Lexmark and Northamber have ended a 20 year partnership after both companies decided the volumes of business transacted and the cost of managing the relationship meant it was no longer commercially viable.
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It has emerged that the contract ended on the same day the Surrey-based distributor told the City that it was not happy with the declining level of vendor support and it would concentrate efforts on those that offered a better return.
Marcus Harvey, channel director at Lexmark UK, said the companies strategies were no longer aligned, "it was the right time to consolidate our business and reduce the number of distributors that we work with."
"The volumes of business that we were doing through Northamber and the resources it took to manage the partnership [did not warrant us continuing to work together]," he told MicroScope.
Harvey said the doors remained opened and the companies could work together again in the future but he did not plan to imminently replace Northamber and would continue with Ingram Micro, Midwich and Computer 2000
"If you look at the distributors we have, the three gives us maximum coverage. Would I have another distributor, never say never but right now it feels right to have the three," he said.
The printer market is predicted to decline in 2009 which coupled with falling average unit prices and Lexmark's decision to separate distribution contracts for supplies and hardware meant the model did not work for Northamber.
"There was no follow on margin to be gained from consumables and a lot of our business was transacted through corporate special bids, so the relationship no longer satisfied our commercial requirements," said Jared Cary, product channel director at Northamber.