The audiovisual (AV) industry has criticised the British Educational and Technology Communications Agency (Becta) for tightening margins and creating intense competition in the education market.
Distributors claim AV sales are better than ever, thanks to the £50m the government is investing in interactive whiteboards. But margins have withered under competitive pressure.
Darren Lewitt, AV business manager at Midwich, said resellers were making so little money on AV in education that they struggled to pay for engineers.
"It could backfire on Becta. You get dealers making as much money per box as you can count on two hands. If you're making that sort of money on an install, how good will it be?" he said.
Ian Vickerage, managing director of AV distributor Imago Micro, said: "There are only one or two people making money in AV in education. You have to sell 50 per cent more units to make the same revenue and maybe 80 per cent more units to make the same gross margin."
Mark Wallbank, assistant director of procurement at Becta, said resellers should not be selling at loss-leading prices.
But he added: "It's inevitable there will be increased competition in the market. We want what's best for schools."
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