Renaissance is on a campaign to make contact with its resellers across the company’s four key product areas in an effort to “cement” distribution relationships, company representatives say.
Jaynean Leaupepe, who became the company’s general manager on February 1, is leading a team of six account managers to reach out to the company’s more than 800 resellers, making phone calls and site visits as part of an effort to improve the company’s responsiveness.
“There are some resellers that haven’t been touched by us before and we are still getting around to them,” she says. “Trying to get in touch with every single one of them has been quite difficult but we do have this support behind us [with] our sales reps, as well as our contact centre getting calls from [resellers] and it is just about being proactive ... and maintaining relationships.”
Leaupepe is taking a back-to-basics approach, as she terms it, which dovetails with the company’s effort to reiterate its four key product areas that might have gotten lost in the shuffle, due to a perception the company was devoted exclusively to Apple. While Apple remains one of the company’s four product areas, it also handles networking/security products, peripherals and locally built, customised PCs.
“It has kind of been forgotten that we are a PC company as well,” says Warwick Grey, Renaissance’s chief marketing officer. “You will see us really pushing that grouping. We want to have best-of-breed in each of those categories.”
“Renaissance has always been historically thought of as a specialist reseller, a single-brand company, so people would have perceived us as only representing exclusive brands to New Zealand,” Grey says. “That is a definite change in strategy: that we are now looking for the right products and we don’t mind if we are a multi-distributor on those because we think we have got added value.”
Grey says the company is shifting emphasis away from exclusivity to value-added distribution and this could translate into better deals for resellers.
“We feel we have got more opportunities to really provide better margins for resellers by saying ‘Of course we would, if you want to, sell HP ... but you can make more money if you provide onsite services with a locally built machine.’ Account managers can provide [that].”
Renaissance has been solidifying relationships with vendors, including HP, which recently became a partner. Grey says Renaissance is going through a “rationalisation” of its brands, and continues to be on the lookout for new products, especially through expos like the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Leaupepe adds that if resellers ask after certain products, Renaissance will look into it for them.
Some of its current brands include Brocade, Cirrus, Micronet, Logic3 and Intel.
Meanwhile, the company is looking for ways to improve account coverage, making sure regional resellers know who their manager is, Grey says, and looking at revenue to segment out Tier 1 from Tier 2 partners, to improve contacts with resellers.
“Tier 2 is not any less important,” Grey says. “It’s just that they may be a segment specialist or they may just sell Insite PCs.”
Grey says telemarketing will be an important part of making sure the resellers feel connected.
Leaupepe says this is really about keeping resellers happy.
“All they want is a simple answer, really,” she says. “As long as you can come back with an ETA, simple stuff like that, for most of them that’s all they really want.”