Why we need the old habits to die

Derek Jones, managing director of channel services group Synaxon UK explains why buying smarter is better for retailers rather than always trying to get the lowest price.

Old habits die hard. And although the market is changing, a lot of IT trade is still fuelled by product sales. Businesses and consumers may well be buying software by subscription and using cloud-based virtual machines, storage and managed security, but they still need client devices to access it. They still need systems, displays, keyboards, mice, printers, replacement cartridges etc.

 End customers know this and they also know that there are thousands of suppliers out there; many of them will use this to drive the price down as low as the supplier is prepared to go. 

It’s not quite the same for resellers and retailers. Within the UK’s technology channel, it’s only the big buyers who can play one distributor off against another to beat them down on price. Everyone else just gets the same deal and no real flexibility on pricing. 

But as I previously said, old habits die hard and resellers still look for the best price and availability and place their business wherever that takes them. This has always seemed strange given the way the supply chain works now. And the more I think about it, the stranger it seems.

“Only the big buyers can play one distributor off against another and beat them down on price.” 
Derek Jones, Synaxon

Now, as everyone knows (I hope) Synaxon is a channel services group. We are not a ‘buying’ group as such, but our members do get special terms and conditions from distributors when they purchase through our information and procurement portal, EGIS. They can still check current pricing and availability at most UK distributors, but by ordering through EGIS, they no longer have to visit several different distributor websites.

Furthermore, they can use features such as the optimiser tool, which ensures the best combination of products pricing and delivery costs. In other words, instead of making a judgement on price, you can look at the best overall deal for your business. 

EGIS is a smarter way to buy and the more our members use it, the more benefits suppliers are prepared to offer, so it keeps getting better. The one thing that is 100 per cent guaranteed for any dealer or retailer of any size, is that purchasing through EGIS can only ever help your business to buy more intelligently from the best suppliers.

There are also advantages from a supplier’s perspective, as they can build some loyalty from our members by giving them better targeted offers and promotions. 

In this way, we’re able to help everyone in the supply chain. Old habits of wanting to compare pricing and availability are still there, but we can now help resellers and retailers break out from the old ways. 

Synaxon UK is supporting the whole supply chain. We help manufacturers by offering a route to market, we help distributors by taking costs out of their business and delivering loyal customers and we help the independent dealer by delivering improved trading terms.

Derek Jones is the managing director of channel services group Synaxon UK.

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