Printer vendor Tektronix has expanded its UK distribution channel for the third time in 18 months with the appointment of Northamber to supply its range of colour printers, despite continuing to suffer from product shortages.
Northamber joins broadline competitor Computer 2000 and specialist distributors Micro Peripherals and Midwich Thame, while Tektronix attempts to increase supply and remove stock from allocation.
The vendor has suffered from supply problems since the launch of its latest Phaser range in October 1998 because of an unexpectedly high level of demand. Shipping stock was still a significant concern until a month ago.
Stephen Burt, marketing manager at Tektronix, admitted last week that there were still some waiting lists of up to two weeks for products, but he added that most stock was now on free allocation and he was not concerned that the addition of an extra distributor would cause extra supply trouble.
Tektronix appointed Northamber as an additional distributor because of the increase in demand for its products since the printer market started to move from monochrome to colour and as part of the recent change to its distribution strategy.
Burt said: 'We used to have about 20 directly managed accounts, but that is no longer the case. We operate purely through distribution and those accounts now buy from our distributors.'
Tektronix said it will reach a bigger customer base by expanding the number of distributors rather than by growing the business with previous partners.
The company claims that the overlap between the four distributors should be small.
'Northamber and Computer 2000 look after different areas in the main,' said Burt.
'We wanted to expand our customer base, so it made no sense to appoint a distributor in the same market space,' he added.
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