The 2011/03/31 at 10:14
Alexandre T. Analis
Joining Lexmark in 1996 as Product Marketing Manager, Étienne Maraval, 46 years old, has followed his whole career in the group, holding various positions. For one year now, he has been Marketing and Communications Manager of Lexmark France.
Commerce International: Could you tell us in what circumstances the Lexmark company was born?
Étienne Maraval: “In 1991, the US information giant IBM decided to part with its printing division. It was the sale of this division that gave birth to the company Lexmark, which recently celebrated 20 years of existence. The French subsidiary was born at the same time; France today holds two sites, in Suresnes (French subsidiary) and Orléans (European centre), which together have 300 employees.”
What were the major stages in the growth of Lexmark over these twenty years of existence?
É.M.: “Lexmark developed laser print-ing technology from the outset. The ensuing technological evolutions strengthened its position: the brand offered its first laser inkjet printers in 1994, and its first multifunction laser printers in 2000. These machines were – and still are – the heart of Lexmark’s activity. But an important turning point came in 2001, with the signing of our first printer management outsourcing contracts. From this date onwards, we developed more and more services and software for businesses. Technological innovations have not stopped however, for we launched our first personalised touch-screen multifunction printers in 2007. Finally, the takeover last year of Perceptive Software, a company specialised in software and content management, will allow us to broaden our offer for key accounts, via new document and information management solutions for the office.”
More specifically, who are your main clients?
É.M.: “Lexmark is very focused on key accounts: 75% of businesses on the CAC 40 have Lexmark equipment. These belong to all types of sectors: banks, retailing, industry… We also have many SMEs in our client portfolio that we attract thanks to a vast network of IT and office equipment distributors. The general public is another of our targets, but globally, two-thirds of Lexmark’s activity is aimed at corporate clients.”
What are Lexmark’s latest technological innovations?
É.M.: “Our capacity to innovate has enabled us to gather a number of awards worldwide. The latest to date was the CES Design and Engineering Award in Las Vegas, won by our Genesis S815 [The CES, or Consumer Electronics Show, is the largest yearly worldwide rendezvous for consumer electronics, editorial note]. This inkjet printing solution is equipped with new digital ‘Flash Scan’ technology. In concrete terms, there is a digital camera inside the printer which takes an instant shot of the document, allowing a scan to be made in 3 seconds only, compared with 30 seconds previously. Other innovative technologies have been developed by Lexmark in recent years, astouch-screen interfaces on printers with downloadable applications, allowing multifunctions to be personalised. Touch screens, which have made machines more ergonomic and easier to use, have opened a field of new possibilities.”
What is the purpose of these downloadable applications?
É.M.: “We have released a catalogue of solutions on Internet baptised ‘Lexmark Smart Solutions’, comprising around sixty free downloadable applications. These applications notably enable the reception of RSS flows on printer touch screens, viewing, digitalising and printing photos on Picasa, receiving Facebook pages, printing information on Twitter or checking the weather forecast… These solutions are divided into different categories corresponding to different client needs: health, legal, news and sports, social networks, calendars, photos, real estate… Since September 2009, the ‘Lexmark Smart Solutions’ catalogue has registered over 150,000 downloads.”
What initiatives does Lexmark undertake in favour of sustainable development?
É.M.: “Our slogan in this domain is: ‘Print less, save more’. Lexmark has for some time been concerned with hunting down paper wastage and supporting businesses in reducing their environmental impact. This is also valid for printing supplies. For the laser printer range, one ink cartridge out of two is recuperated by us and recycled, then reconditioned. We place containers at the disposal of clients free of charge, and we come to pick up and recycle the cartridges ourselves.”
What are Lexmark’s development prospects in coming years?
É.M.: “According to the 2010 International Data Corporation study, Lexmark is today the world’s number four in printer management services. This situation is partly due to the fact that our printer management service contracts include a real analysis of client needs, taking into account the profession, the premises and the percentages of needs in printing, photocopying and faxing… Certain statistics are worth bearing in mind: 98% of printing needs are in A4, compared with only 2% in A3; but an A3-A4 machine costs an average of twice as much as an A4 machine, takes up more space and consumes more electricity… In addition, paper used goes 75% to printing and 25% to photocopying, but the use of photocopying is diminishing compared with that of scans and the sending of emails and electronic documents… This is why Lexmark analyses client needs, and offers adapted and concrete solutions, such as printing via badges, allowing wastage to be tracked and finding out who prints what, in order to rationalise printer stock… The development of Lexmark will transit through this aptitude to adhere to client needs.”
More information on www.lexmark.com