D&H Canada again posts growth numbers many times the industry norm

Storage, video conference, monitors and software and licensing all came in around 40 per cent or more. Greg Tobin, General Manager in Canada, discusses why D&H did much better than the industry average.


Greg Tobin, general manager at D&H Canada

SMB-focused distributor D&H Canada recently closed its 2016 fiscal year by posting overall growth numbers of 24 per cent, with most of its categories up, and several up by 40 per cent or more.

The results are pretty much in the range of growth numbers D&H’s Canadian operation has been posting in recent years.

“The 24 per cent figure is about average compared to our recent performance,” said Greg Tobin, general manager at D&H Canada. “It’s certainly a solid performance though, especially compared to the industry average. It’s more than five times greater than that average.”

Several product categories significantly exceeded the 24 per cent average, led by storage at 42 per cent. While storage has been doing well on the whole video conferencing and monitors, two categories which have been less than stellar industry-wide both came in at 40 per cent for D&H in Canada. Software and licensing was close, at 39 per cent. System build components, at 34 per cent, and printers at 29 per cent, were two other categories that both did well, even though industry-wide, these categories did not perform well at all.

Tobin said that several factors explained D&H’s strong performance in Canada.

“Canada is all about the S in SMB, which is also our main area of emphasis,” he said. “98 per cent of registered companies are 99 seats or less – many are 19 seats or less. Our new business is typically aligned to that market.”

Tobin said that D&H does especially well in this space because they continue to add reseller customers who serve it. This includes both established resellers who switch to them because the resellers’ costs are lower, and new resellers, who Tobin said were often people who have been laid off from tech firms, who get into reselling.

“We still have 50 to 70 new resellers coming in every month, and those new customers coming on board with their customers certainly helps us,” Tobin stated. “Our high touch model – every customer regardless of size shall get a dedicated sales rep – is also attractive to many resellers.”

Tobin also noted that the growth rate also benefitted from a bit of a statistical illusion called by the falling Canadian dollar.

“As the exchange rate eroded, price points got more expensive, so that means that revenues go up a little bit too,” he said.

Several categories came in at or below the D&H Canada overall average, but still in positive territory. These included input devices, at 24 per cent, power protection, at 21 per cent, networking, at 14 per cent, and laptops and notebooks, at 12 per cent.

Some categories were in negative territory, including desktops, as well as several categories which have been in decline for several years as other devices increasingly take their functionality and market share. This includes point and shoot cameras, free standing GPS systems, and optical drives.

“We were up though in every single category,” Tobin said.

D&H Canada initiatives to further drive VAR business in the 2016 fiscal year included ongoing training opportunities at both its Montreal and Toronto trade events on topics including Windows 10, mobility and SMB security. The distributor also launched a cross country roadshow Cisco SMB training series focused on SMB purpose-built products.