Oki Data to ramp up Aussie printer sales

Oki Data is looking to at least double its market share for page printers in Australia this year, according to the company's president.

Oki Data is looking to at least double its market share for page printers in Australia this year, according to the company's president.

Left to right: Councillor Artin Etmekdjian, mayor of Ryde; Takao Hiramoto, president of OKI Data Corporation; Dennie Kazuo Kawahara, managing director of Oki Data Australia; and Eiko Konishi, Consul from the Consulate General of Japan Sydney
(Credit: OKI Data)

Currently, the company has a high market share in dot matrix printing, but only around 2 per cent in colour page printers and 1 per cent in mono. The company wants to bring this up to 5 per cent.

It has targets of 50 per cent growth in volume of sales and 30 per cent growth in revenues, to be achieved via a new printer line and a focus on the advantages of LED printing.

Oki Data was the pioneer of LED printing and even though other companies have followed in its footsteps, its engineers understood how to customise the technologies for business use the best and also had a head start in making better products, according to president Takao Hiramoto.

LED printing doesn't have the complex moving parts that laser printing does, enabling it to have a smaller footprint and low maintenance requirements.

And, although it's been around for a long time now, Oki Data feel that the economic and technological conditions make it the right choice for businesses now.

"The market is changing. The economy trend is to downsize. The customers are watching very closely [at] which technologies are cost effective," Hiramoto said.

Mobile and cloud are also leading away from big central printing depots, back to having more smaller printers, which would play into OKI's hands, Hiramoto said. The company has released two new business printers, the MB471 and the MB491 for businesses of over 10 and 20 users. A new printer line using white toner also meant that businesses, like car dealerships, could create their own placards on site, he said.

Between April and October, last year, the company's revenues had increased by 38 per cent. Then disaster struck. The floods in Thailand reduced the company's output by 50 per cent. However, the company's factory is now running again at 140 per cent.

Despite the economy looking sour, Hiramoto said that he didn't want to scale back manufacturing again.

Since 2009, when OKI Data decided to take over selling and distributing its own printers in Australia, it's grown its Australian team from 11 to 20 and has opened new offices this week.

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