Maxwell gets smart

Maxwell Optical Industries is set to scale back its Electronic Imaging division in order to focus more on its core business and core customers.

According to John Swainston, Maxwell's managing director, some products formerly carried by Electronic Imaging will be moved into its mainstream business, while others will cease to be carried by Maxwell.

In the latter category are GCC laser printers and Optima storage devices, which Swainston says represented some 3 per cent of Maxwell's business. Swainston said that Maxwell would be helping the respective vendors find appropriate alternative distributors.

Swainston says that Maxwell has been carrying far too many peripherals and having two separate sales forces had proved unnecessarily complicated.

"Maxwell is squarely in the business of image creation, use, storage and retrieval", and divesting itself of some non-core products will enable it to provide better support in those areas. To some extent, the move is also designed to minimise the impact on Maxwell's business of the Asian currency crisis.

Swainston believes that Maxwell's move will help both resellers and vendors, because freeing up these products while retaining its core business will create opportunities for resellers, who will in turn be able to provide "more distinctive" support for the products.

He added that digital video customers have preferred Optima drives, and will continue to do so, but that "Maxwell is not the integrator -- that's the reseller's job".

Among the product lines Maxwell is retaining are TrueVision, Live Picture, Canto and Avid, as well as Nikon film-based cameras.