Category: Supplies

HP Future-Proofs Customers with its Next Generation Printhead Design

Ron Gilboa
Feb 6, 2015

HP has long been at the forefront of innovation in the digital printing marketplace with inkjet solutions spanning consumer, office, and production. HP’s announcement of its High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) shows how inkjet technology is evolving, but the main take-away shouldn’t be just about high resolution, redundancy, or better print quality. The important part of this announcement is how it helps future-proof investments made by HP customers.

The centerpiece of the announcement is a new 2,400 dot-per-inch, dual channel, thermal inkjet (TIJ) print head 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

Read more »

How do customers make purchase decisions?

Christine Dunne
Jan 27, 2014

As part of InfoTrends’ research for clients, we have mapped the steps in the customer decision-making process. Typically, the customer journey includes six main steps: satisfied with current device, trigger event/need recognition, research and fact finding, evaluation of options, purchase, and usage experience.

Upon returning from my maternity leave a few weeks ago, I began wondering how I fit into this model. I received a multifunction printer (MFP) for Christmas that I had selected myself. As it turns out, my decision-making process aligns with the steps outlined above. I will discuss my experience below, followed by some questions print device vendors may like to consider. Read more »

Canon Looks to Maintain Base with Eye Towards the Future – Dex Imaging Opening Canon Only Branches?

David Ramos
Dec 12, 2013

I could have very well titled this “Industry Consolidation and the Ripple Effects” given the nature of the chess match being played out between two industry titans. Canon in one corner, looking to regain momentum (Canon’s loss of market share has been well documented with acquisitions of IKON Office Solutions to Ricoh – $1.62 billion, Global Imaging Solutions to Xerox – $1.5 billion and Danka to Konica Minolta – $240 million, couple this with the mixed result of their CBS Direct Operations the impact is measurable and the desire to win it back is understandable) and in the other corner, Konica Minolta, the current King of the independent dealer community.  Ask an independent dealer owner about what they like about partnering with Konica Minolta and why they have made such a surge in revenue and units, and the first answer is Rick Taylor and his leadership, what follows next from their mouths varies but it is typically like an evangelist giving testimony at a revival.

For those that do not know, Dex Imaging is one of the largest independent dealers in the United States with annual revenues approaching $150M (it’s probably safe to say will have superseded that mark by the close of 2013).  Their plan is to reach $250 million in annual revenue by 2016 and they have 26 locations in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, Alabama and Mississippi.  They made two acquisitions in the Florida market, both announced in May of this year.  In the May press release announcing the acquisitions, Dex Imaging called itself the single largest- and fastest-growing independent dealer of Konica Minolta and Kyocera document imaging equipment in the U.S.

Dex Imaging Acquisitions 2013

1. TonerType, LLC
2. U.S. Imaging Solutions

Read more »

Konica Minolta Makes a Move and Continues with Acquisitions as a Business Strategy

David Ramos
Dec 10, 2013

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it has acquired CopySource Inc., a business solutions dealership headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., to increase Konica Minolta’s reach in the southeast Florida.

In addition to today’s announcement, Florida has been a hotbed of acquisitions in the past 24 months from OEMs, Independent Dealers and IT firms all positioning for growth.

InfoTrends Channel Strategy Service Data

State of Florida Acquisitions - Click to Enlarge Image

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Shuffling Paper, Challenges in the Channel

Tim Greene and Norman McLeod
Nov 18, 2013

Many readers know that two of the biggest paper merchants in the U.S. (xpedx & Unisource) are planning to merge. The combination of xpedx (about $6 billion in revenue) and Unisource (about $4 billion in annual revenue) would create a giant in the U.S. distribution business. Whatever you think you know about Xpedx and Unisource, they are definitely not JUST paper merchants, those days are way over. Both companies have important initiatives in packaging, digital printing and yes, wide format.

As the big paper merchants come together we see other companies organizing to compete. Read more »

The Mopria Alliance: Simplifying Print for Mobile Users

Zac Butcher
Sep 30, 2013

Mopria LogoOn September 24th the Mopria Alliance was announced by founding members Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox. With the express purpose of driving simple mobile printing this is a move that many involved in the industry will welcome.  Whilst I have been calling for simplification and standardisation for some time, the reality is that a collaboration of this nature requires a great deal of work in the background.  After spending some time on the Mopria Alliance website I was pleasantly surprised by the substance already in place.  For anyone interested there is a detailed FAQ section, a YouTube video and a knowledge centre with plenty of content.  There is also an open house scheduled for prospective alliance members on October 17-18.

Read more »

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

Read more »

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 »

Frankly Speaking: Paper Will be the New Gold

Frank Romano
Jul 12, 2013

As paper volumes drop because of electronic substitution, and paper mills cut capacity to sync with demand, paper will become a rare commodity. And rare commodities are worth a lot of money.

I would start hoarding paper now instead of gold and silver. Some day, we will have new denominations based on sheets, reams, cases, and of course, rolls of paper. It may not be uncommon to hear “Can I Read more »

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