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System builders form new alliance

US body aims to improve communications with component makers

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White-box system builders have a new trade group in the US, aimed at promoting contact between themselves and component vendors. The Atlanta-based North American System Builders Association (NASBA) formed this week and aims to give smaller PC assemblers a united voice. It represents independent system builders with 10 to 100 employees under one organisational umbrella. Tom Collins, president of NASBA, said: "The association will open communication between system builders and technology vendors that has never existed in the channel." The organisation, which claims to be the world's largest collection of independent system builders, aims to rid the industry of unfair business practices and monitor unethical or illegal conduct. No mean feat. It wants to create methods for standardisation and communication between members and manufacturers. It will develop programmes and services such as a referral exchange, product exchange, technology hotline, volume purchasing opportunities and discount group insurance. Keith Warburton, executive director of the Personal Computer Association (PCA), the industry group for resellers in the UK, welcomed the move. "The more mature industries have trade associations. The fact that there are trade organisations starting in the PC industry shows how the business has grown, and can only be a good thing for all of us," he said. ®

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