Following its success in signing resellers over the last few months, printer maker Lexmark is packaging products specifically designed for the channel in a bid to take small and medium-sized business (SME) market share from Hewlett-Packard (HP).
Last week Lexmark's 70 systems partners were invited to see its new system sell options, which aim to offer SMEs corporate-level document management technology and advice.
Since the printer maker launched its reseller partner programme in September last year it has signed up 1,100 resellers, and is now embarking on a value-add strategy to increase sales and improve margins.
"We know resellers need more margin and we are doing what we can to facilitate that," said Amanda Bibbey, marketing programmes manager at Lexmark.
In conjunction with its new partner programme Lexmark has moved to a 100 per cent indirect selling model, and is generating new leads for resellers through direct touch and advertising.
"The salesforce goes into accounts to see what the issues concerning document management are within a business and offer total systems, which are sold through resellers," said Bibbey.
"There are a lot of opportunities in printing if resellers find out more about the business benefits," she added. Mike Slattery, managing director at reseller Integrex, praised Lexmark for being proactive, and said that its new programmes could only strengthen its market position.
Slattery believed Lexmark's programme would give resellers the opportunity to add value.
"This programme will help us increase margins and improve our customer relationship by demonstrating our understanding," he added.
Similarly bullish, Nick Culley, business manager at distributor Midwich, predicted that Lexmark's programmes would help it to take market share from clear leader HP.
"The channel programmes it has put together are excellent," Culley said. "A lot of vendors talk about channel programmes but there is also a lot of action to Lexmark's words."
According to Lexmark's own research, 76 per cent of UK SMEs expect to grow this year.
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