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Monday, February 21, 2005
 An Interview with Tim Smith, Sales and Marketing Manager for Ridisc
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Message Text: Read our interesting interview with Mr Tim Smith, Sales and Marketing Manager for Ridisc, where we discuss with him Ridisc's background, its development and its product range.



Tell us a little bit about the history of RiDisc and what the brand stands for?

The founding principle of the RiDisc brand was to bring to the consumer, access to the highest quality media from Ritek Taiwan without having to pay the premium associated with Tier One brands such as Verbatim, Sony, TDK and Philips.

Through our partner Ritek Taiwan, RiDisc aimed to offer uncompromising quality to enable customers to safely choose a brand of media that was guaranteed to give them consistently high quality results.


Tell us a bit about the development of RiDisc with regards to your relationship to Ritek Taiwan?

From it's conception the RiDisc brand was a joint project between RiDisc and Ritek Taiwan. With Ritek providing the technical expertise and RiDisc providing the sales and marketing proficiency, RiDisc were always able to retain their independence and most importantly their own quality control working in conjunction with Ritek.

In the summer of 2004 RiDisc's independence and desire for "nothing but the best" was put to the test when Ritek's production of the then new Ridisc 8X G05 media ran into problems. The overall quality dived as Ritek struggled to meet demand for increased volumes while still maintaining consistency.

By the autumn of 2004, Ridisc management took the decision to swap production of the Ridisc 8X to another Tier 1 manufacturer in order to maintain it's own integrity and fundamental principles.

The decision was seen as a bold move in a industry traditionally reliant on old alliances between brands and manufacturers, but in the case of Ridisc, unlike others in the market, the decision was a clear case of prioritising quality over profit, especially as other brands including some of Ritek's own, were content to use & sell G05 media of inconsistent quality to further sales.

Tell us why the Original Ridisc go5 was discontinued so quickly?

The original success of the Ritek dye (proliferated by the success of RiDisc) wasn't unnoticed by competitors, and other brands started to jump on the bandwagon. Very soon Ritek DVD of every grade possibly was flooding into the market. Media of B quality, C quality, and even worse, was all being sold as Grade A Ritek media and very soon, customers began to lose faith in the dye and the brands that carried the codes G04 and G05.

It didn't help that even Ritek themselves knowingly sold discs of lesser quality (even with their own brands) into the market to customers that didnt care about quality just as long as they made money. Even Ritek's European Branch office, Conrexx Technology BVBA, was held responsible for introducing the notorious "Down Grade" disc into Europe.

In an email to our DVD Recordable's guru Flash, Ritek Taiwan remarked:
"We have same feeling that this should be a dumped DVD-R material, should be scrapped and would have no possibility to re-ship to market"

As a result, the customers who had once trusted the codes G04/G05 began to look elsewhere for an alternative, as they no longer had faith in the Ritek dye. In a sense, Ritek and RiDisc became victims of their own success.

Tell us a little bit about why RiDisc opted for CMC Magnetics to make their 8X DVD-R.

With all the problems that were happening in the market that basically went against everything that RiDisc stood for, an internal decision was taken to continue RiDisc 4X with our partner Ritek Taiwan but to swap the production of the new RiDisc 8X DVD-R to CMC Magnetics, the world's largest OEM manufacturer of media.

This new alliance with CMC Magnetics dawned a new era for the RiDisc brand. With their unlimited support, CMC brought to RiDisc a promise of quality with no compromises whatsoever. The sales figures of RiDisc 8x DVD-R spiralled upwards giving us absolute vindication for our decision to partner with CMC during Riteks troubled times.

It is widely accepted that CMC utilises the most advanced production lines for media in the World and continues to innovate with state of the art Research and Development (R&D) at their Taiwanese headquarters. This is backed up by the fact that all the top brands trust CMC to develop and manufacture for them. Verbatim, TDK, FUJI, Memorex, all hold OEM manufacturing contracts with CMC.

Did the move over to CMC Magnetics cause any problems with Ridisc's relationship with Ritek Taiwan?

As for causing problems with Ritek I think we can say that Ritek and Ridisc are as closely linked as Santa Claus and Christmas. I don't want to go into details but the move to CMC did result in the launch of the RiDisc Xtreme range, which will prove to be the best Ritek manufactured disc in the world, bar none! Having seen the quality of the CMC manufactured RiDisc media, Riteks management in Taiwan know that they will need to provide only the highest quality media in order to impress RiDisc's discerning customers.

Has not having a g05 disc in your range for so long cost you market share?

Not at all, RiDisc have seen the take-up of their CMC RiDisc 8X DVD-R go from strength to strength in markets that were previously focused predominantly on Ritek G05 and other more established brands such as Verbatim etc. The lack of a high quality G05 has allowed others to come in and steal more market share.

We are not the only companies to recognise this, look at that the success that Datawrite in Europe and the Middle East have had with CMC and their Datawrite Titanium DVD. Platinum in Germany also, have recently started using CMC for their DVD-R production after switching from Ritek who have been their main manufacturer for so long. All these companies recognise that to survive in the ever-competitive market, it is impossible to rely on dated practices of old alliances and the only way to stay on top is to keep abreast of what the competition is doing and be prepared to change at a moments notice if necessary.

What sets out the Xtreme range from other Ritek manufactured products?

Right now, Ritek is still a popular choice in many countries, but every market is different and customers are the ones who ultimately decide what discs are best for them. Here at RiDisc, we recognise that there is some demand still for Ritek, especially for a quality G05 dye and we aim that with the imminent release of "RiDisc Xtreme", we can give them the results they expect every time without fear of getting ripped off.

With the Xtreme range, RiDisc aims to deliver to even the pickiest of consumers, exactly what they are craving for. A no holds barred, Grade AAA+ Ritek G05 DVD-R that has the uncompromising qualities of one of the best manufacturers in the world. This coupled with Our quality control system which has zero tolerance should ensure that RiDisc Xtreme offers customers the assurance and safety in knowing that every disc from every pack that they buy will perform consistently and perfectly and is certified as being the best of the best of all Ritek products on the market.

How do you guarantee that you will get the highest grade of Ritek media?

Even though we are intimately linked with Ritek and have helped Ritek media become one of the most recognised discs in the market, we are not 100% Ritek owned brand name. In essence, we have the ability to go elsewhere if our standards of quality or pricing requirement aren't met. Brands which are 100% owned by Ritek don't have this luxury. If we suffer any quality issues we can move our production to another manufacturer whose quality will live up to our standards.

We have maintained that our discs are AAA+ grade if for any reason our RiDisc Xtreme range doesn't live up to this we will move to another manufacturer and dye for this range. This puts a lot of pressure on Ritek to ensure we receive only the best discs from their production line. Unfortunately, brands which are 100% owned by Ritek don't have this luxury. This we feel will give us the edge over any other Ritek manufactured disc including Ritek's In house brand names (Ridata, Traxdata and Arita) that are 100% owned by Ritek.

 
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