The real culprits
I have just read your editorial about big-name suppliers adopting different sales strategies to increase market share by, mainly, selling direct.
This has been a pet subject of mine for some time now. I feel the big manufacturers are really blaming the channel for not selling their product when in fact it is the wholesale channel which is really to blame.
I have been trying to develop a business relationship with HP for the past two years. Unfortunately they sell to us though the wholesale channel. When I rang up to complain to them that the wholesale channel was a disgrace, they told me I should be using Ingram Micro. They went ahead and organised a rep from Ingram Micro to call into my store. I was very impressed when he arrived in Taree.
However, my first impressions were quickly dashed when he told me I was silly to stick with HP and that I would be better off selling Compaq's products. Needless to say, I do not deal with Ingram Micro or Compaq.
I feel the solution is obvious. HP, Dell, Compaq, IBM etc should sell direct to the reseller and eradicate the cumbersome, money wasting wholesale channel.
NB. I have been in the computer retail business for 15 years, 13 in my own business.
Craig Webster, sales manager, C&T Systems.
Missing the point
There has been a lot in the press recently about the Federal Government's outsourcing program.
Leaving aside the results of the Auditor General's report, which is politically motivated anyway, I would like to add the following comment.
People go on about the loss of business by SME companies due to the Government's outsourcing program. If everyone is so concerned, then why does nobody point out that the largest loss is actually caused by big commercial organisations outsourcing their IT?
Under the Commonwealth's outsourcing initiative, a large percentage of business is mandated to flow to both Australian SMEs and into industry development programs.
Westpac has signed a $4.3 billion (larger than all Commonwealth IT outsourcing bids put together) deal with IBM GSA, yet there's absolutely no requirement to support Australian industry.
The point is really being missed.
John Lavett, managing director, Select Approach Pty Ltd.