Kyocera throws down the gauntlet

Kyocera throws down the gauntlet

A new Internet strategy, new products and an increased focus on the retail channel are the keys to Kyocera's ongoing success, according to managing director David Finn.

As reported in ARN (December 1, page 20) the multinational printer vendor recently secured the number two spot in the Australian laser printer market, according to both GartnerGroup and Inform reports.

The next step, says Finn, is for Kyocera to overtake Hewlett-Packard, the market leader. `We're going to frighten HP, it's definitely achievable,' he asserted, saying that revenue figures are growing by 53 per cent year on year and unit sales increasing by 66 per cent.

The key is Kyocera's supply strategy and its superior products, both of which are constantly evolving, with the com-pany planning to roll out a major Internet strategy in April.

`We're going to have a fully integrated supply chain management system with transactional capabilities. This means that the Internet will allow our authorised distributors and resellers to buy off us over the Net and take advantage of our 24-hour warehouse,' explained Finn.

Customers will not have access to the site, with Finn claiming that even if the channel fulfilled orders the process can become complicated and antagonistic.

`We'll put pointers on our site to all our partners, and will eventually fine-tune it so a person can put their postcode in and a reseller for their suburb will be identified, but it will be a site to deal with supply issues, not marketing issues.'

And in order to maintain the strength Kyocera has in certain markets, such as small and medium business and government, the vendor will soon announce details of new business printers.

Finn also insists that Kyocera is `selling into new markets everyday' and is augmenting its resellers' dominance of the business market with a commitment to the consumer market through retail outlets. `Consumers go to retail stores, and with the Internet just a short-term solution we will focus on retail channels a lot more.'

Finn credits Kyocera's success to a dedicated channel, good communication skills and a `friendly' attitude.

`If your resellers aren't profitable they aren't viable. So we make sure that they are getting good margins, double if not three times what the competition offers, and can differentiate themselves with the quality of our products, while still being cheaper than the competition.'

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