There's been a lot of talk about the payback from energy and power-consumption savings. But there have been few solution providers, vendors or distributors that have made the leap from plain talk to a no-holds-barred green sales strategy. That is until now.
D&H Distributing, which more often than not beats its larger competitors to the punch when it comes to emerging technology or solution trends, has put together an aggressive going green campaign centered around the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
The D&H program, which runs from Jan. 4 to April 16, rewards solution providers with a point for each green product purchase. The "green" product determination is based on the distributor's ability to classify 4,000 line card products on its e-commerce system through green certifications such as Energy Star, Restriction of Hazardous Substances/Work for Electronic Equipment, Electronic Product Enviromental Assessment Tool, as well as TCO criteria.
Partners' progress will be charted on dandh.com. Every solution provider that hits 40 items is entered for a chance to win a Toyota Prius, which will be awarded on Earth Day on April 22. At press time, D&H had sold 347,395 green products, with 657 solution providers entered in the drawing.
The D&H promotion is more than marketing hype. The ability to classify products based on energy compliance and then for solution providers to follow through with specific ROI savings for customers is a big deal. Green is more than a political movement. It's all about reducing one of the biggest line items: electricity and power/cooling. It's also a major step toward reducing the 70 percent norm for IT budgets spent on IT maintenance with a slim 30 percent for competitive differentiation.
Bill Hole, owner of The Hole Group, a Simi Valley, Calif., system builder/
solution provider, said his sales were up 12 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the same period one year ago based in large part on green solutions powered by Intel's energy-efficient DQ45EK motherboard and Microsoft Windows 7. "Our client base has seen tremendous improvements in performance and productivity along with power savings and lower energy use," he said.
Hole said customers are looking for any way they can to be more efficient and save money--and green solutions fit the bill. "Everyone is trying to leverage any opportunity and benefit they can rather than make payroll cuts or other cuts," he said.
Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at D&H, sees the green program as a big differentiator for the distributor to increase its market share. He said that the cost savings can be substantial for customers buying green in some cases, as much as 15 percent to 40 percent in energy efficiency.
Besides the cost savings, there is the benefit of being a good steward of the environment, said Davis. For those solution providers that get on board with the D&H green program, it's sure to mean greener pastures.