COVID-19 will lead to a "dislocation of weaker channel partners" and see stronger ones take "significant" marketshare, the CEO of ScanSource has told Channel Partner Insight.
Discussing the financial health of the channel during the crisis, Mike Baur also said he felt it was the job of distribution to help protect resellers from the threat of delayed payments.
Headquartered in South Caroline, NASDAQ-listed ScanSource boasts annual revenues of $3.9bn. It is in the process of selling off its $623m-revenue hardware business across Europe, Latin and South America
Baur predicted that COVID-19 would see a dislocation of "weaker partners".
"I think stronger partners will take significant marketshare and will grow as we come out of this," he said, adding, however, that it is key that its channel partners hold onto top staff.
"The strong companies which have strong financials and are willing to take help from partners like ourselves and governments where appropriate - if you can keep your top people - then you will come out of this and frankly take marketshare," Baur said.
ScanSource has put together a variety of programmes with its vendor partners to help financially support channel partners, Baur said, stressing that "most" lack the financial flexibility to endure a crisis of the nature of COVID-19 without help.
"Our view since the beginning is that this is not a long-term but a fairly short-term process, even though for channel partners it's a very difficult scenario," Baur said.
He characterised the potential for end users to slow down payment cycles into the channel as a "big concern" but insisted it is the job of distribution and vendors - rather than credit insurers - to pick up the slack.
"I believe that together we're going to have to fill the gap credit insurance won't fill, and we are certainly prepared to do that especially for partners of long-standing for our company," he said.
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