Posts tagged: MFPs

Sharp National Dealer Meeting – Turning The Corner, Abounding Enthusiasm

David Ramos
 Dec 11, 2015

I have just returned from the Sharp National Dealer Show held at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas.  Quite frankly I could do a positive write up on the event based on that fact alone just because I love Texas!  But I’ll keep it professional and focus on the host (Sharp) and their event content but first let’s get some housekeeping items out of the way before I do a deep dive on the most exciting facets of the event.

Unless you have been living on the moon, you know that Sharp has struggled financially.  In May, they unveiled an annual loss of $1.9bn.  However, my prediction is that Sharp will never die and they will continue to evolve and adapt.  This is not to understate the issues they face, only to emphasize the fact that Sharp, like many companies that have confronted this class of challenges before them will most certainly evolve and adapt.  Executive Managing Officer of Sharp Corporation and President of Business Solutions, Mr Kazushi Mukai stated in the General Session to open the event, “As you have read in the news, Sharp is struggling through the restructuring process of transforming from its legacy categories which have been accumulated throughout history.  However, while it has taken a lot of time, we are basically through that change.”  So, let me make the statement again, they (Sharp) will continue to exit certain businesses; they will most certainly evolve and adapt to the changing industry landscape, but SharpWillNeverDie.

The message throughout the event was on Sharp’s commitment to B2B business, not consumer expansion.  Doug Albregts, President – Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, stated “The B2B world is about relationships and we will work hard to expand your opportunities in this market” and have positioned Sharp for growth through B2B with a number of tactics:

  1. People
  2. Training
  3. Simplifying Programs
  4. Improving Delivery Times
  5. Working Capital
  6. Tech Data
Doug Albregts

Doug Albregts, President – Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America discusses relationships and partnerships.

How has this strategy and execution started to pay off?  Sharp had their 6th straight fiscal of revenue growth for SIICA despite exiting non-core businesses.  In spite of all the challenges, MFP revenues also grew 6.5% over the prior period and the profit story is equally impressive.  Last fiscal, the Sharp US Document Business was one of the most profitable in their history.  SIICA grew its operating profit by 145% vs. the prior fiscal period.  That is a foundation of results they can continue to build on.

The Sharp team was very excited and enthusiastic about this meeting, and rightly so, as it kicked off the strategy that Doug Albregts and his team had carefully been building over the last 2 years and of course, they also had some new print devices to launch.  New products from workgroup color to high speed mono…I want to be brutally honest here, I am NOT a widget guy.  The widget is the least fascinating piece of our industry to me, even back to the time when I was selling said widgets down the street in my first job at Xerox.  I am more from the business vein of building solid relationships with my clients and solving business problems, the widget is just a mechanism to help accomplish that (I can hear the collective whining from the industry “Gear Heads” as I write this piece, get over it Gear Heads).  Are we clear on my feelings about this?  Because it’s really important as to what I am about to write next, which is something I have never ever once said or written, ever.  One of the most exciting moments during the event, if not the most exciting moment was the launch of 10 new clean sheet design A3 product line in the 30 – 60 PPM range (click the link and read all about it). All models will use the same engine, accessories and most importantly common parts and supplies, making this one of the easiest product lines for service operations to support.

Did you read that last part?  This is how exciting it was for the participants, just so I paint you a clear picture.  When Shane Coffey, Senior Director, Product Management at Sharp Electronics, presented the new product line up, Dealer Principals, Sales and Services leaders, all in the audience literally shouted with enthusiasm and everyone in the audience was vigorously applauding…over a widget launch people, a widget launch!

image1

Shane Coffey, Senior Director, Product Management & Mike Marusic, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Supply Chain and Service discuss launch of 10 new models built on clean sheet design.

Now here is why the announcement was met with such enthusiasm by Sharp constituents.  Almost 70% of operating income contribution in the dealer business model (most commonly and affectionately referred to as the Tom Johnson model) is derived from service operations.  So when you create a product platform that locks in the same cost structure for the 30ppm device that you will receive on the 60ppm device and all speeds in between, and reduce parts and supply expense and oh by the way, reduce “Car Stock” for technicians, you immediately drive; improved cash flow for your dealers, improved operational efficiency for your dealers, and improved profitability for your dealers.  One of the number one complaints I hear from dealer principals and service leaders is that of their manufacturers developing too many models with no commonality from one product to the next and increasing the difficulty for the dealer to manage the service component of their business.

Dealer principals and service leaders repeatedly state their challenges when it comes to service efficiencies coming in variations of the following:

  • Predictability of service events
  • Risk of bad products
  • Parts and supply stocking and ordering
  • Financial risks due to improper inventory management
  • Parts car stocking and deployment
  • Territory structure at the technician level
  • Hitting service productivity benchmarks

The new product line up was designed based off Dealer feedback and will certainly have a positive impact for all of the Sharp partners.  Sharp’s product fair showcase was also excellent and one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, with over 60 partners showcased such as YSoft, DocuWare, MWAi Forza, Print Audit, the Business Technology Association and many more.

Sharp has made significant improvements in its restructuring, they continue to invest in the office technology space, they have further expanded their partner network, and, most importantly, they are highly committed to the office equipment dealer channel with the right programs and product design to improve dealer profitability and operations.  With a strategy like this Sharp, will never die!”

HP’s new enterprise ink series offers multiple cost advantages

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Apr 30, 2014

One of the most compelling aspects of HP’s new enterprise inkjet printer series is the devices’ pricing, running costs, and total cost of ownership. The Officejet Enterprise X page-wide series offers significant cost savings compared to color lasers with similar features and functionality. This is particularly important, given that cost concerns play a key role in customer decision making. This post looks at the benefits of the series from a pricing, cost per page, and total cost of ownership perspective.

Pricing

The new single function printers are priced at $749 and $1,199 (base models), while the MFPs range in price from $1,999 to $2,799 (base models). These are very attractive price points given the devices’ fast speeds, robust engines, networking capabilities, and other business-level features.

Key specs and pricing of HP’s new Officejet Enterprise X series

Read more »

Native Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication Promising Areas for Mobile Printing

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Jun 24, 2013

Over the last year there have been countless announcements related to new mobile phones, tablets, and apps for personal and business use alike.

While the majority of these announcements have nothing to do with printing, there have still been a fair number of developments in the mobile printing realm (mobile printing is defined as sending or initiating a print job using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet).

Those paying attention (myself included) will have noticed that new features have been added to mobile printing apps, including support for more printer models, file types, and print settings, and that more mobile operating systems are now compatible with these apps.

Both the Android and iOS versions of Epson’s iPrint app, for instance, now support the printing of Microsoft Office documents.

Epson iPrint App Interface

These are certainly positive developments in terms of making mobile printing accessible to more users, as well as more practical.

That being said, the need for a dedicated print app to print from a mobile device is not ideal. Read more »

Weak economy continues to impact North America office equipment market in 2012

Barbara Richards
 Mar 29, 2013

Overall, slow economic growth in both the U.S. and Canada continued to impact the North America office equipment market in 2012. Total unit shipments of all office single function printers and MFPs declined 10.6% year over year; this figure includes all technologies: laser, inkjet, and impact. Once again, HP held the number one market share position in 2012 with 50.1% of the market. This was followed by Canon (14.8%) and Epson (10.4%).

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Ricoh Convergence 2012: New Services-Led Business Model, Technology Platform, and Hardware Products

Other Posts
 Jun 14, 2012

Services-led. Technology-enabled. People-drive. Those were the themes at this year’s Ricoh Convergence event in Las Vegas, where over 600 participants gathered at the Wynn hotel to take part in educational seminars, networking, and panel discussions covering topics ranging from Ricoh’s new services-led dealership program to how to increase dealer growth via Ricoh’s resources to gaining better insight into Ricoh’s new technology platform. The technology expo showcased demos and tutorials on Ricoh’s new and existing hardware and solutions and services offerings. 

 

One of the biggest announcements made during this event was Ricoh’s move to a new services-led business model. Recognizing the emerging MPS opportunities in the market, this is a turning point for dealers to capitalize on implementing a services-led environment for their customers.   Read more »

HIMSS 2012: Interoperability, Mobility, and New Innovations in Healthcare IT

Other Posts
 Feb 27, 2012

HIMSS 2012, one of the largest health information technology conferences in the United States, was held in Las Vegas last week where vendors showcased a variety of new hardware and software relating to the healthcare market. One of the biggest announcements during the conference was the new CDA standard approved by HL7, which addresses universal requirements for the conversion of unstructured, paper documents into files that can be distributed into EHR systems.

This was great news for vendors like Nuance, Canon, and Fujitsu, who demoed their solutions, MFPs, and scanners as being CDA compatible with the ability to seamlessly integrate documents into an organization’s EMR. Nuance’s eCopy ShareScan streamlines the scanning of paper documents to electronic documents using existing hardware. (Nuance also plans on incorporating clinical language understanding (CLU) into their capture software later this year). Canon MFPs were used to demonstrate the eCopy solution at their booth and at the Interoperability Showcase, where attendees could watch several live use case scenarios simulating healthcare environments and witness how standards-based transactions streamline clinical workflows regardless of device brand or software or service provider. Fujitsu and Inofile also showcased their new document imaging solution running on the ScanSnap device. The Inofile software is designed to help healthcare organizations reach Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements. Read more »

A Secure Relationship on Valentine’s Day: Xerox and McAfee

Jon Reardon
 Feb 14, 2012

This blog originally posted on the Real Business At Xerox blog. 

We all know people who send personal information from their workplace computers. Maybe you’ve done it. It’s not always easy to separate work from personal life.

Take Valentine’s Day as the example. Today is a day when you realize how widespread the use of personal devices in the workplace has become. As employees are busy sending sweet messages to their loved ones via handheld devices, tablets, webcams, even printers, copiers or multifunction devices, the truth is that company data may be at risk. Read more »

Impact on Office Products Industry from Earthquake in Japan

Other Posts
 Mar 18, 2011

The tragic events in Japan over the last week have left many around the world wondering about loved ones and professional colleagues in the affected areas and how the country will move beyond this crisis. Scattered reports indicate that some of the companies involved in the office products industry have been severely impacted: Read more »

Nuance acquires eCopy

Anne Valaitis
 Oct 6, 2009

Nuance has completed an acquisition of eCopy. Apparently inked on September 30th, the Nuance acquisition shouldn’t be surprising in this rather accelerated time of consolidation. In fact it seems compression in our industry is hitting a fever pitch these days with acquisition news abound. We ponder on a daily basis, who is next, what makes sense, and who can afford to acquire whom?

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