ENSURING that vendors remain satisfied with their representation under the Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific partnership will be one of the biggest challenges facing the new company.
Ingram Micro managing director John Dunbar says the merged operation must ensure that it does not lose focus on the vendors it represents or it could lose business.
“One of the big challenges of [the] new company will be to ensure the needs of all vendors, big and small, are met as they were before. The combined company cannot afford to go backwards because it is losing vendors due to a lack of focus,” he says.
Vendors such as 3Com and Lexmark, who in recent months ended relationships with Tech Pacific as they felt they were not enjoying enough focus and entered sole distribution agreements with Ingram Micro, should welcome this approach. Dunbar says no vendors have so far expressed discontent over the merger.
“I think they are sitting back and watching how we do things.”
He acknowledges the need for strong competition between different brands within the new company.
“We have to ensure there are walls between different brands so they can compete actively for business,” says Dunbar, adding he does not think a lack of competition in the market will become a problem as vendors, and not distributors, control distribution.
“If vendors are unhappy about how things are going, they will go somewhere else. The combined company cannot afford to be monopolistic about how it operates as there are plenty of other distributors that can move into its place, or parallel importing could take off.”
Dunbar is confident the two companies will combine well to ensure vendors and resellers are well serviced.
“I think it can be managed. We have opportunities to get some good synergies going between the expertise of both businesses,” he says.
“IT is a constantly evolving market, as is distribution, and we are always looking at what is new to ensure we are leading with what resellers want.”
Tech Pacific boss Tony Butler says he has not had any negative reaction from vendors either.