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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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News & Articles

July 19, 2011 |

NASBA Begins New Phase with Pat Taylor at the Helm

NASBA is going to see some changes over the next year under the new executive director, Pat Taylor. In this interview, Taylor explains his short-term and long-term goals for the association of channel resellers, and what members should expect. By Elaine J. Hom

By Elaine J. Hom

NASBA, the association of channel resellers, recently entered a new era after being taken over by longtime channel advocate Pat Taylor, who recently purchased NASBA. NASBA has always kept the channel’s best interests in mind, but Taylor has vowed to boost member benefits even more.

“We want to become the largest and most progressive channel association in the country,” says Taylor. “We want NASBA to become a business entity that’s capable of negotiating for and delivering on agreements with the vendor community.”

NASBA has always had a strong connection to the vendor community. With 3,000 members, vendor relationships have been a key priority for NASBA. Taylor intends to improve vendor relations even further after taking the helm as executive director.

“[The purchase of NASBA] gives us instant momentum and provides us with a platform that we can use to negotiate with vendors for the benefits we need,” he says. However, Taylor insists that members will deliver for vendors just as much as vendors will deliver for members. “This is a business transaction. We’re going to trade insight in exchange for the member benefits. [Our message is] clean, clear, and reasonable. We’re going to develop the reputation in NASBA 3.0.”

Taylor has a plan in place for NASBA 3.0, as well. NASBA intends to declare its mission statement and share it with the industry. NASBA then plans to increase membership and “bring more players to the party,” according to Taylor.

These members receive benefits in the form of volume purchasing discounts, channel marketing help, and networking with other members to boost services.

“If we aggregate, we should be able to negotiate [with vendors] on a level much higher than an individual company,” says Taylor. “It’s hard to negotiate on a quantity of ten. If we come together as 3,000 companies, we should be able to realize some price breaks that would be advantageous to us.” Besides being able to negotiate better discounts as a larger group, NASBA wants vendors to deliver discounts because of what NASBA members deliver as resellers.

“The vendors love us because we’re the most lucrative customer they have,” he says. “We pay more per part than any other customer. We’re a value-add, and we charge more. But we would like some bottom line discount when we organize as a business entity that’s capable of action.”

Taylor also highlights the channel marketing benefit to members. As part of NASBA, members learn the importance of marketing, particularly those in the SMB market. Many SMB potential customers don’t realize that the IT service providers are SMBs themselves.

“[Potential customers] don’t know this, and if they did, it would make a difference – it would justify our stance,” Taylor says. “We’re more expensive and worth it. We can’t compete on price, so we have to compete on value-add. And a big part of that is going to be marketing.”

Due to this price competition, the recession has not been kind to NASBA members, according to Taylor. For many channel partners, the key selling point to their business was that while they cost more than average big box stores, the product came with unrivaled service and guarantees in the value-add. But during hard economic times, customers focus only on price.

“Our whole argument has been ‘more expensive and worth it,'” he said. “People would pay more to get more. But the current economic condition puts an asterisk at the end of that. Price has become a bigger deal than it used to be. We’re going to have to do a better job to demonstrate our value-add, or we’re going to have to cut some costs. In those cases, when we’re trying to win a deal that’s price dependent, the economy has hurt us.”

This kind of price competition with the big box stores fuels NASBA’s long term goals.

“At the end of the day, NASBA’s long term goal is to become a serious threat to our competitors in the market – multinational corporations, big box stores,” says Taylor. “Customers are starting to realize what they don’t get for their money. With marketing and sales training, we can take care of that. The unspoken goal is to make sure that the channel finds its value add place in this new economy.

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