Daisy Systems Holland BV is following the likes of Mannesmann Tally, Genicom, Seiko Epson Corp and Citizen Europe in hoping for big things from the UK printer market. It will come as a surprise to those who followed the company’s bankruptcy and tentative rescue by the Dutch government that Daisy is still around, but after five years of selling its products in this country only through hardware manufacturers going after professional users, Daisy has set up an office, in Colchester, to service UK distributors directly. Daisy’s full-scale entry into the UK – a six figure dealer campaign will start when the summer holidays are over – comes at a time when the company is diversifying away from its traditional business because of managing director Jan Cornelisse’s fears for the future of daisywheel printers. In 1985, virtually all its revenue came from daisywheels, but for 1987, when turnover is expected to reach UKP8m, nearly 50% will come from reselling bought-in Japanese laser, dot matrix and ink-jet printers and from the manufacturing of electromechanical and electrical goods, such as cable and water pollution meters, for third parties. In addition to the fuller product line and the contract manufacturing, the company has also branched out with daisywheels aimed at niche markets. Three models targetted at the blind and a printer with a built-in scanner have been introduced. Cornelisse has particularly high hopes for the M45 Scan. Attaching to an IBM Personal, the M45 Scan is designed to enable word processor users to write letters or send out bills on pre-printed stationery without resorting to a typewriter. Cornelisse is hoping that the product will provide Daisy with a new opportunity in the US where, despite having Data General as a major OEM customer, last year it found the going difficult as Cornelisse’s fears about daisywheel sales were confirmed. Latterly, he says, the daisy market has been picking up both in the US and Europe, but the diversification strategy will continue. In the UK, its efforts are in the hands of Howard Portway. He has signed up one distributor, Intac Data Systems of Rotherham, and is looking for two more small to medium concerns with a high level of expertise and experience of selling to Personal Computer dealers serving lawyers, doctors and other professions.
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