Digital's networking division will dump Frontline Distribution at the end of this month for poor performance because the distributor could not meet the manufacturer's tough sales targets.
Richard Pryor-Jones, UK general manager at Digital Networks, admitted that Frontline 'was not prepared to make the same commitment' as the other five wholesalers accredited by Digital Networks.
'It is accurate to say we have aggressive numbers for the next year and we are working hard to meet those, so Frontline will not be part of our accredited channel with effect from the end of May,' he said. 'But they will still be able to source a full range of Digital product via the SBU (Digital Systems).'
The move was decided before Frontline's business rejig three weeks ago which left its networking division within its commodity sales arm. Pryor-Jones said it was unrelated to moves by Digital Networks' competitors.
A source close to Digital confirmed that the networking targets are hard to reach. 'The guys at the top are very aggressive about the numbers and I'm not surprised Frontline couldn't manage,' he said. 'Digital has cited poor performance as the reason and it means Frontline will have more upheaval.'
But Westcoast MD Joe Hemani said: 'Digital ask us to aim high, but they have given us plenty of help when we have got sales to improve in the past.'
Frontline marketing director David Clark and joint MDs Allan Mack and Graeme Watt were all off-site and unavailable for comment as PC Dealer went to press.
Frontline still holds a Digital Systems distribution contract. After the change, Digital Networks will continue to distribute low-end products through Ideal Hardware, Metrologie and Westcoast. Azlan and Anixter handle high-end Digital Networks kit.
Frontline sales director Marlene Yeoman is set to join Data Translation as sales manager.
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