Imaging Channel-Remember, the Customers Caused the Decline

 

Over the last couple of years, we have seen many in the Image Channel forget that the decline in print is a result of customers reducing their need to print. The decline in print was not a result of printers or MFP’s needing more functionality, or more features. Customers are moving away from needing printed pages and manufacturers putting apps on copiers and adding unneeded features is unwarranted and will go unrewarded. 

Once a product’s end-user decides that the means to their desired outcome is less dependent or void its old product rarely do, they go back. Does anyone remember seeing a pay phone recently? Or, does anyone believe that if pay phones were equipped with LCD panels and apps people would still use them? Of course not. 

Industries, where their product’s users are decreasing their needs, must focus on the users, not their products. In other words. The users desired outcome must align with the products function. Even if this means that the most sacred components of the product’s deliverable, are eliminated or drastically changed. However, remembering that attempting to enhance a products functions to increase its use while the customers are looking for ways to use it less will indeed backfire. 

All the manufactures in the print industry still seem to be fighting for the customer with products and services the same way they fought when print was growing. Everyone is touting A3 like its 1990. Most of the manufacturers attempting to increase their distribution through the imaging Channel are trying it by boosting their A3. Forgetting or worse ignoring the fact that more than 80% of today’s market could easily use A4. This fact gives an extreme advantage to A4 focused manufactures. Here's the reality people will continue to print they will just print less and less. Those who can build strategies around the decline will win. That is the reason I have aligned TEASRA, the Innovation Channel and my vision of the A4 revolution with my friends at Lexmark. 

"Status quo is the killer of all that will be invented."

The innovation to the print equipment sales and its services will not be about apps or added features to A3 MFPs. The industry’s innovation will come as a result of improved processes delivering products which are closer to the market realities. In other words, those who focus on the customers, not the products. Will by default create products that customers need. 

All the manufactures will have pain in the dissembling of once sacred things, and those who make those sacrifices first will have an advantage. The customers of print equipment and their services don’t have any responsibility to help keep industry’s in the past. In reality most all customers of all industries wish to always remain relevant. It’s only in stubbornness that their relevance gets put on hold. 

“A company goes obsolete when they focus on delivering the past to the future instead of delivering the future to the present.” 

Ray Stasieczko

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