Beta Distribution has achieved another year of growth, recording a £15 million increase in turnover year on year
Turnover for FY16/17 was £200 million, representing around eight per cent growth on the previous year. “Growth has come from all parts of the business, but we’ve witnessed a significant increase within our technology products offer,” Nigel Morris, Beta’s Marketing Director explained.
Beta’s technology products business spans transactional items such as LTO tapes – products which resellers can source from stock at a competitive price and which are delivered next-day, to pro-summer products such as desktop drives, through to enterprise high-end technology solutions, typically sourced by VARs and MSPs.
Around 2,600 customers traded with Beta last year, a number that Morris says has been similar for the past couple of years but will probably increase this year as the product offering broadens to attract more VARs and MSPs. The distie, which has 103 staff, processes around 2,000 orders per day.
“We have consistently grown the business year on year and we are targeting an incremental ten per cent this coming year,” Morris said. “In a very competitive market where some of the core products are in decline, this may seem quite a challenge. But we’re confident we have a strong plan in place to achieve our goal.”
Building its proposition
Beta is focused on further building its proposition in the enterprise technology arena. It has made two key appointments and opened a new Northern office, moves designed to support its strategy to ramp up its presence within this space.
The distie has recently recruited Chris Moore as Head of Sales for its newly opened Northern office, which is in Leeds. Moore, who was formerly Sales Manager at CMS Distribution, where he spent 19 years sees enormous opportunity at Beta. Commenting on his appointment he said: “I was really impressed with the ambition and ongoing investment plans that Beta has to become a leading player in the enterprise market. A really strong product and brand portfolio plus a very clear vision of how to succeed in this market were two of the main factors in deciding to become part of this very exciting journey.”
“In Chris, we’ve hired a heavy hitter – CMS was effectively our biggest competitor in this sector, so that’s a really big step for us,” Morris said, adding that he is currently recruiting experienced enterprise sales people to add to the team.
Morris said that the decision to expand its footprint into the north of the country was a tactical one. “People buy from people, and we’ve opened the new office in the centre of Leeds to increase the support we offer to our Northern-based partners.”
Miguel Castro has also joined as Head of Solutions Architecture. In this newly created role, Castro will provide in-depth technical and implementation support to MSPs and VARs, working with them from project inception right through to final delivery.
Castro has been in the IT industry for over 13 years, with his most recent role at network storage solutions vendor Infortrend, an important vendor for Beta.
Easy to do business with
Morris pointed out that whilst Beta’s focus is firmly on growth within the enterprise space, sales of consumables, its bread and butter, have also risen. “EOS is a declining market but we continue to get a bigger chunk each year. I think our big USPs are that we are a wholly trade-only business, we have a large stock holding, offer great pricing and we can direct ship to end-users next-day,” he said.
The print business also continues to remain strong. “We are Canon’s largest print hardware distributor and it’s very much business as usual with the Samsung print range we offer,” Morris said.
Next month Beta will launch a new range of select consumer-type products such as desktop drives that Morris says can be sold in much the same way as resellers sell other volume-based commodity products including printers, scanners and EOS.
“With GDPR imminent, we see an opportunity for dealers to sell a wider range of products and they don’t need a great deal of technical knowledge to make margin,” he stated.
The company’s digital signage arm is also going from strength to strength. It has just agreed a partnership with Samsung to deliver its large format displays (LFDs) range with additional services that include in-house content creation, delivery and management.
The partnership will enable BetaDMS channel partners to offer a full digital signage service to customers expanding portfolios further than just hardware and generating additional revenue. “The Samsung brand is a great one to have in our portfolio and a name that will attract the attention of potential customers for our IT resellers. The company has also opened a new sales office in Reading to further enable growth within the AV and IT sectors.