While driving today, I thought about how many color systems I've sold in the last six months compared to black systems. Thus I went back to the aficio league and counted the numbers. Seventy five percent of my sales were for color. This included production units as well.
We've never seen as many models in the industry as we have now, have a complete line up of A4 color, A4 color, A3 color and A4 black systems. A look at Ricoh's lineup and we'll see 9 color A3 systems but only 3 different boxes and 6 color A4 systems. Just in color alone there are 15 different models. Eight A4 Black systems and another 11 A3 systems for a total of 15. Not including product that 30 different models. I'm guessing at least 11 different black engines.
Even for me with many years in the business it's a tall task to keep up with all of the different models, pricing and service pricing. I tend to think that the manufacturer and dealers could cut costs and increase profits by only offering color units. Less parts and supplies to manufacturer, would have a dramatic effect and allow the manufacturer to have more systems, parts and supplies on hand, right? The Japanese business model is "just in time" inventory and we all suffer (even customers) when the "just in time" models fails.
Leaving production units out of the mix, is the time right for manufacturers to only offer color systems? Please feel free to add any comments and please cast your vote in the poll below.