UTAX (UK)’s latest results show that it achieved a turnover of £13.7 million in 2014-15, up almost 18% on the previous year. In recognition of its consistent growth over five consecutive years, UTAX German HQ awarded the UK operation the accolade of Best Global Sales Growth.
Continued investment in staff, training and technical support saw UTAX UK’s head office team increase by almost 30% last year. In the same period, the company grew its partner network, with the addition of 20 new dealers, and brought a further 500 devices under direct service contracts, bringing the total number of machines under contract to just short of 4,000. Managing Director Shaun Wilkinson expects this to rise to more than 5,000 by the end of this fiscal year.
Wilkinson said that the firm’s focus on providing flexible and practical software solutions, together with the roll out of new, faster, smarter A3 and A4 colour MFP ranges, promises to make the second half of 2015 very exciting.
He attributes UTAX’s impressive growth to its network of partners, technologically advanced software and hardware products and strategic channel developments.
“We have established a solid reputation for delivering reliable products and software – but you only get that reputation if the people you work with care about that reputation and want to make the difference. That means that all those involved – the people working for UTAX and those we work with, our partners – pay attention to detail,” he said.
He added: “I personally enjoy being at the coal face and having the opportunity to interact with our customer base and believe it’s important to do so. This way I get invaluable feedback on all sorts of issues that might either need our immediate attention or longer term approach.”
Equally important to UTAX UK’s success is its commitment to strong partnerships and to supporting its partners and going the extra mile to help them succeed.
“To us, it’s not out of the ordinary, it’s in our DNA,” explained Wilkinson. ”We strive to help them succeed because their success provides us with the impetus to develop further and to keep improving. The security and longevity that we offer our partners and the range of software solutions and equipment they, in turn, can offer their customers drive our business forward, resulting in a perfect commercial circle.”
“Customers now have a much better understanding of what they can expect from their provider. They expect their supplier to be able to assist them with the complete print environment, be this MFPs, printers, software, or a combination of all. This is fundamentally changing the market dynamic; because they are better informed and more accountable, customers are looking for a longer term relationship with their provider, which suits our partners as they are looking for customer retention and loyalty.”
Wilkinson adds that this business is no longer just about selling ‘boxes’. “For those who think it is, success will be a stranger,” he warned.
“We’re no longer selling only ‘copiers’; we’re selling software-based managed print services that happen to be integrated within a ‘box’. The fastest growing area is managed print solutions utilising the entire scalable range of products (both hardware and software) that we have available and that are capable of integrating into the office networked environment at the smallest SME to the largest corporate. We are also strategically placed to supply more public sector organisations with myriad opportunities to achieve substantial savings and efficiencies within a secure environment,” he said.
Commenting on where UTAX will focus its efforts in 2016, Wilkinson said that it will continue to build on the success of last year and maximise every opportunity within the channel including the IT and distribution markets.
He added: “We are continuing to invest in our sales, marketing, professional services and direct service division. Our new A4 colour MFP range has been well received and exciting new products are in the pipeline, which we believe will provide solutions within a number of previously untapped markets.”
Wilkinson points out that partners and potential partners can find out more at UTAX UK’s annual partner roadshow, which is running throughout the country until the end of February 2016. “This will give prospective new partners the opportunity to meet members of our sales and solutions teams and actually see some of the newest models in action,” he said. Venues include Luton Hoo in Hertfordshire on October 14, with the final demo day taking place in London in February 2016.