CIE Pacific to hawk Minolta's laser printers

Distributor CIE Pacific has signed on to distribute Minolta's range of QMS laser printers, in a move expected to net the Siltek subsidiary an additional $5 million this year.

CIE's managing director, Michael Rebiffe, said the company aims to be a "distributor with a difference" by offering its resellers extra benefits and services.

"We offer a few extra things. Everyone says they are 'proactive' but we truly are," Rebiffe said. "For example, with one of our other product lines, Genicom, we offered $1000 cash back. Even though other distributors had the product, we were the ones that got it to market. We're offering free freight anywhere in Australia and loan evaluations, and I don't think any other distributors do that. We also have a loyalty program for resellers, Club CIE, and that includes trips away to places like Hamilton Island."

The distribution deal was finalised this week, and the company has just received its first delivery of stock, worth $700,000.

Rebiffe said the Minolta range of printers would add depth to CIE's existing product range, particularly its colour printer at a budget price of $2595.

"The QMS brand has an entry-level desk printer which I predict will be the number one laser product in the market within 12 months because of the price point. It offers more opportunities for resellers to get their foot in the door. We do a lot of business development, going out to large corporations and 'selling' the products, but we always refer them to a reseller. The last thing we want to do is muddy our channel, so we never sell direct."

Rebiffe said the Minolta QMS range would generate CIE revenues of between $4 million and $6 million within 12 months.