Northamber has bet its future growth on what it describes as its "unique" new "narrowline" approach to distribution.
At the end of last year, the Chessington-based distie brought in Alex Phillips – the management consultant son of chairman David Phillips – as director of strategy to turn around the firm's fortunes after a tough year.
But newly appointed Phillips said his plan to make the firm a "narrowline" distributor is beginning to pay off.
"By that, I mean we work with a select few vendors – more aligned with the VAD school of thought in that we know product inside out and we can provide the answers resellers need to keep their customers happy – but also we're the one-stop shop, convenient broadliner," he told CRN at his firm's Tech Expo event.
"It's a unique model we're working on. That's what we want to develop further."
He added that his "narrowline" model avoids the pitfalls of the other more traditional approaches to distribution.
"If you compete purely on price, then you are a box shifter," he explained. "But they have [already] got that down really well. Their pricing is extremely aggressive and it's all formulaic. I personally find that quite boring and it's not where we are going.
"At the other extreme you have VADs who charge a significant premium for extra services. So where I am looking to get Northamber into is what I call ‘narrowline'."
Northamber's Tech Expo, which was the first of its kind for a number of years, attracted over 100 resellers and 50 vendors. Phillips said running such events is an important step in getting the Northamber brand back out there after a difficult few years.
"I came in in December/January time and we had been going through a tough time," he said. "But actually, David saw the problems with the economy up front and had decided what not to do, so we bolted down a bit. The timing was right, so David and I worked together to figure where are we going to go instead.
"Look at the event today – constantly the message [we are getting] is ‘it is great to see you guys out there again'. There's a fond place in many hearts for Northamber and we're keen to build on that and do more events like this to do that brand development."
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