Shortages of Hewlett Packard printers in the channel are set to carry on for some time and will eat into the vendor's market share, according to distributor Computer 2000.
Hewlett Packard is continuing to experience difficulties in addressing the four-month backlog of printers expected by its UK distributors.
According to Andy Dow, general manager of peripherals at Computer 2000, higher spec machines are subject to the shortage - namely Hewlett Packard LaserJet 4V and 5SI printers. Certain other laser printer models are also affected.
As revealed in PC Dealer, 3 December, the vendor issued a letter to placate the channel over the dearth of the machines, blaming stock problems due to high demand for the printers as well component shortages.
Dow said: 'It is down to the huge lead times for decision making. The time lines have changed and there is a lag between the end of one product line not meeting the beginning of the other.'
As a result of the shortages, Computer 2000 has been in discussions with Hewlett Packard and has convinced the vendor to supply more readily available, higher spec models in place of the scarce machines, without a price penalty to the distributor.
From 4 February, Computer 2000 received 1,000 units of the LaserJet 4000 instead of the unavailable LaserJet 5. The 4000 normally retails for #100 more than the LaserJet 5.
But the initiative will only scratch the surface of the problem. 'The backlog is actually about twice that. However, the initiative will go a long way to clearing it, but won't clear it all.
This is the extent to which Hewlett Packard has been able to help us,' Dow said.
Dow added that he would be surprised if other distributors did not make similar offers to address their shortfalls. 'The smaller price differentials make it easier for distributors to be active in shifting the backlog.'
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