Banging the drum

Normally in this column I cover a variety of quite cleverly crafted topics. Well, I think they are cleverly crafted. I seldom beat the TCA drum too loudly, preferring to cover industry issues.
Publish date:

But this month, instead of taking the high ground and talking about issues, I’m going to get right down to talking about some of the things I have been doing over the last few days. So insert your earplugs, because I’m going to give the TCA drum a right good banging!

We’ve just finished updating the member benefits list on our website. It’s only when you get down to listing them that you see what great benefits we provide on top of the basic trade association benefits of representation, information, networking, advice and Code of Practice. We have fantastic member benefits and even a couple of additional Revenue Streams for members.

Professional indemnity insurance is something that independent resellers have been requesting a long time. Ours includes a free check/preparation of proper Terms and Conditions – an absolute necessity for anyone trading.

Our free finance helpline covers issues such as debt collection, legal services, fraud prevention and investigation, asset recovery, lender services, business turnaround and recovery, as well as personal debt solutions.

We also offer a healthcare package from just £1 per employee per week. The potential benefits to the employer by providing this to their staff include reduced absenteeism, improved staff morale and it also helps to recruit and retain staff. For the employer there is even a 24 hour counselling and advice line, an HR helpline, and a health report.

We are an increasingly litigious society, so don’t leave your business or its directors exposed. Our IT legal advice comes from one of the leading IT legal advisors and gives free discussion of any IT contractual/legal issues, free legal audit of your terms and conditions and discounted IT/ecommerce template agreements.

Our channel sales reports for both retail and B2B sales allow you to benchmark your business’ performance. One of our Added Revenue Streams is online debt management solutions for you to sell to your clients, to help them improve their business cash flow and help them reduce the risk of bad debt.

Another Added Revenue Stream is for you to sell insured warranties to your customers. These warranties bring you added income at time of sale, you will get paid for doing your own warranty work (no more worries about being caught in the middle between the vendor/distie’s terms and consumer legislation). This means you can now sell outside of your normal comfort zone, knowing that whatever happens to you, your customers will be covered.

We also offer business information, including credit checking new clients and evaluating suppliers. The benefits of belonging to your channel trade association, for a membership fee of just £10 per month, are too great for us to fully detail here.

But I hope I’ve given you a flavour of some of the things we have been doing. We are really, really busy. And that’s why, dear editor, this column is a bit later than usual!



A letter to Apple UK

Dear Apple, Firstly, I really, really want to say thanks for reading my column, because it was only recently that I had it confirmed. I know not everyone at Apple UK reads me, but some of you do. I wish I?d heard this directly from the source, but ? and I?ll sing this in my best Cliff Richard falsetto voice ? I guess ?we don?t talk anymore...?

The sharp end of the industry

I was recently asked by the organisers of the TCA Conference if I would like to give a ten minute ?pitch and bitch? presentation about the life of a small indie. Feeling very passionate about the retail business, I gave it a shot.

Welcome to PCR

I've aired my opinion that in such a fast moving industry, adaptation and evolution are the best tools retailers have. Well, the same rule applies to us as well.

The way ahead for the indie channel

I have written before in this column about how important I believe it is for independent computer solution providers to turn their ?on the job? knowledge into industry recognised certifications. This becomes particularly relevant when the potential customer is a local or national government department or other government funded organisation.

Engaged? You should be

Here's a complaint that I frequently hear from independent resellers: "Vendors and distributors just don't want to listen to us little guys."



Scott Bicheno speaks to Semmy Levit, Acer UK country manager, to find how the company has taken on the traditional heavyweights of the PC industry...


You don't progress by standing still

By now readers will be aware that the PCA has progressed to become the TCA ?the Technology Channels Association?by joining with the Mac Technology Association. Since you will probably have already read the press releases and the comment around them, I thought you might also appreciate a bit of the inside story.