Resellers believe Ingram Micro's Frameworks white box operation launch in the UK will stall, claiming the distributor is weak on component supply.
According to Mike Poeckling, Ingram's European director of sales for Frameworks, the distributor turned PC manufacturer will sell white boxes in the UK to retail and mail-order operations.
Ingram was in talks with its biggest UK resellers in London last week to forge supply deals. Frameworks will be formally launched in the UK in six weeks' time and PCs will be sourced from Ingram's Netherlands manufacturing plant.
But mail-order resellers said they were concerned that the distributor had no track record of successfully sourcing PC components.
'Ingram has no component business managers. It lives on vendors' finds rather than on true profit,' one reseller argued. 'On the other hand, it is big, so it might remedy that in a year's time.'
David Atherton, managing director of mail-order dealer Dabs Direct, confirmed it had been approached by the distributor. 'We will try to buy from Ingram, but we'd need a detailed policy statement on returns and on whether certain peripheral and operating systems sales would be enforced.'
He added that Ingram's Milton Keynes location could be problematic in terms of recruiting knowledgeable components staff.
Resellers expressed particular concern at the fact that Ingram does not hold an Intel franchise in the UK, having narrowly missed out when Computer 2000 snapped up Eurodis OnBoard last month (PC Dealer, 17 February).
Atherton added: 'Ingram had better hurry up and get one because only full-time Intel partners receive price protection, which is vital if you're doing white boxes in large volumes.'
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