Nigerian Cartridge World franchise profiled

July 24, 2014

Olamide and Damilola Kolade. Credit: New Telegraph

Olamide and Damilola Kolade. Credit: New Telegraph

Store owners discuss cartridge refilling market in Nigeria.

An article by New Telegraph featured a profile of a Cartridge World franchise based in Nigeria, with the store’s owners – brothers Olamide and Damilola Kolade – explaining how the business works and what the cartridge refilling market is like in Nigeria.

With the aim of turning “waste to wealth”, the store is located in Lagos, with its main business involving the refilling of cartridges. Director of Business Development, Olimade, explained that “our primary advantage is that by operating as a franchise [it] means we are leveraging on 25 years of expertise of Cartridge World […] so the expertise we gain from them in refilling cartridges is what our competitors don’t have.

“In all the process, we get standard update from research and development. We know the best materials to use. We know when to change the parts of a bad toner and ink cartridges. We do have a big advantage over our competitors”.

Commenting on why the business is a worthwhile venture in Nigeria, Olimade said: “[E]nvironmental waste management is a big problem in Nigeria, especially electronic environmental waste. We do not have the capacity to create special incinerators. So you find that electronic wastes constitute environmental hazards – ink going directly into land; and the plastics which take a long time to degrade. And overtime you can imagine how much cartridges we use in Nigeria.” He added that the cartridge business in Nigeria is “quite huge” and so the decision was made to set up the business there.

As well as having a licence to operate Cartridge World in Nigeria, the Kolade brothers were also given the master franchise rights, meaning that they “are the only company licensed to run a complete Cartridge World franchise in Nigeria. Anyone who wants to open a Cartridge World franchise in Nigeria will have to get the licence from us. They will open what we call a sub-franchise”. Olamide added that they plan to “open our own stores and sell sub-franchises as well. The parent company takes three percent of turnover”.

In terms of challenges presented by the Nigerian market, the issue of market research being difficult to access in the country means that the Kolades “have to go out there to scout for information” such as types of printers available and what cartridges they use. “In the industrialised world, things like these are taken for granted,” said Olamide. “There will be a bureau for printers where you can get whatever information you need on them.”

Availability of empties is another challenge for the business, with Damilola, Director of Operations,explaining: “[W]ithout these empties our operations will be stalled. So the main challenge that we have is sourcing empties. People treat empties like trash, they throw them away. In the process, some of them get damaged; some of them get completely dried up.

“So we have to use as many channels as possible to source for empties. It takes a longer time to process empties sourced from dustbins for reasons of contamination and drying up of ink and toner.”

However, there are “quite a lot” of companies that do not dispose of their empties, some of which sell them to brokers; with Damilola explaining that “there is a whole market structured around that”.

Both brothers studied at universities in Europe, with Olamide studying International Business at Schiller International University, Paris and gaining a second bachelors degree in Business Information at the University of Buckingham, UK; while Damilola studied Computer Engineering up to Masters level at the University of Nottingham, UK.

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Lexmark 2Q14 results exceed forecasts

July 23, 2014

lexmark-logoWhile OEM’s earnings fell 88 percent, adjusted results were better than expected, leading to an increased outlook for the year.

Market Watch reported on Lexmark’s second quarter results, which showed that earnings fell 88 percent year-on-year due to the previous year reaping the benefit from the sale of the company’s inkjet business. Consequently, the adjusted results actually exceeded Lexmark’s previous forecast, with the OEM increasing its outlook for the year as a result.

Following the second quarter results, Lexmark now expects revenue to be “flat to down two percent year-over-year” with adjusted per-share earnings of $0.85 (€0.63) to $0.95 (€0.71), compared to its earlier forecast for a decline of between two and four percent for $3.80 (€2.82) to $4 (€2.97) per share, which had been influenced by the company’s expectation of a “continued negative impact” from its exit from the inkjet business.

2Q14 saw the company achieve a profit of $37.5 million (€27.8 million) or $0.59 (€0.44) per share, down from 2Q13’s profit of $24.1 million (€17.9 million) or $1.47 (€1.09); while revenue increased by less than one percent to $891.8 million (€662 million). Operating expenses meanwhile increased by 40 percent to $288.8 million (€214.4 million).

The article noted that Lexmark’s business tactic against the maturing hardware market has been to “stick to its core business and add software around it”, which has differed to other OEMs such as Xerox which has “diversified further afield with new offerings, such as outsourcing”.

The Recycler reported in April on Lexmark’s first quarter results, which saw earnings fall 27 percent due to weaker product revenue and higher operating expenses; with profit reported at $29.3 million (€21.75 million).

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Asia/Pacific PC market meets expectations

July 22, 2014

pc asia pacSecond quarter results show region’s PC market increased two percent from the previous quarter but declined 10 percent year-on-year.

IDC reported on the second quarter results of the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market, noting that they came “close to expectations” with 24.3 million units shipped – marginally higher than IDC’s initial forecasts.

Shipments to an ongoing education project in India added about 100,000 units to the commercial PC segment; while the coup d’état in Thailand resulted in a “steep double-digit annual decline” due to channels being “wary to take in shipments”, and emerging markets in the region, such as Malaysia, were strengthened by Microsoft’s Bing program.

The top vendor for the region continued to be Lenovo, which saw “high sequential growth” in both China and India. The company had a strong sell-in in China following a “seasonally low” first quarter impacted by the Chinese New Year; while in India the vendor’s growth was triggered by the back-to-school campaign.

In second place was Dell, which was backed by strong growth in emerging markets such as India and Thailand “due to its increasing focus in the consumer segment and better relations with the channels”. Meanwhile, Acer replaced ASUS at the fourth spot due to its growth in several key markets, with “attractive entry-level product line-ups”.

Commenting on the results, Handoko Andi, Research Manager for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific, said: “The ongoing economic slowness in the emerging markets sets the tone of the overall PC demand and inhibited the region’s year-on-year growth. There are pockets of optimism coming from mature markets like ANZ [Australia and New Zealand], Singapore, and Hong Kong, where the smartphones and tablets near saturation. However, the region’s growth has been adversely impacted with the rise of large-screen smartphones in China and most ASEAN countries.”

The Recycler has reported that PC shipments saw a 10.5 percent year-on-year increase in the EMEA region during 2Q2014 (http://www.therecycler.com/posts/pc-shipments-grow-in-emea/); with worldwide PC shipments stabilising to show the smallest decline for two years at 1.7 percent year-on-year. (http://www.therecycler.com/posts/pc-market-stabilises-in-2q2014/)

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PC shipments grow in EMEA

July 21, 2014

ichartEurope, Middle East and Africa region sees 10.5 percent year-on-year increase in units shipped in 2Q2014 following seven quarters of consecutive decline.

IDC reported that PC shipments in EMEA reached 21.9 million units during the second quarter of the year, with Western Europe seeing the most growth as the region experienced “strong enterprise renewals” in the SMB space following the end of support for Windows XP, which contributed to an overall increase of 25 percent in the PC market.

The growth in Western Europe was also fuelled by an increase in commercial shipments of 26.9 percent as improving macroeconomic outlook strengthened business confidence. IDC added that this is “clear confirmation” that PCs remain key productivity tools for enterprises. The consumer segment also saw shipments accelerate, with some markets returning to levels of business close to their capacity. Shipments in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands particularly took off, with sell-in up by more than 40 percent.

The CEE (Central and Eastern Europe)region however declined by 13.2 percent as it continued to be impacted by the “unstable political and economic situation in Russia and by currency fluctuations”. Meanwhile the MEA region saw a modest increase in shipments of 1.9 percent.

The overall increase in shipments covered both portable PCs, which grew 8.3 percent, and desktop PCs, which increased 14.1 percent. However, IDC stated that the total increase in shipments “indicates a rebound in the market but not a recovery” due to shipment volumes still being below the 25 million unit mark seen in 2010 and 2012.

Chrystelle Labesque, Research Manager for IDC EMEA Personal Computing, said: “The clear improvements in EMEA are positive signs for PC manufacturers. However, there was still a big difference between the subregions, and especially in the consumer segment the divide between mature and emerging markets is similar to the worldwide trend.

“While some parts of the CEMA [Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa] PC market continued to suffer from unfavourable exchange rates and a difficult political situation, Western European shipments were fuelled by low-end consumer notebooks. Even if the comparison is eased by a very poor second quarter of 2013, more attractive products at the right price points encouraged more consumers to renew their devices.”

Commenting on the CEMA region, Stefania Lorenz, Associate Vice President, IDC CEMA, explained that the region had been “affected by the expected contraction from the Eastern countries: Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Russia and Ukraine suffered mostly from a slowdown in consumer demand, affected by the instability in both the economic and political situation, as well as high unemployment and a salary freeze. Kazakhstan remains affected by the dramatic currency devaluation, which is not expected to improve in the short term.”

However, Nikolina Jurisic, Product Manager at IDC CEMA, noted that “the central region has performed well above expectations”, with countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic reporting “strong double-digit growth year-on-year” as “PC growth was driven by both consumer and commercial segments, thanks to continual improvement in channel strategies from the players in the market, as well as the expected renewal of XP that is taking place”.

In terms of vendors, HP led the market with growth of more than 27 percent, aided by the OEM’s new product portfolio boasting “a strong product offer for consumers” as well as “effective strategy execution around One HP”. Lenovo followed as it achieved “significant” expansion across the region in the quarter, with a share of almost five percent. The company also increased its share in all three subregions; with its “wide product offering, channel coverage, and execution of the ‘protect and attack’ strategy” helping it to achieve “large gains in the consumer space in particular”.

Acer, Dell and ASUS took third, fourth and fifth positions respectively; with Acer outperforming the market “driven by Western Europe and the Middle East and Africa”. The reintroduction of its Extensa line-up provided growth in the commercial segment, while a new portfolio gave it stronger positioning in the consumer space.

Dell meanwhile performed in line with the market on the consumer side but missed out on the consumer volume rebound due to its weaker presence in that segment. The company “continued to leverage its commercial strength and the investment made in building an indirect channel in recent quarters, with the SMB segment being the most promising area”. Finally, ASUS performed above market average, with its “ramp-up” in the desktop area enabling it to gain market share in the region and portable PCs remaining its main contributor to shipments.

The Recycler reported recently that the worldwide PC market stabilised during the second quarter, with results showing the smallest decline in shipments for two years; totalling 74.4 million units.

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NAND ipl achieves Nordic Swan standard

July 17, 2014

The toner manufacturer has been awarded the environmental standard for its entire range of colour toners.Nordic Swan ecolabel

The company stated that every toner in its current series of chemical colour toners has passed the “very stringent” Nordic White Swan environmental standard testing version 5.1. Full details and further information on the achievement can be found at NAND’s website, www.nandipl.com.

NAND’s Managing Director and CTO, Dr. A Kumar Srivastava, stated: “We believe our unique manufacturing and patented technology, allied to our selection of high quality raw materials, ensures that the contaminants and TVOC (total volatile organic compounds) in NAND toners are kept to an absolute minimum.

“NAND understands that environmental criteria like Nordic White Swan will become ever more important in the aftermarket toner arena, as more and more institutions and European government bodies insist upon it in their tendering processes for remanufactured colour laser cartridges.”

Kumar Binit, CFO and Co-founder of NAND ipl, added: “With European distribution, warehousing, technical services, REACH compliance, and GHS/CLP systems all in place, and now achieving Nordic White Swan criteria, NAND is able to support its ever-growing European customer base and sales better than any of its competitors.”

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Xerox patent auction delayed

July 17, 2014

auctionOEM responds to requests for additional time before bidding, which had been scheduled for 24 to 29 July.

Democrat & Chronicle reported that Xerox has decided to postpone its planned auction of 239 US patents announced last week,with the auction now scheduled to take place between 11 and 16 September following “numerous requests” for additional time.

The patents, which “came out of research work at its various global R&D centres”, are to be sold in lots each estimated to be worth between $1 million (€734,500) and $10 million (€7.3 million), which will be organised into 26 different technology fields; including  audio communication, touchscreen, web content, networking and print systems.

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EU study finds ‘green’ economy can boost jobs

July 15, 2014

The study from the European Environment Agency (EEA) found that both jobs and innovation could grow from a resource-efficient, ‘green’ economy.eu flag

The agency reported on its study, which it notes found that European nations can both “create jobs and encourage innovation” through “using resources much more efficiently”, with the study describing a range of policies that have “proven environmental and economic benefits”.

The study, Resource-efficient green economy and EU policies, is said by the EEA to consider “how European economies can drive more efficient material resource use” as part of a “transition” towards what it calls a ‘green economy’, and the agency added that while “many environmental trends are gradually improving”, the EU will need a “fundamental, systemic reorientation of its economy if it is to meet some of its long- term environmental objectives”.

One such objective – cutting greenhouse gases by 80 to 95 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 – will “not be possible by solely relying” on small gains, and plans mooted by the report include reducing labour taxes and increasing tax of “inefficient resource use and environmental pollution”, with such taxes underused in the EU but offering potential “multiple benefits” such as “eco-innovations and competitiveness”.

Being strong in terms of environmental regulation could also give the EU a “competitive advantage” by influencing other markets to take it up as well, and the aim to increase manufacturing to 20 percent of GDP by 2020 “could be an opportunity to boost environmentally-beneficial innovation”, though this growth “must be consistent with EU environmental priorities” to avoid “negative consequences”.

On a slightly more negative note, the report added that the economic crisis, whilst “partially reducing emissions of greenhouse gases”, did not have much of an impact on long-term environmental trends, and in some cases “seems to have slowed progress”.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, commented: “Innovation may be the single most important driver to change the inefficient way we currently use resources. Environmental innovation is key to address the challenges of the 21st century.

“If we want to ‘live well within the ecological limits of the planet’ as stated in the 7th Environmental Action Programme, we will need to rely heavily on Europe’s inventiveness. This is not just about new inventions – encouraging the uptake and diffusion of new green technologies may be even more important.”

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A typical day at GIT Dubai

July 14, 2014

GIT Dubai's Andreea Olteanu. Credit Jeffrey E Biteng - The National

GIT Dubai’s Andreea Olteanu. Credit Jeffrey E Biteng – The National

Article presents a day in the life of a sales consultant at Dubai-based remanufacturer German Imaging Technology.

The National profiled a day in the shoes of German Imaging Technology (GIT) Sales Consultant Andreea Olteanu, who relocated from her home country of Romania to Abu Dhabi in 2011 before moving to Dubai and joining GIT in 2012.

Beginning work at 8am, Olteanu describes the first hour of her day as the part where she spends time in the office “checking emails, sorting out my schedule, making phone calls” as she uses the morning for administration tasks and the afternoon for being out of the office at meetings making sales pitches.

By 9am, she is making phone calls, explaining: “To make sales we have to check out the companies in Dubai and across the UAE. We have to know how many staff they have, what type of printers they have, what sort of usage they have. Everybody uses printers so we can save everybody money, but it is important we go into a sales meeting with some hard facts and knowledge about what sort of savings we can offer. We get the information by phone and then we schedule a meeting with the IT department or the purchase department.”

On a typical day, Olteanu said, “I usually have between five and seven meetings”. She noted that “it’s a simple pitch” for her to make to companies, with the main focus being the ability to save “30 to 40 percent of your printing costs and help the environment” as “we recycle all the parts of the toner cartridge in an ecological way”.

Travelling is a significant part of Olteanu’s job as her role covers “all the Northern Emirates”, and so she “can be in Ras Al Khaimah one day talking to a big corporation and in Dubai the next day talking to a government ministry as the Dubai Government is one of our customers”. She added that the market for cartridge recycling in the region is “huge”, with 100,000 companies registered in the UAE. According to Olteanu, this means that there is the potential to save “150,000 litres of oil” if GIT replaced one toner cartridge per company per month as “you need 1.5 litres of oil” to produce each toner cartridge.

At lunchtime, Olteanu highlights the opportunity to “mix business and pleasure” through lunch meetings, which she added “allow you to understand a customer’s needs far easier than the office environment”.

Between 3pm and 5pm, meetings dominate, with Olteanu meeting with big groups such as the Alshaya representatives and Al Futtaim, who “are heavy users of toner”; as well as with SMEs.

The article ends with the rest of Olteanu’s day taken up with everyday activities such as spending time catching up with family and friends, exercising and eating.

The Recycler visited GIT Dubai’s offices last year, and you can read an interview with CEO Dr Sassan Dieter Khatib-Shahidi in issue 246.

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PrinterCare declares bankruptcy

July 10, 2014

PrinterCareFollowing report of Laser Care GmbH filing for bankruptcy earlier this week, parent company PrinterCare also files for bankruptcy.

It has been confirmed that PrinterCare, which manufactures and distributes aftermarket toner cartridges in Germany, has also filed for bankruptcy in addition to linked company Laser Care GmbH, with Dr Philipp Grub of Grub Bugger listed as insolvency practitioner for both companies.

PrinterCare was established by Claus Grünig in 1993, who spun-off its production division in January 2013 to create Laser Care GmbH as an independent company. The company’s offices are based in Welzheim, Swabia.

Both companies filed for bankruptcy on 26 June, and as with Laser Care, PrinterCare’s insolvency is to be dealt with in a Stuttgart court.

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Xerox to auction hundreds of patents

July 9, 2014

patent-200x101As many as 239 patents in 26 different categories to be auctioned by the OEM, expected to generate millions of dollars.

Wall Street PR reported Xerox’s decisionto auction up to 239 patents in around 26 different technology fields, including audio communication, touchscreen, web content, networking and print systems; with each lot estimated to fetch between $1 million (€734,500) and $10 million (€7.3 million).

ICAP Patent Brokerage has been hired to help with the patent auction, with bids expected to take place between 24 and 29 July 2014.

It will be the first time Xerox has offered a large patent portfolio at auction, with the company usually selling its patents individually or in groups. This has caused some speculation that the company “has either lost the people who could have helped it in licensing the patents, or the patents don’t have much in them”, according to Mark Peterson, Founder and CEO of IP consulting firm Robinwood Consulting.

The OEM and its subsidiaries receive “about 1,000 US patents annually” and have “more than 12,000 active patents” in the country. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Sophie Vandebroek, reportedly said that it “always seeks to return the best value on innovation investments and the patents earmarked for auction reflect that commitment”.

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