Monday, January 16, 2012

Selling Copiers & MFP's "Where's the Hard Drives?"

Almost 30 years ago, Clara Peller screamed "Where's the Beef?" to American and Canadian TV viewers.  "Where's the Beef?" was a popular slogan in the Eighties to lure hamburger eaters from the likes of McDonald's and Burger King over to Wendy's.

In recent weeks, Copier Dealers have been asking "Where's the Hard Drives?".  Severe flooding in Thailand has affected shipments of MFP's to the US.  The flooding from October 23rd left many hard drive factories under water. 

Pictures that were posted on the Print4Pay Hotel forums showed massive flooding in several industrial parks.  Just about three weeks after the flooding almost 1,000 Hitachi HDD workers went on strike and further disrupting the supply chain. 

Later in the month of December came the announcements from many Copier and Printer Manufacturers that there would be disruptions to the supply chain.  There were some reports of disruptions that may last 3 - 6 months. In a recent post on the Print4Pay forums a Hitachi VP claimed that it will take almost a year for the Global Hard Drive industry to recover from the impact of the flooding.

"Where's the Hard Drives?",  seems that 4 hard drive manufacturers have 90% of the market, Western Digital, Seagate, Hitatchi and Toshiba. Almost thirty three percent of all hard drives are manufactured in Thailand.  Read more here

When I first heard about the floods in Thailand, I really didn't think there would be that much of an issue with MFP's in the US.  Goes to show you how much I know.  In recent weeks, I've been alerted to the back order of MFP's due to the flooding.  Again, I thought no big deal a few extra days here and there and it won't be a big thing.   The lasted is that we have four or five MFP models that are projected with 3-6 month back orders, one particular model had a June back order.  Dam, I had just sold 5 of these to one of my accounts!  "Where's the Hard Drives?" Now, I'm hearing from other reps from other manufacturers that they're now seeing additional MFP's  models placed on longer than usual back orders.

Even though Thailand manufacturers almost one third of the worlds hard drives it might be a good bet that they supplied at least or more than 50% of the hard drives to Copier manufacturers (this is just a guess) and that's the reason for the shortages.  Least we forget about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year and it seems we've had a perfect storm to really wreak havoc with the Copier Industry.

What good is a digital copier without a hard drive, it's like having a hamburger without the meat, it just doesn't work! Which leads me to this short story, many years ago, we had a local Jack in the Box (just like a Wendy's MickyD's or BurgerKing), however you had to drive up, place your order with a giantic clown head.  One night in particular, I placed my order, got my burgers and to my surprise all I got was the *&($#(* bun! 

-=Good Selling=-

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