PC Mall Gov opening doors

PC Mall Gov, a subsidiary of product and services provider PC Mall Inc., officially will open its doors June 3 under the leadership of former Comark Inc. executive Alan Bechara.

The new Herndon, Va., office will focus on business development and contract management for government clients, said Bechara, president of PC Mall Gov. There already are 80 employees located in PC Mall's main office in Torrance, Calif., who are dedicated to PC Mall Gov sales, and the sales model will not change, he said.

"In order to keep costs down, our sales infrastructure is based outside of the Virginia/Washington, D.C., area," Bechara said.

The new office supports the company's strategy to expand sales in the government and education markets, a figure that totaled $70 million last year, Bechara said. "The government business is a growth business for everybody," he said, but you have to have a "long-term strategy."

PC Mall sells more than 100,000 products from companies such as Compaq Computer Corp., Apple Computer Inc., Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp., via phone, catalogs and the Internet.

Despite stiff competition from companies such as GTSI Corp. and CDW-G Inc., Bechara said PC Mall Gov's "simple formula" will win over customers: Provide good service, support and technology; serve as an information source for customers; ship products the same day; and offer competitive pricing. "We have a significant edge on cost," he said.

Meanwhile, PC Mall Gov officials plan to revamp the company's Web site to make it more interactive for government customers, similar to how its commercial site operates, Bechara said.

Currently the PC Mall Gov site is a "landing page" with static information, but soon it will offer customers the ability to set up their own Web page to make ordering easier. This page would contain product information specific to a particular customer. In the near future, PC Mall Gov will offer live customer service on their site to answer questions promptly and directly and to offer product suggestions.

Some companies may turn away orders of less than $1,000, Bechara said, but "if they don't want to take it, call us."

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