Westcon SA’s Scantec division, which specialises in barcode and related solutions, has strengthened its relationship with Zebra, the foremost manufacturer of on-demand barcode printing equipment, by supporting the introduction of Zebra’s PartnersFirst programme.
According to Antony Makins, Westcon SA’s head of brand management, the company has served as Zebra’s sole value added distributor in sub-Saharan Africa for some years.
“As a global leader in the barcode label printing market, Zebra’s product range has and continues to perform very well in the local market, particularly given the retail boom,” he says.
Noting that Zebra’s approach to providing barcode printing is vertically oriented, Makins explains that where other vendors follow the “traditional” route to market with products suitable for generalized environments, Zebra produces industry-specific solutions.
“These solutions are targeted at industries such as retail, transport and logistics, manufacturing, supply chain, postal, public safety and security and utilities.
“With this focus, Zebra depends on a level of specialization from us as sole distributor in order to provide the necessary specialist support, as well as from the reseller serving the end-user,” he says.
As a framework for business growth, Makins says the Zebra PartnersFirst programme assists resellers to enhance the end-value of its products to increase customer satisfaction. The programme is available in several customised permutations to support a wide range of organisational types – from valued added resellers and consultants, to technology vendors and independent software companies – which have different roles to play in providing barcode solutions to end-users.
“Each is designed to create opportunities for business growth by helping members add value to their product or service and better serve end customers,” Makins adds.
The framework provided by PartnersFirst encourages cooperation and collaboration between Zebra and its partners, and between members as well, creating a network of resources which PartnersFirst members can access to solve issues or queries.
It also provides members with access to educational resources, marketing, training, and technical assistance. It enables Zebra and technology partners to work together to develop better solutions and gain marketshare.
“The programme is serving to formalise the channel while also delivering benefits to our reseller network. Direct access to Zebra account managers gives a sense of comfort that the vendor understands the reseller, whilst having the support of a vendor adds weight to the value proposition presented to the customer,” says Makins.
“And as the distributor, we continue to provide essential value such as access to stock, presales support, various project finance options and implementation specialists to back up our resellers.”