August 14, 2007

Kiosk Manufacturers Decline in Europe

Nice perspective by blogger on europe site for kioskterminals. Talks about impact of kiosk companies in Europe. We were also surprised to learn the First Impressions finally closed its doors. A longterm design firm based in Denmark, First Impression was Ole Meyer and started back in 1997?


2007 is fast approaching to be a year in which already in the first half of the year we have seen 2 big sized kiosk manufacturers go out of business and into liquidation. The demise of both Slabb and Ceroview both registered in North America, and having attained considerable reputation in the field of kiosk manufacturing, there is a definitive response from customers and deployments that success on a global scale is not always the fast track key to being a solid reputable supplier or partner.

I am confident that there are several other companies which have had to close there doors as well this year, and without a general body to monitor such events its both difficult and quite literally impossible to measure the failure stories throughout the kiosk market place, if you take one example that I am aware of my own country of origin “Denmark” has produced several firms in past history which felt they had a unique business approach but still did not manage to make the cut, most recently Denmark oldest and one of the principle founders in Denmark of kiosk manufacturing was First Impression. There uniquely styled kiosk frame who many expressed its shape as beauty and personification of an information terminal finally closed its doors this year 2007, but its roots date way back from the early nineties. Several others include such well less known names as Ceboline, Dreamvisions but to name a few more for the statistical record.

Slabb in instance is a truly ironic story, of a firm who started out with well meaning intentions and good solid sales abilities, with several successful ventures Slabb grew enormously quickly and in terms of media coverage Slabb had considerable efforts to be placed in the forefront of both customers and competitors who envied and spoke quite considerable therefore there was always going to be a large crowd of crows squalling when the death quite literally overnight turned up and knocked quietly at the corporate doors of the management of Slabb. But what is surprising is the quite open scuttle of ex. employees of Slabb which have in small regions of the globe formed new corporations to carry on the lifeblood of the products and started to produce the existing range of Slabb models. It has been with quite considerable interest how I have seen several new ventures start, Asia seem to be the place were most have dived into having these models manufactured with having seen likeable reproductions of the favourites x5 and x6 series models cropping up on several Asian manufactures. I must also admit to secretly wonder what the former CEO Cy Birg is reacting to his former cohorts and there apparent lack of support to a firm who had created a marked impression in the industry, un-doubtly we have not heard the last chapter of the on going Slabb saga. There is still the impending court cases of unhappy customers who have claims against the firm, possible several suppliers and marketing associations who feel that Slabb have abused there trust from its commitment to purchases. One example of this was Kioskcom Europe which premier sponsor for the event being namely Slabb, even when I attended on the first day the rumour around the exhibition hall in 2006 was not a new model or application but that of Slabb who had pulled out of sponsorship and I clearly remember the story line of several varying versions of Slabb being in harsh economic problems, low behold some 4 months later the facts came to light.

The business of selling, operating and proving yourself in the kiosk industry is tough, there is not an ounce of doubt I think any company cannot say. Although as many experts will say it still being in its infancy, many firms simply take either to large advancements before they can walk and underestimate that kiosk business is one of steady growth, and there also of course several that simply don’t do there homework nor listen to the veterans on what and how is achievable when relating to success or failure within an industry which has become not only cut throat but also extremely competitive to say the least.

Posted by staff at August 14, 2007 09:09 AM