Altech woos Melbourne resellers with glam opening bash

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Brisbane-born distributor Altech Computers has opened a warehouse in Melbourne in response to customer request -- and plans a big reseller party next week to celebrate.

Brisbane-born distributor Altech Computers has opened a warehouse in Melbourne in response to customer request -- and plans a big reseller party next week to celebrate.

Altech Computers began in Brisbane seven years ago and three-and-a-half years later moved its head office to Sydney.

'Now, three-and-a-half years later, we've opened up a distribution centre in Springvale, Melbourne,' said Safa Joumaa, national sales and marketing manager at Altech Computers.

Joumaa said the Melbourne site had started operating in November and was doing $110,000 to $120,000 in orders a day.

'There was such a demand from Melbourne, because a lot of our customers were saying, you know, about the freight costs,' he said.

Freight costs to South Australia, Tasmania, and to a lesser extent Western Australia had proved prohibitive for some resellers, he suggested.

'They said, "if you open up an office in Victoria, we'll definitely buy a lot more from you",' Joumaa said.

If all goes well, Altech Computers plans to ramp up its presence in New Zealand in a few years, via an Auckland sub-distributor called Geeks Direct, he said.

Joumaa put Altech Computers' success down to its customer service principles and what he termed its 'aggressive marketing'.

'We have the ability to have customer service for our clients [who are] not needing to wait for hours in line, how it happens with other disties,' he said. '[Also], we're everywhere. I think you can see us advertising in nearly every single IT title.'

On Thursday 4 March, the company officially launches its Melbourne base with a gala event for 160 to 180 resellers, vendors, and journalists and glitzy prizes including a trip for two to Fiji and a $5000 Samsung 'home theatre' package.

'We've sent emailed invitations not just to customers, but to prospective customers,' Joumaa said.

Attendees will be entertained by a 'contemporary jazz' band and a 10-vendor product showcase.

'We've got hundreds of prizes, including Formula 1-style shirts with our blue-and-white corporate logo on the back,' Joumaa said. 'I don't think anyone will go home empty-handed.'

Frank Sheu, MD at Melbourne-based Synnex Australia, said there was room for more distributors in Melbourne depending on their target markets and how much market share they needed to survive.

'It all depends on what kind of offering they can make to the channel, and how big a size of the piece of pie they want to eat,' he said.

Sheu noted that channel players tended to come and go, so Altech Computers was just one more. He did not consider Altech Computers a competitor, and pointed out the company was also a Synnex customer.

'We never compete with anyone -- except maybe one or two companies!' he said.

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