Point-of-sale manufacturer Star Micronics has put a rocket under its dealer network after managing director Leon Howe accused lethargic resellers of being partly responsible for vendors selling direct.
Howe, who despite his criticism is committed to 100 per cent channel distribution, said dealers too often put forward cheaper options when pitching to customers in the hope of making an easy sale rather than create a value proposition for the customer.
Since the release of its two-tone thermal voucher printer (700 series) last year, which allows targeted advertising on the bottom of customer receipts, Star Micronics has been encouraging its dealers to think creatively. "You have to look beyond the printer sale to the service and management aspect," said Howe.
"I walked into a pub the other day that was running a Tooheys promotion: for every schooner bought you got a stamp on a card and when you had 10 or whatever stamps you got a Tooheys beer jug. Now, I knew the girl behind the bar, she stamped my card full and gave me a jug. From Tooheys' point of view that's a wasted promotion, and a smart dealer could pick up on that and create a pitch out of it for proof of purchase via the voucher printer."
Star Micronics' Craig Cheers said voucher printing has proved very popular with franchises due to its ability to generate customer loyalty, stimulate cross promotional sales and secure sponsorship from suppliers. For example, RSL clubs, casinos and shopping centres are using the concept for containment within arcades, while pharmacies have actually brokered deals with drug companies - they push a particular brand and the drug company pays on a cents-per-ad basis.
"We have dealers that have given up selling PCs and are just selling the POS printers and the voucher concept," said Cheers. "One dealer is charging $60 a pop for setting up an advert graphic."