With the announcement Monday by Ingram Micro Inc. that three additional manufacturers have joined its Reseller Services Portal (RSP), company executives are touting the tangible benefits of the contract management services portal.
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The portal is designed to make it easier for value-added reseller (VAR) partners to track, manage and renew contracts from participating manufacturers.
The three new members are Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc., Eastman Kodak Company and Adtran Inc. Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Lenovo Group Ltd. already provide sales transaction information to RSP.
Working with Ingram Micro and participating manufacturers, MaintenanceNet manages contracts by extracting information from sales transactions -- capturing data such as the date VARs purchase a product, its serial number, the date it is delivered to the customer and its warranty expiration date.
The RSP system generates an email to partners telling them when a warranty is about to expire, highlighting maintenance-service opportunities that might otherwise have gotten lost in the welter of contracts and warranties most VARs have to keep up with, according to Rich Baldwin, president of San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing Inc., an Ingram Micro partner.
"My maintenance renewal contract business is up 106% this year over last year. Every day we get an email notification of contracts that are coming into that expiration window, and we get out there and get a quote and get it in front of the customer and get those contracts renewed," Baldwin said.
Baldwin said that prior to using the RSP system -- which is free and does not require additional data from the VAR -- his company did not have systems in place to keep track of warranty renewals.
"Some of my sales reps were better than others, but … in a lot of cases that was just lost opportunity," Baldwin said. "This service, which is unique to Ingram, is certainly encouraging us to put more of our business through them."
More than 2,200 VARs have used the service to improve their contract management services, according to Jason Beal, director of services at Ingram Micro.
Ingram will continue to enhance the system by adding more manufacturer partners, Beal said.
According to executives at MaintenanceNet, analysis of the RSP over a four-month period showed that participating solution providers could tap into more than $120 million in service opportunities -- a number they arrived at by estimating the value of a warranty renewal and the potential for selling a technology refresh in addition to a renewed warranty.
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