Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems Ltd in the UK has set up a personal computer business unit, further to the decision back home in Munich to try to return to profit by streamlining the company into eight units. The unit will sell direct to end users via telesales and catalogues, targetting first the vertical markets that […]
Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems Ltd in the UK has set up a personal computer business unit, further to the decision back home in Munich to try to return to profit by streamlining the company into eight units. The unit will sell direct to end users via telesales and catalogues, targetting first the vertical markets that it knows best, such as retail, finance and engineering. Siemens has set up a team of 12, headed by Les Francis, previously senior divisional marketing manager for Siemens’ government and public sector division. It is based at the Bracknell office, with a newly-installed logistics and inventory control system, and has started a retail centre there to sell to companies within a 30-mile radius; centres may follow in Manchester, Sheffield and Glasgow. All kit comes from the company’s central design and manufacturing facility in Augsburg, near Munich, then goes to a Sheffield facility for customisation, ready to be sent to the customer within five days of ordering. All well and good, but who exactly will be placing the orders? Siemens believe its reputation for customer care, its ability to learn from competitors’ errors and its lack of channel conflict, will ensure success in the hurly-burly of the personal computer sector. It plans to supply all the customer’s software and service needs, as well as procuring third party kit where necessary. But it has not finalised price details for service and support, and is hardly unique in claiming to know what end users want. The personal computer units are being established in the company’s European subsidiaries only, and their success will determine whether similar operations begin in the US and Far East. Personal computers currently account for a whopping 50% of the hardware that Siemens Nixdorf sells, and UK managing director Richard Bearpark claims that the firm is the sixth largest personal computer vendor in Europe, although behind Compaq Computer Corp, IBM Corp, Apple Computer Inc and Dell Computer Corp, market shares fall off very shraply.