Resellers have welcomed Hewlett-Packard’s (HP’s) latest weapon in its ongoing battle against the grey market in the UK.
As revealed by CRN online, the vendor last week unveiled its Serial Number Tracking Programme, due for launch in the summer, which requires distributors and VARs to log and track serial numbers on all product sales and delivery documentation.
Dave Poskett, director at HP’s Solutions Partner Organisation UK and Ireland, said: “We have a huge focus on the grey market. This programme allows us to make sure our products are bought from authorised sources. In particular, when we receive requests for large deal discounts, it will ensure products are going to the right customer.”
Poskett added that HP has spent a lot of time talking with partners to assure they are fully informed.
Steve Lockie, managing director of distributor Computer 2000, said: “We have been piloting this initiative with HP for the past four months. We are very happy with it because all products can be tracked.
“The grey market is a problem. Some resellers have been unwittingly caught out because they have bought stock from less ethical distributors.”
Kieran O’Connor, external sales manager at HP VAR acs, said: “We invested a lot of time, effort and money to become a Preferred Partner. We look favourably on anything HP does to eradicate grey market activity.”
However, Greg Carlow, managing director of Repton, said HP has to take some responsibility for grey marketing.
“Resellers haven’t all rushed out and set up grey market HP factories,” he said. “The kit has to come from somewhere and it has to be controlled at HP’s end too. If it is done properly, there is every reason the scheme will be a success.”
As reported by CRN online, HP recently settled a legal action filed against Danish distributor Bluecom Denmark, which was caught illegally importing products.
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