Posts tagged: Sharp

Building a Business Case for Attending ITEX 2016

David Ramos
 Jan 19, 2016

Okay, so up front, let me address the elephant in the room…I know there has been some less than flattering feedback about the direction of the show the past few years.  I know this because you’ve been kind of enough and trusted me enough to tell me directly to my face or on the phone.  You know me, I appreciate honesty and I love people who are direct.  I’m simply asking you to do me a favor, the favor is this, read this piece and allow me lay out a few points as to why I believe you should attend this year’s event.  Fair enough? Itex Register

First, our industry needs this show to be successful.  We need an event, and as “We” I include everyone who is dedicated to the industry, that is independent, unbiased and most of all an event that provides value to and for independent office technology companies.   ITEX National Conference and Expo’s team has been working diligently for the past year to dig deep and renew the position of this show as the go-to resource for the independent channel.

Second, we have Read more »

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 Announces OEM Deal with Sharp for Light Production Printers

Deborah Hawkins
 Dec 10, 2013

HP announced a major OEM deal with Sharp Corporation for a new line of color and black & white light production printers that will be offered exclusively as part of HP managed print services contracts. The partnership with Sharp is based on the 900 series MFP and is HP’s first high-end workgroup/light production device. HP will initially roll out the products in North America, Western Europe, and Australia with other regions following later in the year as needed.

 

HP Color MFP S962dn

Read more »

Konica Minolta Dealer Meeting 2013: Asking the Right Questions

Jim Hamilton
 Dec 5, 2013

There was an awkward moment in one of the conference sessions at Konica Minolta’s recent dealer meeting. Polly LaBarre, co-author of Mavericks at Work, was summing up her presentation and she asked listeners if they would promise to ‘walk into the office stupider, and ask more questions.’ Promoting stupidity seems like a losing proposition but the ‘asking questions’ part is right on the mark, and I think it is a good reflection of the way that Konica Minolta conducted its ‘Shape the Future’ event, which took place November 17-19 at the Venetian/Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas.

Read more »

Eight Print Sample Videos from PRINT 13

Jim Hamilton
 Oct 2, 2013

InfoTrends Group Director Jim Hamilton has recorded eight short videos (four minutes or less) that highlight some interesting print samples from PRINT 13:

Of course this is only a small selection of print samples from the show. If you saw a print sample that you think deserves attention, please send it my way: Jim Hamilton, InfoTrends, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Weymouth, MA 02189.

For other InfoTrends PRINT 13 coverage, see The Top Trends of PRINT 13.

4K is now Ultra HD

Ed Lee
 Oct 19, 2012

Naming a new product category is always a challenge. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) appears to have its act together when it comes to high-definition televisions, unlike the digital camera industry, which has failed to standardize on a name for Compact Interchangeable Lens Cameras (Read The Difficulties of Choosing a Name blog from earlier this year)  which has hindered the development of the segment, in our opinion.

As of October 18th, the “4K” term will now be known as “Ultra-High Definition.” According to the new rules from CEA the minimum requirement for a television or projector to earn the “Ultra HD” designation is having a resolution of at least 8 million active pixels (3,840 x 2,160 minimum). Displays must also have an aspect ratio of at least 16 x 9 and a digital input capable of carrying native 4K video. Don’t get too excited about Ultra HD televisions just yet. Initial 84-inch offerings from LG Electronics and Sony will cost about $20,000 and $25,000, respectively. Read more »

Printing to My Home Printer Anywhere, Anytime

Other Posts
 Nov 3, 2011

Whenever I receive an e-mail on my iPhone that needs to be printed I mark it as unread and hope I remember to look at my e-mail that night on my computer. I occasionally forget to print these documents, so I decided to see if it was possible to print directly from my iPhone. As it turns out, there are a lot of options for people who wish to print from their smartphones, tablets, and other e-mail enabled devices, but some of these applications come from unexpected sources. Read more »

What If People Actually Showed Up? A Report from ON DEMAND 2009

Jim Hamilton
 Apr 3, 2009

ON DEMAND 2009 opened among concerns about the economy and how that would impact the turnout. Some predicted truly anemic attendance. Though no attendance figures are available yet to verify this, my observation is that attendance on the ON DEMAND show floor and at the conference was quite good. In speaking with many exhibitors over the past three days, the general reaction is that booth traffic was better than they had expected and that the show was providing good leads. Some of this can be attributed to this year’s move to Philadelphia from Boston, which makes it easier for attendees from Washington and New York to attend. Read more »

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