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ZDS BECOMES FIRST 'PAN-CHANNEL' PC SUPPLIER; NEW 1-800 LINES FOR U.S. DIRECT SALES, CUSTOMER SERVICE

 ZDS BECOMES FIRST 'PAN-CHANNEL' PC SUPPLIER;
 NEW 1-800 LINES FOR U.S. DIRECT SALES, CUSTOMER SERVICE
 BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Zenith Data Systems (ZDS), a Bull company, today announced a broad new distribution strategy that makes ZDS the first personal computer manufacturer to offer its full line of professional products through a ''pan-channel'' approach to the U.S. market.
 Under the new strategy, the company will offer a comprehensive new direct sales and customer service program to complement the efforts of its resellers and the ZDS field sales force.
 "No one else in the industry is marketing this broadly. Our new pan-channel approach is designed to assure that, wherever a customer wants to buy a ZDS PC, it will be available -- and fully supported by the company," said Clifford A. Jenks, ZDS executive vice president, North American sales and marketing.
 "Our customer-driven systems for sales, support and service will allow us to address the needs of everyone, from major accounts to individual end-users," he said.
 "Today's announcement confirms that, as we said in June, ZDS is indeed a whole new company," Jenks said. In June, ZDS disclosed its long-term product strategy and introduced more than 40 new models in a new Advanced Professional Products line.
 "We have received an exceptionally strong market response to our new line, and we expect that our new pan-channel strategy will help us increase our direct commercial sales by more than 30 percent in the final five months of this year," Jenks said.
 "In fact, we believe that our direct-sales program will increase demand for our products in all of our channels," Jenks said. "The effect should be synergistic for our resellers, our distributor supplied dealers, and our own field sales organization."
 DIRECT SALES:
 The components of ZDS' new direct-sales program include:
 -- Toll-free phone lines for customers to order products, request product literature, and locate resellers. Initially, hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT).
 -- Delivery within 48 hours on most in-stock products, with a full 30-day money-back guarantee.
 -- A new 32-page, full-color "Z-DIRECT" catalog that features ZDS' Advanced Professional Products, plus a wide range of popular peripherals from third-party suppliers such as Microsoft, Intel, Novell, Lotus and Panasonic. The first catalog will be mailed to more than one million readers beginning the week of Aug. 17.
 -- A team of telemarketers at the company's headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Ill., to maintain corporate contact with medium-sized accounts.
 -- Plans for on-line access to the company's catalog through the Prodigy and CompuServe electronic services, as well as regular information postings on the Internet and Bitnet bulletin boards.
 -- Z-DIRECT FAX, which will automatically fax customized product information to a customer site upon a toll-free request.
 -- A broad print-advertising campaign that includes Byte, Computer Shopper, Infoworld, PC Magazine, PC Sources, PC Week, PC World and PC/Computing.
 "We have put together an experienced team to manage our direct- marketing programs," Jenks said. (See related release.) "Our primary goals are to expose more customers to the benefits of our new Advanced Professional Products line and the innovative product strategy on which it is based, and -- more important -- to assure that every customer is totally satisfied with every ZDS purchase."
 CUSTOMER SERVICE:
 To further increase customer satisfaction, ZDS has established a toll-free Customer Assistance Center (CAC) at its Buffalo Grove headquarters. Initially, hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT).
 Staffed by highly trained customer-service representatives and technical consultants, the CAC opened in April and already is receiving more than 1,000 calls per day for product information and technical assistance.
 "More than 95 percent of the callers' requests are fulfilled on their first contact with the company," Jenks said.
 STRATEGY:
 The company's Advanced Professional Products line, introduced in June, is based on the four guiding principles of ZDS' long-term product strategy: Investment Protection, Integrated Connectivity, Ease of Use, and Design & Ergonomics.
 "Just as our product strategy was developed in response to customer requirements and designed to distinguish our products in the marketplace, so too have we developed a U.S. channel approach that is distinctive and customer-driven," Jenks said.
 "The PC industry today is characterized by a highly knowledgeable customer, intense competition, and a great demand for end-user support," Jenks said.
 "To succeed, a manufacturer must offer a distinctive product line that's priced aggressively, and superior service and support," Jenks said.
 "With the rapid expansion of many new channels of distribution, it also is essential for a company to assure that its products are broadly available," Jenks said.
 "Our Advanced Professional Products line will now be available directly from ZDS, as well as through our resellers, distributor supplied dealers, superstores, and other channels that may be emerging," he said.
 For its Advanced Professional Products line, ZDS has a network of more than 200 North American authorized resellers. The company also has distribution arrangements with five major distributors (DataGo, Ingram Micro, Merisel, MicroAge and ROBEC), who in turn supply their dealers with ZDS products. A separate line of ZDS consumer-PC products is available through mass merchandisers and specialty retailers.
 "With our distinctive, competitively priced product offering, our new pan-channel distribution strategy for the U.S., our increased marketing efforts, and closer-than-ever contact with our customers, we are confident that we are properly positioned for today's market," Jenks said.
 Zenith Data Systems, a Bull company, is a leading supplier of notebook and desktop PCs, servers, monitors and related peripherals. With headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Ill., the company has engineering facilities in St. Joseph, Mich., Santa Clara, Calif., and Billerica, Mass.; manufacturing facilities in St. Joseph, Mich., and Villeneuve d'Ascq, France; and sales locations in more than 30 countries.
 -0- 8/10/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Zenith Data Systems is no longer part Zenith Electronics Corporation. Please refer to Zenith Data Systems on second reference as either "ZDS" or "Zenith Data." Please do not refer to ZDS as "Zenith."
 READER REFERRAL: Please forward inquiries to 800-553-0331.
 Trademarks: Trademarks and trade names are used to identify the entities claiming the marks and the names of their products. Zenith Data Systems disclaims any proprietary interest in trademarks and trade names other than its own.
 ZDS DIRECT SALES PHONE DIRECTORY
 General 800-582-0524
 Educational Sales 800-582-2044
 State/Local Government Sales 800-582-2018
 Federal Government Sales 800-843-4131
 National Accounts 800-582-8179
 Z-DIRECT FAX 800-472-7211
 Customer Assistance Center 800-227-3360
 (CARE-360)
 Reader Referral 800-553-0331
 -0- 8/10/92
 /CONTACT: Matt Mirapaul or John Bace, 708-808-4848, for ZDS/ CO: Zenith Data Systems ST: Illinois IN: CPR SU: PDT


SH -- NY027 -- 8456 08/10/92 11:02 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 10, 1992
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