Trying to muscle in on the competitive monochrome laser printing space was always going to be challenging for Samsung, but after a month on the market the vendor has reported a very positive response to its new product offerings.
Samsung called upon its monitor reseller channel and retailers to help it launch a range of laser printers and multifunctional devices, and it seems to have paid off. According to Samsung, initial sales targets were not only met, the first shipment sold out by the end of the first month.
"We were pretty amazed at the response," admits Samsung's printer manager, sales and marketing, Adam Hughes. "We had no stock by the end of the month."
With a second shipment just arrived, the company is now looking at building the Samsung brand name in the printer market.
"The best thing is people are starting to ask about them," Hughes says. "We utilised our channels from the monitor market and they have been more than happy to take on our printers as well. We are also utilising our retailers."
With the reported slowdown in the Australian printing market, it may not seem like the most opportune time to launch a new product. But the timing will allow the vendor to establish itself in the market place and within the channel.
"The printer market is very competitive at the moment, with vendors cutting prices and launching new products, but Samsung has been making printers overseas for many years and we already had the infrastructure," Hughes said. "It may not have been the right time for the market, but it was the right time for Samsung.
"It is early days yet, but we want to make sure we support our distribution channel in terms of getting the best price."
Hughes admits he is feeling some heat from the company's headquarters in Korea.
"But it is more encouragement. They know the market place is not up. But we have reached our targets for the first month and the second month is looking promising. We didn't want to come in and saturate the market when there is no need. We are about using the channel and providing the motivation to move product."
Samsung is currently operating with six distributors, four VARs and Symtec as the sole integrator.
"It is like starting a new business. You have to get your name out there. We are fortunate to have the monitor division but, at the same time, it is a very different market."
Hughes hopes to take around 10 per cent market share over the next 12 months.
Samsung is unlikely to introduce colour printers until early next year.
"It depends on market trends," Hughes explained. "People want to see cheaper colour laser printers but there is a lot more to them, and they are much more expensive than inkjets. So, in terms of volume, we didn't see the need to introduce colour straight away."