Compaq opens build to order facility

Compaq has opened its Compaq Technology Centre build to order facility in Sydney, which promises to provide greater choice to both resellers and users alike in terms of ordering and receiving PCs.

Although only currently in startup mode, the Centre is expected to produce all of Compaq's desktop units for Australia and New Zealand by mid-year, with a four-day turnaround from receipt of order to delivery. It should also be able to facilitate custom ordering of business PCs.

Another option the facility may make possible is for Compaq to ship some models of its business PCs directly to customers. However, a Compaq spokesperson stressed that Compaq will still receive all customer orders through resellers, and will be shipping products directly to customers only when requested.

The spokesperson said that under no circumstances will Compaq take orders directly from end-user customers. While Compaq's facility will make direct fulfilment possible, this is not intended to be a major component of the company's business.

The changes made possible by the new facility appear to be in line with Compaq's aims globally, as the company strives to better compete with Dell and Gateway 2000, who have been undercutting Compaq's pricing with their direct sales model.

A press release obtained from Compaq's Munich office said the changes taking place in its European distribution model are designed to lower the cost of manufacturing business computers, with those savings translating to lower prices. In Europe, Compaq will allow some of its larger VARs to complete final assembly of some PC models.