HP New Zealand country manager Oliver Hill has rung in changes at the company's local operation and says the fundamentals of the business remain strong.
In April, HP New Zealand reported increased revenue and profits for the year ended 31 October 2020, with revenue up from $380.3 million to just crack the $400 million barrier.
A reshuffle of HP NZ's top table saw Tracey Brewer appointed as commercial channel manager in May. Hill said she had great experience and would bring new perspectives to the management team.
Mike Jamieson, also a director, moved to the end user side of the business as enterprise sales lead as part of the changes while Antony Watts shifted from the commercial PC business to cover distribution and retail.
Back in the office full time now after the lockdowns, Hill said while there had been supply challenges that sent market share numbers "dashing around", the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) organisation via distributors remained very strong.
"They are doing a great job in challenging conditions," Hill said.
HP New Zealand has two major distributors in Ingram Micro and Exeed while Sektor manages the company's point of sale business. Two niche print distributors fill out the set in Dove Electronics and Dynamic Supplies.
Retail was always a very important part of the equation, Hill said.
"It’s a privilege to be inside people’ homes, both from print and a PC standpoint and to be a brand they use on a daily basis," he told Reseller News.
Retail did deliver a brand "halo effect", Hill said -- every enterprise user is, after all, also a consumer -- but retail was a good business for HP in its own right..
HP's wide product range across print and PCs also helped differentiate it from most competitors.
But have the supply problems and the COVID-19 pandemic potentially made buyers more brand agnostic?
"If they need a product and it's not on the shelves, they may change and then there’s a risk their loyalty will change," Hill said.
However, there were a lot of people with great brand loyalty.
"It's not necessarily the product that creates that," he said. "More often it’s the services."
Going above and beyond to fix any problems was key.
"Every machine can go wrong. We turn up and fix it because it’s the right thing to do. Certainly with enterprise customers we go way above what is contractually required."
HP is also going through a 10-year plan with the goal to be the most sustainable and just technology company in the world and that would become part of people's decision-making too, he added.
"It's worth paying another $10 at the counter because that has value to the customer."
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