Channel News

Merisel Configures Compaq Computers<@VM>Synnex Bolsters Leasing Services<@VM>Pinacor Is Ready To Roll in Texas<@VM>GSA Puts Purchasing Course Online

— Richard McCaffery

Merisel Inc. is stepping up efforts to ship computers faster to resellers.

The El Segundo, Calif., distributor has moved a team of employees into a 20,000- square-foot space at Compaq Computer Corp.'s Houston manufacturing plant. The team will manage light configuration and shipment of computer systems.

Compaq is the second computer manufacturer with which Merisel has teamed. In October 1998, Merisel announced a co-location deal with IBM Corp. at a plant in Raleigh, N.C.

The move is part of a sweeping effort across the sales channel to cut costs and delivery time to better compete with companies like Dell Computer Corp. of Round Rock, Texas, which sells computers directly to end users. Configuring systems before they are assembled and shipping them to resellers or to customers on behalf of resellers, allows companies in the channel to keep inventories low and products up to date.

Merisel is undergoing certification testing at the Compaq plant and expects to start light configuration within 90 days. Once certified, Merisel will be able to configure systems, integrate third-party products, download customer images and tag equipment so it can be identified.
Synnex Information Technologies Inc. of Fremont, Calif., has reached an agreement with Dolphin Capital Corp., a subsidiary of Atlantic Bank and Trust Co. in Boston to offer its customers additional leasing services.

The expanded agreement offers resellers new lease rates, simplified documents, online processing and other services. Leasing is becoming increasingly popular as technology changes rapidly and organizations don't want to be in the business of owning giant computer systems.
Pinacor Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., has received ISO 9001 certification for the distribution and integration center it recently leased from Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas.

The center, leased Jan. 1, will service Pinacor customers in the south central United States. It's part of a move by Pinacor to acquire distribution centers in strategic locations. The center is the third run by Pinacor that has received ISO certification. The others are in Arizona and Ohio.

Services Pinacor will provide at the Texas distribution center include white box assembly, and assembly for major manufacturing partners like Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston, Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto, Calif., IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., and Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., as well as bundling third-party hardware and software with computer systems.

Pinacor, part of MicroAge of Tempe, is the third largest technology distributor in the United States.

The Federal Acquisition Institute's Online University, part of the General Services Administration, is offering a free, Internet-based course for contracting officers.

The Online University offers self-paced training books and other materials aimed at helping purchasing officers. Other federal agencies can partner with the Federal Acquisition Institute to add agency-specific information to the course.

The university offers 18 certificates for different purchasing duties.

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