Sunday, April 22, 2012

Copier & MFP Industry in Turmoil... the Final Five!


A few years ago I posted a blog that outlined the "MPF Wars the Final Five" copier/mfp providers. 

Since that post  on September 28th Xerox purchased Affiliated Computer Systems for $5.5 billion, which propelled Xerox in to the business solutions and information technology business.  Soon after on November 16th of 2009 Canon announced plans to purchase OCE.

In some recent less noticed news Canon Canada closed an office and handed over the  accounts to a local dealer in Nova Scotia, Ricoh Canada closed their Saskatchewan office and cut a deal with WBM Office Systems to take over accounts and took on many of the technical and sales staff and expertise previously employed by Ricoh Canada. RJ Young (USA) cut a deal with Ricoh for more than 6,000 MIF for the  Columbus, Tupelo, & Biloxi, MS and Huntsville AL locations of Ricoh/Ikon. 6000+ MIF.

In the last month Canon finally sealed the deal with OCE to finish acquiring the outstanding shares of OCE (a group of shareholders held out for additional cash), and back on  May 11th of 2011 Canon announced the creation of Canon Information And Imaging Solutions, Inc.. 

Ricoh Corporation announced that they are re-branding and uniting Ricoh and Ikon Office Solutions in the US under one brand.  Ricoh is moving towards being known as a business solutions provider.  KonicaMinolta acquired All Covered back in January of 2011 and has been on a buying spree for acquiring addition IT companies to put under the All Covered umbrella. Just last week Kyocera Mita America (didn't even know they were still using the Mita name anymore) announced that they are changing their name to Kyocera Document Solutions America, thus Kyocera Document Solutions America is re-branding also wants to be know as a business solutions provider also.

The last four years have been chaotic for the office equipment business, the downturn in the global economy, the floods of Thailand, the Great Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami and the continued rise of the Japanese yen has caused billions of dollars in loses for most of the Japanese Imaging manufacturers.

So, what's my take on all of this.....we're in for the ride of our lives! Many industry pundits are declaring the end of the paper is upon us, and these were the same pundits that declared many years ago that fax was dead and then copiers/mfp's were dead and behold the coming of Managed Print (the supposed holy grail of profit).  But the entire industry is making the change from being imaging manufacturing providers to business solution providers. 

"Those who manage the network will control the imaging devices" is another term I've heard lately.  Dealers will need to evolve also, whether it's Managed Services, Business Solutions and or IT Services, or a combination of all three (and all three can be incorporated under IT services).  It's much easier to change the copier company than the IT provider. 

Not in any order, my picks for who will stay and who will leave the copier imaging industry:


Those that will stay (The Final Five):
  • Xerox
  • Ricoh
  • Canon
  • KonicaMinolta
  • Kyocera
Those that will leave:
  • Sharp
  • Toshiba
  • Muratec
  • Samsung (as long as they don't buy Xerox)

I'm not happy about the transition but I understand where the business is going. Years ago we had a thread on the Print4Pay Hotel forums that read ""Every business needs to prepare for the total abandonment of everything that it does."

-=Good Selling=-

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

15 years ago I joined the ranks of the sales professionals during the digital revolution in the copier industry. Digital devices had just entered the market, and printing was the great hope in the battle for page volumes. Next came scanning, and the ability to capture, even more digital content flourished. With the advent of even better archival/retrieval software, and cheaper tablets, and laptops, the paper world is on the door steps of the next revolution. Generations of the worlds youths are being introduced to affordable laptops, and even less expensive tablets. Major publishers for education content have already sought out partnerships with Apple, and Android is picking up the scraps. Educational content will be the catalyst that will place the nails in the coffin. Even today, instructional material is available to view on a tablet, and more sophisticated testing is sure to follow. Classrooms will all be able to teach from a table laptop, and then test for comprehension using the same device. The immediate results will enable the educators to customize their teaching to better education, and reduce fraudulent teaching/testing methods. Once the coming generation masters the technology, they will look for its same efficiences in the work place. The migration for dealers, and manufactures better be faster than Jimmy John's. In the next 5 years we will see students who were taught using "smart boards", read on a tablet, and tested using a digital device enter the workforce. They will ask why they should carry a book or albeit a client file full of paper. I am unsure how the industry is going to adjust, but I hope its doesn't pull a "Kodak", and forget to evolve too.

Art Post said...

Love the "pulling a Kodak" part and an awesome response. In particular several "copier" manufacturers are position themselves with tablets, applications and smart boards. However if you're a 9 year which would you rather have an ipad or a eQuill, me I'm thinking ipad hands down! Thanx again for the thread!

Art

Anonymous said...

Nice reading.

http://www.sharp-world.com/corporate/news/120326.html
[Post date: March 26, 2012]

Please go to the above link.
Sharp has started operations at VERY NEW Second Plant for Digital Full-Color MFPs which has capacity of 250,000 units of Color MFPs per year.
Total Combined MFP production from these 2 plants(China)is 650K per year.

It is a very funny for your picks for "Those that will leave:".

Art Post said...

Anon 2:

I'm thinking you're not in the US market place right? I saw the Press Release a few week ago about the new plant, just because Sharp started a new does not mean that they will increase marketshare in the US, it may very well happen in China. But Sharp has to figure out why they would want to stay in the US market with a paltry market share.

I see many things similar to what we are seeing now as to what went on with the indsutry in 1994-1995, recession, slow sales, high yen. You just can't hold margins/profits in the US marketplace when the yen continues to eek higher and higher, unless you have tremendous volume to over come the increase in the yen. Around 1995 it was predicted that there would only be 7-9 copier manufacturers left on the Global scene. That did happen. Just because you open a new plant does not mean that you won't shut it down a year from now.

Art

m1kkel said...

Well they have to evolve in my opinion, and there have to be less. There is no room for bad products, therefore i see no problem in Toshiba and Sharp leaving the office equipment business.

And maybe Kyocera should have left years ago :-)

Best regards Mikkel
Http://www.nctas.dk

m1kkel said...

Well they have to evolve in my opinion, and there have to be less. There is no room for bad products, therefore i see no problem in Toshiba and Sharp leaving the office equipment business.

And maybe Kyocera should have left years ago :-)

Best regards Mikkel
Http://www.nctas.dk