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John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

That giant sucking sound you hear in the imaging supplies channel is $450M in HP printer supplies being sucked out of the distribution pipeline as HP re-engineers its supplies marketing strategy in an update to its printer sales model” announced on June 21 (read Part 1 of this series here). By a rough estimate, HP reduced supplies channel inventories by about 25 percent, an unprecedented move in the history of the imaging supplies channel to our knowledge. Yes, this is a big deal, and its effects will ripple through the rest of the industry and the other OEMs for some time. The 25 percent reduction in channel inventories will bring HP’s pipeline from an average of 6- 8 weeks to 4-6 weeks, or roughly a one month supplies inventory ballast. There are numerous possible facets driving this tectonic shift, and we will have to speculate about many of them.

PA 2018 120by Patricia Ames

When a dealer announces the launch of 23 new MFPs before its annual dealer meeting even kicks off, your expectations are automatically raised. Such was the case with Toshiba, which issued a press release announcing the new hardware the morning of its LEAD event — its annual conference for dealers and end users, held in Las Vegas May 16-19.

John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

On June 21, HP Inc., in what the company billed as an “Update [to] Its Printing Sales Model,” announced that it was taking a charge of $225M in both Q3 and Q4 of this year – about $450M in total – that reflects a move to reduce channel inventory of printer supplies; essentially the company is taking back/buying back almost one-half billion dollars in supplies from its channel partners. In Q2, the company reported $3,099B in supplies sales, continuing a declining sales trajectory that has been quite evident:

PA 2018 120by Patricia Ames

Lexmark unveiled a slew of new equipment at their recent dealer event in Ft. Lauderdale , FL and showcased an impressive array of workflow solutions from their Kofax and Readsoft brands. If you’d like to read more about solutions, Senior Analyst Amy Weiss does an excellent job of covering Lexmark’s flagship TotalAgility refresh in Workflow here, and if you haven’t read my interview with former Kofax CEO and current VP of Lexmark International and President of Lexmark Enterprise Software Reynolds Bish, take a look – he’s at the forefront of their digital transformation efforts.

John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

In HP’s recent Q2 earnings conference call, President and CEO Dion Weisler commented on “the work we are doing around marketing to stimulate printing demand. We are shifting our marketing efforts from marketing printers to marketing printing.”

Amy 2018 120by Amy Weiss

Here’s a fact: You’re not going to attend a dealer meeting and hear doom and gloom, negative stories and “we are not launching any new products this year.” Dealer meetings are, by nature, positive, exciting, and full of new ideas and product launches that will pump up the dealers and create enthusiasm over the year to come.

John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

If you have spent any time reviewing the latest quarterly and/or annual financial reports from almost all the major OEMs in the printer/copier industry, you can’t help but be affected by the overall downbeat performance shown by these companies – and their less than enthusiastic comments about what the future may hold for their firms.

John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

The imaging and printing industry is undergoing a period of profound transition, a transition driven by seemingly irreversible technological shifts in the principal business model which has served the industry for half a century. Among many, the changes include:

John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

Rumors suggesting that Lexmark was being pursued by Apex Technology Co., the same company that bought Lexmark archenemy Static Control last year, have percolated since April 7 from numerous sources. The reports were discounted by many in the printing/imaging industry because the move was seen as an odd fit – a major printer hardware OEM being acquired by a company known principally for producing components for aftermarket ink and toner makers. At the same time there were also reports that Lenovo expressed interest in acquiring Lexmark, a move that would reunite two substantial ex-IBM divisions under Chinese ownership.

John McIntyresqby John McIntyre

The on-again, off-again union of financially ailing Sharp Electronics of Japan and Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn was finally agreed to on March 30, months after an initial agreement was reached in principle. Inking the final deal came after weeks of wrangling over details of the actual fiscal standing of Sharp – which revealed a company far worse off than originally presented — and thus, how much Foxconn was willing to pay.