Ricoh, Rectron ink channel deal
Ricoh SA and Rectron SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE-listed Mustek, have inked an exclusive, two-year distribution agreement for Ricoh's consumer, small-office-home-office (SOHO) and small business printers, multifunction devices, consumables and solutions.
According to the companies, the agreement signals Ricoh SA's first step into the South African IT distribution channel and a broadening of Rectron SA's printer portfolio. Ricoh SA will extend the channel business into other African countries using SA as the base of operations.
"Rectron is a premier distributor in South Africa with a broad national footprint and strong credentials," says Richard Pinker, MD of Ricoh SA. "The worldwide market for printers and multifunction devices at this level was worth over 11 million units in 2011, and we believe the total local market is around 150 000 units, which is a conservative estimate based on South Africa typically representing 1% of global markets."
"We expect this partnership with Ricoh will enable us to double our volumes in the printer portion of Rectron's business," says David Kan, CEO, co-founder and major shareholder in Mustek. "This is the first indirect model Ricoh SA has embarked on in the IT distribution channel, and we have an exclusive agreement with them. By working together, we believe the market will support significant growth for our printer division in the first year."
"This decision supports Rectron's philosophy of being a value-added distributor and partner to our reseller channel, bringing them the best technology, service and price structures to aid them in diversifying and building their businesses," says Lindi Shortt, MD of Rectron. "The technology and strength of the long-standing Ricoh brand will open up new opportunities in the market."
The agreement will see Rectron distribute, among others, Ricoh's SP and SPC printer ranges, catering specifically to the intended market and including the GELJET printers, which have a small footprint, full front access and easy connectivity, including WiFi. They feature Ricoh's fast-drying liquid gel technology to simplify colour printing.
"The rollout includes an intensive distributor education and development programme, as well as a reseller launch event, where our new channel partners can experience and interact with the Ricoh technology," says Jacques van Wyk, executive GM of indirect operations at Ricoh SA.
"One of the biggest deciding factors that cemented our decision to partner with Rectron was that they are focused on building an established and versatile printing division; they see the print solution as the technology enabler, assisting resellers to truly understand the value-add opportunities in the South African print market," he adds.
Ricoh SA will also provide a Web portal for Rectron product managers and resellers through which they will gain access to the latest product information, new technologies and marketing materials to assist them with opportunity management.