JOS sees its hybrid business model - combining retailing, wholesaling and direct sales - as its main competitive advantage. But another major distributor, Tech Pacific, emphasises that it will concentrate only on wholesaling to ensure it will not compete with its reseller partners. Tech Pacific distributes products in more countries than JOS, which allows it to achieve economies of scale. With headquarters in Australia, it distributes products in most southeast Asian countries. Despite the economic downturn and retail slump, the IT market has not shrunk, says managing director of Tech Pacific Hong Kong Michael Lee. Instead, the challenge ahead is the unpredictable whims of IT buyers. 'In the past, we made sales forecasts of a certain product based on the previous month's figure; but it doesn't work now.' As a result, Mr Lee thinks wholesalers have to work more closely with vendors to identify the right product and its target market, and help resellers choose the right marketing strategies. Cost-efficiency is always key, but wholesalers now also have to react more quickly to market changes. 'Now we only plan for two weeks, and once we see the original plan doesn't work as we expect, we have to adjust immediately,' says Mr Lee.