One vendor’s seemingly counter-intuitive move a year ago to increase printer inventory is now paying dividends for its sales.
Phil Jones, sales and marketing director at Brother, said it had been sufficiently flush 12 months ago to boost inventory in advance, with a view to taking advantage of any supply shortages when the economy eventually turned.
“It sounds counter-intuitive, but we increased stock-holding by about 20 per cent,” Jones said. “So if things changed in short periods – our supply chain is about three months – we could address it.”
As a result, Brother had not had the recent problems other vendors appeared to be having, and had been able to “mop up” opportunities that rivals had lost, said Jones.
Matthew Searle, partner director at Canon, said: “Like most manufacturers, we have been faced with the challenges of upscaling production after the recession and this is currently being addressed through our supply management.”
Canon is committed to ensuring that appropriate stock levels are available at all times, Searle added.
HP hit the headlines lately for its inventory troubles, with head of HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) Norman Richardson vowing to end laser supply problems.
HP is reportedly working to improve its forecasting, to ensure that supply will be exceeding previous highs by Q4 this year.
Xerox, Oki, Lexmark, Ricoh and Epson were not available to comment.
Printer market plays catch-up to PCs
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