The 18th Annual CRN Sourcing Study is Released

A Comprehensive Look at Trends in Solution Providers Sourcing, Performance, and Preference

Oct 15, 2002

CMP Media's CRN, the newsweekly for builders of technology, today announced the results of the 18th Annual CRN Sourcing Study, 2002, which outlines the strengths and challenges facing manufacturers, distributors and alternative sources for products from the Solution Providers' point of view.

  Highlights of the study include:
  -- In the last 12 months, 56% of products that Solution Provider
      organizations bought and resold were purchased from distribution.  The
      majority of these purchases were sourced through distribution,
      including direct from manufacturer and large corporate resellers.
      Exchanges/auctions present alternative avenues.
  -- Solution Providers order and specify the source of purchase for their
      clients for many types of product categories.  The frequency and vast
      amount of buying demonstrates that there is a critical need to be
      constantly and consistently visible to Solution Providers.
  -- Sourcing decisions are based on table stakes; a source is not even
      considered without available and accurate/on-time shipments.
  -- Technical support and product knowledge have become significant
      criteria that drive sourcing decisions.
  -- Among distributors, D&H Distributing leads in strong performance,
      accurate and on-schedule shipments as well as return policies.

The study summarizes where Solution Providers are sourcing products and why. Solution Providers were asked to provide the names of their most preferred sources, creating the basis for the study's list of preferred manufacturers, distributors and alternative sources. By measuring each of these preferred sources on a variety of evaluation criteria, the study indicates Solution Provider perceptions.

The CRN Sourcing Study is a key tool for distributors, manufacturers and alternative sources of products to gauge Solution Provider preferences and perceptions of the companies from whom they source products and services. The study provides insight into why they chose to source or not source products and services; analysis and feedback about Solution Provider perceptions based on evaluation criteria; as well as a an opportunity for CRN readers to evaluate their current and potential sources.

Tech Data, Ingram Micro, D&H Distributing and Synnex were recognized as the top four preferred distributors and Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Compaq were the top four preferred manufacturers. The web-based survey was completed by 1,530 'unique' qualified Solution Providers, randomly selected from CRN's subscriber file, whose organizations integrate, sell/resell, recommend or approve technology solutions for customers.

"This study outlines what is important to Solution Providers when they evaluate vendors and select products," commented Lisa MacKenzie, publisher, CRN. "We appreciate the feedback from the Solution Provider community and hope that the study will serve as a influential guide for making future purchasing decisions. Our sincerest congratulations to the most preferred distributors and manufacturers for their excellent reputations."

The study was developed by CMP Media's Technology Solution Group (TSG) Research in conjunction with independent research firm, Ruzinsky Research of Yorktown Heights, NY.

About CRN Sourcing Study

In its 18th year, the CRN Sourcing Study highlights the strengths and challenges facing manufacturers, distributors and alternative sources for products from the Solution Providers standpoint. The study outlines detailed information on where Solution Providers are sourcing products and provides a preferred listing of manufacturers, distributors, and alternative sources from which products are generally purchased and provides an indicator of Solution Provider perceptions of sourcing partners.

About CRN

CRN is the nation's leading trade newsweekly that provides timely industry news and analysis for solution providers, integrators and e-businesses building technology solutions. It is the most trusted source of news for 117,500 channel professionals. A media leader in the high-tech industry, CRN provides the most comprehensive suite of online resources:, the site where industry news breaks first; CRN Direct, a daily newsletter that brings personalized news to solution providers' desktops; and CRN Broadcast News, a daily news broadcast covering the solution provider channel and the industry.

About CMP Media LLC

CMP Media LLC ( is a leading integrated media company providing essential information and marketing services to the entire technology spectrum-the builders, sellers and users of technology worldwide. Capitalizing on its editorial strength, CMP is uniquely positioned to offer marketers comprehensive, integrated media solutions tailored to meet their individual needs. Its diverse products and services include newspapers, magazines, Internet products, research, direct marketing services, education and training, trade shows and conferences, and custom publishing.

   Nanci Oehrlein

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CONTACT: Nanci Oehrlein of CRN, +1-516-562-5858 or

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