Epson Thailand announces 2021 operating results, which reaffirm its market-leader position in B2B inkjet-printer and projector sectors. In pursuit of over 10-per-cent business growth, the firm now highlights its strengths namely ‘5Ss’ and promotes sustainable technologies.
Mr. Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn, Managing Director of Epson (Thailand) Company Limited, reveals 2021 operating results of his firm as follows: “The Company’s recognized revenue grew by nine per cent thanks to growth across all product categories. Our sales increased because improving economic climate in the latter half of 2021 encouraged business expansions. In line with recovering Thai and global economies, private investments soared. Our business growth also rode on the wave of Digital Transformation, which re-emerged in the face of educational institutes’ reopening. Aside, the government launched several economic-stimulus measures. Other than the disbursement of annual expenditure budget, many state projects also went ahead with loans. In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand-based manufacturers have also increasingly sourced their raw materials locally. All these factors raised IT investments in Thailand during 2021”.
“Epson Thailand implemented several business strategies in the past year. We expanded our sales team and also our B2B customer-service team in both Bangkok and other provinces. We have even had a special team for Japanese corporate clients, with an emphasis on those based in industrial estates. Also, we have raised the number of experienced distributors who specialize in B2B market. Our current distributors have now been trained to tap into B2B sector. Regarding sales operations, we have used online channels more actively as sales support for enterprises including SMEs and startups. Importantly, we have launched new products on a continued basis so as to present more alternatives to customers. Each new product has unique selling points. Epson products, furthermore, stand out from those by other brands because of their environmental friendliness, which has received serious attention from large organizations these days. As for marketing strategy, we have conducted more than 200 online and offline marketing events for the goals of attracting new customers while maintaining good relations with old customers. Furthermore, we have waged sustainability campaigns by promoting Epson Heat-Free Technology. Such sustainable technology reduces heat, electricity usage, maintenance cost, and the need to replace consumable parts by several folds when compared with laser printers. Epson printer therefore have received really good response,” Mr. Yunyong continues.
Regarding ink-tank printers, Epson has been the market leader with 46-per-cent market share in terms of sales value and 43-per-cent market share in terms of units sold. On the overall, Epson’s ink-tank printer sales grew by 18 per cent in 2021. High-capacity ink-tank printers that have photocopying function, in particular, recorded 30-per-cent sales growth. As an increasing number of private firms become acutely aware of the importance of energy saving and environmental-impact reduction, more have replaced laser printers and photocopiers with ink-jet printers. Such trend also looks set to continue.
Regarding business and industrial printers, highlight products were label printers. Their sales jumped by 63 per cent in 2021. Presently, printing houses have accepted more on-demand digital-print jobs because customers do not want to stock a huge number of same-format labels anymore. In addition, more hospitals, clinics and health/dietary-supplement startups have invested in label printers today. Epson’s signage printer also achieved 21-per-cent growth thanks to the fact that shopping malls, boutiques and various other businesses have resumed promotional campaigns and renovated their physical outlets.
Epson’s projector sales, meanwhile, rebounded and soared by 11 per cent in 2021. One major favorable factor was the reopening of educational institutes, companies, and government agencies. Home projectors also saw positive signs. During COVID-19 outbreak, many people became interested in setting up high-end home theaters. As they wanted to watch movies and play games on giant high-resolution screens at home, they needed high-quality projectors. Epson therefore has started rolling out more projector models for this target group.
Regarding robotic arms, Epson’s robot sales rose by more than 60 per cent in 2021. Major customers are electrical and electronic industry, auto-parts industry, and medical-device industry. Epson’s robotic arms have won solid trust from customers because Epson has worked in the field for nearly 40 years already. In addition, Epson’s research and development has gone ahead non-stop throughout such long period. Epson’s robots therefore boast high accuracy and work well in many industries. Importantly, they also require low maintenance cost and have low downtime when compared with robots by other brands.
As for Epson Thailand’s business direction in fiscal year 2022, Mr. Yunyong says, “This year, several factors look set to seriously affect IT market’s growth. COVID-19 has continued to spread across the world.
Semiconductor chip manufacturers are still unable to meet demand because of not just fast-growing demand but also the shortage of containers. Aside, a war is now happening in Ukraine. Thai economy has already been impacted. Oil prices have jumped and so have inflation rate. Thailand’s GDP forecast may be revised down. All these factors will also hit global supply chains. Manufacturing for several products will slow down. The cost of production and transportation will inevitably rise. As the private sector will very likely curb its expenses and new investments in such climate, Epson needs to be agile and flexible. Even in the face of volatility, we have formulated strategies to best respond to customers’ needs”.
“COVID-19 outbreak has dragged on into its third year now. As the pandemic may continue, all businesses will have to adjust to deal with challenges and maintain their business growth. As for 2022 strategies, Epson Thailand gets prepared to leverage synergy from our strengths for braving through COVID-19 era and achieving at least 10-per-cent growth. Our strengths have blended into 5Ss. Promising to be success factors, they are Smart technology, Simple start, S-curve trend, Service excellence and Sustainable value” Mr. Yunyong adds.
Regarding Smart Technology, Epson aims to present products that will give customers not only greater efficiency but also lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). For example, Epson EcoTank inkjet printers operate with heat-free technology. They thus are able to save electricity by 85 per cent, when compared with other same-class devices, without compromising print quality. Maintenance cost will also get lower with Epson EcoTank, which has fewer components than laser printers. Epson Monna Lisa direct-to-fabric printers, meanwhile, can deliver more than three trillion colors. It, moreover, can curb water usage by more than 90 per cent per square meter of printed fabrics when compared with traditional printing process. Epson’s 3LCD projectors can also work for up to 20,000 hours without any maintenance. They therefore save their owners’ money when compared with lamp-enabled projectors. Epson Thailand plans to launch more than 20 new product models this year.
Epson Thailand, in addition, has striven to develop Simple Start all along so as to make it easier for customers to decide to invest in Epson devices. Its new product lease scheme, known as ‘Epson EasyCare 360 Mao Mao’, offers a flat rate. With this solution, customers do not have to calculate the cost of printing black-and-white or color jobs all the time. There is no need to worry about maintenance or ink cost either. The scheme charges a flat rate for customers to print up to 120,000 pages or use the printer for as long as 24 hours. Better still, the scheme comes complete with on-site services – when needed – and promises to give the leased device to customers at the end of contract period. Epson EasyCare 360 Mao Mao, as a result, has won good response from customers. Epson Thailand, moreover, has planned to introduce many more business models. For example, it is preparing to offer the leases of projectors to customers who want maintenance services without the need to hire permanent employees for the task and who do not have an intention to keep the devices as their organizations’ assets.
Epson is now riding the new S-curve trend in pursuit of its business growth. As it designs, develops, and produces its own technologies, it has never run out of innovations that foresee what customers want. Epson has constantly launched new products to the market. Whenever global trends change, Epson can immediately introduce the right solutions. For S-curve trend, Epson’s focus is on sustainable technology that goes well with growing public awareness of sustainability. In the latest development, Epson unveiled PaperLab or the world’s first dry papermaking system for recycled paper. Using Epson’s Dry Fiber technology, it produces new paper from used office paper through water-free process. This innovation therefore minimizes environmental impacts. Epson has planned to launch this product to Thai market soon. Moreover, Epson intends to roll out more robotic-arm models including T-B Series Scara Robot that was launched at Metalex March 2022 in response to industrial plants’ growing demand. The five new S-Curve industries, which are promoted under a government strategy, in particular have shown strong demand for robots. In these high-value industries, robots and automation are the at the heart of production process.
Regarding Service Excellence, Epson Thailand will be investing in its service-center expansion. Currently, there have been 184 Epson service centers across Thailand. Of them, 164 are able to deliver on-site services to customers’ offices. The firm has now intended to increase the number of service centers with on-site service capacity. Also, it sets its sight on ensuring that its service centers can handle all product categories and deliver faster services. Spare-part management and delivery systems are now being upgraded for a faster work pace. Customers can also schedule an appointment in advance to avoid long queues. In addition, Epson’s special team is on hand to monitor the performance of Epson devices or provide spare devices in events that customers’ devices have problems. Moreover, Epson Call Center’s work hours have already extended. It is open between 8.30 am and 6pm from Monday to Saturday. Customers, in addition, can now get in touch with Epson’s team or follow Epson updates by simply typing EpsonThailand on the search box of Facebook, IG, Line, LinkedIn and YouTube. Moreover, Epson has built a team of technic specialists especially for robotic-arm customers and also a special service team for customers of textile printers. Counseling services are provided by specialists based at Epson Textile Solution Centers in Japan and Italy. Regarding business partners who have played a key role in the delivery of services to Epson’s customers nationwide, Epson Thailand has continued to work closely with them in a bid to deliver increasingly better services. In the future, the firm will prepare more product category-based services for its customers.
As for Sustainable Value, Seiko Epson Corporation has the policy to operate its businesses in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of all 17 SDGS, five have received a special emphasis from the company this year. These five are: SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production: SDG13: Climate Action; and SDG 17: Sustainable Development. Sustainability indeed can be shared among the public via Epson’s products, activities with distributors, promotional events, and PR media. To reaffirm its goal of creating sustainability for the region with its business presence, Epson has collaborated with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in empowering coastal communities for marine conservation and climate-change solutions across Southeast Asia. The collaboration has focused on working with youths, citizen scientists, as well as businesses and local communities too.
“The business world has faced constant change every single day. Epson therefore disrupts itself all the time in regards to product, services, business models, business guidelines, and branding position to ensure that it stays afloat, differentiated, and customers’ favorite. Importantly, Epson focuses on not just achieving sales growth or retaining market-leader status but also on a more important goal of fostering sustainable development in customers’ organizations and the public sector via its sustainable technology and sustainability campaigns,” Mr. Yunyong concludes.