Synnex sets sights on white box market

Synnex sets sights on white box market

White box giant Synnex Australia is to form a New Zealand subsidiary later this month. The company is looking to hire ten staff immediately and a further 15 by year end. It aims to be turning over $100 million annually within a couple of years.

Synnex Australia is part of Synnex Corporation, a global IT supply chain operation founded in 1980. It has headquarters in Taiwan and California and is the world's third-largest distributor of IT products.

Frank Sheu, Synnex's Melbourne-based managing director, says the decision to open was made two weeks ago. Previously the company had been in discussions with three local businesses in an attempt to build a joint-venture operation.

"We had been trying to find a partner for six months, but couldn't reach agreement, so we decided to come in direct," says Sheu.

He says that Synnex has operated here before under the Mitac brand name.

Initially Synnex will focus on the white box (unbranded PC hardware) market. This is a potentially huge market. In Australia, unbranded PCs account for roughly every third machine sold.

There are small, local assemblers building hardware to order in most suburbs. In general they can put bespoke systems together in a matter of hours, often at prices up to 25% lower than brand-name manufacturers.

Until now, New Zealand hasn't had much of a white box market. Sheu says this is mainly because there is no supply chain supporting assemblers. "Assemblers have too much to worry about and they have to import key components. Availability is a big problem."

Sheu says Synnex Australia has grown 1,000% in the last six years. He expects the New Zealand business to grow by 200% to 300% per year for the first few years. "We have a successful business model. We specialise and we add value to support our resellers."

He says this will put pressure on Dell. "They take 21 days to deliver; if we get an order today, we'll ship today. In fact, we ship twice daily."

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