Distribution is too reminiscent of shipping-in and shipping-out and does not
reflect the level of expertise, service and support now offered by
forward-thinking distributors looking to provide genuine value to their
partners. Maybe systribution’ is a better word.
To enable their resellers to develop their business, distributors need to provide benefits that can be transferred and leveraged in tender pitches and new business negotiations. In these circumstances, real value comes from the in-depth knowledge and honed skillset of a reseller to provide valuable consultancy at the outset, access to extensive post-sales service and support, and rewarding maintenance agreements.
This is why distribution must extend beyond that of being a warehouse on wheels and incorporate the necessary skills and support to accompany the product offering. This is where specialisation wins over broadlining and ‘systribution’ wins over distribution.
The IT industry is teeming with vendor products covering all sorts of different disciplines and resellers are looking for distributors that can help them cut through the clutter and find the products that suit their target market.
It is possible to offer the channel a truly specialist service if distributors invest the financial and human resources necessary in providing the education and support to complement the proven products they offer.
Through the transfer of knowledge between distributor and partner, vendors’ products are better represented in the market; end users can expect a valuable service and resellers can secure more business. The all-round benefits afforded through specialisation will foster stronger relationships, help to increase customer retention, acilitate cross-selling and galvanise hard-earned reputations.
Through specialisation, distributors can stand the test of time, ensuring a continuous point of contact for the channel and helping to build long-term relationships.
Laura Harman is business unit manager at Horizon equIP Technology.
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