Epson – Engineered for business in Sub-Saharan Africa

Evolving from Seiko - best known as one of the world’s foremost watchmakers - to its current position at the forefront of digital imaging technology, Epson has always remained true to its roots.

Epson – Engineered for business in Sub-Saharan Africa

During the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, groundbreaking new Seiko electronic timing equipment was used for the first time, enabling race results to be printed out. A few years after this innovation in 1968, Epson was formed. The ‘Epson’ name was derived from the idea of the organisation being the offspring (”SON”) of the EP-101, the world’s smallest electronic printer (EP).

Epson’s operations in sub-Saharan Africa were established in 1997 with headquarters based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, Epson has established a network of distributors and resellers throughout sub-Saharan Africa who are dedicated to meeting the particular needs of its customers in their own local markets, and serving Epson’s end-consumers with the highest quality products and levels of support.

Epson SA manages the sales and support in 21 sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Eritrea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Distributors in South Africa include Mustek, Pinnacle, e-Profile, Kemtek Imaging, Solution Technologies, Kolok, ACT, JustPOS and Intellistor. In Kenya, Epson’s distributors include Sai, Crescent, Mustek, Redington, Tri Continental, Distifric, and West Con and in Nigeria include Reddington, Nakamura, Mitsumi, Technology distribution, Top Solutions, West Con, Tri Continental and Distifric.

Kelvin Reynolds is the regional manager for Epson South Africa, supported by a team of sales, marketing, CRM and support staff. Shaun Robinson is the regional sales development manager for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa with additional sales staff based in Nigeria and Kenya. The organisation is actively recruiting in East Africa, as it builds capacity to maximize potential markets in this region

Epson offers an extensive array of award-winning products for the consumer, business, government, medical, finance and retail markets across the world.  The organisation also makes innovative electronic devices such as factory automation robots, which can be found operating in warehouses globally.

Epson’s vision for its technologies

Epson is a global imaging and innovation leader that is dedicated to exceeding the vision of customers worldwide through its compact, energy-saving, high-precision technologies, with a product line-up ranging from printers and 3LCD projectors for business and the home, to electronic and crystal devices.

Innovation is at the heart of everything the organisation does and is the reason why it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of imaging technology. A great example of Epson’s commitment to innovation can be seen in the number of patents it files. During the past few years, Epson has published around 7,000 patents every year – or 20 a day – and it now holds more than 50,000 live patents.

This is what makes Epson market leaders in many product categories and helps to create outstanding products that add value for customers. It also ensures the long-term prospects of Epson with all of this new technology being lined up for future products.

Epson’s vision is ‘to innovate to provide products that people want’. Its mission statement talks about Epson’s expertise in high-precision, compact, energy-saving technologies.

But why do customers buy from Epson? What is the reason for its success in the consumer market? This can be reduced this to a single word – value.

Epson’s global president, Mr. Minoru Usui, sums up customer value perfectly in saying: “Finding true customer value is not simply about answering customer needs. You can only say you have found customer value when the products you create actually exceed their expectations. I believe you must first search for the essence of what really makes the customers happy. When you have found what people truly want, you can create superb products by focusing the entire organisation's strengths. It's essential to continually maintain high ideals. If you aim low, then you will never achieve anything worthwhile.”

The South African operation is seen as the platform for Epson’s expansion into the African continent, as the organisation positions itself to maximise the massive potential for growth in the area, with the expansion of retail, banking and other commercial sectors in the post-colonial era.

Epson = Engineered for Business

Consumers value Epson’s products and services. What is less well-known is the organisation’s success in the business market, even though 67 percent of last year’s revenue across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia was generated by business products.

Epson recently identified the business market as a major sector for growth, something that is particularly exciting on the African continent. A major contribution will come from the new high-end inkjet range, which offers a genuine alternative to traditional laser printers.

To highlight Epson’s commitment to businesses and raise awareness of what the organisation is doing to support them, Epson recently took the opportunity to unveil its ‘Engineered for Business’ strategy to end users, channel partners and press at the iconic ‘Theatre of Dreams’, otherwise known as Old Trafford, home to Manchester United Football Club, for which Epson is the Official Office Equipment Provider.

So what exactly is meant by ‘Engineered for Business’? It means that Epson’s products and services are based on real insight, and on what customers really want. From Epson’s extensive conversations with business customers, four common themes have been identified as the issues that they have identified as key to the success of their business.

These themes are Economy, Performance, Ecology and Choice, and form the pillars on which Epson’s ‘Engineered for Business’ strategy is built.

Economy means finding opportunities to reduce costs at whatever level suits the customer – supplies, hardware, maintenance, and document management.

Performance is about high-performing products – Epson’s Micro Piezo inkjet technology continues to offer more opportunities, such as the WorkForce Pro range, and the 3LCD projector technology is driving up performance with optimal colour and white light output.

Ecology is about minimising environmental impact and reducing costs. We have an environmental vision that includes reducing CO2 emissions by 90 percent across the lifecycle of all products and services by the year 2050. Epson is putting this into practice by helping customers to save materials, paper and energy. This is elaborated on below.

And with Choice, Epson supports every type of business and organisation with carefully targeted solutions by offering a wider range of products than ever before.

It is these four aspects that customers consider most when they are thinking about the technology they choose. It is what gives ‘Engineered for Business’ its reality. It offers a focus for the future for both product investment and marketing.

Engineered for Business is about adding true value for Epson’s customers. The organisation has confidence in its strategy and has expanded its manufacturing capacity to meet rising demand.

Product line-up

Epson’s product line-up ranges from printers, scanners and 3LCD projectors for business and the home, to electronic and crystal devices.

Printers

Inkjet Printers

Globally, Epson is recognised as being at the very forefront of superb inkjet colour printing. Innovations in technology research and development, product design and market understanding have produced one of the world's most comprehensive ranges of high quality, high performance colour inkjet printers.

  • Multi-Function and Colour Inkjet Printers

Versatility, reliability and quality underpin an impressive range of compact, easy to use inkjets and all-in-one printers. Incorporating Epson's award-winning Micro Piezo technology and the Epson PerfectPicture Imaging System, these printers continue to set the standard for desktop printing quality.

Having made its global debut in 1993, Micro Piezo technology has not only been at the forefront of Epson inkjet print head advancement, but has laid down the gauntlet to all the other big names in the print industry. Unique to Epson, Micro Piezo provides superb print quality and is a technology that our competitors still find hard to match.

The Epson Micro Piezo print head is at the heart of every Epson inkjet printer. It produces superb colour and clarity at high speeds and is central to the changing world of professional and amateur photo printing and print-on-demand business. The print head also helps to minimise impact on the environment because it uses ink very efficiently, places ink droplets with amazing accuracy to prevent wasted paper and lasts the lifetime of the printer.

The print head fires ink droplets onto a surface by applying an electric charge to piezo-electric elements. This deforms the Piezo-electric elements which propels the ink droplets instead of heating the ink.. This technology can also be used to eject heat-sensitive liquid materials. Epson's innovative Micro Piezo technology has the flexibility to work in a wide range of fields. In additon to printing in superb colour and black and white on various papers, it is also being used in industrial applications. These include fabric printing, colour filter fabrication and applying patterns to electronic circuit boards, among others.

Large Format Printers

Creative images produced with patience and precision require equipment that can reproduce them perfectly.  Epson's large format printers are the choice of professional artists, photographers, commercial printers, production managers, pre-press houses and designers. Delivering brilliant image quality on a broad range of general and specific-purpose media, Epson large format printers maximise productivity and quality.

Epson offers a range of large format inkjet printers capable of printing up to B0+ sizes and catering for all needs and requirements.  The range, which is used by some of the most famous names in the field, provides options such as waterproof and lightfast inks, which keep outdoor signage vibrant for up to two hundred years. Offering photo quality output at exceptional print speeds, Epson continues to set new standards in large format printing with award-winning products and technologies, and versatile print solutions. 

Multi Function, Colour and Monochrome Laser Printers

Quality and reliability are integral features inherent in each Epson laser printer. Epson has created a range of industry leading laser printers by building on technology breakthroughs made by its research scientists and engineers. These innovations have been in diverse fields such as toner chemistry, printer engine design and high volume image data processing.

Designed to meet the increasingly complex imaging needs of today's businesses of all sizes, Epson laser printers deliver outstanding versatility, quality and reliability in either standalone or high demand network environments.

Epson Business Systems

In an almost countless number of restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, self-service kiosks and supermarkets across Sub-Saharan Africa, Epson Business Systems work quietly and reliably behind the scenes and at the front counter to provide users with optimal performance.

·         System Hardware Platforms

A range of incredibly innovative Point Of Sale (POS) terminals and registers, Epson System Hardware Platforms represent industry leading levels of performance and reliability combined with stylish design.

·         Receipt Printers

A comprehensive range of black-and-white and colour mini-printers used broadly in POS, utility, banking and label applications.

·         Customer Displays

Capitalising on Epson's advances in LCD technology, Epson customer information displays are the choice of many leading POS system designers and integrators.

·         OEM Printers

Epson OEM printers utilise proven impact and thermal printing technologies to function faultlessly in self-service kiosk and ATM environments where reliability is of paramount importance.

·         Dot Matrix

Epson offers an unequalled variety of products spanning all requirement levels, from small to large print volumes, and across all stationery types. With Epson dot matrix printers, you can capitalise on performance and productivity at the lowest possible cost.

·         Disc Producer

As easy to use as an office printer, the Epson PP-100AP can print onto 100 CDs/DVDs in a single session. It processes up to 95 discs per hour and is ideally suited for quick and efficient large batch production of professionally designed digital media.

Projectors

As the number one projector manufacturer in Europe, Epson leads the market in the development of projector technology. Epson projectors use a 3LCD projection engine to deliver bright, clear images that are rich in detail and colour. Epson projectors are the choice in corporate, government, education and the home.

Epson’s 3LCD system works by using a combination of dichroic mirrors to separate the white light from the projector lamp into red, green and blue light. Each of the three light colours is then passed through its own LCD panel and recombined using a prism before being projected onto the screen.

Epson’s 3LCD technology uses all three basic colours in each pixel of the projection, delivering superior Colour Light Output that’s easier on the eyes. 3LCD technology is used in every Epson projector, giving outstanding results for home cinema, classroom teaching, digital signage and business presentations.

·         Installation, Desktop and Portable Multimedia Projectors

High quality presentation projectors designed to suit all presentation situations, needs and locations offer the ultimate in power, flexibility, networkability and control.

·         Home Theatre Projectors

Epson home theatre projectors are changing the face of home entertainment. With a range of projectors that feature technologies such as in-built DVD-players and high fidelity speakers, Epson has brought the cinema experience to today's homes.

Environmental vision

Meeting market needs for peace of mind, security, and ease of use, Epson is pursuing and perfecting its compact, energy-saving, high-precision technologies to create and deliver new customer value.

Epson's expertise and the source of its strength lie in technologies that save energy, time, and unnecessary labour. These technologies enable Epson to create products that are increasingly precise, accurate, and compact and, moreover, that have a reduced environmental footprint.

Not only is Epson committed to offering its customer the best service and support, it is always keen to be recognised in its industry for its contribution to the environment.

Planning for the future requires a strong commitment to the environment. That is why Epson strives to create innovative products that are reliable, recyclable and energy efficient - better products that use fewer resources help ensure a better future for us all.

Based on its understanding of the Earth's current situation, Epson established its Environmental Vision 2050 to help guide the organisation's environmental activities over the next four decades.

Recognizing that the Earth's carrying capacity is limited and believing that everyone must share responsibility for reducing environmental impacts equally, Epson is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent across the lifecycle of all products and services by 2050.

As a member of the ecosystem, Epson will also continue to work towards restoring and protecting biodiversity together with local communities.

Epson has set the following four key conditions in order to work towards achieving Environmental Vision 2050:

1. Reduction of CO2 emissions by 90 percent across the entire product life cycle

2. Inclusion of all products in the resource reuse and recycling loop

3. Reduction of direct CO2 emissions by 90 percent, and elimination of global warming gas emissions other than CO2

4. Restoration and preservation of biodiversity as a member of the ecosystem, together with local communities.

Even though Epson realises that its targets are quite ambitious, society - including Epson - must meet these targets to survive current environmental problems. To meet the targets Epson will work together with customers, suppliers, NGOs, research institutes, governments and anyone else with ideas on how to achieve these goals.

By combining technological development with a shared sense of commitment and cooperation - from its worldwide suppliers, customers and various other stakeholders - Epson can make steady progress and achieve the goals of Environmental Vision 2050.

Servicing and support

Balanced with Epson’s broad range of high quality products is a dedicated and highly efficient technical support service.  All Epson products are covered by a comprehensive warranty, and repairs and replacements are expedited through authorised service providers, or through Epson’s Express Centres.

An experienced support team offers an appropriate level of service, whether the query is from a first time buyer with a stand-alone product or a systems administrator responsible for complex network installations. 

The Epsonwebsite offers advanced technical advice and support varying from communication online through Epson e-support, a web based self-service tool, to the ability to download the latest hardware drivers.

Epson’s Channel Partner Programme

Epson is committed to working closely with its Channel Partners in providing the best possible support for the distribution and sale of its entire product range available in Sub Saharan Africa.

Epson’s revised Channel Partner Programme, which was implemented on 1 April 2010, contained a number of new benefits that made its smaller resellers feel as much a part of the Epson family as its larger channel partners.

Epson standardised a number of the benefits, rebates and trading terms across the programme, which means that all of partners are on equal ground and are able to compete based on many more metrics than just revenue and units sold.

Over 90 business partners have already signed up to the new programme and the roll out is well on track to ensuring that Epson has a good combination of general business resellers and an increasing number of specialised resellers.

Growth

“This financial year we have big aspirations. We aim to increase our sales to reflect double digit growth, and to achieve this we will launch over 140 new products, each one of them ‘Engineered for Business’. In our chosen markets on the African continent, we intend to gain market share at a higher rate than market growth,” says Kelvin Reynolds, regional manager, Epson South Africa.

This includes a range of high-end, single and multi-functional printers that have been specifically developed for business, under the new WorkForce Pro sub-brand. This range sets new standards of quality, reliability, performance and cost-efficiency. WorkForce Pro offers all the key benefits of laser printers but it also delivers up to an astonishing 50 percent saving on the cost of colour printing compared to laser competitors¹. It’s a superb example of innovation and what Epson means by ‘Engineered for Business’.

The organisation is also focused on retail outlets, and has set aside resource and marketing support to drive this in coming months.

Looking further afield on the African continent and most particularly at Nigeria and Kenya, Epson has identified significant potential as Africa’s previously war-stricken economies bounce back in a wave of optimism and recovery. In markets such as Angola, business infrastructure is modernising rapidly, and there is significant demand for POS hardware, presentation technology, business printing, banking technology, and for printing technology that can meet the precise needs of government printing.

Contact Epson South Africa: Kelvin Reynolds, Regional manager, +27 11 465 9621

Contact Epson rest of Sub-Saharan Africa: Shaun Robinson, Regional sales development manager, +27 11 465 9621

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Notes to Editor

1 Source: Futuresource Consulting Limited, www.futuresource-consulting.com.

About Epson

Epson is a global imaging and innovation leader that is dedicated to exceeding the vision of customers worldwide through its compact, energy-saving, high-precisiontechnologies, with a product line-up ranging from printers and 3LCD projectors for business and the home, to electronic and crystal devices.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation,the Epson Group comprises over 70,000 employees in 106 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates.

http://global.epson.com

About Epson Europe

Epson Europe B.V., based in Amsterdam, is the Group’s regional headquarters for Europe,

Middle-East, Russia, and Africa. With a workforce of 2,400 employees, Epson Europe’s sales for fiscal year 2009 were 1,875million Euros.

http://www.epson-europe.com/

About Epson Sub-Saharan Africa

Epson’s operations in sub-Saharan Africa were established in 1997 with headquarters based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, Epson has established a panel of distributors and resellers throughout sub-Saharan Africa who are dedicated to serving Epson’s end-consumers with the highest quality products and levels of support. Epson now manages sales and support in 21 sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Eritrea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.http://www.epson.co.za/

Environmental Vision 2050  

http://eco.epson.com/