Where, when and by whom were Bluepoint founded?
Bluepoint was founded in Milton Keynes in August 1992 by our managing director Safraz Manji. In 2003 we moved to a Purpose built £1.5 million headquarters and 30,000 square foot warehouse in the central Milton Keynes.
Is the company very different now to how it was then?
Bluepoint initially started off importing and distributing monitors under the name Bluepoint Monitor Corporation. After pioneering this industry for six years, the company diversified into distributing laptops, systems, printers and computer peripherals.
Of those categories, what would you say is the most successful area of your business?
We have a range of products that contribute successfully to the business – they include monitors, hard drives, laptops, memory and software. Key services that are adding value are the bespoke ‘My E-shot’ and ‘My Tech Info’ services, which allow our customers to personalise our web content as their own.
What do you have to offer retailers over your competitors?
We offer the widest availability of products throughout UK distribution, dedicated account management, unmatched customer service and aggressive price matching. In addition to this we offer daily customised e-shots with our customers’ logo and colours, and allow them to display sections of our website within their own.
What plans do you have for future expansion around the world?
We have offices in the UK and in the Middle East. We are currently working on plans to expand further into Europe and Africa.
And what are your plans for the UK specifically?
Sharper prices, better service, and focused support to our customer base. We listen to our customers, and we can see they are having a hard time – so our job is to get them the best price first time, with a hassle-free and smooth operation, so that they can spend their time looking after and servicing their own customers.
We already have a section called ‘My Branding Solution Live’ on the website for our resellers to take advantage of our professionally-designed e-shots. Our resellers simply need to log in, set their price, enter the email addresses and shoot.
On the basis of the popularity of ‘My Branding’, we are in the process of launching ‘My Site’, which will allow resellers to create their own professional website in minutes with their own personal settings. This will give them access to the tens of thousands of products that Bluepoint distributes.
Do you think the Christmas buying period will be better for retail than last year?
We are expecting this year to be a better year than last year. We have seen an increase in demand and interest. People are now getting accustomed to the times, and are able to spend sensibly while balancing their books.
With prices at an all time low and VAT set to increase in the new year, we think there will be a push to spend and refresh over this coming quarter.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
A week is a long time in IT, let alone five years! However, since you’ve asked the question, I think in five years the market will be a totally different field, with converging technology and business models changing beyond recognition.
We will be focusing on developing and enhancing our existing partnerships with our key vendors, and at the same time building loyalty among our resellers. Our product range will continue to diversify and expand rapidly, and the focus will be to add even further value.