Monitor market ready to fight the next round

Resellers could be forgiven for wondering where the monitor market is heading next following a challenging period for those managing supply and demand. Display vendor Viewsonic is urging its partners to remain focused.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 8, 2009

Resellers could be forgiven for wondering where the monitor market is heading next following a challenging period for those managing supply and demand. Display vendor Viewsonic is urging its partners to remain focused.

To say it has been a turbulent 12 months for the Middle East display channel would be an understatement of quite sizeable proportions.

Regarded as one of the most volatile product categories anyway due to the supply and demand dynamics that take place at production level, the market has seen recent analyst predictions blitzed by dramatic changes to the global economy.

With distributors and resellers endeavouring to understand how trading behaviour will pan out in the weeks ahead, display specialist Viewsonic is one vendor that insists it is committed to giving regional partners as much guidance as it can.

Like most of its competitors in the LCD monitor space, the company is fully aware that changes to any one of a number of variables can mean the difference between partners posting sky-high sales and being saddled with aging stock.

This time last year, Viewsonic was warning resellers to expect supply shortages by the end of Q4, and it certainly wasn't alone. Other vendors also urged partners to deploy proper stock management procedures or risk being unable to fulfil the kind of consumer and commercial demand that has led to double-digit monitor growth becoming customary in the Middle East.

As we all now know, that's not how the situation played out. The initial credit crunch and economic downturn that occurred in the West - coupled with high inflation in emerging markets generating much of the growth - caught panel makers by surprise.

"One thing that nobody projected - even the research companies that track the supply dynamics - was the economic situation and how it would actually affect supply to the point where we had the opposite of what was being originally predicted," admitted Aaron Fright, regional director for the MEA region at Viewsonic.

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