Canon Solutions America … Execution and Growth

Jeff Hayes
 Feb 25, 2016

CSA LogoCanon Solutions America (CSA) hosted about 50 industry analysts in Boca Raton, Florida this week to celebrate the third anniversary of the company’s formation, as well as to discuss their progress and direction. The company demonstrated increasing momentum in the critical areas of:

  • Enterprise solutions and services
  • High-speed production inkjet printing
  • Large format graphics and technical printing

Based on presentations, product demonstrations, and access to the Canon Solutions America management team it is evident that CSA has a robust product line, is tightly coordinated across business units and geographies, and is supported by highly data-driven field operations.

Toyo Kuwamura, President and CEO of Canon Solutions America, citing 2% revenue growth in 2014 and 2015 (and even better profits), stated “we are in very good shape now”. Mr. Kuwamura revealed that CSA’s 3-year plan calls for 3% revenue growth in 2016, 5% in 2017, and 6% in 2018 with a goal of being 20% larger in revenue and profits by 2018. CSA’s recent growth rates stand in sharp contrast to other large competitors that have been experiencing revenue declines in the mid to high-single digit range.

Toyo Kuwamura - CSA

Much of CSA’s success can be attributed to solid execution across all aspects of the operation, including product development, solutions selling, field service, and customer engagement.

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Xerox Pushes the Reset Button

Jeff Hayes
 Jan 29, 2016

Making a big transformative acquisition is kind of like going to war – it’s expensive and risky and doesn’t always work out like the planners envisioned. CEO Ursula Burns announced that Xerox is retreating from its strategy to transform into a single growth-oriented, business process outsourcing (BPO) and technology company. Xerox LogoXerox intends to create two separate public companies – one focused on BPO and the other focused on Document Technology and Outsourcing – effectively undoing its $6.4B acquisition in 2010 of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS).

Much of Xerox’s vaunted technology never really gave ACS a big cost or innovation advantage over other BPO companies, and ACS never seemed to get much lift from accessing the Xerox customer base, especially outside the US.

Meanwhile the Document Technology business always seemed to get the short end of the stick. R&D budgets were cut, the growing managed print services business was moved over to the Services side of the house (at least for financial reporting purposes), and much of its cash flow was used to fund share repurchases, debt payment, and add-on acquisitions for the Services business. Xerox R&D Spending Read more »

InfoTrends … The Next Chapter

Jeff Hayes
 Oct 13, 2015

As co-founder of InfoTrends and President of the company for the last seven years, I am very excited to let you know that Buyers Lab, LLC has acquired InfoTrends. Both companies have a long history of serving the document technology industry and share many of the same cultural traits around exceptional customer service, deep subject matter expertise, and commitment to providing high quality research, advice, and tools to our clients.

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HP Re-Shapes its Future with 3D Printing and Immersive Computing

Jeff Hayes
 Oct 29, 2014

Dion Weisler, EVP Printing & Personal Systems, HP

HP executive vice president Dion Weisler was on stage today for one of his biggest events: the introduction of two new products from HP’s Printing & Personal Systems group (soon to be HP, Inc.). In a live event in New York City that was webcast globally, Weisler and his team introduced two intriguing products designed to help customers unite the physical and digital worlds in a “Blended Reality” supported by HP technologies.

The first products to come out are Multi Jet Fusion, a 3D printer, and Sprout, an immersive computing platform.

Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer

Steve Nigro, senior vice president of HP’s Inkjet and Graphics businesses, unveiled publicly for the first time HP’s production 3D printer, a product that he said will “trigger the next industrial revolution” through ground-breaking speed, quality, and cost. While being limited on technical details, Nigro stated that HP has taken some of its 2D print assets and applied them in a new way to achieve speeds that are 10 times faster than any other technology on Read more »

xpedx + Unisource – Will Bigger Be Better?

Jeff Hayes
 Jan 31, 2014

International Paper (IP) and Unisource Worldwide (UWW) Holdings have announced a definitive agreement to merge their distribution businesses and form a newly created, publicly traded company that will be the largest paper distributor in North America.

This is a big deal. Two of the largest distributors of paper, board, and related supplies for the commercial printing and packaging industries are merging. It would be like Sysco and US Foods, UPS and Fedex, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks merging — OK, maybe not that big, but you get the idea.

The new xpedx/Unisource (unipedx? I hope not.) will have an unparalleled combination of product assortment, availability, logistics services, operational efficiencies, and, potentially, pricing power in the market. According to IP, the combined xpedx and Unisource business will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.

xpedx (blue) and Unisource (red) North American Locations

InfoTrends graphic from xpedx and Unisource data

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International Paper Closes Another Mill…Wake-Up Call for the Office and Commercial Printing Industry

Jeff Hayes
 Sep 16, 2013

International Paper announced it will permanently close its massive Courtland, Alabama mill by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This is a huge decision for IP and speaks very loudly about the long-term demand for printing and communications paper. Printer and copier manufacturers, inkjet and toner vendors, office products and supplies resellers, and print service providers need to take notice.

International Paper Courtland Alabama Mill

Source: Decatur Daily

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Staples Earnings Don’t Bode Well for Office Equipment & Supplies Industry

Jeff Hayes
 Aug 22, 2013

Staples’ most recent earnings announcement and efforts to reinvent itself suggest the office equipment and supplies business has entered a period of long-term decline. Vendors and resellers need to take notice and develop new strategies for growth.

Consider some of the financial highlights and comments from Staples’ conference call with analysts: Read more »

What Makes a Great Company? Ask Adobe Systems and International Paper

Jeff Hayes
 Jun 24, 2013

The April 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review has an excellent article on the three rules for making a truly great company. Deloitte consultants Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed analyzed extensive financial and operational data on more than 25,000 publically traded companies over a 45-year period and identified only 170 companies that qualified as a “Miracle Worker”. These companies were in the top 10% in Return on Assets (income divided by book value of assets) for a long enough period of time (either 16+ years for companies with 45 years of data or all 10 years for companies with just 10 years of data) to be more than just a random result.

After looking at the strategic choices over decades of success made by the “Miracle Workers” the analysts boiled down the choices to three elementary rules: Read more »

Xerox Acquires Impika

Jeff Hayes
 Feb 26, 2013

Xerox did the right thing today by acquiring Impika. Everyone knows Xerox has a major hole in their product line and technology portfolio related to production inkjet printing. They have been lapped by HP, Ricoh, Canon/Océ, Kodak and EFI and risked being shut out from this lucrative market given the limitations of their solid ink technology.

InfoTrends estimates over 90 billion pages were printed on high volume continuous feed color digital presses (inkjet or EP, 10 million+ monthly duty cycle) in 2012 and that the market will exceed 500 billion pages by 2017.

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Xerox and EFI – Making the Transformation

Jeff Hayes
 Jan 25, 2013

Xerox and EFI announced their 4Q 2012 earnings yesterday. Both companies continue to execute on strategies to transform, but are moving in different directions. There are lessons to be learned for the industry.

Xerox – Services for Growth, Technology for Profit

Xerox has made it very clear that they in the midst of a shift to a Services-led strategy. The company is managing its Technology business for profits and cash generation by lowering the cost basis and investing in services areas.

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns opened the earnings call by saying “Xerox is a company going through a seismic transformation.” The financial results show how far Xerox has transformed. The Services segment of the company grew 7% and is now 52% of the business and the Technology segment declined 8% and is now 48% of total revenue. For the first time, Xerox generated more in profits from Services than from Technology.

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