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A year ago small and midsize business specialist distributor D&H Distributing, like everyone else, was feeling a bit of a pinch from the Wall Street meltdown, credit crunch and yet-to-be-officially-confirmed recession. Sales were flat year over year, a noticeable change from the normal seasonality, which tends to be a 10 percent growth for October and November.

But a rebound is here, says Dan Schwab, D&H co-president.

“If you look at those three months [a year ago], business was flat, whereas a lot of other people experienced significant declines,” Schwab tells Channel Insider.

Business recently has made up for it. Schwab says October and November are up 20 percent year over year. He attributes the rise to D&H’s efforts to increase available credit, improve and increase free education for VARs in the past year, and work more closely with vendors.

As for the year ahead, Schwab personally doubts there will be a broad recovery, saying, “I believe it will still be a bumpy road next year, from a general economy standpoint, due to high levels of unemployment … I don’t know that anyone is looking for a dramatic expansion.”

But D&H is taking measures to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there, and smart resellers and solution providers should be doing the same.

For example, one of the statistics floated out there is that 6 million people have lost their jobs since December 2007, and over 50 percent of them are considered information workers. While there aren’t a lot of jobs being created today, Schwab says, there are many people who are starting their own businesses.

“There are a lot of new VARs being created and a lot of new businesses being created that are being served by the VARs that we support,” Schwab says. “We see that as one of the positives going into next year.”

D&H will also be targeting what it views as significant opportunities in the year ahead, including the health care vertical in terms of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the electronic medical records initiative. Another big push will be around mobility focusing on telecommuting, security and data backup.

These new pushes by D&H come after research into the pain points customers are experiencing, and are designed to alleviate them.

“This is about thinking from the end user on up and trying to supply the technologies and merchandise the solutions. It will be incorporated into all aspects of our business,” says Schwab.

Resellers can start to look for Webinars and other educational offerings starting in December on how to interact with customers on these issues and help them with solutions, Schwab says.

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