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.
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 »
This week, Konica Minolta announced that it will take a 10% minority shareholder position in MGI Group. This investment is valued at â‚¬13.7 million. Konica Minolta’s technologies in this area include office MFP devices, an upcoming B2 digital printer under its own brand, and a wide range of commercial and industrial printers for textiles, woods, and materials. According to Konica Minolta, the relationship with MGI is one step of many in a growth strategy that involves investing in technologies and companies that can advance its market penetration into digital printing. This alliance is also beneficial for the MGI Group, whose growth strategy is to expand its range of digital printing solutions for commercial printing environments into digital printing for industrial environments. The MGI Group already offers a wide range of products, including:
Best Buy acquired mindShift in 2011 for $167 million. The strategy at the time was to use mindShift to break into cloud services and target more SMBs. Â Best Buy was focused on developing a services business and the thought was that with the combination of mindSHIFT’s cloud, data center and professional services would allow the two companies capture a greater share of the $40 billion small and mid-sized business MSP market. Paul Chisholm, chairman and CEO of mindSHIFT at the time in 2011 stated of the acquisition by Best Buy, “We are very closely aligned with Best Buy in both corporate vision, and in our culture of integrity, customer value and results.”
That was then, this is now, and the current reality for Best Buy is to leverage an asset (mindSHIFT) and go back to doing what made them great and focus on their core. Â Bottom line, this is a good/needed move for Best Buy after a disappointing 2013 that was capped off by a holiday price war with Amazon where it lost badly. Read more »
This is the fourth year that I’ve done a video blog review of all the corporate greeting cards I received during the holiday season. This year’s collection includes InfoTrends’ own corporate greeting card, which was printed this year at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, Massachusetts.
If you have an interesting greeting card you’d like to send me, my address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA
If you’d like to see the previous videos, here are the links:
See the link below for my 2013 rant on one of the most insincere holiday e-cards I’ve ever received: How Much Is ‘Free’ Worth?
Big news from the EFI Connect show in Las Vegas: EFI and Landa have formed a strategic relationship to use Fiery technology as Digital Front-End/RIP for Landa’s digital presses; both for the continuous feed and cut-sheet devices. From the moment Landa showed its new presses for the first time at drupa 2012, there has always been much speculation about who Landa would choose as a DFE partner and what RIP technology would be suitable enough to drive digital presses that can run 12,000 B1 sheets per hour at 1200 DPI.
The 2014 International CES has come and gone.Â Tens of thousands of geeks and those who write about geeky things (often indistinguishable, by the way) descended on Las Vegas earlier this month. Many of them persevered through travel delays caused by record cold and snow in the central and northeastern United States; an estimated few thousand more gave up after spending a day or two trying to make the trip. Those that made it saw a vast assortment of products, some of which will soon be available for sale, and others that will probably never again see the light of day. Read more »
Last year InfoTrends talked much about change and asked “Are you prepared?” In 2014 the same holds true. We are in the midst of a transformation in the imaging market. From a camera perspective we have moved through digital photography which was mostly a film replacement phase, to connected cameras which is where we are today and now we are heading towards intelligent photography.
In an environment that is marked by uncertainty we, the imaging analysts at InfoTrends, are examining the trends that will shape the imaging market in 2014. We feel certain at least two of our trends for 2014 will come true: Read more »
Last week Google announced their acquisition of the connected device company Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest, creators of the internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, is focused on the concept of an “automated home”. This acquisition is an interesting move for Google, and strategic in the way of strengthening their presence in the growing world of automation, as well as blurring lines between consumer and business technology. Read more »