The January appointment of Tech Pacific as its distributor helped Tektronix "realise how important the channel is to the whole marketing mix", according to Neale Gallagher, marketing manager at Tektronix Australia's colour printing and imaging division.
"Our channel model has been too restrictive for too long. Tech Pacific has opened new markets for us which we weren't previously able to get at," said Gallagher.
By allowing Tech Pacific to develop its own model in conjunction with Tektronix's Authorised Reseller Program, access is being gained into corporate and government sectors which are starting to recognise the colour printer's role as a workgroup tool.
Fiona Stewart, marketing communications manager at Tech Pacific, said sales of Tektronix products have been steadily rising. "There was nothing wrong with the existing channel but we needed to add resellers dealing in the growth markets," she said.
Another reseller involved in providing turnkey solutions for the pre-press and graphic arts industry told ARN that it is important for Tektronix to supply information to resellers about colour mixing.
"Information isn't readily available for all resellers to implement Tektronix solutions accurately. Moving to a mass channel is going to cause a lot of problems. They have to avoid the car salesman approach," said the authorised reseller who asked not to be named.
Mark Sneddon, marketing director for Delta Technology, an authorised reseller with offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra, lamented losing some of the $2 million worth of Tektronix business it is currently doing annually, but recognised this as a circumstance of technological evolution.
"Colour laser products are moving closer to mainstream and therefore need to be marketed differently, but I can't say I'm overly keen on the channel expansion," he said.
"They are moving from a high margin limited distribution channel model to a low margin, high volume one and there is always pain when that happens. The main effect we are seeing is falling margins. It remains to be seen whether volume goes through the roof as planned."
Greg Middleton, managing director of Ad- Type Solutions, was pleased to gain access to product, rather than just earning a "spotter's fee" from an authorised reseller.
"We are in a vertical market segment that wasn't being properly targeted by Tektronix' resellers and are definitely benefiting from the channel expansion," said Middleton.
In other channel related news from Tektronix, the search is now on to locate suitably skilled third-party service providers to take up some of the increased demand for support eventuating from increased sales. A National Customer Support Manager, Myra Gossow has also been appointed to take charge of in-house technical support and service technician teams as well as development of a third-party service provider network.
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