2021: ALSO is the largest distributor of printing supplies in Europe and the Printing division accounts for a significant amount of total group sales. In addition to currently operating in 23 of the 27 markets where ALSO has a physical presence, the Printing unit also does business in markets such as the UK, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
Michael Müller took over the Printing division at ALSO at the beginning of September 2020, with Marc Nijhof returning to lead the company’s subsidiary in the Netherlands. Müller is no stranger to the print consumables market, having formerly led Supplies Sales EMEA at HP Inc, and he said it is good to be back in the industry.
ALSO’s balanced customer mix has helped it grow consumables share over the past 18 months, as e-tailers took share from B2B resellers during the COVID pandemic. The pandemic was also responsible for another shift – from laser to ink consumables – which forced ALSO to tweak its distribution model in order to be able to deliver higher quantities of smaller inkjet packages. Good planning in the early days of the pandemic saw ALSO build up inventory, which enabled it to maintain customer deliveries.
Müller is certainly appreciating the corporate culture at ALSO. He says the lack of bureaucracy at the distributor is enabling him to focus more of his energy on strategic initiatives, particularly when it comes to developing more service-oriented offerings for SMB customers. One of these is called Link2Ink, an as-a-service printing solution that is set to be introduced in early autumn 2021. This will provide resellers with highly targeted information, enabling them to deliver relevant and customised offers to their end-user customers.