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EXCLUSIVE:Aqipa Roll Out SAP System That Delivers Trading Marketplaces For Brands & Retailers

COVID-19 has delivered a “huge opportunity” for Melbourne based distributor AQIPA, after their parent Company rolled out a multimillion dollar global SAP program, that went live weeks out from the breakout of the epidemic, the implementation has enabled the distributor to deliver up to 24,000 consignments a day for retailers and brands during global lockdowns.

Based in Austria, Aqipa is now delivering goods to 14 Countries across Europe for multiple brands including one of the biggest brands in the world according to Christian Trapl, Global CEO of AQIPA during an exclusive interview with ChannelNews.

Brands and retailers using the AQIPA end to end solution to deliver to both b2C and b2B organisations are benefiting from the capability of the SAP EWM system which is now being rolled out in Australia.

Aqipa CEO Christian Trapl

According to Trapl key benefit for brands, is that Aqipa is running the complete online operations for brands and retailers, from distribution to online brand shops to supply warehousing, with their clients able to track sales real time on a tablet, smartphone, or PC.

The technology places AQIPA in a unique position in Australia alongside major distributors such an Synnex Australia and Ingram Micro the difference being that AQIPA is a boutique distributor operating in consumer electronics, appliance and audio markets which have witnessed major growth during the COVID-19 epidemic according to Trapl who believes that COVID-19 is something we have “got to learn to live and operate with”.

He said that the rollout has had a huge impact on AQIPA with the Company delivering record sales.

In Australia, the local operation is now profitable and growing after a major restructure and the appointment of new management including personnel from Europe.

“We have restructured our brand relationships and we are making good margin on the products we sell Australia is looking very promising,” he said.

“We are also building out marketplaces for brands including inside Amazon and we are handling the entire process,” he said.

Key is a new warehouse management system which when combined with Swiss developed SynQ software is delivering an advantage which most CE, appliance and audio distributors in Australia are unable to deliver.

The Company decided to go with the SAP EMW system after examining various software variants, to control its AutoStore system in Kundl near Innsbruck.

“Our offering is ideal for brands and retailers looking to reduce costs while operating with a fixed cost solution. The fact that that we can manage the ordering, logistics, sell through and bild and operate a web site and marketplace is seen as a big advantage for our brands” he said.

Clients already using the system in Australia include Marshall, while globally Aqipa distributes for JBL Harman, Harman Kardon, Teac, Pioneer, Onkyo, Adidas, Jabra, Zendure, Braun Audio, and Integra.

“Today we do more than moving a box, we are offering total solutions and both our brand partners and AQIPA benefit from the investment we have made” he said.

When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the Channel and distributors such as AQIPA Trapl said “COVID-19 has changed our lives forever, what we are seeing today is just the beginning and it’s going to take years to fix we have to learn to live with it”.

He added “Life has to get back to some form of normality, people still want to meet, go out but we are going to haver to be a lot more disciplined as to how we do this”.
He said that AQIPA’s biggest concern right now was the upcoming holiday season and the uncertainty surrounding this period.

“We are uncertain as to the availability of stock and uncertain as to how consumers will react after months of COVID-19, it will be an interesting period” he said.

“People like to spend money and they are not spending it on travel or eating out, they are also working from home and this has resulted in a surge in demand for products that are being ordered online and we are able to fulfil for retailers and brands directly”.

He said that 76% of AQIPA staff work with laptops and even AQIPA had to find supply of notebooks to give to their staff who had moved to working from home. “This will become the norm for many people going forward” he said.

Shortly AQIPA Australia will roll out several new products they are also working to deliver new go to market solutions for brands using the new SAP EMW system. Among the new products coming is a new range of Pure Radio’s, a range of eMeet accessories for work at home consumers, and a new Braun speaker range that sold out after its New York launch.

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