Hewlett Packard (HP) does not think the technology industry will pick up for at least another year.
Executive vice president Michael Winkler told the INL newsgroup that although the company was set to save more than the $3bn annually by its merger with Compaq, more savings were crucial.
He said that nobody was counting on a recovery in 2003 even though everyone would like to see it happen in the second half of the year, and some think it even could happen.
But HP acknowledged that customers' spending plans are flat and they are not going to buy until they see the economy improve.
In a bid to save cash, the company has set up an improved business-to-business website to make it easier to track orders and confer online with HP salespeople.
HP took its cue from internet vendors such as Amazon and online auctioneer eBay rather than from Dell, the direct seller that is HP's top competitor among PC makers, Winkler said.
Taking a business order over the web was $25 to $35 cheaper than by phone - a significant saving. And customers who ordered on the web were easier to keep, Winkler added.
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