DSGi closes Equanet Surbiton office

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DSGi closes Equanet Surbiton office

Microscope contributor

DSGi has today closed Equanet's Surbiton-based office and shifted across all customer accounts to Bury and Borehamwood as part of a cost rationalisation process.

Calls to the branch are being transferred to the operations centre HQ in Bury and a spokesman at DSGi confirmed the move was part of the "ongoing transformation" of its B2B operations.

"The 18 members of staff there have been informed and we started a 30 days consultation period, during which time they will be able to apply for other vacancies within the Group," the spokesman told MicroScope.

"These changes are part of the transformation programme that will deliver an efficient, more customer-focused organisation that will sustain the business for future growth," he added.

He confirmed, "All customer accounts will be redeployed to the company's Borehamwood and Bury offices."

The action was planned earlier this summer but at the time Equanet commercial director Cathy Craig had been visiting vendors concerned about the group's future and felt closing Equanet's office would have "sent out the wrong messages" said a source.

"The group was faced with a lot of questions and went out of a on a two to three week tour of the major vendors, letting them know the Equanet story and the rationale behind the branding," he added.

However, according to sources James Welsh - who last month replaced interim boss Martin Dorchester - agreed with other senior management to act now.

"The directors decided to eliminate costs and try to improve profitability," said a source.

The PC World Business brand has struggled to resonate with customers with more than 40 seats so group parent DSGi Business decided Equanet was better suited to serving managed accounts, while Macwarehouse and Microwarehouse moved online.

A failure to integrate the acquisitions is believed to be the root cause of issues that DSGi Business, DSGi's reseller arm is now facing said a channel insider who suggested the directors were "not sure what to do with Equanet long term."

It is unlikely given the PC World Business branding in the PC World Stores that it would sell that part of the group but it is understood that Misco-parent Systemax has been in discussions about taking over Microwarehouse.

In recent weeks, MicroScope revealed that the reseller group DSGi Business saw its sales drop by one third to £103.2m in the 24 weeks ended 17 October.

This latest round of cost cutting comes less than a year after DSGi closed the sales offices in Hemel Hempstead and Sheffield.

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