D&H Canada is picking up the slack in Quebec where distribution has retracted, according to its business development manager, and events such as their seventh annual technology conference in Montreal April 4 are reaching partners that don’t get much attention from other distributors.
“We wanted a more intimate relationship building event in a market where a lot of distribution doesn’t go,” Randy Churchill told CDN. “So places like Calgary, Quebec City, London, Markham, they often fall out of the radar of distribution events.”
The seventh Technology Conference 2019: Montreal event earlier this month featured 30 manufacturers including Acer, Canon, Cisco, HPE, Epson, Lenovo, and LG, and while larger distributors like Tech Data and Ingram Micro continue to throw their weight around in Canada, D&H Canada is confident it can claim a large portion of the Quebec region.
“Quebec was an area we started to double down on. For whatever reason distribution has retracted there,” says Churchill, adding there are ongoing efforts within the company to bolster its French language skills with new hires. Additional engagement opportunities are also available through its new Solutions Roadshows training series, an even more intimate, hands-on event for clients searching for deeper dives into product lines. Churchill says there will be one hosted in Quebec later in 2019.
There were plenty of products ranging from security to audio at the event, but it was the large format displays and the products connecting them to each other and other devices, which seemed to dominate most conversations this year, says Churchill.
Distributors still fulfill the obvious role of supplying channel partners with the products they need, but with the likes of Amazon encroaching on that territory more and more, D&H Canada has had to re-emphasize the notion of trust among partners, and participate in deeper conversations with VARs and consulting partners to provide customers with optimum solutions.
“We’re seeing a lot more conversation being facilitated three-way between the distributor and the VAR we do know, and the consultant partner we usually don’t know, who can be a subject matter for that local VAR,” says Churchill. “I think in the future, you’ll see us doing more work being done between ourselves and vendors helping bringing those two types of partners on premises so they can really benefit from each others’ strengths.”