Prognostications for the Next Decade in the Copier Industry

 

Ten years ago I was a mere 53 years of age in 2010.  Some news I remember was the start of the "War for A4" MFPs, Ricoh launched APP2ME (gone but not forgotten) and Canon purchased Oce for $1 Billion dollars (Oce brand is now gone also).

Funny thing about time, as more of it passes by we tend to only remember the BIG moments and forget about all the small moments that led to those BIG moments in our industry.

What will the next 10 years bring to our industry? 



Will it be feast or famine for our industry?

  • A4 print devices will continue to take market share from A3 in the SMB office space. I believe by 2030 A4 MFP's devices will exceed 70% of all placements.  I tell peeps in the office "if I don't sell an A4 device someone else will".
  • Copier dealers that are not willing to add another profit center like Managed IT Services, Content Management, or follow the migration of print to wide format or niche print devices will be gone by the end of 2030.
  • No longer will we have 15-20 models of A4 and A3 MFPs for the office.  Manufacturers will offer a maximum of 4 MFPs for both A4 & A3.  Clients will be offered a subscription service that includes a speed license (for scan & print) with maintenance & supplies.
  • By the end of 2030 we're only going to be left with four manufacturers of print devices.  If I had to guess it would be the likes of Canon, KonicaMinolta, Ricoh and ........
  • Mega dealers will continue to invest in acquiring IT related services companies that specialize in security, cybersecurity and cloud services. $3-5 million in annual revenue.
  • Manufacturers will also divest and acquire additional Managed IT companies that specialize in security, cybersecurity and cloud services.  Acquiring companies with $5 million or more in annual revenue.
  • Manufacturers will acquire additional print related companies that focus on grand wide format, and niche print devices

There's so much good on the horizon for dealers and sales people.  A smart man from New Mexico once told me that "change is good, and we need to change". 

Yes, the next generation of technology sales people will not be as focused on selling copiers, but they'll be out there offering real solutions to everyday business problems. Still knocking on doors, making calls and adding some new marketing techniques for the roaring twenties! Business pain and business problems will never go away. 

For those of us that are professionals we'll find it and offer recommendations that will continue to help businesses achieve greatness.

-=Good Selling=-

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Agree 100% the A4 space will suck up more A3 units and not necessarily on cpc contracts. I'm not convinced at all Canon & Ricoh will make the long term cut, they seem to have serious profitability issues and properly diversifying doesn't seem to be a play they are getting fully behind (or fast enough?). I think there are some Dark horses in the race so to speak. Sharp/FOXCONN, NINESTAR or the immense cash and acquisition strength of Kyocera as mentioned above. These guys are not flushing cash down the drain like the traditional players 

That combined with emerging markets will tip everything on its head. Have to remember the largest markets for our product in 10 years wont be the same markets they are now. Different cultures, buying habits, technology etc   

Going to be a fun ride 

Martin Hofman posted:
Art Post posted:
Martin Hofman posted:

What will be left of the Copier business if printing volume will decrease 10% per year until 2030? Only 35% of the current volume (and clicks)!

And only 20% with a yearly decrease of 15%.

I was looking for the global annual copies and prints produced annually. I haven;t found that yet, however I did find this. I believe I read somewhere that there are more than a trillion pages printed every year.  Going to try and find that.



Paper Usage and Production

Will the next generation still print as we do? They watch Netflix on their phones, and study at Starbucks. In 2030 the NextGen will be the new business generation. My thoughts; for doing business in 2030 you do not need any paper.... (at all).

Only old men, like myself, will print emails, read them, and throw them away.

This. It’s nothing against the copier it’s just that it won’t be as crucial to day to day office operations.  Will every office need some kind of print device? Sure. But it won’t need to be a $10k A3 MFP to only print 500 sheets per month. 

I had a customer that our company worked with for over 20 years.  The new executive director is early 30’s and reached out questioning their contract and lease.  I worked every angle to get him to upgrade but he closed out two A3 leases and purchased two HP page wide MFPs for $750 each and signed up for the HP ink subscription.   Tough to blame him as he probably saved a massive amount of money for their limited printing.  But it was my first real taste of the next generation of decision makers that have a completely different approach to buying.

I think that there will still be a place for copier dealers for many years to come. Heck there is a guy in my area that still services typewriters. But I’m very sure his business model is nothing like it was 10-15 years ago. 

Art Post posted:
Martin Hofman posted:

What will be left of the Copier business if printing volume will decrease 10% per year until 2030? Only 35% of the current volume (and clicks)!

And only 20% with a yearly decrease of 15%.

I was looking for the global annual copies and prints produced annually. I haven;t found that yet, however I did find this. I believe I read somewhere that there are more than a trillion pages printed every year.  Going to try and find that.



Paper Usage and Production

Will the next generation still print as we do? They watch Netflix on their phones, and study at Starbucks. In 2030 the NextGen will be the new business generation. My thoughts; for doing business in 2030 you do not need any paper.... (at all).

Only old men, like myself, will print emails, read them, and throw them away.

SalesServiceGuy posted:
Art Post posted:
Martin Hofman posted:

What will be left of the Copier business if printing volume will decrease 10% per year until 2030? Only 35% of the current volume (and clicks)!

And only 20% with a yearly decrease of 15%.

I was looking for the global annual copies and prints produced annually. I haven;t found that yet, however I did find this. I believe I read somewhere that there are more than a trillion pages printed every year.  Going to try and find that.



Paper Usage and Production

That much paper, trees, energy and water being used is a tragedy for the environment.

Black only copiers that can recycle paper are here now and work well.

They are popular in Europe and Asia but have not yet caught on in North America.

Not sure if those types of copiers will ever take off in the US.  Toshiba has had them for years, think I've only seen one ever. It would be nice though

Art Post posted:
Martin Hofman posted:

What will be left of the Copier business if printing volume will decrease 10% per year until 2030? Only 35% of the current volume (and clicks)!

And only 20% with a yearly decrease of 15%.

I was looking for the global annual copies and prints produced annually. I haven;t found that yet, however I did find this. I believe I read somewhere that there are more than a trillion pages printed every year.  Going to try and find that.



Paper Usage and Production

That much paper, trees, energy and water being used is a tragedy for the environment.

Black only copiers that can recycle paper are here now and work well.

They are popular in Europe and Asia but have not yet caught on in North America.

Martin Hofman posted:

What will be left of the Copier business if printing volume will decrease 10% per year until 2030? Only 35% of the current volume (and clicks)!

And only 20% with a yearly decrease of 15%.

I was looking for the global annual copies and prints produced annually. I haven;t found that yet, however I did find this. I believe I read somewhere that there are more than a trillion pages printed every year.  Going to try and find that.



Paper Usage and Production

Frank Vasquez posted:

Art - love the article, and I totally agree with you.  I have been saying for the past 10 years that the "SMART" manufacturer will build two models:  Seg 1-4 model and Seg 5-6 model.  Then all the customer has to do is buy the "speed" chip that determine's the speed.  It's the perfect scenario from a production side:  Manufacturers only have to build two models and can increase production.

Here is why it has NOT happened:  Manufacturers would move fewer units to each dealer.  As an explanation, dealers today have to stock upwards of 15 models, especially f they want those volume discounts.  You introduce the "Speed Chip," and dealers only need stock two models, and fewer of them.  Manufacturers are afraid of that "Marketshare" decline.

I think the manufacturers are being a bit near-sighted on this.  Production costs would decrease immensely, and what dealer out there wouldn't want to be authorized for simplicity?!?  The Manufacturer that implements this will hit a home run and begin the domino effect of every other manufacturer to follow suit or fold.

Also, Black and White should disappear.  Along with the speed chip, there needs to be a color chip that activates the color units.  Again, a massive reduction in production costs and more R&D dollars focused on one technology:  COLOR.

Thanx @Frank Vasquez you have an interesting concept with a license to turn on color.  Just like most MFP's have fax built it and you're just buying the SD card license to turn it on.  Very interesting!

I understand many dealers sell mostly only A3/A4 colour copiers.  That does not mean that other dealers do not sell black only A3/A4 copiers. 

There is no way around the fact that toner based colour copiers have a higher built in cost with the more parts, more expensive toners and more expensive developer material.

There are always going to be both SMB businesses and enterprises that only want a low cost black copier than can scan in colour, especially if they have multiple copiers on their premises.

What will be left of the Copier business if printing volume will decrease 10% per year until 2030? Only 35% of the current volume (and clicks)!

And only 20% with a yearly decrease of 15%.

Art - love the article, and I totally agree with you.  I have been saying for the past 10 years that the "SMART" manufacturer will build two models:  Seg 1-4 model and Seg 5-6 model.  Then all the customer has to do is buy the "speed" chip that determine's the speed.  It's the perfect scenario from a production side:  Manufacturers only have to build two models and can increase production.

Here is why it has NOT happened:  Manufacturers would move fewer units to each dealer.  As an explanation, dealers today have to stock upwards of 15 models, especially f they want those volume discounts.  You introduce the "Speed Chip," and dealers only need stock two models, and fewer of them.  Manufacturers are afraid of that "Marketshare" decline.

I think the manufacturers are being a bit near-sighted on this.  Production costs would decrease immensely, and what dealer out there wouldn't want to be authorized for simplicity?!?  The Manufacturer that implements this will hit a home run and begin the domino effect of every other manufacturer to follow suit or fold.

Also, Black and White should disappear.  Along with the speed chip, there needs to be a color chip that activates the color units.  Again, a massive reduction in production costs and more R&D dollars focused on one technology:  COLOR.

10 years from now there will be a serious shortage of experienced manpower on primarily the sales but also on the service side of the copier industry.

Young people are just not interested in the copier business and particularly do not want to make cold calls.

The industry has a long ruthless history of being quick to terminate people's employment because they are somehow on the wrong side of a balance sheet.

Be it A3 or A4 hardware, it will take care of itself and adapt to whatever new technology comes along.

Do not fool yourself, the copier industry will still be about moving boxes to meet manufacturers quotas for a long time into the future.  Solution sales are nice but moving boxes will always be first.

 

Last edited by SalesServiceGuy

Art love your post here is my 5 cents worth: the manufacturer that has most of cash is Kyocera that is growing at small percentage rate year by year they don’t have any presence nor they have their own production print device so watch for them to acquire someone that bleeds profusely and most OEM’s do! A 4 units will increase placement but I don’t believe it will be that high. Small independents will actually have more leverage and this might surprise everyone however I truly believe they will take service away from the mega dealers and dealers in general because of their personal customer service , low CPC’s because of their low overhead that can justify them beating the big guys. I also believe that printers will be replaced by the lowest TCO manufacturer (Kyocera) and HP even with their enterprise series they will never be able to compete.  I am shifting already away from HP especially consumers SMB’s are having a horrible taste about HP who sold $85 printers with $149 toner to follow. As I see it today with the Xerox saga this merger if it happens will eventually suffer and will cut or sell their manufacturing divisions of printers and copiers and solely focus on IT and other applications services. Last but not least mega dealers will disappear by 2030 what I mean there will either be another Ikon or some giant like Staples or Office Depot will own all mega dealers. Mega dealers have people at helm that can grow the business up to under $1 billion maximum after that you need a CEO that ran a multi billion corporation and understands and has the credentials and experience to run that type of a company. It won’t be a person that owned a $50 million dealership and now is trying to run something that is way above their head. Believe it or not mega dealers acquire good dealers over $10 million and under $100 million and they believe by doing that they now added this revenue to their growth. Wrong because of the execution is horrible. When time passes and these acquired companies start losing their base value to better service, they will start losing revenues and profitability very quickly and in no time they will quickly merge with other mega dealers to save bankruptcy and sell to some other enterprise.  This is my prognosis I could be wrong or dead on regardless of the outcome if I am right I am right if not I am going back to the drawing board. Last but not least I will be sitting back collecting profits and preparing my organization to expand our business. It’s like the story and the power of the ant 🐜 . I will keep focusing on acquiring the small independent in strategic markets. Good Selling 

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