Digiland gets its Gold back

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Distributor Digiland has been reinstated as a Gold Seal Epson distributor following six months of auditing and training by the vendor to ensure staff understood the compliance conditions of the program.

Digiland lost the Gold status in November last year after it was discovered that the company had sourced printer ink cartridges from an unauthorised channel in Malaysia.

Distributors with Gold status are required to source parts from authorised channels locally, a practice Epson said guarantees the parts are not knock-offs.

"They were still keen to come back on board and begin their Gold status. We audited the company over a six month period - we do that [auditing] as part of the Gold Seal program," said Mike Pleasants, director of marketing and communications for Epson. "We went through all that with Digiland and they are selling genuine [parts]," he added.

A total of 10 Epson distributors - including Tech Pacific, Alloys and CompuWholesale - have the Gold status.

"We really just said there are rules of our gold seal accreditation scheme, [abide] by those rules and we're delighted to have you back on board," Pleasants said.

He added: "Without this high level of trust and confidence throughout the channel, the relationships between vendor, distributors and resellers may break down. The basic requirement for participation in this program is that distributors purchase Epson consumables only from Epson Australia.

"This enables Epson to guarantee the quality of the product, via the local distribution channel and enables resellers to be 100 percent confident they are not buying counterfeit or grey product," he said.

Paul Kruss, the newly-installed MD at Digiland Australia said the status is important to the company because of customer concerns about "questionable imports."

"People need to know [parts] are genuine. I'm sure [losing the Gold] didn't help our business but from an Epson point of view our business is going from strength to strength," he said. He said the Digiland had re-established relationships with senior Epson executives over the past few months which helped bring back its accreditation. "We're going to look at where we are, not where we've been," he said.

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