It would be a good idea for Dell to have channel partners and resellers. Their direct sale to consumer is fine but to businesses it should be done as other manufactures do it. Businesses feel happy when they will have two partners for their support: distribution and reseller.
K.N.Saigal ITP Direct Ltd, Chesham
I look forward to Dell selling direct to retailers because we already sell more equipment from Dell – servers, laptops and PCs – than from any other manufacturer. It is purchased directly from the Dell factory shop in Ireland.
Our customers would rather pay us the premium for doing the purchasing for them than have to try to order direct from someone whose command of English is not of the best. They also have a direct contact with us if anything goes wrong, and we handle all warranty claims with Dell. Any improvement on the current trading with Dell can only benefit us and increase our profit.
James Mckenzie Main Systems (UK) Ltd, Leeds
I sell a computer for £399. I spend a full day building and installing Windows. I then guarantee the equipment for three years. I replace all faulty items for three years at no cost to my customer. I don’t charge my customer when the kids can’t MSN because the free NIS I included (to win the sale) blocks ‘MSNmessegvirus.exe’. I don’t charge my customer when my backward compatible floppy disk drive won’t read their old floppies. I spent £8.75 taking their old CRT to City Electrical Factors (I could have gone to the local tip, posing as a private person). Now they ring me telling me they can’t get the internet and it’s my fault because the computer I supplied with Vista won’t recognise their speedtouch modem.
Alternatively, I could go to my local evening motor auction. I buy an L plate Fiat Uno for £65 (plus £55 buyers premium). I sell it for £200. Three month later, the Uno packs up. Do I care? Do I have a legal responsibility? More important, does my customer care? They got three months of trouble free motoring for £200. I made 80 quid profit. I have no legal liability to pay for a timing belt after two years. They can’t send the car back to me under the distance selling regulations (after breaking it) because it ‘doesn’t work’.
If Dell want to enter the Channel, let them. It’s the ‘old boy network’. Who went to University together? I’ll tell you, it’s Michael, Bill, etc.
They were all Uni Buddies. Think Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Apple: they were all sleeping in the same dormitory. You not gonna smash em up. You not gonna make a mint out of ‘em.
John Longley Peak PC Computer Services, Chesterfield
They sell em, we fix em and upgrade em to a reasonable spec. We have fixed and upgraded Dells for their disappointed customers. The more they sell, the more work for the indies, who repair.
John Gaines Footprints Computers
Dell is doing nothing new to inspire the market. What they are trying to do is to put their kit next to a HP, Acer, Apple, Toshiba, Sony, etc. At least users can compare the brands. Dell sells cheap kits, but only a certain percentage of the population will want to buy this and the rest will prefer something else.
In the long-term, they might gain a foothold in the retail channel but might lose out with their online sales. It will balance itself out and their position will remain the same.
Dell is a public listed company and has to answer to shareholders. They expect a certain percentage of returns. The IT market is shrinking in size with many top players controlling the market. Dell can only win or make big returns for their shareholders if both HP and Acer stop trading tomorrow.
On top of all that, Dell has to learn how to do business within the retail channel. On a smaller scale, how will a local computer store or VAR resellers compete against Dell online? The end users will be the same.
Robert Sung AS Neovo, Netherlands
I think it is key that resellers and distributors proceed with caution and limit the amount of information they provide to Dell. It has a simple mission: to take back its number one crown in the PC business from HP. Once it has it back will it be so supportive to the channel?
Rob Tomlin Sales Director, Interface Solutions