Eroded margins and tough economic times mean resellers need to specialise and diversify, warns Filemaker Asia Pacific regional manager Steve McManus.
He says most end users want partners to act as consultants, giving advice on integrating technology.
Resellers need to differentiate themselves to survive, McManus says. “They’re not going to compete against the big retailers because technology has become a commodity. Resellers need to ask themselves what sort of business they are in, where are their special interest, where are their special skills and where are they geographically?”
If a reseller has a good customer list, they also can partner with external consultants to increase competitiveness, he says.
“The retailer can give consumers a good price, have a convenient location and carry lots of stock. That’s really hard to compete against but the reseller can pull solutions together, go in and set it up and make that part of the service. They [consultants] can do the wiring, installation and test it. That’s a good competitive position to be in against the high-flying retailer.”
He says online services are making the sales landscape even more competitive. “You’ve got a manufacturer at one end and an end user at the other end. In between you have the distributor and resellers. When processes evolve the links in the chain shorten, so the companies in the middle could merge or meld.”