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


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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March 24, 2020 |

Ingram Micro Adds Financing Programs for Partners Weathering Coronavirus Cash Flow Challenges

The two new offerings, which will make $110 million in supplemental credit available to some 2,000 U.S. and Canadian resellers, are designed to keep deals rolling despite a sudden drop in spending triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seeking to keep business flowing for partners amid a sharp contraction in IT spending triggered by the coronavirus crisis, Ingram Micro has launched two new financing programs for North American partners.

Combined, the dual initiatives will extend $100 million of supplemental credit to some 1,800 resellers in the U.S. and $10 million of additional capacity to about 200 Canadian partners.

Called the Future Funds program, the first of the new programs allows end customers to make interest-only payments on new technology purchases for six months, after which they can either roll the money owed into a traditional financing contract or pay the balance in full. 

“It really gives the end user a lot of flexibility,” says Melanie DelValle, senior manager for financial solutions at Ingram. “They don’t have to commit to the terms and conditions right up front on day one.”

Partners benefit as well, she adds, by collecting the full value of a deal immediately. “They don’t have to wait until month six or seven, when the customer makes the decision on how they want to pay for that. They’re able to recognize that revenue up front and increase their cash flow.”

The other new program, called KickStart Financing, augments the credit lines of selected partners and extends their credit terms to 45 days. Ingram has enrolled all members of its Trust X Alliance and SMB Alliance partner communities in KickStart, along with hundreds of other resellers in good standing who are running up against their current borrowing limit.

Many of those companies are active in markets experiencing unusually strong demand at present due to the COVID-19 outbreak, like healthcare solutions, work from home technology, and security systems. “We’re really using a lot of science behind this and a lot of business intelligence to help us make the right decision” about who gets credit, says Anthony Mackle, senior vice president and chief finance executive for the U.S. and Latin America at Ingram.

According to DelValle, the Future Funds program is currently set to expire on June 30th, but is subject to renewal if needed. “Would we absolutely extend that to Q3 and Q4 if the crisis continues? Yes,” she says. 

The extra capacity and longer terms provided to resellers through KickStart, on the other hand, are permanent. “As long as they use it and they’re in good standing, we’re going to continue to support them with that additional credit line,” DelValle says.

KickStart and Future Funds are two of several recent moves by Ingram inspired a coronavirus cash crunch just now becoming visible in the channel. “We started to see a slowdown in payments,” Mackle notes, even though demand for cloud-based collaboration software, laptops, and other remote work tools is exploding.

Last week, in a letter to partners from Senior Vice President and U.S. Chief Country Executive Kirk Robinson, Ingram informed partners that it’s waiving fees temporarily on most financial programs. That policy, Mackle notes, applies to charges from Ingram itself for matters like transaction processing, but not to fees levied by third-party financial institutions, whose policies the distributor can’t control.

Ingram has also waived fees on its Direct Express program, which supplies supplemental credit to partners funding unusually large deals. Ingram extended that program to Canadian partners last November.

Collectively, all of Ingram’s financing changes are designed to leverage the company’s substantial balance sheet and borrowing power to keep deals rolling despite the sudden revenue drop both channel pros and their customers are currently enduring. “You’ll get paid up front, your cash flow will improve, and in actual fact you’re putting the risk on us and on the credit companies that we use,” Mackle says.

Ingram has spent much of the last eight years expanding and diversifying credit options for partners, he adds. Until now, those efforts have chiefly been intended to help partners “bridge the cash flow trough” as they transition from traditional hardware and software sales to as-a-service business models.

“Lucky for us, we had that in place, because now we’re able to use it for a different need,” Mackle says.

Ingram expects that need to grow more pronounced. Like both economists and government forecasters, however, it doesn’t yet know by how much or for how long.

“If you look at today’s challenging economic climate, we know partners are struggling with being able to make sure they can manage their cash flow,” Mackle says. “The longer this entire crisis lasts, the more they’re going to need to move to a more robust financing model.

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