New HP IPG boss straight into action

HP is close to finishing a project that it hopes will “optimise” the way it supplies printing products to local channel partners

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  March 31, 2009

HP is close to finishing a project that it hopes will “optimise” the way it supplies printing products to local channel partners in the region, according to the new Middle East general manager of its Imaging and Printing Group (IPG).

Amin Mortazavi, who has overall responsibility for IPG Middle East now that Amr Hassan is exclusively overseeing the business in Africa, says the vendor is reviewing its regional set-up in Jebel Ali to make warehousing and up-stream logistics practices more efficient.

“We are trying to increase the flexibility that we have and also increase the level of localisation that we can do here on the ground,” explained Mortazavi. “The warehouse here is not only for the Middle East, but also some African countries. Previously products were sent from China to the Netherlands for localisation and then they were sent back, which involved a lot of unnecessary cost for HP — not necessarily booked to the Middle East entity but as an overall company.”

“Now we are getting the products already localised from our factories in the Far East and when there are further requirements, such as needing another electricity plug for Saudi Arabia, we are able to do it in Jebel Ali,” he added.

Mortazavi claims HP has liased with key partners on the project and expects things to be finalised during the next couple of weeks.

“What we need to improve is the process of forecasting and our capabilities of localising the products to the needs of the countries in the region — not only in the Middle East, but also Africa,” he said.

While Mortazavi’s elevation to the IPG hotseat comes during a particularly challenging time for all printer manufacturers, he insists the company is committed to delivering on the global ‘Print 2.0’ vision that it set out last year.

“Given the tough market conditions, corporate clients are much more interested in reducing costs and 2.0 was partially about that anyway,” explained Mortazavi. “We aim to help our corporate clients better manage their printing environment and gain control, so we are still actively emphasising that strategy and policy.”

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