Posts tagged: Printers

Are Millennials All That Different? Not Really.

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Jun 1, 2017

Companies are eager to learn more about Millennials, or those born roughly between 1981 and 1997 (making them between 20 and 36 years old). As they enter the workforce and move up the corporate ranks, they are increasingly making decisions around what to purchase and how to conduct business.

Here at Keypoint Intelligence, we frequently receive questions from clients interested in how Millennials are behaving differently from their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts—particularly from an office printing and document workflow perspective. Perhaps surprisingly, a mounting body of research is showing they are quite similar in their habits.

European primary research as an example
Last year, we conducted a web survey of 250 Western European office workers (125 in Spain; 125 in the United Kingdom). Responses were balanced across four age ranges: 18-29 year olds, 30-39 year olds, 40-49 year olds, and 50+ year olds. Among the 18-29 year olds, the large majority of whom are Millennials, printing levels were similar to (and in some cases greater than) those of older workers. For example, similar percentages of Millennials are printing various document types.

Percent of respondents that print various types of work documents

Percent of respondents that print various types of work documents

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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!”

Quest Toward Mobile Print Simplification Continues

Christine Dunne Dunne
 May 28, 2015

Recently, an acquaintance had a near-meltdown when she couldn’t figure out how to print from her Windows tablet to her Dell printer. On Facebook, she implored friends to help her figure out what she was doing wrong—indicating she needed printouts for work, pronto.

She isn’t alone. Take a look at the user review section of any mobile print app, and you will encounter plenty of comments around printing issues (e.g., app doesn’t work, formatting is incorrect, printer isn’t supported). Indeed, recent InfoTrends research indicated that the top perceived barriers to mobile printing center around technical and compatibility issues.

Assuming you needed to print something from your smartphone or tablet for personal reasons, which would be the largest barriers to doing so?

Source: Mobile Devices and the Impact on Print: Looking for the Opportunities in the U.S., China, Mexico and Brazil
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HP Decides to Cut Bait with Snapfish

Other Posts
 Apr 29, 2015

Given the choice to either “Snapfish” or cut bait, Hewlett-Packard has chosen the latter.

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Mobile-Centric Printers: A New Crop of Peripherals

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Aug 27, 2013

About a year and a half ago, we wrote a blog post about an adorable miniature printer from a London-based design firm called the “Little Printer.” The printer, which is now available for purchase, connects to the “cloud” and can print personalized mini “newspapers” at the press of a button or on a schedule.

The Little Printer

The post focused on the novelty of the product, as well as some questions we had related to pricing, the environment, and the types of feeds the printer can subscribe to. Now, after some internal discussions a year and a half later, we are starting to look at the product in a slightly new light (although those initial concerns haven’t necessarily been resolved). A number of recent product launches have prompted us to consider that the Little Printer might have been the first printer product in a new category of “mobile device-centric printers.” 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 »

Placements of Western European Office Devices Continue to Suffer

Deborah Hawkins
 Apr 9, 2013

The Western European1 office equipment market continued to contract in 2012, driven by a weak economy, device consolidation through managed print services and new competition from business inkjet . Placements of single function and multifunction laser printers in office environments (1-69 ppm) declined 8.1% year over year whilst placements of business inkjet devices increased 3.3%. The majority of the decline in laser devices was in single function printers, where placements dropped 16% year over year. The market continues to shift from single function to multifunction devices, and from monochrome to colour engines.

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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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The Need for Transformation at Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax

Jeff Hayes
 Sep 17, 2012

Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax have been in the news lately for declining revenue and profits. The office superstores (OSS) face an immense challenge to transform as there is less demand for some of their biggest sources of profit (ink and toner cartridges) and less use of one of their biggest assets (retail stores). How they pivot at this point will likely determine their direction for years to come.

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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 »

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