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I recently posed this question to an aquaintance at a Panasonic dealership. MHis response:

I think Panasonic's copier division was never a serious effort. Average product (except the C3 Color series that probably met industry benchmarks), low marketing efforts and probably the best thing was the cheap pricing - a 60 page b/w machine for dealer cost of approx $ 6000 which includes DADF and print+scan. Without a range of products, (no wide format, no high spped printers, no copiers above 60pm in b/w, no copiers above 30 ppm in color, no document management solutions) it is very difficult to stay a single line dealership with Panasonic.
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A Sharp P4P'er PM'd me this today (alot of stuff here from a tech MB)

There had been rumors circulating that Panasonic was in dire straits. Some rumors said that Panasonic was getting out of the game altogether, some said that Panasonic would continue to make SOHO machines, but was dumping the commercial-grade WORKiO line. Some said Panasonic was just dumping printers.

All of these I discarded, because Panasonic just recently announced two new WORKiO models, and will be shipping new color laser printer models along with desktop color MFPs based on those new printers, supposedly 2nd quarter of this year.

There was also a rumor going around that Panasonic was going to completely dump its dealer network and go to a distributor-only model (a'la Samsung), or that Panasonic would retain only its top 50~100 dealers and the rest would be dumped in favor of distributors. I took these rumors with a huge grain of salt, because I'd spoken to my Panasonic sales rep about such matters more than once, and he assured me that such was not to be the case.

Either he'd been lying to me, or he was just as blindsided as I was. I got a letter today from Nick Miyake, the new president of Panasonic North America. Along with most of the rest of its dealership base, I'm getting dumped. Effective March 1, I will no longer be an "Authorized Dealer", but instead will be an "Authorized Reseller".

No one at Panasonic is returning my calls today (big surprise), and I don't know what this is going to mean. My "Assigned Distributor" is NuWorld (and I hate them with a passion). I don't know what this is going to mean for special programs. Apparently our KeyAccount program is still intact, just with more middlemen in the picture, as I know have to pass those deals through the distributor. I don't know if PrizeConnection or other spiffs will remain, or if those will go away. But I'm greatly disappointed by how they handled this. Instead of having the sales reps deliver the news in person, they took the cowardly way out and delivered a form letter by certified mail.

I dunno guys... We've been a Panasonic dealer since 1985, and if this is how they toss us out the door, my loyalty is about exhausted. The other Panasonic dealers in the region have all gone Canon, perhaps that's an avenue worth investigating.

Any other (former) Panasonic dealers get their walking papers today?
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Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:13 pm Post subject:


I think there is hope for small dealers in small towns. If you are a small dealer near a large urban area you will probably be screwed. I think Canon is shopping for dealers to sign up or buy out. I think that will be your best option.
Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:10 am Post subject:


Sorry to hear that, Mike. It will be for the best in the long run, though. Once you become a Canon dealer, you'll wish you'd done it years ago. Good luck.
What is the difference between Authorized Dealer and Authorized Reseller?

Will you have to go through Nuworld for parts or will you still be able to get parts direct from Panasonic? Will you still have access to the full line?

I dunno. Nobody at Panasonic would return my calls yesterday (surprise, surprise). If I don't get to keep my parts account I'm going to be pissed. I really dislike NuWorld; they've screwed up almost every order I've placed with them, and their pricing seems to be based on a whim. I'd much rather go with Parrot Distributing, who actually calls me now and then to inform me of possible shortages coming up and tell me about promotions.

I dunno guys... Hoping to get some answers today, and I'll post what I learn.
MAN! sorry to hear about that one!! FWIW, we haven't been a pandealer for many years now, and can still order parts, anything we want.. . . from MSC.

as far as canon goes, we love those machines. perhaps you can be multi-spectral, using the proven good models from PANA amd canon, and anything else that serves well for printers and mfp's.
FWIW, we haven't been a pandealer for many years now, and can still order parts, anything we want.. . . from MSC.
What is MSC?

I just got off the phone with Scott, my (former) sales rep. Apparently Panasonic cut 15,000 jobs nationwide (last day is end of February), and dumped all but the top handful of dealers. Those employees who lost their jobs can re-apply, but the "new" positions will be far fewer. Here's what I know so far:

-If you have an existing Parts account, you'll keep it. Whew. That was my biggest headache. It's not so bad getting machines and supplies from distributors, but parts? There's no way each distributor can wholesale hundreds of thousands of parts SKUs. If they do kill off our parts accounts and make us buy parts through the distributors (marked up by the middleman, of course!) that will certainly be the last nail in the coffin.

-Machines and supplies (and supply items like drums, developer, PM kits) will be purchased through one of the 3 authorized national distributors. Apparently these will be NuWorld, Parrot, and the third is rumored to be New Wave, whom I've never heard of.

-KeyAccount program will still exist, deals will be done through the distributor. Same benefits and first year free service & supplies will remain.

-Unknown at this time if PrizeConnection will still remain. I'm going to spend all my points before the end of the month, just in case.

-Unknown if dealer co-op will remain. I'm going to use up all my co-op money just in case.

-Unknown if access to the TechLink site (for firmware, manuals, bulletins, etc) will remain. If not, hopefully all that info will be available through the distributors.

-Tech Support is shifting to the distributors. This is frakking nuts. The assembly exchange for boards, laser units, etc. I can see... but from what I'm hearing it sounds like they're quitting the Panasonic-run tech support hotline completely.

-Apparently the copier/fax/printer/mfp division merged with the phones/projectors/TV division, and some new products like IP PBX, projectors, and such will be made available via distributors.

We have considered and are still considering alternate product lines. The advantage to staying Panasonic is that we already have the parts and supply inventory, we're well-trained and know the entire product line inside out. We still have a ton of machines in field that we have to support for years to come, so I've got to keep a certain level of parts and supply stock anyway... so I may as well continue to sell Panasonic, at least for the time being.

The disadvantage to taking on a new line is basically a contrast to the points I just made. We'd need training on the new line, we'd need to build a suitable parts and supply inventory, we'd have to learn all the oddities and glitches of an entirely new family of machines. If we did pick up a new line, there are two strong contenders:

-Ricoh, because the refinery in town is all-Ricoh. The only way I'd do this is if I could actually get sales out there, not just service. We're in touch with the buyer at the refinery, investigating whether they have to buy from certain dealers or if they can buy anywhere as long as its Ricoh. The big disadvantage to Ricoh is that there are well-established Ricoh and Savin dealers in the area who are much bigger than we are. It's one thing to sell a similar but different box, but when you're comparing apples to apples, there's no way I can compete on price with those high-volume dealers.

-Canon, because I keep hearing such great things about Canon, and they have tremendous brand recognition. Two other former Panasonic dealers in the area went primarily Canon years ago, and haven't looked back. We'd have competition from IKON, but we're already winning plenty of deals against IKON because their service (at least in our area) is absolutely horrible, and customers are tired of waiting days or even a week for service. We've built our reputation on our top-notch service, and that's not something I'm willing to compromise at all on.

So tonight we're going out for dinner, gonna party like it's 1999, and try to forget about all this and enjoy the weekend. I'm not ready to completely ditch Panasonic yet, but they (and the distributors) are going to have to really make this new "arrangement" work, and work damn well, or they will be totally gone a year from now. The only other person from Panasonic besides Scott who returned my call said "You didn't hear this from me, but...." and then proceeded to tell me that many dealers said this is just the excuse they'd been looking for, and already "hundreds" of dealers have said they will not establish Reseller relationships with these distributors, and will completely abandon the Panasonic line for good.

I don't know what Nick Miyake is smoking, but if this is his way of making Panasonic "lean and mean", well... it worked. It was certainly a mean way to go about things, and with hundreds of dealers jumping ship, things are going to be very lean indeed for Panasonic in the days to come. I mean, seriously... what did they think the response would be?

More news as it comes....
Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:39 pm Post subject:


Matsu****a services corp-probably changed the name by now-but we have been ordering all our pana parts for a loooong time after dealership went south.

The Canon machines have been good to us but we still buy mostly used and refurb.

There are a whole buncha Canon boxes out there with lo meters and good prices for a change.

some of the canon stuff is like Hp {they make a lot of their printer engines}

hope we shed some light and kick ikon in the waste bottle!

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