Leading Edge seeks services springboard

The independent dealers who make up the nationwide Leading Edge Computers (LEC) chain are planning to diversify into the services arena.

LEC hopes to leverage its regional strength and close supplier relationships to win support and service contracts from its supplier vendors. It already has a manpower base of between 300 and 400 technicians employed by LEC dealerships.

By creating a services entity separate to LEC, the group hopes to be able to extend its services business beyond its partner vendors to competitor manufacturers as well, Leading Edge Group CEO, Keith Lane, said.

A committee of LEC dealers was currently exploring the options for creating a services business under the banner of parent company, the Leading Edge Group, he said.

While most LEC stores were already providing system integration and support for small businesses, they were now moving towards formalising vendor accreditations for all member stores, Lane said.

LEC general manager, Ross Whitelaw, said the approach to services differed between members.

"Some have serious service agreements which are a very large part of their business," he said. "Others have the ability and infrastructure but don't have the contracts and arrangements in place."

One vendor which already leverages LEC as a support arm is Acer.

Twenty-five LEC stores are already Acer Authorised Repair Centres, according to Acer channel manager, Greg Mikaelian.

He is set to meet with LEC representatives this week to discuss their services plan in detail.

Acer was already satisfied that LEC provided very good service, particularly in regional areas, Mikaelian said.

For more on this story and the Leading Edge conference, see this week's issue of ARN.