The distributor launched an extensive education-specific programme to support reseller business development over the peak
summertime buying period
Its Focus on Education guide highlighted upcoming technologies and areas of opportunity for resellers in the education sector, contained information on the tools and resources available from Tech Data, as well as special propositions and offers from leading vendors including Acer, APC, Cisco, Ergotron, HP Enterprise, HP Inc, Microsoft, NETGEAR, Polaroid and Targus.
Significantly, Tech Data also provided additional credit lines. In mid-June, it made £150 million of extra funding available to over 4,000 of its customers and saw exceptional uptake by resellers taking full advantage of the extra flexibility to drive sales and business growth.
Cathi Low, Director of SMB and Public Sector at Tech Data, said that uptake from resellers of the credit lines has been exceptional. “We’ve been thrilled that our customers have responded so positively. A very large proportion of them have made use of the additional credit available. It’s clearly making it easier for them to do business and fuelling significant growth for the channel. It’s an excellent outcome.”
The company grew its SMB sales by 20 per cent year-on-year that month and believes that growth has been boosted significantly as a result of the increased credit lines.
Extended payment terms
In addition, during July, when 50 per cent or more of verified orders from education are made up of products sold by Maverick, its specialist audio visual business, Tech Data offered extended payment terms until September to resellers targeting the education sector with audio visual solutions. The extra credit, designed to help education-focused partners manage the longer payment cycles that are typical in the public sector, was applied to the accounts of frequent customers automatically, giving them the flexibility to do more business and drive growth with both existing and new customers.
The company said it was doing everything it could to help resellers maximise their business potential and drive sales growth during the peak period. Public Sector Marketing Manager Kirsty Guy said that the additional credit facilities have had a significant and very positive impact.
Blackburn-based reseller, Nybble is one company that has benefited. Managing Director Ram Gupta said the additional credit facilities had made a real difference. “It is a very positive move and really helped us. Having the extra credit gives us much more flexibility and is a real enabler for our business. It means we can go into customers with confidence, knowing that we can finance the business and have been able to accept orders that we otherwise might have had to turn down,” he said.
Only a few days after being given the extended credit facility, Nybble took an order for 40 laptops and two charging trolleys from a local primary school worth more than £45,000. Gupta said that the extra credit and extended payment period made the deal financially viable. The company was also discussing the replacement of servers with the school.
The extended facilities are also helping Nybble to manage cashflow. “At busy times of the year you can very quickly find yourself stretched, especially if you have been increasing your spending to finance new business and payments from customers do not come in as expected. Having the extra credit just makes it easier for us to manage that and plan ahead so it’s been positive for us in a number of ways,” Gupta added.
In his view, Tech Data has set a benchmark in the UK channel. “I believe Tech Data has sent a clear message with this initiative – namely that they understand the needs of smaller businesses and that they are ‘the distributor of choice’ for SMB resellers,” adding: “What they have done is a game changer.”
Vendors have also been pleased with the results. According to Andy Bass, SMB and Channel Director from the UK and Ireland at Lenovo: “This is a really great initiative that has helped many Lenovo resellers to do more business right away – not only in education but also in the commercial space.”
He added: “We applaud Tech Data for taking this bold step and making such a positive commitment to supporting partner growth.”
Tech Data provides a range of services that build value for resellers selling to the education sector, including a dedicated Public Sector microsite, a virtual classroom that enables resellers to explore the different options and technologies available to customers (a white-label version of this is also available), special education pricing and discounts from over 30 vendors. It runs regular Tendering Workshops that enable resellers to learn how to navigate the procurement process and develop their education business.