Placing the reputation of your company in someone else’s hands is a decision that every business owner knows shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yet, everyday hundreds of technology partners around New Zealand place orders with their chosen IT Distributors and do just that without a second thought. That’s why we’ve created this definitive guide outlining the traits that every IT partner needs to look for in their IT Distributor. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around since before the dot com rollercoaster, choosing the right distribution partner can be a pivotal factor in your success.
Accessible, Knowledgeable Experts
Whether your customers are starting to push the boundaries of your capabilities or you’re looking to differentiate your offerings through the introduction of new brands, having an IT Distributor with a team of knowledgeable experts backing you can make all the difference. Whilst most distributors boast having the best expertise in the industry, the accessibility of those experts is what sets them apart. From being able to pick up the phone to explain your customers’ requirements in detail or to get a quick technical question answered, the accessibility of a distributor’s experts is an essential quality to consider when choosing the right one for your business. Remember that you’re not just choosing an IT Distributor, you’re choosing a trusted advisor.
A Safe Pair of Hands
The title says it all. Find a distribution partner that treats your business like it’s their own and you’ll be free to focus on winning over more new customers while they take care of everything behind the scenes for you. Establishing a relationship based on the foundation of reliability, trust and loyalty will motivate the distributor to stick with you and to help you grow. Just like you are the safe pair of hands for your customers when there’s no task that’s too small or too large, partnering with an IT Distributor with the same mindset will pay you back time and time again.
Getting IT Right, the First Time
You and your customers are short enough on time. The right distributor not only listens to your needs and helps you build solutions to solve your customers’ problems, but they also get it right the first time. By choosing a distribution partner that carriers a high-level of certifications and employs industry experts you’re significantly reducing the margin for error. You can’t place a value on a distribution partner who is flexible and agile enough to work the same way your business does. That alignment is hard to find, but once you do, you won’t look back.
Honest, Proactive Communication
You know that technology is hardly set and forget, but that’s what makes you so valuable to your customers. So far as they’re concerned, they don’t have to think about IT because they know you’ve got that covered. In the same way you’ve got your customers’ back, your distributor needs to have yours. From keeping you updated on that server you bought three years ago with a warranty that’s about to expire, to getting you the best outcome possible from your chosen vendors, make sure your IT distributor has the systems and relationships in place to back you up.
24x7 Access to the World’s Leading Brands
The last time an IT business ran 9 to 5 was, well, never. Ensuring your IT distributor has an online platform that is deeply integrated with vendor systems will enable you to place orders at any time of the day. The age of waiting for a distributor to open in the morning so you can get that software license you ordered last night are long gone. At the end of the day, we’re all in the technology game, so it’s not unreasonable to expect your IT Distributor to provide an online platform that enables you to get business done when it suits you.
Partnering to Scale
What does the future of your business look like? What’s your bold ambition? Whatever it is, keep it front of mind when choosing your distribution partner. Your IT Distributor should be an extension of your team that you trust implicitly. The right one for your business will share the same values and will have an extensive range of expertise to complement your current go to market strategy. They’ll also be the ones to recommend alternatives and to make sure that if there’s a better way, you know all about it. The right partnership will boost your expertise and will bolster your reputation.
Procure IT the Way Your Customers Want
Your customers come in all shapes and sizes, so the way you pay for technology from your distributor should have options too. The traditional methods of procuring IT as a single upfront cost shouldn’t be the only option on the table in 2020. Having Access to a finance offering that enables you to pay by the month with upfront clarity on your end-of-lease options is a must. Offering an ‘-as-a-service’ option to your customers will differentiate your solution from your competitors and make the refresh conversation in a few years an easy one. Lastly, make sure your distributor isn’t sending your opportunity out to a third-party lender.
Leveraging Additional Services
Your distribution partner should have a range of additional services that help you deliver exactly what your customer needs. Whether it’s installing upgraded components or imaging a device prior to shipment, DOA testing or asset tagging, the ideal distribution partner can deliver these services for a cost lower than having your own staff do the same job. This increases your profitability and with services such as third-party logistics and project management, it enables you to pitch for larger business that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to fulfill IT.
As you’ve read through this article you’ve no doubt been asking yourself a bunch of questions. Do I get that from my current IT Distributor? Is that point relevant to my business? What do I really need from the suppliers I work with? The next step is for you to evaluate who you’re going to work with moving forwards. Check out some testimonials on the companies you’re evaluating. Understand the value these IT Distributors can bring to your business make sure they can service the basic needs of your technology business; from stock to logistics, credit to online portal capabilities. Finally, make sure they’re aligned to your values. For example, is working with a New Zealand and Australian owned and operated IT Distributor important to you? Define how you position your business to your customers and then find a distributor that matches your mindset.
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