Agfa Corp. and xpedx have announced a joint decision to end their longstanding relationship on December 2, 2010, after xpedx terminated the dealer agreement. Effective on February 28, 2011, xpedx will end its distribution of Agfa-branded graphics products in the United States. Management from both companies have agreed on a transition plan and timetable to avoid disruptions of service or support to customers. This effort will ensure a continuous supply of Agfa products. Customers will be able to purchase Agfa products from other regional dealers and from Pitman, Agfa's distribution company.
According to Peter Wilkens, president of Agfa Graphics, "The graphic communications industry is in transition, and we acknowledge that new strategic partnerships are the result of the evolving needs of the marketplace. Thanks to our longstanding business relationship, Agfa and xpedx have agreed to a transition plan that will not cause any concern for our joint customers."
Earlier this year, on August 11, 2010, Agfa Graphics completed its acquisition of the Pitman Co., a leading distributor to the graphics communications industry. The goal of the Pitman Company acquisition was to allow Agfa to expand into new addressable markets. Concurrently, xpedx has also completed specific strategic alliances with its key manufacturing partners. (See Agfa Graphics acquires Pitman Company USA and Kodak expands relationship with xpedx, ends Pitman distributorship.)
Agfa Graphics has also invested heavily in its Branchburg, NJ, plate manufacturing facility to upgrade operations, and is working closely with its regional distribution partners. These strategic decisions ensure that the company is prepared and has the capacity and capability to meet demand. The recent addition of Pitman's product portfolio and technical expertise also means that customers have a unique opportunity to work with a powerful partner for conventional prepress products as well as solutions for the key growth segments in print, such as inkjet, packaging and digital imaging.
xpedx says it will minimize impact to customers by helping them transition to systems from other manufacturers or to alternative sources for Agfa plates and graphic consumables.
“Our customers are our highest priority and whether they decide to explore new technologies or go elsewhere for Agfa products, xpedx will support their needs,” says Dennis Killion, director of marketing - graphics, xpedx. “Today, our customers receive their plate shipments together with their two other largest purchases: paper and ink. xpedx will continue to provide customers with the supplies they need to efficiently operate through a single supply chain.”
Agfa's Customer Care division and hotline (800-388-2432) are available in the event customers require additional information during the transition.