HEADQUARTERS: Secaucus, NJ
OBJECTIVE: Provide resellers more with buying options, such as improved availability, and better purchase terms and conditions, through Panasonic distributors.
In 2011, Panasonic acquired the majority stake in Sanyo. As part of the ongoing acquisition process, in April 2012, Sanyo was withdrawn from the projector market, with Panasonic continuing as the sole brand. Not only has this change affected Sanyo projector customers, but it has also had an impact on the channel.
Besides the differences in product offerings, one of the key business differentiators between Sanyo and Panasonic was the path to purchase. Sanyo resellers purchased product directly from the manufacturer, but Panasonic sells product through the channel. Because these changes have led to some confusion, I wanted to address the questions that I have been hearing from dealers.
Q: What are the benefits of the channel distribution model?
A: A channel sales model has proven to drive more sales to the reseller and allows manufacturers to focus on what they do best, which, at Panasonic, is to engineer high-quality products. Our distributors are an extension of our team, and ordering product through them will provide resellers more buying options, such as improved availability, and better purchase terms and conditions. Panasonic understands that the success of our solutions for business depends on the success of our channel partners. Instead of spending time in conversations with dealers about delivery schedules and credits, our sales professionals focus on the market and solution needs of end users.
Q: What are the advantages of the Sanyo-to-Panasonic transition?
A: Prior to the transition, the Panasonic and Sanyo projector lineups complemented one another. Where Panasonic lacked in product offerings, Sanyo delivered, and vise versa. For example, Panasonic was strong in DLP technology and owned much of the installation and large-venue projector market, while Sanyo was a strong LC D projector manufacturer that focused more on portable, short-throw and ultrashort- throw projectors. The integration allows us to offer a comprehensive projector line, with over 52 models, meeting the needs of almost any application.
The transition has also given resellers access to Panasonic technologies they may not have had access to before, such as professional displays, video equipment, security solutions, office systems, mobile computing, and more. In addition, Panasonic increased its channel sales, marketing, and support organization across all product categories to better serve the channel community. In the projector category alone, there was a 60-percent increase in organizational support of resellers. As a result, resellers are enjoying greater face time with the quarterback of their account and increased marketing support.
Q: How can Sanyo resellers and dealers get set up to sell Panasonic projectors?
A: Through a series of educational webinars, Sanyo resellers were invited to complete an application to become an authorized reseller with Panasonic. With the acceptance of our terms and conditions, Panasonic reviewed and approved the applications. If dealers or resellers have questions about getting set up to sell Panasonic projectors, they can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (855) 323-8783.
Q: What about service, warranties, and parts for current Sanyo models?
A: Sanyo customers are being serviced through Panasonic’s national service warranty center, which offers 24/7 support based in the U.S. This is our ongoing commitment to our partners, dealers, and customers, as we strive to protect their existing technology investments.
Q: Will Panasonic offer projectors that maintain Sanyo’s lens legacy?
A: Much of the new Panasonic lineup maintains the Sanyo lens legacy, a benefit that Sanyo customers enjoyed when upgrading within the same series. Panasonic is continuing to support this lens standardization, creating a seamless transition from Sanyo to Panasonic.
Art Rankin is the director of the projector business category and the education vertical at Panasonic System Communications Company of North America (PSCNA).