Computer resellers are calling on Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Toshiba and Microsoft to immediately appoint another distributor to provide the market with choice and competitive pricing.
The call follows Renaissance's bombshell announcement to drop non-exclusive agreements with the vendors in a restructuring move towards becoming a value-added distributor.
The marketing manager at Auckland-based LANscape, Neil Cartwright, says all the brands the Renaissance is dropping are important. “This reduces the supply chain, especially on HP and Compaq, because it only leaves Tech Pacific. If it is out of stock of any products, we have no alternative supplier," he says.
"Microsoft we can order from Express Data, but we are interested to see what the hardware vendors do about this change because it is likely to put a bit of a strain on Tech Pacific to cope with the increased demand for stock holding."
Computerland's Christchurch-based general manager marketing, John Tolchard, shares Cartwright's sentiments. "People like choices."
However, the change will not affect Computerland as the systems integrator has a direct relationship with the vendors.
The procurement manager at gen-i, Andrew Collins, says although it buys direct from the vendors and has Tech Pacific as its strategic partner, it would like to see another distributor coming in to provide an option.
"It is healthy to have a bit of a competition."
Renaissance managing director Mal Thompson describes the move as "going back to what Renaissance was 17 years ago - a value-added distributor."
The four agencies were responsible for 50% of Renaissance $180 million in annual revenue. However, Thompson is confident of the success of the restructured company.
"The new structure will work for us in the new year. We know the old one did not work for us.
"We want to move away from being just a logistics company as distribution margins are extremely low and continue to decline. The company will focus on products and services for the education market, where we already enjoy a significant presence through our Apple and other IT-related products ranges. We want to work with suppliers to whose products we can add value," Thompson says.
Renaissance will continue to sell the four vendor's products over the next two months.
The company is also laying off staff. Thompson says he is not in a position to disclose the actual number, but says those affected are product managers of the four vendors concerned. "Things are not finalised yet and we are doing our best to [ensure a smooth] transition and to see the affected staff get a job."