ITW tightens focus on ‘big’ brands

ITW tightens focus on ‘big’ brands

DISTRIBUTOR IT Wholesale has learnt its lesson in 2003 after trying to take on too many agencies. The company will stick to the big name brands this year, according to its sales manager.

In the past 12 months, the Auckland subsidiary of Australia-based Cellnet took on at least six agencies, including Hewlett-Packard consumables, AusTek laptops and accessories, Sony and NEC.

But it has also taken on some short-lived distribution arrangements. In December it lost SonicWall, for which it has been left with stock it cannot sell, and in July ITW hit the headlines when Acer pulled the plug on their hand-held product agreement less than a week after announcing it. ITW has also struggled to sell its Samsung monitors.

“We’re focusing this year on IBM [servers and monitors] and HP consumables,” Tracey Condie says. “From here on, it will be major brands or nothing.”

IBM named ITW its 2002 partner of the year for best sales growth in X Series servers, and in December HP announced ITW as its second distributor of printer supplies.

But Condie says this more cautious approach does not preclude ITW from signing up lesser-known brands. Sub-distribution is a good model for those. “I’d opt for the smaller margin and not have to carry stock for brands where we don’t have a good run rate.”

The company is a sub-distributor of Philips monitors and some Canon products. ITW has eight staff out of the nearly 100 that work for Cellnet’s New Zealand operations.

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