Copier Manufacturers Shrinking MFP Offerings
Wow, first time in months that I'll blog about something other than my days of selling copiers during COVID19.
By now what I'm about to state shouldn't be considered breaking news for the copier industry.
It was a few weeks ago when I received an email from a Print4Pay Hotel member that Ricoh was making some major changes to their MFP offerings. For many years it's been my belief that all manufacturers have too many devices offered to end users. The reason I take that stance is because of new reps coming into our business, it's impossible for a new rep to wrap their head around that many models. Especially when different speed devices may or may not have different features along with different accessories.
It was a few weeks ago that Ricoh removed these MFPs from their monochrome lineup.
- MP 2555 ARDF
- MP 3055 ARDF & SPDF
- MP 3555 ARDF
What this means is that Ricoh will still offer the MP2555 SPDF (single pass document feeder) and not longer offer the MP 2555 ARDF (regular document feeder). The MP3055 (30 page per minute) ARDF & SPDF is eliminated from the line-up. The 35 page per minute SPDF version is still available. Thus four models were eliminated from the monochrome line-up.
If I Were King
Personally I would have gone a step further. I would have eliminated the entire monochrome line-up except for the 6503 (65 ppm), 7503 (75 ppm) and 9003 (90 ppm). That would eliminate nine monochrome devices. The elimination of these models and accessories would save Ricoh tens of thousands in manufacturing, and engineering costs.
My next plan of action would be to keep the IM C2000 A3 color MFP (this model was also eliminated from the line-up of color devices). In addition I would have lowered the dealer cost of all the color A3 MFP's to the price of the corresponding monochrome (black) devices.
Okay so now we're offering color MFP's for the same price as monochrome MFP's? Not really because I have one more change to be made. I would add a color license to turn on color for these MFP's and I would offer that as a subscription service (yes a monthly or annual fee). Thus clients could still get a black monochrome device if needed and clients who want color would just pay the subscription fee.
This could also be the plan for the faster black A3 devices also. The only move I would make is to eliminate the 90 ppm A3 MFP.
It makes a lot sense because we remove ten models from the line-up. In the long run we're supporting far few devices, lower parts inventory, and lower device inventory. This would make the manufacturers more competitive along with the dealers with the shrinking click scenarios we're experiencing.
We can even take this a step further with the color-line up. A manufacturer could offer only two models for color. One model to cover low end usage and one for higher end usage.
Speed Licensing as a Service
Let's call one the A model and one the B model. A dealer would buy the A model and then purchase a speed license for printing and scanning (20-35ppm speed). In addition we could offer any speed that the client wanted whether it's 20, 23 30, 33 for printing and we could do the same for scanning. We could also make this a subscription service for the speed.
The B model could be configured for speeds from 35-65 pages per minute. The B model would only be offered for clients that are producing higher monthly volumes.
Anyway that would be my plan to increase sales, lower costs and simplify our industry.
Would love to hear comments.