Distie Profile: Synnex shares its growth secrets

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This article appeared in the August, 2009 issue of CRN magazine.

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Distie Profile: Synnex shares its growth secrets
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For IT resellers, this distributor has evolved into a one-stop-shop offering a product range that stretches from its former core component business to notebooks and netbooks, peripherals and more recently consumer electronics.

Synnex's market ranges from small and medium resellers to system integrators, retailers, and value-added resellers - so broad, in fact, that in the words of the distributor's Australian CEO Kee Ong, as long as they are in the IT business we want to know them".

But the distributor has both feet on the ground, determined to provide flexibility and a service level to resellers that cuts through the red tape around common irritants such as warranty returns and freight.

"Synnex is extremely selective of its partners and portfolio offerings, representing only 35 vendors," says Kee Ong (pictured). "We take the time to really understand our customers' businesses, their challenges and product offerings so our approach is very specialised and focused."s

Synnex nurtures the brands it represents, Ong says. It has to, "because the company has a limited number of brands to talk to resellers about". So, its sales team focuses on value-add selling and one of Synnex's key weapons is its after sales service, says Ong.

"We have a flexible ordering system and can assert multiple ways for the customer to trade with us. They can give us a call, order by fax or email or they can order online," he says. 

Then the firm's prized delivery system swings into action. Synnex offers two deliveries a day, a relative rarity for any distributor in this business.

If resellers order in the morning and their location is within a 50km radius the order is likely to be delivered in the afternoon. Goods ordered in the afternoon will be delivered by the following morning.

Synnex has a fleet of nearly 40 trucks which it owns, controls and maintains. It is, Ong says, "a key advantage". "We are unique in Australia. We have our own trucks to do our own deliveries, which provides a direct point-to-point supply service to the reseller and retailer."

Another benefit is that the distributor is less reliant on outsourced delivery costs and services. It also insulates Synnex against fluctuating fuel costs.  

"In the last two years when petrol prices were going up sharply we did not increase our freight cost to our customers. It was one of the cost savings we provided; we understood that the market was tough enough," says Ong.

"From the customer's point of view, they get their delivery which will ease pressure on their capital."

Customers still have the choice to send their own courier or pick up their order from one of four Synnex warehouses.

Never to waste a trip, Synnex drivers will pick up warranty returns at the same time as they deliver -- a service the distributor seeks to make as straightforward as possible.

"We set ourselves a tough target of turning around RAs (return authorisations) within 72 hours. In the last four years our hit rate has been over 80 percent consistently. We are continuously looking at ways to improve our service to customers so they have replacement stock in a very short time," says Ong.

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