Hardware distributor, Omega Technology, has launched its own finance company to deliver new leasing options to its dealers.
The wholly-owned subsidiary, trading under the name Technology Credit, will offer both leasing and rental financing terms across all of the distributor's stocked product lines. These will be supported by an onsite distributor warranty.
Omega general manager, Barry Donaghey, said the decision to launch a fully-fledged credit arm was prompted by increasing numbers of part-time IT consultants working around Australia.
"We've found there are thousands of dealers out there working from home, or as consultants," he said. "The major finance companies are reluctant to fund them."
A key issue in the provision of IT equipment under a credit arrangement was who managed the warranty, Donaghey said.
The new Technology Credit division would give dealers the opportunity to obtain funding or leasing support, while also securing a distributor-backed warranty.
Most of Omega's product lines come with an onsite, three-year guarantee. This would also be applicable to its rental goods.
"The warranty is paramount to our offering," he said. "It will be there for customers regardless of whether the dealer moves on."
A minimum of $1500 will apply across all rental agreements from Omega. The distributor has not attached a timeframe to its leasing plans and will offer a variety of contractual options.
"We are chasing everyone except the Mr and Mrs Jones'," he said.
"Our credit services are aimed at SMBs, corporates, local, state and federal government and the education market."
Donaghey said the distributor was now integrating the Technology Credit website with its Omega site.
With the new online tools, partners would be able to access quotes on outright hardware purchase prices as well as rental conditions, he said.
"We want to give resellers the tools to go alongside other financial organisations and quote rental terms," Donaghey said. "We can make resellers a very strong force out there."
As well as launching its crediting firm, Omega had overhauled its website, introducing new configuration tools to allow dealers to build desktop and server systems that were guaranteed to be compatible, Donaghey said.
The two new initiatives were part of a push to branch out into value-added services, he said.
"Australia is headed for a slower economy," he said.
"The computer industry is also maturing. There will be a lot of consolidation in the wholesale sector in the next 12 months.
"You need to innovate. As a distributor, components with no margin as the main life line are a big problem."