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Komori's Jacki Hudmon on a Print Engineering Service Providers sales strategy

Published on November 15, 2012

Jacki Hudmom, SVP of Sales at Komori, talks with Cary Sherburne about the challenges of a changing print market and how Komori is responding with solution selling and product innovation.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Jacki Hudmon, who's Senior Vice President of Sales at Komori America. It's good to see you.

Jacki Hudmon: Nice to see you. Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: So, Komori – we heard from Kosh earlier that Komori's doing pretty well financially and maybe you could talk a little bit about the sales side and what are some of the things that you're doing to continue to increase your market share in a tough market?

Jacki Hudmon: Well, it has been tough. For the last three or four year it's been very tough, but Komori has taken a global look at the print market, which you kind of have to. And if you look at what we're doing in emerging markets versus mature markets, it's two different structures, but Komori also sees the handwriting on the wall that the offset printing market is changing much faster than we ever anticipated. So, we have started a concept – something that we call print engineering service providers, and basically what that means is we're empowering our people to provide solutions, to provide services and new methods to help our customers be more efficient. And new products, too. So when you see us at drupa, which I hope you stop by, you'll see that we have a whole new product line just dedicated to digital, but we're not never looking at print electronics and basically using our core competencies, which is precision manufacturing and using those kind of toolsets to move it forward and advancing print as print dynamically changes in our marketplace.

Cary Sherburne: And so, I don't know if you can comment at all from an Americas perspective, how you think you're doing in terms of the competition.

Jacki Hudmon: You know, we're doing really well. I think all of us were – after the 2008, where everything just kind of fell right of the cliff, no one would have guessed it would have impacted our industry as much as it did. So you know, we had to do a lot of regrouping. It was a painful time for anyone that was in our industry and it certainly we weren't alone there. But we are always very much a typical Japanese company; we're very lean and agile, which is good. So we could make changes to our company, to our marketing, to our sales organization so we'd respond to the unfortunate market needs that we had to deal with. So by doing so, we spent more time looking at helping our customers focusing on solutions to make them more efficient so basically what that means is cutting costs at the manufacturing process so they could be more profitable, and that didn't mean for us selling presses, it just meant reaching out and helping them so they could be in a better position. So obviously, they could buy more presses.

Cary Sherburne: Later, yeah.

Jacki Hudmon: So I think that whole mentality has kind of helped us hold our market share and gain market share.

Cary Sherburne: You know, and I think this is a really important point in terms of what the suppliers to the industry should be doing to help printers get through this time and so it sounds like you're a real model in terms of helping them along with some of those things, in terms of business development, customer support, new applications, new markets.

Jacki Hudmon: Yeah, absolutely. We've spent a lot of time training really our service team to be able to recognize areas of opportunities once they go into a customer – not just simply there to fix a problem but also be there to recommend ways to help them with efficiencies, so we have press room productivity audits where we'll go in, we'll talk to them about we can actually help you get faster make-readies, reduce your waste, and actually get the product out quicker for your customers. So all these things we're empowering our service teams to go out and work with our customers.

Cary Sherburne: So being proactive?

Jacki Hudmon: Exactly.

Cary Sherburne: That's great. Well, great. We'll look forward to seeing you.

Jacki Hudmon: Thank you.

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