Giants join forces

Giants join forces
The Philippine Star
Monday, September 6, 2010

In the increasingly-competitive world of service and product-driven businesses, achieving the highest sales figures in industry-specific reports. Sales figures and rankings can fluctuate as frequently as the tides. Being a household name, however implies more than just fleeting market leadership, but rather, a level of trust in a service or product that can only be earned after years of consistently reliable performance and customer satisfaction that meets or exceeds expectations.

With more than 1,700 stores worldwide, Cartridge World is undeniably the world’s leading ink and toner replacement service provider and a household name in developed countries. Originally founded as an Australian company in Adelaide to cater to the growing needs of the local business and retails communities, Cartridge World ventured beyond Australian shores in 1997 and found positive market response in several continents including Europe, Asia and North America, establishing itself as the top-of-mind toner replacement service in those countries. By providing a superior-value alternative to OEM at a fraction of their cost, Cartridge World found a particular favour with its Asian customers, who are unique in their conflicting expectations of above-standard quality at below-standard prices.

Cartridge World Philippines first opened its doors on January 8, 2007 as a master franchise under the helm of Bruce and Babylyn Newfield. Encouraging initial sales prompted the Newfields to offer the Cartridge World brand for franchising and within two years, four franchises were set up within the metropolis, plus one franchise in Binan, Laguna. Although Cartridge World is among the top 100 franchises in the world – currently ranked at number 33, ahead of UPS and Handyman – they are very analytical and selective about the qualifications of their franchisees and the proposed location of their outlets. Cartridge World is also among the fastest growing franchises in the world and has the highest ranking among Australian-based franchisors.

Recognizing the need to address new markets beyond Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces, the Newfields entered into discussions with one of the largest distribution chains in the country, Gillamac’s Marketing Inc., a Cebu-based marketing corporation with almost 40 years of experience and 32 branches covering almost every province in the archipelago. Originally a dealer of Norkis Trading for Yamaha motorcycles, Gillamac’s Marketing grew over the years to represent products from the other household brands like 3M Philippines, distributor of Scotch® tapes; Shell Philippines; Honda Philippines; Suzuki Corporation; Delsa Industrial Philippines, distributor of Kawasaki motorcycles; Noritake Philippines; Union Motors; Francisco Motors; Makati Machineries, distributor of Ruggerini multi-purpose engines; and SV-Agro, distributor of Turtle power tillers.

Anticipating the growth of the IT sector, Gillamac’s Marketing entered the digital age in 1997 with the introduction of their own OCLAR line of personal computers, following up in 1999 with the founding of the Gillamac Information Technology Center or GITEC, which franchised and currently operates nine Systems Technology Institute (STI) schools all over Visayas and Mindanao. With Gillamac’s Marketing’s entry into the field of IT, it was only natural for Cartridge World to consider the possibility of appointing GMI, with their network’s comprehensive coverage of the areas outside Metro Manila, as their first independent distributor in the country. “Having Gillamac’s sell our product is better than doing it ourselves because the stores that we have cannot serve the public well enough,” said Newfield. Their partnership was signed last June 26 in Makati City and was publicly launched on July 30 at the Parklane Hotel in Cebu City.

Marrying world class brand equity with expertise in varying regionalized customer requirements, Cartridge World and Gillamac’s Marketing jointly endeavor to provide every Filipino with dependable, environmentally-responsible products that are not only easy to find, but with highly competitive pricing, are easy to obtain too. After all, one does not become a household name by accident.