Spotlight by Mr Philip Griffiths
Today I Spoke to Paul Fuller at Spire Technology Ltd about the company and how they can help independent stores.
Tell us about Spires history and how it started?
Established in 1990, Spire began life as a trade only distributor of Atari computers and peripherals.
Over time we have grown and our product range has obviously evolved but we are proud to remain a trade supplier, working in partnership with our customers, not in competition against them.
What products and services do you offer?
As well as distributing some of the biggest and best brands in the industry we also build bespoke PCs for our resellers. Our dedicated account managers take a great deal of pride and effort to be aware of the latest developments in technology as well as being up to date with the latest market trends. We also have in-house brand managers who are ready and willing to step in when needed or if further research is required to get answers to more involved questions or problems.
What brands do you supply? And are any of them exclusive to spire?
We work extremely hard to be the very best we can be, always striving to be the leading distributor in the UK for our partners including Asus, TP-Link, headline brands such as Asus and ASRock, Corsair and Adata, Riotoro and BeQuiet! and Bullguard to name just a few. We will soon be the sole UK launch partner for the new ranges of gaming chairs and desks from World-leading brand, AK-Racing, offering our customers something a bit different; a chance to make decent margins with very little in the way of support required. Other brands exclusive to Spire include the excellent Riotoro, Sandberg and Approx.
What are the most popular products you sell and why do you think they sell so well?
We have focussed on PC components for some time and have seen strong growth in gaming related products, Whilst the workplace PC looks to be here to stay for the foreseeable the e-sports boom shows no signs of slowing. Many of our partners are significant players in this market already, Asus, Corsair and Xtrfy for example but other brands including Adata and Riotoro are continuing to build excellent reputations with innovative and reliable products for the discerning gamer.
What products do you see gaining popularity over the coming year?
On the gaming side, the interest we have seen for AK-Racing gaming chairs and desks suggest an expansion beyond big spend on core components and peripherals and on to infrastructure. If someone is going to spend £600 on a graphics card every few years, then a modest investment in a top-quality chair for the ability to play comfortably for thousands of hours is relatively inexpensive and adds hugely to the overall gaming experience.
This is a big 12 months for smart home and voice controlled speakers such as the Echo look to have been a game changer allowing multiple devices to be synced. We’ll also be monitoring virtual reality with interest to see if it catches on in the way we all expected it might when making the break through at a consumer level a couple of years back.
Are you able to get, point of sales materials (posters/artwork/stands) to help independents sell products you offer?
It feels as though manufacturers are feeling the pinch these days of ever lowering margins and budgets are squeezed however we push hard to ensure resellers have brand messaging enforced with posters, stickers and stands. Whisper it quietly but we’ve even been known to send out the odd pair of Bullguard socks!
If someone wanted to get an account with spire what would they need to do? And do they need to be VAT registered to join?
We try to make it easy. Give us a call or complete an application form online. We offer cash and credit accounts with various payment terms (sts). We accept all major credit cards and no, you do not have to be VAT registered to trade with Spire but you must be a reseller.
Do you have any order limits, min orders, free postage or other things we should be aware?
There is no such thing as a minimum order for Spire. We are here to support companies of all shapes and sizes with the only requirement being that they must be in the trade. There’s been a great deal of ill feeling within the industry over distributors selling direct to the public via online marketplaces and that’s something we do not get involved in. We want to be a partner not a competitor. The channel has always been our focus and that is how it remains. When ordering online any orders over £500 are delivered on a next day basis free of charge.
How do you find Tech For Techs is helping the industry?
It’s great to see the community that exists through Tech for Techs. In these challenging times for independents anything that can uphold, encourage and support those who are fighting against the multi-national corporations vying for their local consumer’s business has to be applauded. We want to help.