Acer Oceanic MD Darren Simmons
New Acer Oceanic MD Darren Simmons.

New Acer Oceanic managing director Darren Simmons has used an email on his 100th day in the top job to assure Acer’s retail and B2B customers that the Taiwanese IT company has emerged from a difficult period and will continue to support the local wholesale and reseller communities.

Simmons took over as boss of Acer’s Australian head office, located in Homebush in Sydney, upon the retirement of longstanding MD Charles Chung. Chung had been with Acer in various capacities and regions for 26 years, and had been the Australian MD for 13 years. In his first address to his business partners, Simmons immediately got on the front foot to preach strength and progress.

“I believe you will agree Acer has emerged from challenging times and a period of intense restructure as we strive to stabilise our business, strengthen our management team and transition from rightsizing the organisation to focus on generating new growth for our company and our partners.”

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In making his pledges to Acer’s customer base, Simmons took a none-too-subtle swipe at several unnamed rivals who have started selling directly to customers through online portals and websites.

“Unlike some vacillating vendors, Acer sells only via partners rather than direct to the public and I have no intention of changing this channel strategy at the heart of our business model,” Simmons wrote in this email addressed ‘Dear Partner’.

“We plan on working closely with you and your teams to develop strategy and activity to drive further business wins for us both.”

Although Simmons is correct in that Acer does not sell direct to customers online, the company has, in the recent past at least, admitted to selling directly to customers at his mall kiosks. Simmons predecessor, Charles Chung, said these sales were very small in volume and always at RRP.

A web search reveals that Acer rivals Apple, HP, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, Asus and Dell all currently sell at least some computer products directly from their websites, while others like Samsung and LG do not.

Simmons also shared the news that in Acer’s commercial division, which makes up around 60 per cent of its business, it recently secured three significant orders: 4,500 Chromebooks to Woolworths; 5,100 tablets to the Electoral Commissions of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria; and 12,500 desktops and laptops to Victoria Police.

Simmons credited his senior management team of sales director Rod Bassi and technical director Neil Roberts for these coups.

After significant media coverage surrounding the future of Acer’s local assembly line over the past 12 months, Simmons recommitted to local products.

“While there have been many changes in my first 100 days as managing director, there is one unique capability that retain my firm commitment. Acer is the only major vendor to offer the flexibility of local inventory and a modern multi-million dollar BTO CTO (Built to Order, Configure to Order) product and assembly investment in this country,” Simmons wrote.

“Our ability to rapidly customise upon customer demand at lower quantity thresholds than offshore competitors has been key to our winning major contracts.”