*NEWS*LEXMARK KOREA GOES IN PACKED MARKET

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*NEWS*LEXMARK KOREA GOES IN PACKED MARKET

 user 2005-11-11 at 10:46:00 am Views: 66
  • #14583

    Lexmark goes into packed printer market
    Lexmark
    Korea knows it took on a big job when it decided to roll into a Korean
    printer market already teeming with competitors like Hewlett-Packard
    and home-grown Samsung Electronics.
    Persuading customers to switch
    to Lexmark, still an unfamiliar name in the local printer industry, is
    expected to be the biggest challenge for the U.S.-based manufacturer
    that has a small staff of around 20 people in its Korean office.
    But
    even the presence of such heavy competition could not dampen the
    company’s enthusiasm for entering what it sees to be a market
    equivalent to the size of Canada.
    “We see Asia as a growth area for
    us. We’re investing heavily here,” said Bob Power, Lexmark’s Senior
    Regional Manager of Asia-Pacific.
    Mirroring his views, yesterday,
    Lexmark announced that three new lines of laser-jet computers ranging
    between 1.3 million and 1.4 million won will soon hit local stores
    shelves.
    Power emphasized that the Korean market is an especially
    attractive destination because while rivals may be dominating the
    demand for entry-level printers, the high-end market remains largely
    untouched.
    “On corporate accounts, we see customers focusing not
    only on price, but how they can use technology to solve problems. So, I
    would say Lexmark will play all across the corporate marketplace with
    our corporate products,” said Power.
    And given the steady expansion
    that the printer market is expected to experience in the future,
    experts say Lexmark’s move was well-calculated.
    “The size is
    unspeakably large,” said Kim Uno, an analyst at Daewoo Securities who
    estimates the global printer market to be worth around $100 billion.
    Having secured quite a few contracts with major corporations here, Power expects the Korean office to sign on more.
    “We
    plan to mostly aim for the heavyweight customers, such as banks,
    leading businesses, schools and others that generate a huge demand for
    high-end printers that are affordable yet efficient,” said Yun
    Sang-tae, CEO of the company’s Korean operations.
    The key to
    convincing industrial heavyweights to use Lexmark lies in not just the
    hardware, but the related “software” such as solutions that help
    companies slash costs, he added.
    More simply put, Lexmark executives
    say businesses are most interested in how to carry out printing
    operations in the cheapest yet most secure manner.
    “What we’re doing is actually helping them print less,” said Power.
    By consolidating vendors and maximizing output solutions, that becomes possible, he explained