Kodak Australia rings the changes

Kodak Australia has announced several changes to its distribution and organisational structure ‘to further improve productivity, strengthen its position and drive growth in the Australian photographic market.’

Kodak Australia has appointed Independent Photo (IPS) as an authorised distributor for the full range of Kodak Paper & Output Systems (P&OS) and Retail Systems Solutions (RSS) products to the photo speciality market in Australia, in addition to their recent appointment to that role in New Zealand.

‘We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Kodak Australia in the distribution of its thermal media, paper and chemistry supplies. We are well placed to meet the business needs of Kodak customers across Australia,’ said Stuart Holmes, managing director, Independent Photo.

As part of the consolidation of distribution, Kodak Australia and Australian Photo Supplies (APS) have agreed to end their long-standing relationship.

‘We’ve had a sound alliance with APS and would like to publicly thank them for their contribution to our business over many years,’ said Adrian Fleming, managing director, Kodak Australasia (pictured above right).

APS managing director Robert Dessmann was keen to communicate that the ending of the Kodak alliance was by no means an indication that his company was moving away from the photo channel.

‘We are committed to the photo channel and will continue to supply a whole range of products. He added that APS had plenty of stock of Kodak paper and chemistry with which they could supply customers ‘right through to the end of the year.’

He also flagged forthcoming major announcements of new distributorships, and said APS would continue to offer customers a range of paper and chemistry.

APS was formed by a group of ex-Kodak distribution and marketing executives, headed up by Robert Dessmann, former supply chain manager for Kodak Australia.

Arrangements with Kodak Australia’s other authorised distributors, UCC (mass merchants) and C-Direct (pharmacy) remain unchanged and they will continue to supply Kodak products to their respective channels of distribution.

Staffing changes

In other organisational announcements Clyde Rodrigues, business development director, will be leaving Kodak to join UCC as sales and marketing director, handling the distribution of Kodak products to mass retailers throughout Australia. John Clifford, consumer sales director, will also be leaving Kodak. (These were revealed last week in Photo Counter.)

‘Clyde and John have been valuable team members, and we wish them well in their future career endeavours,’ said Adrian Fleming.

Kodak Australia has realigned the POS & RSS team leaders’ responsibilities to more effectively support the new consolidated distribution structure as follows:
– Danielle Withey will take the role of acting leader for the POS and RSS businesses, in addition to her Asia Pacific product management responsibilities, until such time as a permanent leader is appointed.
– Peter Cocklin leads the POS business (both Professional and Consumer), in addition to account management of IPS.
– Mark Maxwell heads the RSS business in addition to account management of UCC.
– Mark Parisi is responsible for C-Direct.
– Grant Campbell manages the POS and RSS businesses in New Zealand.

‘Kodak Australia remains fully committed to delivering industry leading solutions to the photo specialty, professional and wholesale labs market,’ said Adrian Fleming. ‘The combination of experience and capabilities in both the Kodak and authorised distributor teams gives me a high level of confidence in the business and opportunities for growth going forward.


29 thoughts on “Kodak Australia rings the changes

  1. Has anybody ever seen such a ridiculous decision. In this period of uncertainty and turmoil as far as the industry and especially Kodak goes that they would choose to alienate the majority of their KEXDS members who have chosen to deal with APS for many years. Surely a ‘steady as you go’ plan would make more sense. FM

  2. I total agree. APS have been a supportive friendly helpful company to our stores, where nothing was too much trouble.
    I will continuing to support APS no matter where that takes the stores.
    With decision making like that its not hard to see why Kodak is so much trouble.

  3. I’m curious about what happens to Kodak Express stores who are not in the Leading Edge group. I haven’t spoken to IPS about this, but we have received a lot of good stuff from APS to help us market our store and our business. I’m assuming the Kodak Express pricing we have been receiving will continue. What happens with all the consumables to go with the Channelbind Kodak Photobook system? Will they still be available from APS, or will Kodak sell them, or what?
    Does this have any impact on Professional paper? Do we now get all our pro paper from IPS?
    I guess my last question is what is the future for Kodak Express stores? I’m not far off doing new signage on our store and I’m wondering what I put up? Will someone/anyone pay for the Kodak Express part of our sign? Is there future value in putting up the KEX logo?
    Kodak seem very quiet on where they want the Kodak Express group to go. Are we valued or not? Are we just another line on the spreadsheet, and no one gives a stuff? Who knows – I don’t!

  4. Alan, usually when there is only one supplier the price goes up, one way or another ! And thats one of the many problems here.

  5. Hi Guys, with all change there can be upset and I am sure there are many questions on everybodys mind about this change; all I can offer to you is that at IPS we are 100% Committed to the success of the Photo Specialty Market in Australia & New Zealand -Everybody that works with us at IPS are long term Photo Industry Professionals who are equally committed to the Photo Industry. We are an open book, we are completely available to talk to and ultimately understand that your success is our success (in that order…) I urge you to take your concerns directly to either myself, or my business partner, Rob Voysey, or any of our IPS colleagues in every State of Australia, for contact details please see: https://www.iphoto.net.au/contact.aspx
    Best Regards, Stuart Holmes

  6. We have dealt with both IPS & APS for many years. Both companies provide old fashioned technical & marketing support. I can’t comment on Kodak’s reason for changing their distribution (as I have no idea) but can confirm for those who have not dealt with IPS that they will readily and enthusiastically assist you to getting a complete solution.

    • Peter I agree both great companies, it is a joy to call APS and get such enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff to assist. I will miss this, I assume film also will go to IPS too??

  7. Well David, any organisation that doesn’t think to take into consideration its customer’s views must be in trouble.

    KEXDS customers have been given a choice of suppliers a number of times and an overwhelming majority have stuck with APS.
    Its as simple as that.

  8. We have dealt with Kodaks since 1936. It would have been nice if our Kodak rep had bought a customer service person or management over from IPS to Adelaide and introduced him to us and discussed how this is going to work. Kodak has been a great company in the past, supporting us and the Industry, but has made some bad decisions.
    This appears to be another one.

  9. Why did Kodak do this?
    We have been with APS from day we openned and they have been fantastic – why have Kodak stopped them selling us our paper and all our other products?
    I’ve never purchased from IPS so I can’t comment on them but why is there only going to be 1 paper supplier in Australia? I know IPS have sold Kodak paper in the past, but moving to one only supplier, when the previous one was doing a great job really scares me – how long before our paper prices go up?
    We have purchased a LOT of Kodak Pro paper, and that market has been stuffed around by changes with Kodak to the point where we buy from Kodak – no one asked us about these changes, they just get forced on us by a company who has no idea about what we want.
    Why can’t there be 2 kodak distributors and we can choose which one we deal with – what is kodak doing?
    We will stick with APS no matter what, as they have stuck with us through thick and thin with support, help and product.
    And like someone has already asked, why can’t kodak tell us their plans for Kodak Express 2013/14 – or aren’t there any?
    Does anyone from Kodak have time to read this and respond or are they too busy looking over their shoulders to see whats behind them.

  10. Agree with you John. We have only been a customer for 30 years but do not want to change from APS. To say the very least it would seem like a good idea to me for the new management team at Kodak to review this decision.

    • Tim it’s about time you got dumped, we were dumped by Kodak in 1990, (they would not give us KEX pricing because there was a Kodak owned ColourCare KEX store in the same centre) then Agfa in 2005 and Konica in 2006.

  11. Kodak should have taken into account what the stores purchasing Kodak products from APS thought.
    We have been very happy with the service and support offered to us by APS, nothing was too much trouble.
    I will continue to purchase from APS, whatever products they are able to offer.

  12. Peter, I’m with you on this one 100%.
    Indeed it is unfortunate when these changes take place and we are literally forced into new business relationships.
    But alas it is what it is and I can’t help but feel like I’ve been there and done that before (anybody remember Agfa???).
    Thankfully IPS have been there to support my business in the years since. It’s comforting to know that when the proverbial hits the fan you’ve got access to the people at the top who can get things sorted. Who doesn’t run their own business the same way? Does the buck stop with you or three layers of middle management?

    • Paul I’ve had the same paper rep for 22 years, if he was to move I would move with him, so much for company loyalty. Imagine if you had the same Kodak rep for that long or Fuji, “there is nothing as constant as change” probably the smart thing Joseph Fong ever said 🙂

  13. Congratulations to Stuart Rob and the IPS team. We too were “dumped” by Kodak and since have dealt with both APS and IPS, while having no complaint about our relationship with APS, the support and help we have had from IPS has been outstanding. When no one else could help with a technical problem with our Noritsu 2901 using Kodak chemistry, Stuart, David and Ian pulled out all of the stops to sort out our problem (even though they were not supplying our chemistry) Since going to a dry Noritsu lab, Supplied by IPS, the service and supply can not be faulted. We have been long term, and will continue to have a fantastic relationship with the IPS team.

    • Mike I can only agree with you, we moved to Konica (for a few months) from Agfa and Stuart was good enough to supply us box chemistry in the meantime, even when their stocks were low. So it was a no brainer to move to them as Ian Mc moved too. IPS have in Davis Slade one of the smartest “TSR’s” that I have ever met taking the time and effort to learn about our equipment and process control. I just hope that Kodak does not let them down with supply.

  14. Why won’t anyone from Kodak comment on this – they are the ones who have caused all this problems. Why can’t they explain it all to us – maybe we could make sense of it, although I really don’t think they can. It make no sense

  15. I guess nobody at Kodak has been around long enough to remember that it was only a few years ago when it was IPS selling ‘imported’ paper and chemistry and IPS selling Noritsu dry labs to KEX stores with APS loyally sticking with Kodak!
    So what sort of loyalty are Kodak showing APS?

  16. Hi All, we agree that APS have been a sound alliance for both Kodak and you for many years however, it was recognised by all stake holders that it was no longer viable to maintain a multiple distributor strategy in the Photo Specialty channel for Kodak products. As a result we completed a thorough analysis, benchmarking each of the various parties against our requirements and it was concluded that IPS were the most suitable option for our photo specialty channel strategy going forward. IPS has given their full commitment to support the photo specialty market needs for Kodak RSS and P&OS product. They will range a comprehensive portfolio of Kodak hardware, thermal media, paper and chemistry for both the consumer and professional market, offer competitive pricing and provide industry leading marketing support. You are welcome to contact Peter Cocklin or myself from Kodak and the IPS team to discuss any questions you may have.

  17. I can understand most of your concerns from the comments most of you have made. I have been dealing with IPS since they started.
    I speak from my dealings with Stuart & Rob & can say there has not been any problems. I am not in the business of bagging other companies but IPS will not let you guys down.

  18. I still see nothing from Kodak about future of KEX. It appear that loyaly from APS not worth anything to Kodak, so they change their distributor.

    • At Independent Photo (IPS) we believe that there is a Strong Future for the Kodak Express Group in Australia & New Zealand, and totally support that POV being 100% aligned with the Independent Photo Specialty Retailer since IPS was incorporated in 2003. IPS is here to champion the cause of the Independent Specialty Lab Owner against the Mass Merchant commoditisation of the Photo Industry, and remains loyally in that corner of the Industry.
      Independent Photo (IPS) adds extra Value to the KEX Members by offering Free QC Process Monitoring & Colour Profiling Service for all IPS Customers using Kodak Chemistry. The IPS QC Service is monitored daily by IPS Tech. Managers, David Dubois (Former National Technical Mgr. of Klikk Group) & David Slade (Former Technical Director Kodak SE/Asia)
      IPS is also an ‘Official Supply Partner’ to the Leading Edge Group in Australia & New Zealand, and as such IPS has full access to the raft of Kodak Express Program benefits for the KEX Members including KEX Store Signage Program and being able to transact your Kodak Products Supply Order via the LEG Central billing system or direct with IPS – it’s your choice.
      Best Regards, Stuart Holmes – IPS

  19. Well I can see that this has generated a lot of response from many within our industry hopefully this will extend to other topics in the future.
    Like others we to purchased products from both APS & IPS and have no issues whatsoever, both with product and support of same.
    In general we do not need to call on IPS for technical support with regard to the Chemistry & Paper we use but on the odd ocassion this is required I find them to be very helpful. Stuart, Rob and David in Sydney along with their colleagues in other states are second to none.

    Andrew Mason
    Photocontinental

  20. Thanks Andrew, there have been a number of people posting here who choose to buy from IPS and thats fine.
    At the end of the day though the point is that we want to choose where we buy our paper and chemistry and that is not the case anymore.
    As far as I can gather by talking to a pretty representative group of KEXDS people there is close to 100% opposition from APS customers to these changes.
    Danielle, you may have done some benchmarking and other stuff but you certainly haven’t spoken to your KEXDS customers.
    Anyway, rather than further IPS customers posting, I invite anybody who is an APS customer who wants to move to IPS to post here.

  21. Looking from afar, ( the USA) this is an interesting discussion. Kodak essentially abandoned the independent dealer as a direct seller a very long time ago in the USA. The reorganization that they are attempting worldwide, including resetting distribution could have benefits down the road. In the case of our market any change is likely to be a good one – more attention to operations that focus on photography instead of merchants who see it as a traffic builder. Many USA Kodak paper labs are either very large volume or are doing it for historical reasons (they built an identity around the Kodak brand). As many mass merchants here move out of the photo market, especially processing and printing, the long time specialists remain to support the market and buy consumables. Let’s hope whoever ends up operating Kodak’s paper business makes the smart play to support the specialist retailer – they will be the last men standing. A good distributor will do more for you than an indifferent manufacturer.

  22. Thanks Larry, I think you have summed it up pretty well and in Australia the change to a distribution model is more or less a part of all of this discussion. And I strongly agree with your positive views about the specialist dealer.

    Kodak split off distribution of paper and chemicals in Australia quite a few years ago and for us KEXDS retailers there was a choice of three companies and those firms were APS, C-Direct and Raluru.

    Pretty well all the KEXDS customers chose APS over the other two parties at that time and have continued with APS.
    About a year ago another distributor was appointed, IPS and still pretty well all the KEXDS people stuck with APS.
    APS seem to have done a great job and it most dealers want to and will stick with them. Pretty well through thick and thin.

    It is different in the US. From afar it looks like Fujifilm are the guys supporting the small guys and also supporting IPI who are involved with a lot of the independent dealers.
    But that isn’t the case in Australia. They have all had a choice and they have made it.

    Its a fascinating discussion, but one thing is for sure, independent dealers are certainly just that and will support who they want!

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