Reckon changes distribution - again

Reckon has once again overhauled the way its Quicken software is brought to market, leaving resellers confused about who they should turn to for support and returns.

Earlier this year, software publisher Reckon and distributor Marketing Results formed a representation alliance to help bring its product to retailers. But with an internal sales force now in place, Reckon has decided to handle its key accounts in-house.

"We appointed Marketing Results in the interim while we put our own sales force in place," Reckon CEO Greg Wilkinson told ARN. "Since we dropped Express Data, we've been doing our own distribution anyway. This was brought about after specific requests from the retail channel who want to be dealing directly with us."

However, for the rest of the channel the arrangement represents yet another change to distribution relationships. Additionally, Reckon has appointed Grayln Agencies to handle sales and marketing in Queensland.

"It is hard to keep track of their distribution as this is the fourth [change] in 18 months," said one Queensland reseller that contacted ARN. "When these changes take place, we are always given the run-around when we need to return or exchange stock."

From now on Reckon will handle stock returns and exchanges, Wilkinson said.

Reckon tried to handle its own distribution when it parted ways with Express Data at the beginning of the year. However, realising it lacked the relevant sales staff and plagued by product returns, the company appointed Marketing Results. Wilkinson said the company had learned from past experience.

"Outsourcing tends to be a bit of a disaster for us anyway," Wilkinson said, referring to the company's past problems with call centres and distribution.

Quadtel-Marketing Results CEO Rodney Orrock said he believed the company could still add value to its distribution line, but that Reckon was keen to have more control over its accounts.

"It doesn't bother us - our product base has grown rapidly in the last 12 months and we were spending a lot of time clearing issues from Reckon's previous distribution relationship. So we welcome having the resources to spend on other products in our portfolio.