How could the Staples/DEX Acquisition effect a dealership in the Imaging Channel, or its VC group's Exit plans? Here's a thought to consider. The change in valuation will be the greatest threat to all dealers both independent, or those V.C Backed mega dealers who continue buying growth with redundant deliverables within a disrupted infrastructure.
Everyone in the industry should think about Taxi Medallions. These medallions value vanished as the infrastructure of the Taxi deliverable was disrupted by the Ride Share industry's innovative better experience. Happy 10th Birthday Uber
Here’s my explanation of how that compares to the Imaging Channel today. As the large dealers are acquired the acquirer will eventually have the required footprint enabling them to be disruptive on a massive scale. Once this footprint takes to hold the old-ways infrastructure becomes less valuable.
The only value to those left behind will be their customer base. When this is a reality, the new-way has the choice to buy or take your customers. One thing they won’t do is overpay for them. The new buyers won’t need your outdated infrastructure. In other words, the Imaging Channel’s Medallions will drastically reduce in value.
When Staples/DEX acquires a few more primary MEGA dealers, one who has a presence on the west coast, one or two who control the mid-section of the country, and one in the northeast. This combined entity will be a significant disruption to the current infrastructure of the Imaging Channel.
The other scenario is that Office Depot or another vertical disruptor, Best Buy as an example beats them to it. Either way, sooner or later the new infrastructure model is established. Hopefully, after the disruption February 8th, no one would bet against this probability.
There is much in store for the Imaging Channel, and I hope its actors fight against their stubbornness to maintain yesterday. Dealers must explore ways in which they can play in the new infrastructure. Dealers must go where the market is headed and stop pushing what they deem relevant based on their stubbornness to change. There are still too many actors in the Imaging Channel weighted heavily with product centric mindsets.
It’s time to re-evaluate how your sales teams go to market; it’s time to re-evaluate how you maintain and collect customer data, it’s time to re-evaluate the investments you are making in products on the fringes of the core deliverable. Dealers must be first in their markets to switch from the product-centric thinking of overselling A3's to a customer-centric A4 deliverable.
Dealers must understand e-commerce, and quickly disrupt themselves before the disruptor does it for them. Remember, everything changed on February 8th. The time to stop creating visions of the future from memories of the past is now. It’s time to use your imaginations and explore what could be possible, regardless of how painful to yesterday those possibilities are.
Those investing in the channel must start invest towards reinvention instead of continuing to buy yesterday. There will be more challengers coming, as they recognize the realities of print equipment and its services. Those without the baggage of how things used to be will focus on the customer realities and deliver with customer-centric approaches. Remember, as they gain momentum the medallions of the old-way diminish in value.
Join me at ITEX where we will discuss the impacts of this challenging yet equally opportunistic disruption.
‘Status Quo is the killer of all that will be invented, don’t get stuck in Status Quo.”