EIZO goes solo

The Eizo Foris Nova monitor

High-end monitor manufacturer EIZO is preparing to go it alone after separating from longtime distributor Avnet Technology Solutions.

Following what it describes as an “amicable” split, the Japanese vendor is now in the process of establishing two new European subsidiaries, EIZO Europe GmbH (Germany) and EIZO Ltd in the UK, which will operate in the 14 countries represented by Avnet. EIZO will assume responsibility for all sales and marketing responsibilities as well as the distributor’s entire customer base.

Avnet represented EIZO as its exclusive distributor for 26 years, building its customer base and brand in Europe. EIZO says it decided to go solo after deciding it “needed to represent itself as a single entity with one direct supply channel”, particularly as it looks to expand into vertical markets.

“To meet our customer’s requirements so that we can grow these businesses further, it is imperative that we establish a more dynamic business model,” states Yoshitaka Jitsumori, EIZO president and CEO. “We firmly believe that now is the time to establish a direct model through our own subsidiaries.”

For instance, says the firm, customers in the industrial and air traffic control markets require long-term product supply which entails direct communication with the manufacturer.

EIZO targets the high end of the monitor market, with a particular presence in financial trading floors, healthcare, air traffic control centres, and post-production houses. As well as continuing to target these verticals, the vendor is pursuing the maritime sector, with a view to supplying monitors to engine rooms onboard vessels. Targeting such niche areas was one of the reasons behind the separation from Avnet, which required a more volume-led approach to sales in many cases.

Colin Woodley, who is moving from Avnet to a new role as business manager for EIZO, confirms that while the relationship between vendor and distributor was doing very well, “not everything was in perfect alignment within our corporate strategy.”

He says that in targeting these verticals, “it became harder for Avnet to develop new business.”

Woodley also concedes that the expense of the product range has meant it hasn’t been easy to convince resellers to buy EIZO in the past, and that sales were generally customer-generated. Now, however, he says the vendor is investing to get its 179 UK channel partner proactively selling EIZO. He is currently reaching out to EIZO’s top 20 partners – including Computacenter and SCC – to establish direct relationships, as well as to more specialised resellers in areas such marine and aviation.

Woodley adds that the firm aims to have a partner programme in place when the new financial year starts in April 2012.

The switchover from Avnet will happen on January 1, 2012 in the UK and July 1, 2012 in other countries.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.