Monday, April 13, 2009

Videojet CIJ Product Positioning

From an ex-colleague of mine, I was told that the market share of Videojet CIJ market share (not including the ex-Willett channel) has shrunk drastically in Klang Valley region.

When I was handling the Videojet CIJ business in Malaysia, Videojet, Imaje and Hitachi were the top 3 brand in Malaysia and Klang Valley was the strongest base that lead the numbers. If this piece of news is true, probably the ranking of Videojet CIJ in Klang Valley has gone down to bottom 3 from top 3.

There could be several factors that contribute it:
1. Product positioning
2. Quality of the after sales support
3. Application knowledge of the sales team

I would say that product positioning of Videojet is the biggest factor that caused the fall of Videojet CIJ sales in Klang Valley region. In 3 to 4 years back, Videojet Inc. positioned its range of CIJ as below:
Common Models:
2 lines machine
Videojet 37 series vs Image 9020, Hitachi PB

3 to 4 lines machine
Videojet Excel 170i vs Image 9040, Hitachi PX

High End Models:
Videojet Excel 2000- Premium for the iP65 cabinet.
Videojet Excel UHS- Ultra High Speed Application
Videojet Excel HR- Ultra fine print quality

The problem of the product positioning as above was there is not an apple to apple comparison. Let's take the 2 lines category as example. Yes, Videojet 37e and 37plus were 2 lines CIJ printers. If the customer requirements are beyond just printing 2 lines 5x7 (7x5) matrix characters, then Videojet sales representatives would face very tough challenges to fulfil customer requirements as such:

1. High and bold single line character print
2. Long print message (more than 40 characters)
3. Logo printing
4. Chinese characters printing
5. etc.

I still remembered that I had requested the regional sales manager of Videojet to consider the FOB cost of machines based on the product positioning as below:

2-3 lines CIJ printer
Videojet Excel 170i vs. Image 9020, Hitachi PB

3-4 lines CIJ printer
Videojet Excel 2000 vs. Image 9040, Hitachi PX

Supporting Models:
Videojet Excel UHS- Ultra High Speed Application
Videojet Excel HR- Ultra fine print quality

My proposal was to phased out the Videojet 37 series in Malaysia and make Videojet Excel 170i as the entry level CIJ due to the reason as below:

1. Videojet Excel 170i is very reliable. It can handles most of the application needs that require to print 2 lines only.
2. It is very wrong to position Videojet Excel 170i at 3 lines printer as the line speed in 3 lines printing is just too slow (17 meter per minute) to cope with most of production line speed.

Even this proposal did not gone through, but the proposed product positioning of mine was used as the bible for all the sales persons as using the right model to compete with the competitors is the most critical step to win a deal.

It is a need for the Videojet distributors (Videojet channel) to seriously look into the product positioning and ride on the new opportunity with the new line up from Videojet 1000 Line.


VJSE said...

You make some good points here. We have been noticing a drop here in Norway as well, and one (maybe the main) reason is that the Excel/37's are a bit outdated. They work great, don't get me wrong, but the competitors are marketing their machines as new technology with more standard features, and easy maintenance. The 1000 line is a great possibility to regain some of the lost customer base with all its more advanced features. The response so far on the 1510 have been great, and I cant wait for the rest of the series to be released!

Anonymous said...

Is there going to be an update to this article? I have been following new CIJ releases and the 1000 series has grown significantly since april.


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