Toshiba expands direct customers

Toshiba expands direct customers

TOSHIBA is looking at ways in which it can increase sales in towns outside the main centres, despite last year turning over $62 million — a record for the company here.

The approach will involve dealing with more direct resellers and providing tailored services for small and mid-size businesses.

Manager Steve Ford says plans are in the early stages but he hopes Toshiba will start implementing them within the next three to six months.

“We’re fairly well covered in the main centres, but in the hinterland — the New Plymouths, the Palmerston Norths and the Invercargills — we’re looking at increasing the coverage. Computerland tends to be our main point of contact in those places.”

Toshiba’s other direct partners are Tech Pacific (distributor), Harvey Norman (retail), The Laptop Company, Portables Plus, Gen-i, Axon, Fujitsu and ATL Systems.

In addition to increasing the number of direct partners, Toshiba is reviewing the types of products that it sells to different sized customers and, eventually, industry sectors.

“What a corporate organisation requires from a technology perspective can be very different to what a small business requires,” Ford says.

This tailored approach will include packages that Toshiba can sell through a spread of partners.

“It’s more the support that goes around [mobile technology].”

Asked why Toshiba is tweaking its New Zealand marketing strategy on the back of a record sales year, Ford says there is a lot of pressure to “remain profitable”.

“It’s an extremely competitive environment.”

He also points to the retail sector as an example of targeting a market segment in which Toshiba was weak and increasing sales. Last year 12% of the company’s sales were in retail. The previous year’s estimate was “around 2%”, Ford says.

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