Resellers flock to Q*Soft's "custom-build" site

A Web site where resellers are ordering roll-your-own PCs online is proving a hit for distributor Q*Soft. The reseller reaction lends weight to Q*Soft's claim it is winning the unofficial race between Australian distributors to go live with a facility for buying custom-built PCs via the Internet.

The Web site's point and click implementation of configuration and purchase processes saves time and money, according to Craig Rutherford of Silver Link, a reseller in the Queensland regional Queensland centre of Ayr.

"It takes me two or three minutes on the Net instead of spending a long time on STD phone calls to multiple people," Rutherford said.

"I can do my quotes at night on the Net and delivery costs are only $5 by road transport against the $50 I am charged for a box shipped from Sydney."

"It's easy to use and I can download prices straightaway," said Cliff Rix, a partner in Brisbane's AusMicro Computer Services.

"If you have to quote for somebody, you can go to the Q*Soft Web site's build a system and produce a price for them. I hate phone music and for my company, this makes it a lot easier to do business.

When the "custom build" button on Q*Soft's Web site is selected, a list of three base systems appears: entry level, deluxe multimedia and corporate multimedia.

The systems are made up of 10 elements -- including processors, memory and hard drives, monitors and warranty periods -- each of which can be optioned up to 13 different ways via drop-down menus.

The site works out the total value of the order as the system is built, so that choosing a larger hard drive, for example, is immediately reflected in the price. A submit button sends the order which is delivered by road transport anywhere in Australia or can be air expressed for a premium charge.

Q*Soft has outsourced the physical build to a Queensland PC assembler that managing director Barry Amor declined to name.

"Over 50 per cent of PCs sold are still in this category of not-recognised brand names so it is an enormous part of the market," Amor said.

Q*Soft's online custom-build service "appeals to dealers addressing the small to medium part of the market who aren't in a position to buy white box components competitively and put them together efficiently."

The new service is the latest update of Q*Soft's redesigned web pages which increasingly have scored points for the distributor in the dealer community since making their debut several months ago.