Scansource expands in Canada

Scansource expects to get it right this time in Toronto. The Greenville, S.C.-based POS and automatic identification specialty distributor opened up a sales office in Canada’s largest city to complement its office in Vancouver. The new Toronto office will handle resellers from Manitoba, Ontario, Nova

Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland.

This is Scansource’s second go-around in Toronto. The company retreated from the Toronto market a few years ago because the company had warehouse and inventory problems that forced it to centralize logistics out of Memphis for all of its North American business.

“The warehouse always seemed to have the wrong products and so we focused on centralizing distribution out of our center in Memphis for all of North America and relied heavily on the Buffalo office for sales support for eastern Canada,” said Mark Morgan, vice-president of sales for Scansource.

Patrick Power, managing partner for Toronto reseller OAM Group, said Scansource’s Canadian reorganization posed extreme challenges for his company.

OAM, which used Scansource for Zebra printers, had a local representative who provide support only for him to be moved to Buffalo. “We had trouble with the new model and we started to have concerns as a results,” Power said.

However, since Scansource has moved back to Toronto, Power added that the distributor is back to providing good service.

This Canadian expansion, according to Morgan, is part of an overall company sales expansion. Scansource has created a new SMB sales team along with a new focus on RFID training and awareness.

The company’s flagship event, Solution City, will venture outside the U.S. for the first time. Bobby McLain, vice-president of marketing for Scansource, said the company plans to hold this trade show and conference in Toronto in the June time frame. Currently, he along with his team are in the midst of site selection in Toronto.

McLain anticipates more than 100 resellers to attend the Toronto Solution City Road Show. Solution City showcases solutions for the top ten vertical markets such as manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality. It also has hands on demonstrations along with booths from all of Scansource’s key vendor partners.

“Solution City helps North America resellers on how to move into new markets quickly,” McLain said.

Also part of the marketing mix will be Scansource’s RFID Edge program coming to Canada.

“It is an evolving program because RFID is evolving. When it actually gets to be a play outside of Wal-Mart and the U.S. Department of National Defense and into the channel then (this program will help to educate) resellers will be ready to be successful instead of just understanding it,” McLain said.

Currently the RFID Edge program has Webinars and seminars and McLain admits it’s Web site heavy with RFID materials so that resellers can develop some kind of RFID expertise.

Scansource wants to be the channel source for RFID when the technology hits the mainstream, McLain added.

The company is also working with CompTIA on new certifications for RFID.

Morgan said that Scansource also wants to grow its reseller base, which currently is more than 2,000, in Canada “We did a good job with existing customer base and we can do much better with this new focus and are new specialty programs to grow that base in Canada,” he said.

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