PLANS by Australian distributor Synnex to expand into New Zealand have been met with scepticism by local rivals.
While a number of distributors here are scarcely aware of the company, as they operate largely in the enterprise and corporate world and Synnex focuses on the SOHO and SMB space, others have raised questions over the company’s ability to replicate arrangements it has with large vendors in Australia on this side of the Tasman.
In a recent report in sister publication
Australian Reseller News (ARN), Synnex Australia’s Melbourne-based managing director Frank Sheu stated that over the last seven years the distributor’s Australian business had grown to the point where it felt comfortable expanding across the Tasman.
With branches in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, Synnex Australia distributes many prominent vendors including Hewlett-Pac-kard, IBM, Microsoft, Canon and Philips, with its parent company, the Taiwanese Synnex-MiTAC Group, representing these brands in many major markets such as the US, Japan and China.
Some local distributors point out that these brands already have established distribution strategies in New Zealand and that Synnex may not be able to duplicate those relationships here, while others believe the company could use its global influence with vendors to force changes to their local strategy.
“They are very big in Asia and have got a reasonable clout there and it is a question of the ability of vendors to say no to them when it comes to New Zealand,” says Chris Rycroft, general manager of Dove Electronics.
Adds Mark Dasent, general manager of Renaissance Brands: “The question is whether they will get the big brands. Many others have tried to set up new distribution companies from Australia and failed.”
Paul Plester, national sales manager of Express Data, feels distribution strategies of the major brands are very settled in New Zealand.
Sheu told ARN that Synnex would facilitate its expansion into New Zealand either by acquiring a company already operating here or by developing a joint venture model, and says he would prefer to acquire “local management talent”.
However, none of the local distributors contacted by Reseller News say they are in talks with Synnex in this regard.
Reseller News was unable to reach Sheu for comment by press time.