The value resellers can add

February 1, 2007 / News

Brainboxes, the Liverpool based leader in serial and Bluetooth connectivity, is a company that is continually looking to expand the breadth and depth of its products alongside growing its potential market.  To meet this ambitious plan the company believes that partnering with the right reseller can make all the difference to its development.
Brainboxes has been working closely with RS Components Ltd of Corby, Northants, since gaining IS-9001 accreditation ten years ago.  RS are a major UK reseller and a division of Electrocomponents, an international group with an annual turnover in the region of 800 million. 

For RS, choosing a partner to work with is all about the supplier understanding customers’ demands and being able to match them.  “We are well-established and when we take on a new partner it is very much a case of looking for new areas that we can expand into,” said Julian Wood, at RS. “We are continually looking for new projects and extra qualities we can bring into the mix for our customers.  We look to established brands, such as Brainboxes, with customer resonance to help us to take a foothold in new markets – one that is well known for quality products, design, reliability and consistency.”

RS prides itself on being professional and needs to partner with other brands that fit that part of the jigsaw and match its ethos as a progressive company.  Brainboxes is a good fit with this model as both companies share a desire to understand customers’ problems and then produce a product that provides a solution.  Both believe that this is the only way to meet the ever-increasing demands of customers in a technology led market. Forty years ago everything RS sold was own-brand but in the last 20 years it has moved into selling manufacturers’ brands. Whilst RS does have own brand products, a brand such as Brainboxes has a resonance which RS looks to build on.  “The quality and the positioning that Brainboxes has within the market means that we would never re-brand their products,” added Wood. The market is now stabilising and RS will be looking to increase its own branded range in the future. When RS looks for a partner it wants one with the right products to move it forward and into new areas. Increasingly for customers it is no longer about finding a product, buying it and taking delivery on time.  It is now about ensuring they get the right feedback to select the right product alongside the right application to maximise their own business. The challenge in bringing a product to market now comes from developing the value behind the product.

RS are able to act as a bridge between the customer and Brainboxes .  “We see it as part of our role to have this two-way communication so that the customers’ feedback gets to Brainboxes and likewise the customer is aware of new developments,” concluded Wood. “It is a big opportunity to take a customer’s learning and understanding of a product and utilise that information so that suppliers can take this on board and adapt products to fit customers needs better. Brainboxes respond well to this input. ”

Stephen Evans, Managing Director of Brainboxes commented, “People often ask what value resellers actually add but we have found that working closely with RS proves a great combination.  One of the interesting things about RS is the breadth and depth of its customer base and the fact that it has moved from the industrial market to embrace more sophisticated products.  We gain valuable end user feedback from RS which enables us to design and manufacture products with future proof solutions to exceed customers’ expectations.”

RS has a central management team for Europe and Brainboxes’ products appear in most European markets and also in the Far East.  “Brainboxes like RS are keen to develop strategies to expand their export markets , “ commented Dave Cole, RS “Brainboxes are very much ahead of the game, their products have international country accreditations, are Microsoft approved and already have Vista enabled products. As many PCs don’t have a serial port on them so Brainboxes PCI products are invaluable. Brainboxes also help us by providing a full range of localised data sheets for the countries we sell them in, making life easier for our sales team.”

This well-established relationship recently led to Brainboxes supplying ultra-compact (UC) low profile serial cards to RS for its new mission critical SAP servers. RS prides itself on a fast and efficient electronic stocking and ordering system and the Brainboxes UC cards play a vital role in ensuring the fast connectivity and fail-proof operation of the system.