SOUTH Island resellers have reacted angrily to the closure of Ingram Micro’s Christchurch warehouse.
In an email message announcing the closure, the distributor claims the move comes after feedback with customers. However, South Island resellers spoken to by Reseller News say they were never consulted.
One has even conducted an informal poll among colleagues to find out if any had been consulted.
None of the 179 South Island resellers Steve Gibbons of Gibbray Technologies contacted had been, while 78 out of 79 North Island were.
“Did they bother asking anyone on the South Island?” asks Gibbons.
In its TechByte newsletter to resellers Ingram Micro stated: “Feedback from customers has continued to highlight the desire for uncomplicated, predictable and efficient systems [and] has brought us to a decision to close our Christchurch warehouse.”
But South Island resellers cannot imagine who among them would have opted for the closure of the facility.
“I find it hard to believe that a single South Island customer was contacted,” says Glenn Cousins of Christchurch reseller Geek in Your House.
“For resellers there was no downside to having Ingram Micro here.”
The warehouse enabled resellers to provide better service to their customers as they could collect and deliver items on the same day, says Cousins.
“Being able to drop off returns and pick up merchandise was convenient and also saved us on shipping costs.”
Shipping costs are another big issue for resellers, as the cost of overnight deliveries from Ingram in Auckland has increased from $3.50 a parcel to $8.50.
Says Graeme Walcott of Paragon Computers: “Every parcel will now cost me $5 more. This could easily cost me an extra $100 a week.”
This comes as Ingram Micro managing director Tony Butler told Reseller News recently the company would continue to subsidise freight costs to the South Island after the warehouse is shut.
But Butler also said that freight is now the company’s largest expense.
Many resellers are also angry about the short notice they received of the closure.
Luke Pickering of Business Computing NZ only learnt of it when he saw a notice at the warehouse while collecting goods.
Pickering says being able to collect goods from the facility is important to his business model as he spends most of his time on the road, making courier deliveries exceptionally difficult.
Simon Ellis, director of Global PCs, which operates three retail stores in Christchurch, says the closure will result in a dramatic change in the way the company does business and it would have liked more notice in order to alter its processes.
“We may no longer be able to afford to place as many individual orders and will probably have to consolidate our orders,” he says.
Overall most South Island resellers contacted say they will now have to source some of their stock from other suppliers who have local warehousing, such as Dove Electronics, which is already reporting an upswing in business.
Ingram Micro did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.