Brother sets the pace with new Solutions Centre
19 February 2004
Brother sets the pace with new Corporate Solutions Centre
Brother International (NZ) Limited has made significant inroads into the corporate market, and the opening of their new Corporate Solutions Centre in central Wellington today is a reflection of their current success and an indication of their future growth strategy.
Named the Corporate Solutions Centre, it has an IT infrastructure set up to demonstrate machines (like laser printers and multi-function centres). Not only can customers see how machines perform in a networked environment, they can also test the versatility of products by running them through different operating systems – like Microsoft, Windows, Mac etc.
“This showroom will allow us to demonstrate proof of concept and set up a truly customized laboratory for clients to test their software both current and future in a real time environment’ said Graham Walshe, Executive Chairman, Brother International (NZ) Limited.
Known as a leader in the development and manufacturing of technologies in the printing, communications, and digital imaging for home and small business markets, Brother has quietly been developing its technologies for the corporate market, and now has an expansive range of products designed for the corporate market as well as a sophisticated customer servicing and support system.
As a manufacturer rather than a reseller, Brother has a significant advantage over its competitors, by being able to pass on the cost efficiencies to its customers. Proven on price comparisons, Brother is now challenging for the greatest market share of mono printers in New Zealand and is striving to become a market leader, with its dual consumable technology reducing the total cost of ownership.
“We want to provide full and open disclosure of all operating costs to our customers” said Mr Walshe, “and provide a product and service with a no surprises policy”.
“We assess a client’s needs, look at whether they need a specific solution or an integrated system, utilizing partnerships if necessary to provide client requirements. We provide customer focused solutions. If there’s a problem, we will call our Corporate Solutions group in Japan and we have all the resources at our fingertips to find a solution. We want to be known for our excellent after sales service and be seen as a long term printing solutions provider” he said.
Internationally, Brother is progressively moving into the corporate market, continually developing innovative products to meet contemporary needs.
“We’ve developed a mobile printer that interfaces with a palm top and a laptop called an M Printer, using infrared and blue tooth technology,” says Brent Ching, Client Relationship Manager. “It’s not released in Oceania yet. The world is mobile, and Brother has kept up with customer needs by developing this product”.
Environmental issues are also reflected in Brother Technology. In Europe Brother submitted their laser printer to the rigorous TCO99 standard, normally applied to testing such as radiation levels. It passed extensive testing and became the first laser printer in the world to receive the certification. This has encouraged improvements in Brother’s other products.
The Brother Corporate Solutions Centre on the 27th floor of Plimmer Towers, was officially opened for business by Mr Kazuhiro Furuya, a Managing Director, Brother International(Japan), and the Honourable Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at a function for its corporate customers today.
Brother International (NZ)
Brother International (NZ) Limited (BINZ) markets Brother branded finished goods, spares and consumables nation-wide. It has a head office and warehousing operation situated in Lower Hutt, Wellington.
BINZ was formed in 1957 as Brother Distributors, and became a publicly listed company in 1960. After a takeover in 1985, it became a subsidiary of Broadway Limited, before it was sold to Brother International in Japan in 1992 and became Brother International (NZ) Limited
BINZ is fully owned by Brother International (Australia) which is fully owned by Brother International Corporation (BIC) Japan – the ultimate parent company.
BINZ communicates directly with, and places orders on BIC at all times, and the product is shipped to BINZ from the numerous Brother factories situated around the world
BINZ also operates a sales office in Auckland, principally to service the Northland, Auckland and Waikato markets.
BINZ became a Quality Assured Supplier in 1997.
BINZ is a manufacturer rather than a reseller.
The new Corporate Solutions Centre
Brother has taken signage rights for the Plimmer Towers building, Wellington. The building houses the new Corporate Solutions Centre on the 27th floor and has panoramic views of Wellington.
Graham Walshe has been Executive Chairman of BINZ for 18 years, and with the company for 22. Graham has been involved in opening Corporate Solutions Centres in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Phillipines.
While known as a leader in the development and manufacturing of technologies in printing, communications, sewing machine and digital imaging for the home and small business markets, Brother has been quietly but rapidly expanding its range of product for the corporate market.
The opening of this Corporate Solutions Centre represents the future growth strategy for Brother in New Zealand and worldwide. The opportunity is to provide cost effective, innovative, total integration solutions to customers.
Brother Industries (Worldwide)
Brother has expanded its business operations overseas. Currently, it has 20 production facilities, 5 in Japan and 15 overseas, and 37 sales companies in 32 countries.
Information & Document
Built on Brother’s core competence of printing technology, the Information & Document business specifically targets the SOHO (Small Office Home Office) market and the medium-sized office market by providing communications and printing devices that correspond to the customers’ specific needs.
Brother has been expanding its product range by incorporating laser technology within printers, fax machines and multi-function centres (MFCs). Next-generation inkjet technology is also being developed, and at the beginning of 2003 the company introduced colour MFCs, installed with a newly developed print engine, strengthening its line of colour MFC products.
In addition, one of Brother’s subsidiaries operates the industry’s leading comprehensive ring tone distribution service for cellular phones over the Web. The planned development of attractive new content and services is expected to drive further growth in this business.
Personal & Home
In the Personal & Home business, Brother handles electronic stationery and home sewing machines, offering products primarily intended for personal use in the office or home.
The Machinery & Solution business deals with production site equipment, such as industrial sewing machines and machine tools, for customers in diverse industries, ranging from sewing to automobiles and Information Technology.
Evolution of Brother
Machine Era (1920 – early ’50s)
Brother succeeded in mass production of domestic sewing machines in Japan (previously only imported). Brother independently developed technologies required for manufacturing component parts for sewing machines. During this period, Brother high-precision processing, motor manufacturing, and other basic technologies began to be developed.
(late ‘50s-early ‘70s)
Using the technology it had developed through the manufacture of sewing machines, Brother started to diversify into other business fields by beginning production of knitting machines and home electric appliances and experimenting with electronics. Trial production of motorcycles with 125cc engines was also carried out by utilizing its high-precision processing technology.
Mechatronics Era (late ‘70s-’80s)
Brother added electronics technology to a mechanical base, resulting in a variety of products that were typified by the world’s first successful mass production of high-speed dot matrix printers in 1971, achieved jointly with Centronics Data Computer Corporation (USA). Electronic technology had a revolutionary impact on all of Brother’s unique technologies, leading to the introduction of electronic typewriters and electronic sewing machines.
Software Era (’90s)
The importance of software played a large role in bringing out maximum functionality of electronic products. Products started to be differentiated by their software and Brother introduced multi-function centres, electronic stationery products and computerized embroidery sewing machines.
Network / Contents Era (2000 –
We entered the real network/contents era along with the expansion of Information Technology. Brother centres its efforts on the development of next generation printing technology and expansion of its network-ready product line-up. We are also working to build a new business model to be competitive in the network society.
SPEECH BY MR KAZUHIRO FURUYA.
MANAGING DIRECTOR BIC JAPAN.
OPENING OF THE BROTHER CORPORATE SOLUTIONS CENTRE
19 FEBRUARY 2004
1. Graham Walshe, Executive Chairman of Brother in New Zealand. Members of the Brother team. Our valued corporate customers and guests, ladies and gentlemen. Good evening
2. I am delighted to be here for this opening, which is a sign of our commitment to the New Zealand market and our confidence in the New Zealand economy.
3. If you are someone who is familiar with Brother products but know little about the company, we were established in 1934 in Japan, and today have 20 production plants, of which there are 5 in Japan and 37 sales companies in 32 countries, of which New Zealand is one.
4. We are a company that has successfully developed into new markets through innovation and a focus on providing the customer with what they need.
5. Our involvement in the modern era of information and communications equipment began in the 1960s and by 1971 we produced the world’s first high-speed dot-matrix printer. In 1987 we began production of laser printers and fax machines.
6. Our most recent printers are at the forefront of laser printer technology and in New Zealand, for example, now compete for number one market share.
7. Much of our success in the last decade especially, has been in the small business and home market where we have supplied capable, reliable and cost effective equipment that meets the specific needs of our customers. We have successfully applied it to the corporate market.
8. As a result Brother is now a major player in the corporate market around the world, and your New Zealand company, I am pleased to say, is at the forefront of this development, acting as a model company and training overseas staff. We are very proud of what has been achieved here.
9. Brother has earned its growing reputation in the corporate and government market by close attention to meeting their changing and demanding needs.
10. The international company stands behind our products and insists that each subsidiary meets a demanding standard of service and support excellence. In dealing with Brother you are dealing with the manufacturer. We make the resources of the international company available to customers here in New Zealand.
11. Brother also has a social conscience and takes corporate citizenship very seriously. This is something we believe is part of being an international company. We strive for four “Gs” – group, global, growth, and most importantly, “green”. Sustainable development is a duty for all manufacturers. Corporations and society should exist in harmony.
12. We continuously act to decrease the environmental impact of all aspects of our business operation so that society can achieve sustainable development. In practice, this means monitoring every step of the design and production process to minimise waste.
13. The company in New Zealand has also involved
itself with development in Pacific countries. Brother New
Zealand and Japan have both made a significant financial
contribution to the Pacific Co-operation Foundation.
14. Brother Internationally and locally is a rapidly growing and profitable company. I am so pleased to be able to be here with our New Zealand staff and customers for the opening of this Corporate Solutions Centre. I bring the best wishes of the President of the company on this occasion. I look out from here upon your beautiful city and feel so pleased that I can share this time with you.
Speech: Graham Walshe
Opening of new building.
It’s great to have such a select, diverse and interesting group with us tonight to officially open our new Corporate Solutions Centre.
This opening completes the final stage of a five year strategy which began in March 1999. It heralds the beginning of a new five year strategy which is innovative in its design and exciting in its application, and will ensure Brother becomes the market leader in printers and Multi Function Centres in NZ. We already have 67% of the NZ Fax market.
We anticipated that our parent company in Japan was going to take this strategic thrust and product direction, so we got underway early and did in-depth research and analysis of the Corporate and Government market. The results excited us - they indicated significant and sustainable growth opportunities were there if we could address some issues.
Specifically, the research showed that both Brother, and our competitors, had glaring weaknesses, including an inconsistent nationwide support and service infrastructure. It indicated that even though we had huge mind-share in the SOHO and Home markets, we had weak market awareness in the Corporate and Government market. It highlighted gaps in our product line-up and the way that we were engaging with our customers was too remote.
We developed a strategy which involved building a strong infrastructure. As a result our offering now includes-
On-site warranty with flexible periods ranging from 2 years
through to 4-5 years - the perceived full life cycle of the
product. We support this with a substantial spare parts
facility here in the Lower Hutt.
o 24/7 support.
o All our service agents are held to strict Service Level Agreements and we are subject to external audit to ensure that we meet the ISO Accreditation we have achieved.
o A NZ-based Help Desk that manages our customers’ products, no matter what brand, as they transition seamlessly across to Brother product
o Full management of the life cycle from pre-delivery, or cradle, to replacement and sale, or the grave. The full end-to-end process can include our customers using our help desk as their own, even to the extent of having their calls answered using their name.
o Managing our customers’ asset register and providing full technical history on each of the printing assets.
So you can see we have made some real enhancements to our delivery. Things that we believe the corporate market needs and expects.
Previously we felt we had too much distance between ourselves and our customers and made a conscious decision to get close to them and directly influence the decision making process and provide choices for our customer as to the supply channel they could use
Now we have established our own sales force of highly trained Customer Relation Managers who are able to identify the needs of the industries they specialize in and also the specific needs of our customers. Through this needs analysis we can now tailor our offering specifically to meet these needs even when it means saying that we don’t have a product of an exact fit and recommend an opposition product. We provide a single point of contact, print management consultancy and industry knowledge sharing.
We have learnt the art of customer service and customer focus from the tough small office and home office market and we are bringing that capability to the corporate market.
This Corporate Solutions Centre is a result of Brother’s desire to meet the new trends in the Corporate /Government market. In this centre we can conduct proof of concept testing across different operating systems like Mac, Microsoft, Linux, Citrix and others.
Most of the products on display are networked and can be demonstrated for personal, departmental and enterprise usage.
We can also demonstrate our unique proactive print management software.
We can very quickly establish a full laboratory for Corporate/ Government customers to fully test our products in as close to their own live environment as possible, and work with our business partners to bring you our valued customers the best solutions to meet your growing needs.
We invite you all to use this facility. We can demonstrate to you what it’s like to deal directly with the manufacturer who truly and with integrity can say that we are…..”at your side”.