Staying independent

Koch Media's head of software sales, Joanna Kemp, tells us about the firm
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It’s been a rough 12 months for most – how has trading been for Koch?

I never want to fate things, and would rather be modest about how things are going. It’s been a good past year for Koch Media and the software division, with good steady growth; thankfully we were well positioned with good relationships on both the customer and supplier side to see us through any potentially difficult times during the recession.

PCindie.com has been around for over a year now – has the initial phase gone as you’d hoped?

There were never unrealistic expectations at the start, so yes the first year has gone as I had hoped.

Saying that, we don’t want to rest on our laurels and not develop the site and continue to expand. I’ve got a lot of ideas and a great creative team around me, which will hopefully mean that our customers and suppliers see some interesting changes throughout 2010. We will continue to launch major brands on the site and expand our offering to our independents.

What’s next for PCindie.com?

For our independents I want to start making clever tweaks to the site to improve navigation and understanding of it. We are starting to put various plans in place internally to identify promotions and how we carry them out. For our suppliers we will be continuing to develop the back-end reporting system, which gives them complete transparency and data when they need it.

More and more companies are paying lip service to cloud-based initiatives – how do you think this will impact the traditional software distribution and retail sector?

Of course eventually retail box distribution will be limited. As and when that will happen isn’t a question I can answer. I cannot see the traditional retail/e-tail customer moving to cloud-based purchasing for some time; early adopters absolutely will, but not the mainstream. In terms of traditional cloud initiatives I see it impacting our volume licensing sector first, particularly in the corporate sector. With budgets under constraint, cloud purchasing is a cost-effective way to have access to non-essential software for certain users as and when required, compared to rolling out yearly costly licenses.

How has Koch changed as a business since it was founded?

We have continually grown our turnover year on year, but honestly we have stuck to what we know and developed and grown on our strengths, than changing and diversifying and trying to be everything to everyone. Koch Media has and always will be a true value-added sales and marketing company backed by a first class logistical and warehousing facility. We pride ourselves on our knowledge and unique place in the market. That’s something I am personally very proud of.

What’s next on the agenda? Are you looking to expand the business in the UK or abroad?

Koch Media UK is part of a worldwide operation, with operating companies in nine countries. As for what’s on the agenda for software this year – we are always on the look out for new acquisitions and extending our range. In fact, we are busy working on opportunities now to continue bringing fresh new products to the market.

Where do you see Koch in five years time?

As I said, Koch is busy working on opportunities to maximise its potential and the company been over in China in the last month looking at new technologies and potential markets. I really see Koch leading the way in value-add distribution and evolving our customer relationships to bring new technology and ideas to the market. Watch this space.

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