D&H Woos Systems Builders With Discount Program

'Go Configure' promotion includes components from Microsoft, Intel

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For years, white-box computers have been the best-selling systems in the SMB market. This month, D&H Distributing will try to help solution providers make those systems the most profitable.

Throughout August, the Harrisburg-based distributor is sponsoring "Go Configure," a program that features 5 percent to 10 percent discounts on system components from vendors including Microsoft, Intel, Altec Lansing, Canon, NEC-Mitsubishi, Western Digital and Creative Labs, according a D&H executive.

The distributor increased its inventory of the targeted components by 20 percent and pumped up advertising and marketing to support the promotion, said Dan Schwab, vice president of marketing at D&H.

As part of the promotion, Schwab said solution providers can qualify for daily giveaways, which include American Express gift certificates of up to $1,000, D&H-branded Intel systems, Caribbean cruises and $50 Omaha SteakBucks gift certificates.

Dan Schwab: D&H hopes new promotion will spark extra white-box sales.

"It's a great idea because every little bit helps in today's economy," said Suncha Desario, president of Tech Computer Center, a reseller in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, that serves SMBs.

If history repeats itself, the discounted components and incentives should spark extra white-box sales into the SMB market, Schwab said. During "May Display Days," D&H's first "focus month" promotion this year, monitor sales for both the distributor and its customers increased 36 percent over the previous month, he said.

"We believe an increase in our sales has a direct correlation to sales by our resellers and vendors," Schwab said.

Solution providers report steady white-box sales, including systems and servers, in the mainstay education and government markets. But they also are generating incremental business by selling white-box vertical solutions to small-business owners who feel they don't receive quality products and service from tier-one manufacturers.

"We work with companies that were buying from tier ones but didn't receive the support or customization they needed," said John Samborski, CEO of Ace Computers, a white-box solution provider in Arlington Heights, Ill. "They've turned out to be great partnerships for us."

White-box systems now make up about 58 percent of the worldwide PC market, according to research firm IDC. About 40 percent of D&H's customers provide some type of white-box solution, according to the distributor, while component and white box-related products account for about 30 percent of its business.

"With the tier-two computer manufacturers being squeezed, we believe there is more reason for resellers to build systems," Schwab said. "And a lot of the resellers that were supporting tier-one manufacturers have shifted their energies to white boxes because they can make more margin and differentiate their offerings."

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