Printronix seeks system integrators

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US printer maker Printronix has taken aggressive aim at what it sees as a consolidated, stagnating market for line matrix printers by signing more system integrators in Australia.

Bruce Wong, Australasia business development manager at Printronix, said the market for line matrix printers had been pretty stagnant and vendor consolidation had occurred.

As a result, Printronix was targeting an increased percentage of the market for the low-cost, high-volume printers, he said.

"What we're looking for is system integrators. Basically, what we're finding is that with a lot of system integrators, they deal with generally large corporations or medium enterprises and because of that, they do total solutions." Wong said.

Printronix's portfolio was actually rather specialised so the vendor felt it could add more value as part of a "solution" approach to the printing needs of midsize to large organisations, he said.

"We do work with channel partners, like a subcontractor, where we provide expertise to close the deal and they can do the fulfillment after that," Wong said.

The US vendor had been selling IBM-badged printers as well as Printronix ones via the channel, so the plan to sign more system integrators essentially expanded what it was already doing, he said.

Printronix worked "closely" with Sun and IBM and the channel partners of those vendors, he said.

Wong said Printronix sought fresh blood across Australia, but in some states, such as Western Australia, integrators serving particular verticals were wanted. In Western Australia, for example, those with a focus on mining or food manufacturing might appeal, he said.

"Generally, in the eastern states we're looking at maybe two to three larger system integrators per state, but for South Australia and Western Australia, maybe just one [each]," he said.

"In Australia, our target market is actually supply chain and manufacturing."

Distribution centres tended to use a lot of printers and often wanted to print in large volumes at lower costs. Line matrix printers were faster than dot matrix printers and much faster than laser printers," he said.

"With laser printers, the total cost of ownership can be 10 to 20 times as much," Wong said.

Wong said Printronix had earned US$2 million in profit on revenue of US$131 million in the year to March 2005. The previous year had seen profit of US$632,000.

"We had a change of product mix," he said. "We're putting more emphasis on RFID printers, where the margin is higher."

Printronix has just released its P7000 line matrix print platform line, which supersedes its P5000 series. The series has list pricing from $10,874 to $16,598, excluding GST.

"The new patented P7000 Ultra Capacity ribbon starts 20 percent darker and last three times longer than Printronix’s most popular 30 million character ribbons. [It has] a 90 million character rated life," Printronix said in a statement.

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