breed" product line as well as the experience of its people.

"We have very strong product management - a very strong field sales force and senior account management. We work very closely with vendors in the specific markets we serve, we don't try and be all things to all people."

Bosnar describes Prion as a "high-touch" distributor which places great emphasis on providing both pre- and post-technical support through its five-year-old call-centre facility. "Right now, we're actually putting a lot of our technical support resources under marketing with the aim of better explaining technology opportunities to resellers," Bosnar said.

"We want to do a better job of positioning technology so that our resellers can use it as a resource to assist them to win opportunities."

In terms of ordering and logistics, Prion has just completed a multimillion dollar Baan implementation in order to further automate its supply chain and feed through live information and ordering capabilities through to its Web site.

"We aim to be leaders in the IT supply chain," Bosnar said. "We want to streamline the ordering process for our customers, so we're doing direct drop ships as well as more integration and configuration."

"We want to provide that outsourced warehouse function for our customers, so they don't have to carry heaps of stock in their own warehouses." Prion has warehouses in three states, NSW, VIC and WA and is considering opening a warehouse in Brisbane.

As well as its commercial business, Bosnar said Prion sees "huge growth opportunities in the consumer space.

"We had assumed that there were other players that were handling the retail market pretty well, but obviously not as well as we thought because we're just killing it."

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