High staff turnover and lack of continuity in 3Com's distribution department has caused chaos among its distributors with accusations of unpaid rebates and a need for support.
Several distributors blamed the problems on understaffing at 3Com and on the length of time systems distribution had been without a manager.
Former marketing director John Sedzikowski has taken over that role, five months after Richard Pitt left for Netmanage. Systems and volume distribution had been lumped together in that time.
Peter Rigby, Merisel advanced product group manager, said there was a lot of flack flying around with 3Com distributors. 'It is a question of support. 3Com has lost a lot of people in the distribution department and it is now quite difficult to get hold of anybody,' he said.
A source close to 3Com said that Azlan was in a 'Mexican standoff' with the manufacturer over unpaid rebates. 'The rebate problems stem from a lack of continuity at 3Com. Some account managers agreed special deals and targets with distributors, then left the company,' he said. 'Now distributors are claiming they are owed rebates, which 3Com knows nothing about.' The source said Azlan was getting its stock through Persona.
A Persona representative admitted Azlan had bought u100,000 of 3Com stock from it in July. 'Whatever the case, our 3Com business was up around u300,000 last month, which could indicate we had some customers that could not get stock from Azlan,' he said.
Ed Arnett, Azlan MD for Northern Europe, denied there were any problems in its relationship with 3Com, but Sedzikowski admitted there had been some unresolved issues with rebates. 'We inherited a lot of rebate problems with the Sonix acquisition,' he said. 'Word of mouth agreements had been made and those people who made them have moved on. We are doing our best to honour them.'
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