Five minutes with... VIP Computers

multiple laptops open with orange screen

Five minutes with... Duncan McAuley, purchasing director at VIP Computers

What direction is VIP now taking in the marketplace?

Despite the current market conditions, we are still working to drive forward and invest in the expansion of our vendor portfolio. We have forged closer relationships with AMD, becoming master distributor in January 2009 and as of April 2009 we have added Acer to our portfolio. This vendor portfolio expansion comes as a refreshing move at a time when elsewhere we are seeing a shift towards the contraction of customer services and products.

Mobile Broadband in particular is a new area that has offered excellent growth potential for our customers, enabling them to expand their portfolio and generate valuable extra income.

What technologies is VIP concentrating on?

Mobile technology remains a focus for VIP and one where we are seeing continued growth. Our partnership with Acer adds a second major notebook manufacturer to our range and in conjunction with mobile broadband from Three, our resellers can capitalise on the trend for IT on-the-go, from one distributor.

What do you think are the biggest challenges currently affecting the channel?

Constricted credit limits continue to challenge small and large resellers as insurers look to control the level of risk they are exposed to.

In addition, the lack of consumer confidence in conjunction with traditional seasonality trends have meant reduced demand for the last few months causing resellers to focus on cost.

How has the current economic downturn affected VIP’s business strategy?

VIP is financially strong and combined with a measured risk approach, we continue to have sufficient capacity to drive forward. As part of ongoing initiatives, we are constantly seeking to drive efficiency throughout the business but we see this as good business practice rather than a one-off response to the current economic downturn.

Our ongoing aim is to focus on our core business and constantly monitor pricing to ensure we remain competitive to the benefit of our customers. By helping our resellers manage their inventory to ensure they only stock the necessary quantities, we can help keep their costs down.

What is VIP doing to help its reseller partners grow their businesses at this time?

Despite the reduction in credit seen across the industry, VIP has the financial stability to consider discretionary credit limits for its customers. In some cases this has enabled us to offer flexible terms that have made a real difference to some customers who have struggled to get similar levels of support elsewhere in the industry.

In addition, our account managers are always looking for opportunities to help our resellers achieve extra margin on additional products and ensure they grasp extra sales at every opportunity.


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