One of the things that will separate the successful high-tech vendors this year from the rest of the pack will be their ability to help their reseller and VAR partners manage credit and cash flow.
How many of you out there reading this column are concerned about your accounts receivable and the fact that a lot of your customers (including the government ones, for heaven’s sake) are trying to hold out on payment for as long as they can? When someone keeps their wallet closed, it creates a tremendous ripple effect that flows right across the entire distribution channel.
So, to say that I am scrutinizing the press release mill carefully for signs that a vendor understands this, and that they might actually be doing something about it, is a vast understatement.
I would be remiss, therefore, if I didn’t point TechTarget channel readers to a couple of new zero-point financing promotions that were introduced last week by Hewlett-Packard, both of which are focused on small businesses, the sweet spot of many resellers’ clientele.
One of the plans involves outright purchases over a 12-month period; the other is a leasing program over 36 months. Both allow customers in the United States to finance between $1,500 and $150,000 of HP products (there ARE definitely restrictions); if you’re representing a customer in Canada, they can finance $5,000 (Canadian) to $150,000 (Canadian). The offers are available through April 30, 2009.
The details for the promotions can be found at this link.
HP is lucky, I suppose, in that it has its own financing and leasing arm and can therefore do things like this pretty quickly. But I think every vendor and distributor needs to dig deep right now and figure out how to help encourage spending when many companies are afraid to pull out their check book. Kudos to Avnet, as an example, for taking action last year. Here’s an article detailing what it has been doing.
E-mail me with other cool programs that we can share across the channel.
Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist and strategic communications consultant with more than 20 years experience covering the high-tech channel.