MB Technologies, SA’s largest technology distributor, is opening 10 distribution centres at key locations around the country specifically to serve the small and medium business market.
MB Technologies CEO Glenn Fullerton, pictured, says this is a market that traditionally has been neglected by distributors. By bringing distribution facilities closer to technology resellers and dealers, MB Technologies is hoping to build its market share further.
The roll-out is being done by MB Technologies subsidiary Channelware in conjunction with sister company Advanced Channel Technologies.
“[MB Technologies subsidiary] Tarsus has a centralised warehouse in Johannesburg and offices around the country, but they’re not in strategic points,” Fullerton says.
The new centres are meant to make it easier for resellers to access distribution points, cutting down on unproductive time spent in traffic.
The facilities will also be used to train resellers and dealers about the products they sell. They’ll even be used to provide business advice.
Fullerton says it is small and medium companies that will lead SA out of the recession so the new facilities are critical to MB Technologies.
Channelware MD Stephan van Rensburg says the centres should help resellers to carry less stock as they’ll be able to get the equipment they need faster. The company works with about 1 600 of these dealers. “They can convert their buffer stock into cash,” he says. “It’s a draw card for a guy with a fragile balance sheet.”
MB Technologies, which is controlled by Royal Bafokeng Holdings with an effective 55% stake, has opened eight centres so far — in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Durban, Cape Town, Polokwane, Nelspruit, Boksburg and Midrand. A facility will be opened in East London in the next few weeks, with further centres on the cards for 2010. So, far the centres have required an investment of about R10m.
The distribution centres will stock products from, among others, Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Lenovo, Canon, Samsung, Kingston, Lexmark, Logitech and Verbatim. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral