We talk to Northamber’s Raste Khan, product manager for networking and gaming, about the distributor’s product range ahead of PCR Boot Camp 2014.
Northamber has signed up for PCR Boot Camp 2014. The expo and conference event, held at the Brewery in London on Wednesday May 21st, is free to attend for retailers and resellers – to secure your place register here today.
We asked Northamber’s Raste Khan about which products the firm plans to showcase at this year's event and what sets them apart.
PCR: What products and services will you be promoting at Boot Camp this year?
Raste Khan: This is Northamber’s first year at PCR Boot Camp and we are very excited about bringing a range of products from several vendors. One of the highlights is Touch Genie, a product that can make any monitor a touchscreen. Northamber have just signed to be the only distributor in the UK to stock ECS motherboards and we also have their version (Liva) of the Intel NUC on show. Fujitsu and Acer have a fantastic range of products that will be on show for the retail sector.
What distinguishes you from your competitors?
RK: Our long-standing sales team – some of our staff here have been working for Northamber for over 20 years. They have a wealth of knowledge, and so they should as Northamber was the first trade only distributor in the UK. We also self-insure which helps accounts grow that cannot get credit with other distributors for whatever reason.
What are the key brands/lines you carry?
RK: Northamber deals with over 100 vendors which all are key to the growth of our company. In the last quarter we have had some fantastic sales with the likes of Brother, Acer, Cherry, USR, Genius and Crucial. Northamber like to think of itself as a one-stop shop.
What are you most looking forward to at PCR Boot Camp?
RK: As it’s our first year at the event, we are excited about networking with potential accounts that we can hopefully help grow. We will also be interested in seeing what our competitors are showcasing.
What is your proudest moment as a company?
RK: As Northamber approaches its 35th year it's very hard to pinpoint a single moment when there's so many to choose from. Last week alone we had two members of staff celebrate 25 and 27 years respectively with Northamber. Knowing that we have a team full of passion that can commit to a cause for the duration gives us proud moments every day especially as we are currently putting a renewed focus on building on that experience to drive Northamber forward for another 35 years.
What do you see being the biggest challenge facing PC retailers at the moment?
RK: The online marketplace can be such a hindrance to retailers but there are many, including myself, who enjoy the shopping experience. It’s extremely important for retailers to be on top of new trends and new products, and be up to date with knowledge, making sure that every customer receives the service they want to make them come back to the High Street.
What do you think will be the next big thing in tech?
RK: Virtual reality machines. Remember Lawnmower Man? Terrible movie I know, but virtual reality could be so much fun. Also home automation – people are looking now more than ever to integrate tech into their homes, and the possibilities wireless technology provides for improving home automation and energy efficiency are genuinely exciting.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change about the channel?
RK: The grey channel. Prior to Northamber, I was a product manager for KMS Components. I didn’t realize the effect that out of region products caused accounts in the UK. When KMS went into liquidation, I was bombarded with calls from accounts that I dealt with and looked after – many of which ended up losing thousands of pounds due to faulty products that they could not return, as they were not from the EU. Be vigilant when buying your goods from distributors and make sure you are buying from the official channels.