ITW and Acer have another go

ITW and Acer have another go

IT Wholesale (ITW) is again distributing Acer in New Zealand nearly 18 months after the vendor pulled the plug on a deal with the company days before it was due to start in June last year.

The new agreement comes as the pending merger of two of Acer’s other distributors, Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific, threatened to leave the vendor with only two distributors here — Ingram Micro and Dove Electronics.

Acer is the first major vendor to change its distribution strategy following Ingram Micro’s acquisition of Tech Pacific and appointing ITW to distribute its full range of desktop and mobile PCs, servers, storage, displays and peripherals ensures Acer retains three distributors in the country.

Stephen Harrison, the Brisbane-based managing director of ITW’s parent company, Cellnet, says the deal is an indication that vendors are reassessing their distribution strategies.

“A lot of people are sitting back right now and strategising for next year and I think we will start to see some major changes,” says Harrison, adding that this climate will create significant opportunities for other distributors such as ITW.

Acer New Zealand country manager Rod Bassi says the vendor will retain its relationship with the new Ingram Micro, incorporating Tech Pacific, but adds the company needs three distributors to reach its growth aspirations in the country.

Acer’s goal is to be the number one PC vendor in New Zealand by 2007, a position currently held by Hewlett-Packard.

Harrison meanwhile is confident that the new agreement with Acer will fare better than the company’s last attempt to distribute the brand in New Zealand.

ITW was left flabbergasted last year when three days after it won the sole agency for Acer handheld (PDA) products, the vendor had a change of mind after feedback from its other distributors, who ended up sharing the PDA distribution.

Harrison says Cellnet’s relationship with Acer is now much stronger than before, as a result of its success with the brand in Australia, where it has been a distributor since 2001.

“It was early days last time, but this time it will last longer than a week,” he says.

Bassi confirms that ties between the two companies have strengthened.

“We have come a long way since then and have worked well together in Australia for the last couple of years and will try to do the same in New Zealand.”

The deal is expected to be worth around $10 million to Cellnet’s New Zealand business, which makes up about a third of its total earnings.

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