Ingram Micro has signed on more than a dozen Apple accessory vendors since the end of 2011, bringing its third-party portfolio to over 50.
“Our objective is to become a single source for resellers to find out about and access all these products so they don’t have to go hunting around, trying to find and manage a bunch of small suppliers,” says Kelly Eyerman, the senior business manager for Ingram’s Apple division in ANZ. “There’s never been a distributor that has Apple and the number of third party vendors that go along with it.”
Ingram has made its Apple business a priority this year, spinning off the unit as a separate business entity in January, with its own dedicated team of salespeople that can, at the same time, tap into the distributor’s wider resources.
“When you have a division like this in a big organisation like Ingram it feels like a startup but with a lot of support,” Eyerman says. “We can leverage the inside sales team, the account manager team, things like that.”
Many of the vendors that Eyerman’s New Zealand team have brought to the country have never done business in New Zealand before, but many have had existing relationships with Ingram in the US, Europe and Australia. At least one, nKliq, which has a portfolio of sleeves, jackets and peripherals, is Australia-based.
While the vendors often sell competing lines, the distributor says its focus is to promote complementary ranges of products. For example, iLuv brands a variety of mobility products, cases, headphones and protectors. Eyerman says Ingram is not including iLuv’s cabling products because this area was already covered by another vendor, Kanex, which Ingram brought to New Zealand in 2011
“If someone wants it, yeah we’ll buy it,” he says. “But we’re not pushing it.”
New vendors signed on this year include Cygnett, Joy Factory, and Surc. Last year, the distributor also brought on board FileMaker.
“We want to partner with vendors that complement Apple and the mobility category, and to be selective with our brands and ranges. We’re not just signing up anybody,” says Eyerman.
Ingram has launched a vendor programme this year to incentivise resellers to buy from the Apple and mobility ranges. The three-tiered Apple Elite Marketing Programme helps vendors market a package of products to resellers with incentive packages and contests.
For example, under the Elite Gold programme, which counts Brother, Microsoft and Cygnett as its vendor participants, resellers are given targets and opportunities to win prizes based on sales.
“We wanted to make it easy for the vendor and the product manager to say to the reseller here’s a whole package of marketing you can do for a quarter or a year that will allow you to focus on this or that segment of the Apple business,” Eyerman says. “We’ve seen good response from the reseller side because they’re starting to pick that up and focus on Mac businesses. There’s an increase in breadth and volume in the business we’re doing.”
Ingram Micro is the largest distributor in New Zealand, with a staff of 300 and a reseller base of 3100.