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Distriutors, Partners Lock Heads At Madurai

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DQC News Bureau
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Price protection, DoA and warranty replacements are issues that dealers in

Madurai have now accepted as part and parcel of the IT business. They complained

that the reason this has become a problem area is because vendors are not

defining clear policies on either of the above. To add to it, distributors

insist that they can act only in accordance to vendor policies, which



means that the partners are left in the lurch as far as finding amicable
solutions are concerned.

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The panelists of the IT Panchayat organized by The DQ Week and DQ Channels in

Madurai were A Muthuswamy, Secretary, CAMS Madurai; P Sadakchar, Location Head-Madurai,

Redington India; R Ramesh Kumar, Branch Manager-Madurai, Ingram Micro and V

Ramesh, Branch Manager-Madurai, Rashi Peripherals.

Partners were assembled to voice their concerns, while the The DQ Week on its

part was playing the role of the mediator. Surprisingly, SV Sellva Sekaraan,

President, Computer And Media Society (CAMS) preferred to fight the issue out

with vendors directly rather than enlist help from a third party, especially the

media.

But he was quickly corrected by other association members who said that The

DQ Week has done a good deed in trying to address channel issues that were

festering for long. Said Muthuswamy, “Given the need for partners and vendors to

work in unison, occasions like the IT Panchayat are a valid platform to raise

the issues of concern, and try and work out a solution. We cannot expect to get

solutions overnight. A meeting between the channel partners and vendors must be

scheduled soon so that we can draw up a vendor code and discuss various issues

of concern.”

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Panelists (L-R): P Sadakchar,

Location Head-Madurai, Redington India; R Ramesh Kumar, Branch Manager-Madurai,

Ingram Micro; A Muthuswamy, Secretary, CAMS-Madurai; V Ramesh, Branch

Manager-Madurai, Rashi Peripherals; PN Pandin, Branch Manager-Madurai,

Neoteric Infomatique

Price protection



Talking of issues, price protection seems to top on the list of concerns for

the Madurai channel. “There is a continuous drop in product prices due to

competition between few vendors in the region. Unfortunately, traders are

falling prey to these acts because only few partners are able to clear off all

of their stocks. When a trader has stocks in his store and prices come down

suddenly, he suffers big time and gets a very small amount in the form of price

protection. This has to change,” said Muthuswamy. It was also suggested that

vendors inform traders beforehand about likely price reduction so that dealers

can set an ideal price for at least a month rather than battling decreased

prices for 15 days. Another demand was that vendors should provide dealers with

100 percent price protection.

Voicing concern over DoA and warranty issues, partners accused the

distributors present there of not undertaking replacement of DoA goods. Partners

claimed that the distributors were not helping them to deliver on customer

requirements quickly as far as DoA cases were concerned.

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Channel partners

participating in a discussion at the IT Panchayat

Responding to these statements, Sadakchar said, “The problem is that most

dealers are not aware of the correct vendor policies as far as DoA and warranty

replacements are concerned, and find fault with the distributors. On our part,

we at Redington have launched a center called 'Redington Reverse Logistics',

which partners can contact via a toll-free number and clarify any doubts that

they have. We have recruited enough manpower for handling DoA issues at this

center.” He asked the partners to make use of the facility by logging in their

complaints.

Supporting Sadakchar, Kumar said, “It is the responsibility of the partner to

know the vendor policies. We agree that there are no clear-cut policies on DoA

and warranty from the vendor's side. We would sit with the association and

vendors, and clarify all doubts as regards DoA and warranty in the very near

future.” Agreeing to his idea, Muthuswamy said, “The association will meet

shortly and call for a vendor/channel partner meet to talk about various

issues.”

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A partner questioning

distributors about the terms and conditions existing for DoA and warranty

Sadakchar added that vendors need to be more accountable and should put right

policies in place. “Since distributors also have targets and stocks to deal

with, we cannot keep track of all DoA and warranty concerns. Distributors only

serve as a bridge between the channel and vendors and cannot be blamed for

everything,” he stated. Ramesh urged dealers to correctly register their issues

of concern so that distributors can begin the corrective process and get back

stocks in time.

As the arguments on the role of the distributor and the vendor continued,

some of the assembled partners suggested 'stop payment' as the best option to

get solutions for DoA and warranty concerns. They felt that it was time that

distributors and vendors treat the channel as customers and work to find

amicable solutions.

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Santosh Kumar Mishra, Territory Manager (South), Hughes Communications

(India) made his presentation and indicated that the company was on the look out

for partners-both system integrators as well as sales partners across the

country and was hoping to use the IT Panchayat as a platform to highlight the

value adds that they would provide for potential partners.

DQC NEWS BUREAU

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