In our modern era, marked by swift technological advancements and an interconnected global market, procurement professionals are faced with increasingly complex supply chains.

The IT sector, in particular, presents a maze of purchasing pathways that can significantly influence an organisation's operational efficiency, reputation, and ethical stance. The crux of this decision often lies in choosing between authorised and unauthorised channels.

The Authorised Supply Chain: A Deeper Dive

The authorised supply chain represents a trusted network of suppliers and partners, handpicked and verified by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). These channels offer products and services that meet exacting standards set by manufacturers, ensuring a consistent and high-quality procurement experience. Here's why businesses often lean towards this trusted framework:

1. Guaranteed Authenticity
Sourcing through an authorised supply chain ensures the product's authenticity. These products, having met the stringent quality benchmarks set by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), guarantee a blend of performance consistency and product longevity.

2. Warranty and Support
Beyond the point of purchase, authorised channels continue to provide value via manufacturer-backed warranties. Coupled with expert technical support, they safeguard businesses against potential technical disruptions.

3. Regulatory Compliance
Each region often has its unique set of standards, especially pertaining to data security, electrical safety, and environmental impact. With authorised channels, businesses can confidently navigate these nuances, avoiding non-compliance pitfalls.

4. Software Updates
In today's digital landscape, the synergy between hardware and software is paramount. Authorised channels facilitate seamless access to the latest software updates, ensuring systems remain agile and secure.

5. Post-Purchase Services
The journey with authorised suppliers extends far beyond the transaction. These channels offer holistic post-purchase services, enabling smooth tech integration into existing infrastructures.

6. Protection of Company Reputation
Operating in a world increasingly conscious of ethics, aligning with authorised channels reinforces a company's commitment to modern slavery laws, safeguarding its reputation in the process.

7. Sustainability
As the corporate world leans towards greener practices, authorised suppliers, with their proactive sustainability policies, act as valuable allies in this environmental endeavour.

Treading the Unauthorised Supply Chain

The unauthorised supply chain, on the other hand, is often a more nebulous territory. Without the explicit endorsement of OEMs, these channels might offer tempting short-term benefits, typically in the form of reduced costs. However, this often comes with hidden challenges and potential pitfalls. Let’s explore some of the concerns associated with venturing into this less-charted territory:

1. Questionable Product Authenticity
While the allure of cost savings tempts many, the unauthorised route often poses risks of counterfeit or substandard goods, which can compromise both safety and efficiency.

2. Lack of Manufacturer Warranty
Straying from authorised channels might lead to a forfeit of manufacturer warranties, a gamble that could prove costly in the event of product malfunctions.

3. Potential Regulatory Issues
Products from unauthorised suppliers might skirt regional regulations, exposing businesses to potential legal repercussions and damaging their reputation.

4. Inadequate After-Sales Support
Post-sale, businesses might find themselves adrift without the guiding hand of support, making technical issues a daunting challenge.

5. Missing Software Updates
Without authorised access, vital software updates might elude capture, hindering system performance and compromising security.

6. Risk to Corporate Reputation
Aligning with unauthorised channels can cast a shadow over a company's image, especially if tied to subpar products or unethical practices.

7. Modern Slavery and Ethical Concerns
Unauthorised suppliers might not maintain ethical sourcing standards, potentially implicating businesses in the murky waters of modern slavery or other malpractices.

8. Sustainability Risks
The unchecked nature of unauthorised channels might not align with sustainability efforts, potentially hindering an organisation's green initiatives.


Delving into the supply chain intricacies reveals a lucid narrative: the short-term allure of unauthorised channels is fraught with potential long-term pitfalls. Opting for an authorised supply chain not only safeguards a financial investment but also fortifies an organisation's reputation, security, and ethical foundation. As guardians of procurement, professionals must wield discernment in these decisions, ensuring they echo the organisation's values and vision.

How Can We Assist You?

Are you navigating the challenges of IT procurement? Our team can guide you through the maze of supply chains, ensuring your choices align with your organisation's objectives. Book now for a free spend analysis on your IT purchases and discover where you can optimise and save. Let's work together to make procurement seamless.