Number two laser printer vendor Kyocera Mita has signed Ingram Micro as its fourth laser printer distributor in order to fill a gap in the 'mid-range' and compete more strongly against the market leader HP.
This mid-range printer section of the market was not being addressed by its other three distributors Tech Pacific, Cellnet or Dynamic Supplies, said David Finn, managing director at Kyocera Mita Australia. Under the arrangement, Ingram would distribute the company's range of laser printers, consumables and digital cameras.
Dynamic Supplies focused on smaller accounts that Ingram probably 'wouldn't want', Cellnet has a different footprint and Tech Pacific's 'everything to everybody', Finn said.
Finn said: 'Ingram Micro is the second largest distributor in Australia and we weren't there as a product offering, he said.
Finn asserts that there's no danger of the company becoming over distributed despite having four national distributors on its books. 'Three's not enough -- we're not over-distributed because our marketshare says [we're] not,' he said. 'It's only over-distributed if it's out of control. We work with the channel to make sure our street price is right and there's margin in it,' he said.
Finn admitted that the company had been focusing too heavily on the multifunction and photocopier markets of late and had 'taken its eye off the ball' in printers. It had put in place a new internal division with four staff dedicated to focusing on national distribution. 'Previously it was state-by-state, he said.
Finn described the printer market as flat and tough with Brother in particular making a big impact, moving to the number three position in the laser printer market. Many vendors are vying for a laser printer market of 256,000 units per year. 'But we'll see who's got the long fingers and who can keep going,' he said.
Finn claimed that none of Kyocera's direct resellers are dedicated to selling printers only, adding that it's probably better for dealers to buy through the distribution channel.