Friday, March 4, 2011

Xerox’s wide-format intentions in Europe?

Right after Xerox (Xerox, Business Groups, Public Relations) sent me an e-mail that contained a statement from Xerox about its intentions regarding its “wide-format” business (where in that e-mail Xerox drew a distinction between its decision in the U.S. vs. its decision in Europe, I contacted a close friend of mine, who is involved in the “reprographics” business in Europe (and his company does use Xerox wide-format equipment in its reprographics services locations), to find out what he’s heard about this subject. (Note: my friend is in a management position with a multi-country reprographics services business in Eastern/Central Europe.)

He then contacted one of his friends who works for a Xerox wide-format “dealer” to ask that person what he’s heard. I cannot reveal to you which country these comments come from, because this “dealer’s comments were made in confidence. Let me share with you most of what he said:

Strangely enough, just a few days ago we were officially informed that Xerox –country name intentionally deleted by blog-author- will outsource distribution activities of wide-format. To me that means they will discontinue importing and providing technical support directly; these will be outsourced in –country name intentionally deleted by blog-author-. Importing will be outsourced to their strongest wide-format partner, –name of Xerox’s “partner” intentionally deleted by blog-author-).”

“From your perspective this alone should not change a thing on a daily operational level regarding your existing Xerox wide-format fleet. Moreover, one of my service engineers used to be, and still is, part of the –country name intentionally deleted by blog-author- center of competence for wide-format set up by Xerox –country name intentionally deleted by blog-author- and Xerox’s two largest distributors in our country.

“Talking about that, Xerox 721’s might be a problem; Xerox is telling us that they lose money on them, so we are about to initiate a discussion.”

“This might well be part of a world-wide strategy – that could affect your long term planning-, but we have not yet received a formal briefing on this. My feeling and personal guess is that they want to get rid of the „old” legacy 3rd party technology that did not work out to well, and come out with their own brand new equipment. I will check and let you know.”

Joel’s further comments:

With respect to the Xerox wide-format dealer in this particular European country, I’ve met with him before (and had breakfast with him, about 1 ½ years ago), and he is a very credible person.

Based on the comments he made, it “sounds like” Xerox will be pulling back its direct involvement in at least some countries in Europe and will be letting its larger “country-specific distributors” take over complete responsibility for Xerox wide-format sales and service in their respective countries.

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