FixITlocal's managing director John Carter has said that the days of product-led buying groups are over and that only those organisations built around service will survive.
Speaking to PC Retail, Carter said that the market had changed so much that organisations aimed primarily at helping indies buy products are incapable of helping the same firms remain profitable.
"There isn't much point in trying to sell products and survive on that. Whatever you can stock is going to be sold down the local PC World or supermarket – you can't rely on making your margin purely on product, it just doesn't happen anymore.
"These days it's all about service – only a service focused group can help. Resellers are thinking to themselves, 'right, I've got eight hours in a day; how can I best use it?' Is it by selling products for a tiny margin? No, of course it isn't; it's by selling service and consultancy, and that's where FixITlocal comes in."
Carter explained that the key thing is getting people away from immediately taking their PCs down a shop to get repaired: "If you have a problem with your plumbing, you don't take the offending bit of kit down to your local B&Q; you call out a plumber. Then if you need new part, they sell you what you need as part of their service.
"In a similar way, resellers who are repairing PCs and other IT equipment can get add-on sales through suggesting better broadband etc. The key thing is that it is all service-led rather than product-led."