UK networking distributor Mayflex is placing itself in directge priority over suppliers. competition with its vendor partners as it launches its own brand of products.
The distributor's Excel line is expected to ship at the end of the month and will be supplied alongside products from existing suppliers. The range will consist of hubs, switches and cabling products.
Andrew Percival, sales director at Mayflex, admitted the distributor's vendor partners - which include Hitachi Internetworking, Network Instruments and Planet - are concerned that Mayflex will start to push its own products, instead of the brand names.
'The vendors have expressed concern about the situation, but it has only been concern, not outright worry,' he claimed.
Percival admitted that there would be difficulties for the brand, at least initially. 'Resellers will get greater margins, but they will have to work harder because Excel is not a recognised brand name,' he said.
'We expect most resellers will probably look at the differences in costs and margins and push both Excel and our partners' products alongside each other.'
Percival claimed a mailshot sent out by Mayflex had generated more than 200 returns from interested resellers. 'Interest is high because it offers the reseller something different, more choice and better margins,' he said.
Mayflex plans to raise the profile of the Excel brand by spending more than #250,000 on marketing over the next year.
Steve Lockie, general manager of networking at Computer 2000, said: 'There will be integration and support issues. Brand names are trusted and can be relied upon. Resellers won't risk a support nightmare which would wipe out any extra margin.'
Lockie also believed the extra margin would not be great. 'Such is the pressure from the big players in this market that any reduction in costs will have to be passed on to the consumer,' he added.
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