Fuji Xerox opened their Cambodian branch in October 2015 and is offering business efficiency to companies by selling office equipment and solutions.
Mr. Yamaguchi who is the representative of their Cambodian branch who has been here since the establishment of the company, talked about expanding office equipment and solutions in the country and their future developments. (Interviewed at: August, 2017)
Wataru Yamaguchi: General Manager of Fuji Xerox .
Runs official retail stores in 14 countries and regions
Could you tell us about your company?
Fuji Xerox celebrated its 55th anniversary this year after it started as a joint venture between UK Rank Xerox and Fuji Photo Film (then) in 1962. Current share ratio is 75% for Fuji Film Holdings and 25% for Xerox Corporation of United States. We divide sales districts with Xerox Corporation. Fuji Xerox oversees Japan and Asia-Pacific, and has sales bases under direct control in 14 countries and regions. The Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand celebrated its 50th anniversary. Among them, the newest branch is the Cambodian branch which opened two years ago.
The main business target in Cambodia are the following four.
1. The sales of multifunction printing machines which are our main products. The multifunction printers have functions such as copy, facsimile, printer, scanner into one unit, and it is familiar in Japan.
2. Our next target is the desktop printer. Our company deals with a type of laser printer using toners. Recently desktop printers are also being compounded into multifunction machines.
3. Dealing with such hardware as the core, we also provide software and solutions to promote efficiency of office operations and to reduce the use of paper, we have also began offering productivity improvement proposals through workflow improvement.
4. The last is digital printing technology. In Southeast Asian countries, the demand for digital printing has increased substantially, and Cambodia is actively developing the digital printing market since the beginning of our branch opening.
We have been selling hardware (multifunction devices and desktop printers) through distributors since 2001, before the Cambodian branch opened. So, I think that there are many Japanese companies that have already purchased our products through the distributors, and we appreciate this. Currently, we focus on sales and service education of our sales agents, and we are developing activities to raise customer satisfaction through skill improvement of our staff.
Sales of print management tools and other solutions also increasing in Cambodia
Is there any change in demand for office equipment in Cambodia since the last interview?
Although the increase is not sharp, I think that the demand is steadily expanding. Sales of multifunction machines, desktop printers, and digital printing machines are also increasing.
Could tell us about the popularization of office equipment in Cambodia?
We sell new goods (not used machines) as a sales base directly under the manufacturer. Since we have a line-up for the B to B market, we believe that the main target markets can roughly be divided into three categories: government related offices, foreign-affiliated companies and local companies.
Government offices will be the largest market that may purchase our products. The barriers to entry for foreign-owned enterprises are high at present, and we are working on developing markets in cooperation with the sales agents. As for local companies, the second-hand machine rental is mainstream, and the customer base to consider purchasing new products is currently very limited.
However, customers who are requesting higher quality and after-sales service are increasing. I think that business opportunities in the local market will increase in the future too. Currently foreign-affiliated companies including Japanese companies are our important customers. Especially for Japanese companies, we thank them very much for their continued support and cooperation, the market share of our multifunction devices has become No.1 * in the last 2 years. I feel that this is the result of our direct sales and direct service strategy of our Cambodian branch. We will make further efforts to offer our customers a high standard of service for their satisfaction.
*Based on our internal survey.
Could you tell us if there are any other changes in this industry?
Regarding our products, we are also introducing simplified solutions that can be effective in Cambodia, such as document management solutions and file sharing systems, this could be coordinated with the multifunctional machines daily, so the sales of these software is steadily increasing. DocuWorks, a software which is already familiar in Japan, is a solution we receive inquiries for from our customers before we introduce it to them.
Simple solutions for print management are also popular. It can be used for controlling and restricting the number of output sheets by using a password or an ID card which is already being used in the company or for charging for external users.
I myself have experience, but after printing out a document from the PC, sometimes you forget about it and the document is left on the printer. It could be important documents that are confidential or information that you do not want to share with out-siders. There are surveys showing that a lot of confidential information is leaked via printed out data. These print management functions are extremely effective in terms of security.
Customers who use multiple function printers tend to introduce a print management software too. It is already popular in Japan and other Asian countries, but I think that such needs will grow in Cambodia as the corporate scale grows bigger.
Direct sales and direct service is our strength
Do you have any competitors?
Some competitors have entered the Cambodian market but do not have a base under direct control, conducting sales activities only through their distributors.
Could tell us about your unique services?
There are many aspects you learn once you start a business in a foreign country. Through our direct sales base, I myself face the Cambodian market every day.
We are developing “a direct sales and direct service” in Cambodia, which is Fuji Xerox’s DNA in its history. Introducing appropriate products according to individual customer’s needs, proposing useful solutions, providing after-sales service by experienced engineers. We can respond to requests from customers such as machine breakdown, setting change or network trouble immediately, and this is our advantage.
For the direct service for our Cambodian branch, we have a manager with over twenty years of experience in the Philippines and local engineers who will assist you when in need. For local engineers, we hire personnel with some career in the IT field and who have graduated from university in the IT department. They usually have some skills at the time of employment, but it is not a trained skill. So, after employment, they will receive a systematic education at our service center in Malaysia for about three weeks, teaching them all the basics.
They also participate in the Fuji Xerox skill competition which is held every year, so they can experience the level of skills each member has within our company. Through such activities, it seems that their human network has expanded, and it also leads to growth of motivation which makes me happy. We are also building a system that can support a wide range of business areas including SE (system engineers) which is essential for solution proposals and color management specialist indispensable for digital printing technology. I would like to continue educating firmly so that we can train human resources who can continue to pursue “professionalism” in each of the fields.
What you need to succeed in the Cambodian market
What is important to provide services and solutions that match the Cambodian market?
In other countries, office equipment is often introduced by leasing services, but in Cambodia the leasing system itself is not common and it is not easy to find a leasing company that handles office equipment. For that reason, the companies must purchase the machine, but for local companies with limited budgets, a lump-sum purchase can be difficult.
As I mentioned earlier, rental contracts of used machines are mainstream in the local market, but there are customers that cannot be satisfied with such products. I would like to set up a new scheme that such customers will be able to adapt to, so we can increase our sales on the local market.
Do you have a message to our readers?
Cambodia has become an investment friendly environment that makes foreign investment easy to enter, but there are many unexpected things that happen when starting a business in Cambodia. I think that you should thoroughly study the type of business you are considering, before entering the market.
If you are running a factory, you should also study the legal aspects and the tax system, any harmful effects that may occur during operation should be considered and tax preferential treatment system should be thoroughly studied too. By doing so, I would like you to reduce business risks and succeed in the rapidly growing Cambodian market. We are looking forward for you all to expand into Cambodia and choose us as a business partner!
- Fuji Xerox
- Description of Business : Combined Machine