Build-to-Order Vendor 3K Seeks VARs

Rejecting the practice of many hardware vendors to sell direct as well as through the channel, 3K Computers plans to strengthen its channel-only ties with the launch of a new reseller partner program and a recent deal with distributor Ingram Micro.

Rejecting the practice of many hardware vendors to sell direct as well as through the channel, 3K Computers plans to strengthen its channel-only ties with the launch of a new reseller partner program and a recent distribution deal with Ingram Micro.

3K, based in Boca Raton, Fla., builds branded notebooks, desktops, servers, workstations and storage equipment and specializes in the build-to-order business.

“We have always sold exclusively through the channel and will continue to do so because this business model works best for us,” said Dan Jacobs, CEO of 3K which has been manufacturing computers for more than 18 years. “Our strength is manufacturing, not marketing or customer service. That’s why we’ve launched this new channel program. We want to formalize our relationship with VARs.”

Jacobs said the company has always offered VARs great opportunities to sell top quality, made-in-America systems at lower prices and higher margins. “Our products are at least 10 percent lower-priced than competing products, while they offer VARs margins of up to 20 percent,” he said.

Citing semi-rugged notebooks as an example of lower-priced products, Jacobs said 3K’s offerings sell for about $1,000 less than competing brands. He noted that the combination of low prices, high margins and top-quality provides resellers a strong incentive to sell the 3K brand.

Jacobs said he hopes the Ingram deal will help 3K to build awareness of its brand and grow its reseller base. Ingram will distribute, market, and support 3K’s full line of products, including the recently announced Longitude semi-rugged notebooks and Approxima workstations.

Jacob said 3K simplified the structure of its channel programs to make it easier for resellers to do business with it. 3K has eliminated all fees for becoming a reseller partner, and introduced platinum, gold and silver tiers, each having its own corresponding benefits and requirements, said Jacobs.

“Now, we reward partners not only by volume of business but also on their technical competency, business specialization, growth goals and customer satisfaction,” he said. “However, we will continue to reward all resellers with spiffs for all items sold, and provide back-end rebates each quarter.”

Under the new program, the company assigns each partner a U.S.-based 3K account representative who can answer questions, handle special requests, and help partners configure the best system for the end user, Jacob explained. “Registration is as simple as going to our website and signing up,” he said. There are no quotas to fill. Once registered, resellers can configure a customer's computer system from scratch, and production within minutes once the order is processed.”

TAGS: marketing,servers,Ingram,build-to-order



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