MSI signs BCN in mid-market push

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Taiwanese vendor MSI Computer has signed Sydney-based distributor BCN Technology as a replacement for Digiland.

Taiwanese vendor MSI Computer has signed Sydney-based distributor BCN Technology as a replacement for Digiland.

Tracy Tsuei, GM at MSI's Australian head office, said that BCN would help MSI address the mid-market and retail as the hardware maker ramped up ahead of an increased drive into the consumer electronics and notebooks space later this year.

"We were strong in multimedia, and media cards. But we're also starting manufacturing notebooks and some consumer electronics and some home multimedia products," Tsuei said.

She said that Digiland was dropped in the second half of the financial year as a result of "a few internal issues". BCN had become aware of the situation and approached MSI, requesting the distributorship.

"We had been working with Digiland for the past few years. They had been doing quite well, but I guess they had a lot of issues. It's a pity that we can't keep working with them," Tsuei said.

She said one unsettling issue was that Digiland had kept shuffling staff around. "The personnel there changed all the time. They changed people at a managerial level every few months," Tsuei said.

BCN had impressed for its strengths in areas MSI expected to grow strongly in the coming year, and for its willingness to dedicate staff to the brand, she said.

"We don't want to play in the price space. We are looking forward to working with BCN and giving good product service," Tsuei said. "You don't have to go through a third party, customers can come to us directly for service."

MSI does "very little" direct sales. It also used other distributors, such as Legend, Leader and Ingram Micro. All had different strengths and focuses, Tsuei added.

Ken Lowe, MD at BCN, said MSI was a "very large" manufacturer with a diversifying product portfolio, including nine groups incorporating a few thousand items.

"You've got to do a lot more product management. So we are actually delegating two product managers for the products. We are putting a lot more people in the sales team," Lowe said.

Logistics management was increasingly important. Distribution needed to be able to quickly identify which products were moving slowly and change promotion tactics accordingly, he said.

"The key point for the distributor nowadays is to have a very effective information system. We have a centralised database," Lowe said.

BCN covered a range of resellers, mass-merchant retailers, the mid-market and some small assemblers across Australia. MSI was expected to ramp up considerably in the coming year, he said.

He would not say how much revenue MSI was expected to earn for BCN in the coming year. "But I believe it will be six digits and up, maybe to seven digits," Lowe said. "We expect MSI to be in the top five vendors at BCN."

Digiland could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.



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