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GTDC: European distribution enjoys Q1 sales surge

Distributors across EMEA have seen sales grow faster than their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic according to the Global Technology Distribution Council

The European market IT market is growing faster than the US giving distributors on this side of the pond a better start to the year.

Findings from the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) has revealed that a sales surge in Q1 helped Europe have a strong start to the year.

All of the arrows were pointing in the right direction with those countries that had been in decline last year turning it around with Spain up 13%, Portugal 19%, France 4%, Belgium 12%, Germany 7%, Norway 16% and the UK with an impressive 12% growth to the end of March.

Drilling down a bit deeper the signs in the UK were encouraging with distribution enjoying high levels of new business. The grey cloud to go with that silver lining was the ongoing impact on customer plans from Brexit.

Tim Curran, CEO at GTDC, told the audience at its European summit that the year had started well across Europe, up by 3% in January, but had been 6% by the end of March.

He added that the role of distribution had changed and its position as a closer strategic asset for the vendor community was paying off.

“We come from an industry based on inventory, cost and fixed assets, but the amazing integration between distribution and the vendors has produced an industry with lower inventory, but much higher fulfillment rates. That makes it more efficient and profitable,” he said.

GTDC revealed at the summit that the top three services now being offered by distribution were: demand generation, education and training along with solutions development.

“Vendors and solution providers are not yet full utilising the range of services on offer from distribution however," he added.

The GTDC's position is that there is still plenty of extra services that distribution could provide vendors but they have yet to engage with them in certain areas.

"Distribution can also help solution providers with skills shortages, particularly in the technology solutions around cloud. Vendors often say they need help to enable their partners to take advantage for the new ways of working,” said Curran.

The summit wrapped up yesterday in Vienna and included sessions where distribution as a service was looked at along with a discussion about the changing finance models in the industry. GTDC has indicated that a report on the EMEA distribution market is going to be coming fairly shortly to provide more detailed insight into the current trends.

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