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Dell hits distribution snag

Microscope contributor

Dell has admitted that setting up a pan-European distribution network for volume PCs and servers has proved more complicated than it initially anticipated.

Broadliners Tech Data and Ingram Micro have signed up with Dell in North America and the vendor had hoped to extend those contracts to Europe before year end.

However lining up pre-configured SKUs for distribution across the region was “more complex than expected” Greg Davis, vice president of global channels, told MicroScope.

“Everything we do is on a build-to-order basis and certainly distribution is based on a more configured-to-order stock inventory model, and that is creating process changes that we have to make.

“We’ve done this in the US, we certainly still have issues that we are working through around fixed configuration and when you start thinking about multiple countries - pan European - the challenge is multiplied,” he said.

In the UK,Dell already punts printers to resellers through Micro P while servers and EqualLogic storage are distributed by Hammer. In mainland Europe firms Copaco and Devil also work with the vendor.

Davis said Dell could overcome these operational issues but he was unwilling to commit to a potential launch date and seemed pretty open minded about the distributors it works with; new ones, existing partners or Tech Data and Ingram Micro.

“There is still clearly a desire from my standpoint to expand our relationship [with Tech Data and Ingram Micro] as well as look as new distribution partners,” he said.

The company will also explore expanding the products its current four distributors carry, Davis added and said it was being approached by others.

Ingram Micro has previously said that its Dell franchise could hit $1bn over the next few years depending on the progress made and the number of locations they partner.

Channel insiders reckon Ingram Micro and Tech Data could be concerned about developing a partnership with Dell in Europe and risk potentially alienating other vendors they work with.

Some resellers expressed a desire for Dell to bring on board wholesalers when the vendor started to talk about working with partners and the lack of a firm launch date is bound to disappoint some as the benefits to logistics and credit are obvious.

Related Topics: Desktop PCs, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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