Kyocera appoints Chips and Bits to distribute lasers

Fully recognising the importance of Australian resellers to its channel strategy, Kyocera has appointed Chips and Bits as a national distributor for its laser printer range. The announcement comes hot on the heels of its current distributor, CHA, going into partnership with global operator CHS Electronics.

With CHS being Hewlett-Packard's biggest distributor internationally, Kyocera is playing a safety card at the same time as pursuing its channel expansion program.

Convinced of the quality of its product, Kyocera has been working hard on its channel where it accepts it is lagging somewhat behind some of the bigger names in laser printing when it comes to support from value-added resellers. The signing of Chips and Bits adds over 1100 active resellers and VARs to the Kyocera channel in one fell swoop, according to the distributor.

Denis Gallagher, national sales manager of Chips and Bits, said that up until now its product range had lacked printers. He felt Kyocera was a great addition to the Chips and Bits stable and that it went for the deal because he didn't believe it was going to be able to get enough margins out of HP for itself or its resellers.

"We are a $40 million a year distributor but we had a huge gap in our product line -- we didn't have a printer," Gallagher said. "We haven't sold a printer in the last five years and we obviously needed to add them to our range to best service our resellers.

"We were looking for two things, a quality printer and something we could get a margin out of for our dealers. Kyocera came up and we just happened to be in the right place in the right time."

Gallagher said Chips and Bits will be selling the full range of Kyocera products and feels the deal will complement the existing national distribution agreement the printer vendor has with CHA.

"Amongst other things, we are hopeful of getting the products onto the shelves at Harvey Norman and are in discussions at the moment to do just that," Gallagher said.

David Finn, managing director, Kyocera Electronics Australia, is looking at the broad range of resellers offered by Chips and Bits as a means of introducing the brand to new markets. "At a time when many vendors are pursuing or considering direct sales models, we are pleased to reaffirm our total commitment to the channel," he said.