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Wow, what comes around goes around right, could it be that copier history may repeat it self in the near future and become more dealer orientated (especially due to financial conditions), one would tend to think that this is the logical course of action in order to increase profits. Maybe ib the future when you look at the time line of the industry as whole, you would then see a 20-25 year blip where direct channel was seen more as a fad, rather than a good business model.
Canada is a simple environment for competition
Ricoh (Ikon is long gone)

Even Canon is a very distant 3rd in this market Ricoh has dominated for years but they have been loosing some ground to Xerox in recent months.

With Xerox Buying Laser Networks they are getting a jump on managing existing devices where Ricoh has been concentrating on flipping entire environments to Ricoh

2012 should be a challenging year for anyone in Canada.
Art all the manufacturers are in Toronto

Kyocera Mita
Konica Minolta
Pitney Bowes (Sharp the sequel)

I Don't know if there is A Muratec or Copy Star direct

The funny part is Pitney and Ricoh HQ's share a parking lot.

Originally posted by SalesServiceGuy:
Toshiba Business Systems, Toshiba Toronto Direct, last Fall was awarded the Thames Valley District School Board for 1,200 copiers. This is believed to be the largest deal awarded in Canada last year. It was a steal from Ricoh and believed to increase Toshiba's Canadian copier market share to approx 15%.

This was a Huge sting to Ricoh, they were the incumbent and for a very long time now.
WBM Office Systems and Ricoh Canada announced a strategic partnership Monday, a news release said. The move will see Saskatchewan-based WBM grow significantly, taking on many of the technical and sales staff and expertise previously employed by Ricoh Canada, as well as many of the customer relationships held by Ricoh Canada in Saskatchewan.

The physical office locations previously operated by Ricoh Canada will be closed, with the Regina location being reopened as a WBM Technology Deployment facility.

Ricoh Canada has developed computer-networked and digital multifunctional systems and does colour and black-and-white digital imaging systems, facsimile products, printers, scanners, digital duplicators, document management and wide format engineering systems.

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Your teaser headline made me think that Ricoh Canada had sold all of its branches. Not quite the case, just Sasquatch.
It reflects the realities of a direct channel - very high infrastructure and management costs, along with the recognition that the mfrs need to focus on the opportunities where they have an advantage, in particular where they are large geographic or global entities.
By using the dealers to focus on the SMB market, the costs to support that channel are much less.
I can see Ricoh looking at some markets in hte US where IKON might have had a branch, but in the new paradigm it makes more sense to divest it to a trusted dealer partner.
Ricoh has made strides through the chaMPS program to integrate dealers into some of the marketing programs they have. With Jim Corridi in his position, with his long experience in the industry, they will operate from a sound strategy that really tries to balance the two channels. With IKON out of the picture it will eventually make that dealer/mfr partnership better. They do recognize the value of a strong dealer channel.
One thing to think of is Regina where this happened is the provincial capital of Saskatchewan which is currently the strongest economic province in Canada (due to resources being super strong right now) so Ricoh is not going to be doing provincial government, health care etc. direct anymore in this province. That is a significant move and really does show that their direct model cannot cut it in the smaller markets.. They are not corporately dealer friendly so it will be interesting to see how they do in this market.

I can understand the size thing and even though populations maybe the same, I'm sure there are many other factors also. However, I'm sure we can all agree that less will mean more when it comes to not having a direct branch in your back yard.

I hoping that even as small as this deal is that the trend continues, it would get the industry back on track to more sustaniable levels, increase dealer business, increase profit for dealers.

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