Distributor Hugh Symons is considering an accreditation programme and a scheme of kickbacks and co-op funds to drum up reseller loyalty.
The firm, which comprises IT, cellular phone and mobile data divisions, sells through its retail arm Centrex, a reseller database and a direct sales force. It has attracted criticism from other distributors for this channel confusion.
Paul Smith, manager of Northamber's computer telephony integration division, said: 'We get a lot of Hugh Symons' dealers coming to us because it has a user sales team, and dealers do not want to deal with a distributor that is competing with it.'
Hugh Symons has around 5,000 computer resellers on its database, 1,500 of which are active core dealers, and 1,000 of its 2,500 communications dealers are active.
But Neil Hamilton, marketing manager for the Hugh Symons communications division, which covers the phone and mobile data products, admitted that most of its core dealers were 'floaters'. He agreed the firm had a problem with reseller loyalty, but denied it was due to its direct sales team.
'It's concerned with bringing in new business. After a few deals, we pass the business on to one of the resellers,' he said.
Hamilton said it was only in the mobile data area that Hugh Symons has strong reseller relationships in. 'This is because mobile data is such a new area. Unfortunately, the market will open within the next six months. We need to get an accreditation programme in place before that happens and a scheme of kickbacks and co-op funds. We will be talking to our vendors about getting such a plan set up.'
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