By Stuart Wilson
Samsung Gulf Electronics’ recently launched partner relationship management (PRM) system has helped the IT vendor curb grey product trading and encouraged resellers to purchase kit from authorised distributors.
Samsung Gulf Electronics’ recently launched partner relationship management (PRM) system has helped the vendor curb grey product trading and encouraged resellers to purchase kit from authorised distributors.
The web-based PRM system launched earlier this year in the Gulf encourages distributors to enter detailed sales out data by customer. The second tier resellers also register their purchases and qualify for prizes based on the amount of Samsung kit they purchase.
K.V. Narayanan, sales manager digital information technology division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “We already have approximately 35 UAE resellers involved and in each of the other main markets we cover such as Kuwait and Qatar the number is in double figures. Since we launched this programme, the distributors have been very happy with its ability to restrict grey product from entering the channel.”
“One of the key components of the programme is that the reseller must buy from the authorised local distributor to qualify for promotion prizes. From that perspective it is an effective way of dealing with the grey market,” he added.
As well as getting closer to its distributors and resellers through its PRM system, Samsung Gulf Electronics has also stepped up its retail sales training programme across the region holding training events in the UAE, Oman and Yemen recently. Samsung remains committed to building up its retail route-to-market even further.
“Retailers want marketing support, proactive information on new product launches, in-store support, promoters, special stands and even exclusive product deals for a short time,” added Narayanan.
“Samsung believes small retailers are just as important as power retailers. For any retailer that is prepared to invest in the Samsung brand, we will invest in them in the best and most appropriate way possible,” he added.
While the retail market for IT products continues to boom across the Middle East, the corporate resell space is also showing healthy signs according to Narayanan.
“We have seen a great deal of corporate buying activity in Kuwait and Qatar and had strong success during the first quarter of 2005. This level of corporate IT spend is being sustained during the second quarter as well,” he said.
Samsung remains committed to expanding the portfolio of products it offers in the Gulf region and the Korean giant’s range of notebooks could finally make their long-overdue regional debut later this year. The question, ‘When will Samsung launch notebooks in the region?’ is one that is asked regularly by retailers and distributors alike.
“It is a question that comes up many times from partners across the GCC,” conceded Narayanan. “Samsung laptops are part of the product roadmap and all going well it should be towards the end of this year. I would see the key period being in and around Gitex.”
“We have a great range of laptops performing well in many markets from Korea through to the UK and even India,” added Narayanan. “I am sure it is just a matter of time before we start tasting success with this product line-up in the Middle East.”