In 2019 the distributor experienced expansion and double-digit growth
D&H Distributing, the leading provider of SMB and consumer technologies to the North American channel, reports it has experienced impressive growth in key categories during 2019, including impressive year-over-year gains in areas such as TV and accessories at 37 percent, and PC gaming at 15 percent. That’s in addition to strong showings in categories such as commercial computing, ProAV/collaboration, streaming media entertainment devices, and home office networking.
Despite the fact that overall performance in the distribution market has been mixed in 2019, D&H has experienced increases in its customer base, its sales revenues, its services, and its associate (ESOP “co-owner”) headcount, due in part to expanded offerings in high-performing areas. Emerging protocols such as WiFi 6 are predicted to be a significant driver in 2020, since this new standard will allow smart home devices to perform at speeds similar to what users have become accustomed to in workplace environments.
To continue to enhance its focus in its growing retail categories, D&H is proud to have added a new Senior Retail Marketing Manager, Susan Bakalarczyk, formerly a marketing director with L’Oréal products. Susan will spearhead D&H’s growth strategies among its retail accounts, including addressing an emerging trend wherein small businesses are sourcing commercial computing from large brick-and-mortar retailers or online eCommerce sites. D&H is a leading supplier for this growing “ProSumer” phenomenon, working with manufacturers such as Cisco and HP to help these companies introduce powerful versions of their enterprise solutions that are scaled for use in small office environments. As such, the company continues to serve its sweet-spot “S in SMB” customer base, this time through traditional consumer channels, with robust yet affordable, high-performance notebooks, PCs, and small office/home office networking equipment including hubs and routers.
Consumer/Retail Focuses Will Include:
PC Gaming: Gaming continues to show significant growth, expanding to include specialized gaming PCs and high-performance systems, gaming-oriented accessories, VR-based products, and high-end audio devices. These solutions satisfy the unique needs of the online gaming sector, which is exploding in the marketplace, including through trends such as collegiate Esports.
WiFi 6/Smart Home: The connected home category will gain critical momentum from the new WiFi 6 protocol, which accommodates wireless Gigabit bandwidth to devices in the home. This standard will support home-based PCs, laptops and networking technologies, including routers and switches from companies such as NETGEAR and Lenovo. Smart home devices will function more seamlessly at speeds reminiscent of the typical workplace, addressing the more sophisticated expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumer.
Custom Install: D&H is expanding its focus on the custom install market, which similarly will be propelled by industry leading technology advancements, like WiFi 6-enabled home devices. This will include items such as large-scale displays or video walls that can now be better accommodated in residential and business environments, utilizing new protocols including AV-over-IP.
Enhanced Trade Show Experiences: D&H introduced a specialized “Retail Track” at its Chicago-area event in 2019, which included a roundtable session and face-to-face “round robin” meetings with retail manufacturer representatives. This dedicated sub-division of D&H’s “Technology Conference: Midwest” was well received by partners serving the retail and consumer markets, who were able to share best practices and gain crucial product knowledge and market intelligence.
Investing to Deliver Exemplary Partner Engagement
This fall, D&H Distributing moved more than 700 of its associates (called ESOP “co-owners”) to an expanded, two-building headquarters in Harrisburg, PA. This new campus boasts a professional-class Multimedia Production Studio, Innovation Center, and Technology Hub training theater, where subject matter experts from D&H’s manufacturer partners will deliver customized education. In addition, the distributor will produce “D&H TV,” a series of live streaming presentations, increasing the schedule of webcasts through its newly-expanded Solutions Lab capabilities. These efforts will result in a range of original, compelling content made available to partners on www.dandh.com.
D&H’s 2020 Technology Conferences will feature a growing schedule of industry-leading keynote presenters addressing vital market trends. Sessions from the company’s conferences will be live-streamed on the distributors social platforms, as well as available on-demand through www.dandh.com post-event, delivering on the company’s commitment to both design and deploy expert partner enablement and training opportunities, made available through readily accessible platforms.
D&H will also unveil a series of Partner Marketing Workshops at its 2020 technology events, bringing together third-party experts on topics such as branding, content and storytelling, digital and integrated marketing strategy, and more. These full-day sessions will combine marketing resources with manufacturer channel marketing experts and D&H resources, creating an authoritative, growth-oriented training program.
“This has been a stand-out year for D&H, fueled by transformation and a partner-centric vision,” began D&H’s Co-president Dan Schwab. “The past few years, we’ve been fortunate enough—and strategic enough—to build significant assets and achieve major milestones as an organization. As each new year unfolds, we brainstorm ways to enhance our partners’ business experiences and engender their success, rallying our team of talented and motivated employee co-owners each time. We’re excited about meeting the future in our new headquarters, developing outstanding categories including PC gaming, ProAV, custom installation, and ‘commercial to retail.’ We’ll approach these markets with a renewed ability to deliver compelling go-to-market strategies, innovative solutions and services, and best-in-class training and support.”
D&H partners can contact their representatives at (800) 877-1200 or visit www.dandh.com to learn more. There’s no cost to apply to become a D&H customer.
Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.