Long-term Oki distributor Comworth’s sole New Zealand distribution agreement with the vendor won’t be affected by the changes to Oki’s sales model across the Tasman. Comworth Systems general manager Mark Charlesworth says Oki has assured his company it will be business as usual in New Zealand after Oki established an Australian sales office, bought out the printing and imaging division of Australian wholesale distributor IPL and appointed Synnex there. Comworth was given the assurances late in 2008 when Oki began plans to buy IPL, and again recently at the time of the IPL announcement in Australia, says Charlesworth. “The reasons they want the status quo are the size of the New Zealand market, which doesn’t necessarily warrant a direct presence, and they said ‘we don’t think we would do as good a job as you have done’.” Charlesworth says he sees advantages for Comworth as a result of the Australian presence being established. “I would expect benefits in terms of being that one step closer to Oki rather than having to go to Japan to talk to someone.” Although Comworth still reports to Oki in Japan, rather than in Australia, it will be able to share Oki stock from Australia, says Charlesworth.
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