Web-Fulfilment, an internet order-delivery specialist, has claimed that traditional distributors are doomed because they lack the model to cope with online purchasing.
Chief executive Iain Davie said: "Companies selling over the internet will be hamstrung because they cannot stock enough goods to deal with the large orders the internet will generate in coming years. A fulfilment house is a more sensible option." The firm supports products in both retail and the channel.
"It's no good using a traditional distributor because their systems will not talk back over the internet," he added.
Web-Fulfilment claims to have a system allowing clients to track items from order to delivery. "We had few complaints during the petrol crisis because we could track everything and let our customers know what the situation was," he said.
However, Ian Kilpatrick, group managing director of distributor Wick Hill, said: "We see our business growing significantly with online ordering. It requires a small change to our system, which is another supplement to our service. If customers want web fulfilment we will do it."
Distribution is an essential channel for IT's value-adding practices, he added.
Davie called for changes in practices by the distribution industry to cope with the demands of the internet age. But Kilpatrick said: "We provide value-added solutions and the services that come with it."
First published in Computer Reseller News
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