Florida Cartridge World franchise profiled

September 29, 2014

Enrique Yunis (second from right) and Francisco Garrido (right) with the Cartridge World Miami team. Credit Roberto Koltun, El Nuevo Herald

Enrique Yunis (second from right) and Francisco Garrido (right) with the Cartridge World Miami team. Credit Roberto Koltun, El Nuevo Herald

Article highlights success of franchise in Miami, along with master franchise responsible for Florida.

The article on El Nuevo Herald (Spanish) profiles the Cartridge World store on Coral Way, Miami owned by Enrique Tunis, noting that despite the rise of digital media, the franchise is still able to make $60,000 (€47,000) in sales each month, serving 5,000 customers in the area.

Yunis, an electronic engineer born in Santiago de Chile, explained that the continuing success of the franchise is due to people still choosing to print: “It is still important to print invoices, receipts and other documents on hotels, law offices, doctors, student centres, banks, pharmacies, among others,” he said. As a result, Yunis has had to double the space in the store since he took on the business a decade ago.

Yunis added that customer service and product quality is important to the business, explaining that “our technicians travel to each location in one of our two vans equipped with the materials needed to provide the service” and asserting that “despite being remanufactured cartridges, the company ensures optimum performance”.

There are 15 Cartridge World stores in Florida, with Francisco Garrido being the ‘master’ franchise responsible for all Florida stores with the aim of “revitalis[ing] the franchise market and creat[ing] strategic plans” for the company – a role he has had for six years.

In terms of his background, Garrido was “born in Spain, raised in Ukraine and lived in Canada”, graduating in International Business; before moving to Philadelphia 10 years ago where he owned an air cargo company deliveringto Europe, Asia and Africa. However, the breakdown in the economy meant that he and his wife decided to move to their apartment in Miami “to start over”. Until 2009, he worked selling and renting cars, before joining Cartridge World.

Yunis explained that Garrido, who will be opening two new franchises in the next three months, has already had an effect on the franchise: “When I bought the franchise, the ‘masters’ would not devote much time to the business. With Francisco, [the] organisation was structured, [and] we have meetings twice a year in Orlando or Tampa with other franchise owners, in which we exchange ideas and strategies.”

He added that one good idea Garrido has had is the ‘Bundle’ package, which has meant that as well as supplying inks and printer cartridges “we offer a complete service, we provide the machine, its supplies and maintenance for a gee that is more attractive to customers”.

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Ink prices may rise

September 29, 2014

The cost and availability of crude oil is impacting on ink prices.

The cost and availability of crude oil is impacting on ink prices.

Ink manufacturers warn shrinking margins could result in price hikes.

PrintWeek reported that there could be an increase in ink prices on the horizon following widespread rumours and a statement from Flint Group highlighting price increases of raw materials, which triggered other ink manufacturers to confirm that they are also facing rising costs.

Among those confirming rising costs are Sun Chemical and Stehlin Hostag/Hubegroup, with UK Managing Director of Stehlin Hostag, David Ward, noting that “it’s three years since the last price rises and it was difficult to pass them on at the time […] we’ve absorbed a lot of raw material prices; the trend is clearly up and needs to be addressed”.

The article states that the raw materials affected by rising prices “span all the major components of inks including resins, solvents, intermediates and pigments”, with prices increasing due to the increasing cost of crude oil “caused by numerous geopolitical problems in addition to tighter environmental regulations and some shortages in supply”.

Commenting on the increasing prices, Jan Paul van der Velde, Senior Vice-President for Procurement at Flint Group, said: “Since mid-2013, unfortunately several key raw materials have increased in price […] this was indicated at the end of last year and in May of this year, and now we see that this trend has become significant […] some red and yellow pigment intermediates, which are components of inks for every application rose by 30 to 50 percent over the past several months, and there is no end in sight for these increases.”

Another raw material rising in price is gum rosin, which peaked in 2011 at $3,500 (€2,760) but since the second half of 2013 has been rising again “due to concerted efforts by the Chinese market to extract higher values for gum rosin”.

A further reason for the rise in price of pigments and pigment intermediates is “tighter environmental regulations” in China and India, where the majority are manufactured, which has led to price pressures and supply shortages. An increase in transportation costs “throughout the supply chain” has also been a factor.

The article notes that ink prices have actually fallen recently as ink manufacturers usually struggle to make price rises stick, but adds that “this time […] it might be different as the ink firms are taking steps to improve their efficiency and align capacity with demand”.

Ink manufacturers have not yet specified how much ink prices will rise by, with many stating that they will need to monitor and evaluate changing market conditions. However, printers are encouraged to “be prepared and go into partnership with [their] suppliers” to “minimise the pain”.

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Changes to EU VAT rules to affect businesses

September 26, 2014

eu flagRule change will come into force from 1 January 2015, affecting VAT charges for broadcasting, telecommunications, and e-services.

The changes will be made to the EU VAT place of supply of services rules involving B2C supplies of broadcasting, telecommunications, and e-services, and will affect businesses that supply digital services to consumers only.

From January, VAT for e-services will be charged according to the country where the consumer receiving the goods/services is located, with the current rules seeing VAT charged based on where the supplier is located rather than the consumer. There will therefore be a need for businesses that supply digital services to consumers in other EU member states to apply the different VAT rates on the supplies for each relevant member state; with Airnews stating that VAT rates can “vary significantly throughout the EU from three percent in Luxembourg to 27 percent in Hungary”.

Affected businesses will also need to register for VAT in those member states. However, to save from having to register separately for each of the 28 member states, businesses can use the VAT Mini One Stop Shop (VAT MOSS), which will be available from 1 January but companies can register with from October 2014.

In preparation for the changes, Airnews suggests that businesses should “advise their suppliers of any specific instructions they may have with regard to implementation of the new rules” and that they should “consider the legal arrangements with suppliers and customers to ensure that the responsibility for dealing with tax and compliance issues is clearly defined”. They should also have a “clear pricing strategy in place”.

Businesses that supply consumers through an online store or gateway that is acting in its own name will be treated as supplying the store rather than the consumer, and so the rules will not directly affect them, with the online store or gateway being responsible for declaring and paying any VAT due.

More information on the VAT changes can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/posmoss/.

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Laura Heywood comments on UK remanufacturing inquiry

September 24, 2014

Laura Heywood

Laura Heywood

Director of UK remanufacturer Kleen Strike and Correspondence Secretary of UKCRA discusses how the Parliamentary inquiry should work towards recognising the benefits of remanufacturing.

Following the announcement in August of a Parliamentary inquiry into the UK remanufacturing industry, Laura Heywood has told The Recycler her view on why it is important and how remanufacturers should be better appreciated.

The inquiry aims to examine the industry’s growth potential, and is being jointly conducted by All-Party Parliamentary Groups from Manufacturing (APMG) and sustainability (APSRG); with the deadline for submissions of evidence for the inquiry set for this Friday 26 September, and the final report to be issued before Christmas 2014.

Noting that the Government asserts it is implementing greener policies via its Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) programmes, Heywood said “to achieve this, it needs to take responsibility and put environmental value over price and lead by example.  If the Government did, it would deliver a strong message of being seen to support a ‘circular economy’ and encouraging others to follow”.

In terms of remanufactured printer consumables, Heywood said: “Giving preference to purchasing UK remanufactured toners not only saves jobs but also leads the way for a more sustainable future.

“The European Parliament says it ‘takes the view that, in order to develop the full potential of public procurement, the criterion on lowest price should no longer be the determining one for the award of contracts’ and that ‘suppliers should be asked for their measurement proposals as an indication of their commitment to improve sustainability’. One way is for carbon disclosure reporting to be part of their bid evaluation. In one Local Authority tender, a remanufacturer lost a tender to supply printer cartridges solely due to ‘price’ being 70 percent of the score value. What message does that give our industry?”

Heywood noted that former Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, who is chairing the inquiry alongside Barry Sheerman MP, commented that Parliament and UK industry do not yet fully appreciate remanufacturing, and that remanufacturing must become mainstream if UK industry is to fully accept and embrace environmental sustainability; along with reducing the consumption of virgin raw materials and even developing a ‘comparative advantage’.

In response, Heywood said: “Let’s hope that the recommendations from the forthcoming report are adopted by the Government and that the Government takes responsibility and leads by example by putting measures in place to encourage the purchase of UK-produced remanufactured toners and inkjets, rather than purchasing new original brand replacement cartridges – or opting for the convenience of a managed print service contract. Neither of these options is cost effective when compared to using UK remanufactured cartridges or the best environmental option for a low carbon sustainable future.”

She added: “Further steps need to be taken to encourage the UK remanufacturing industry, as a whole, to better understand the huge environmental and economic potential that remanufacturing offers. Our industry has always been active in promoting reuse – it was through the efforts of the UK remanufacturing industry that the wording  ‘reuse’ was even included in the WEEE Directive – up until our intervention, it was seen to be a Directive on just how to deal with waste.

“Our industry welcomes this Parliamentary enquiry. The benefits are clear – but it will only have teeth if the UK Government supports UK remanufacturing wherever possible.”

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HP sets carbon reduction goals

September 24, 2014

Green businessOEM aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for entire value chain; including operations, supply chain and product portfolio.

Yahoo! Finance reported on HP’s announcement that it aims to reduce the emissions intensity of its product portfolio by 40 percent by 2020 compared to levels recorded in 2010; with the OEM reportedly “the only global IT company to have set carbon reduction goals for all three parts of its value chain”.

A previous goal had been set by HP to reduce emissions from its operations by 20 percent by 2020, which had been built on the company’s goal of a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions achieved “two years early” in 2011. Furthermore, in 2013, HP set a goal to “drive a 20 percent decrease in first-tier manufacturing and product transportation-related GHG emissions intensity by 2020”.

The environmental impact of HP’s product portfolio accounts for approximately 61 percent of the OEM’s total carbon emissions. Previous initiatives undertaken by HP to lower emissions have included “improving data centre efficiencies by developing energy-efficient solutions such as the HP Moonshot server architecture”, which is said to consume “up to 89 percent less energy”, use “80 percent less space” and cost “77 percent less than a traditional server environment”.

Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President and Chief Progress Officer of Corporate Affairs at HP, commented: “As one of the world’s largest IT companies, we believe we are uniquely positioned to help our company and our customers lower carbon emissions by developing more sustainable technologies that replace outdated, inefficient processes and behaviours. With this new emissions goal, we are once again demonstrating our commitment to building a low-carbon economy that creates a better future and a healthier world for generations to come.”

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HP considered selling PC and printing businesses

September 23, 2014

The OEM came close to selling off its PC and printing businesses in merger talks with cloud technology company EMC.hp11

CRN reported on other investigations by both CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, which found that HP “considered spinning off [its] PC and printing business[es]” as part of merger discussions with EMC, a “global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver information technology as a service”.

The two business units, which CRN states are worth a combined $56 billion (€43 billion), were considered by HP as possible spin-off sales in merger discussions with EMC, which are “no longer ongoing”, having broken down “with regard to the price of the deal”. Neither company would comment on the reports, but the Wall Street Journal had reported that EMC had been “under pressure from an activist investor” in addition to facing “the potential retirement” of CEO Joe Tucci.

As a consequence, the company had then “held merger and acquisition discussions with both HP and Dell”, but these did not come to fruition. CRN interviewed a host of anonymous CEOs and partners who work with HP to get their views, with one large enterprise partner stating that such a deal would “not [have] negatively impact[ed] his business” as HP “internally treats its enterprise business and its PC and printing businesses as two separate groups”.

The CEO added that he would “welcome a deal given that it would result in more muscle under a single vendor partner […] it would be easier for us as an HP and an EMC partner”. Another enterprise CEO saw it as a “big opportunity for the channel […] where there is change and transition, there is opportunity. Where there is chaos, there is lots of opportunity”.

Other partners interviewed meanwhile noted that they had heard a potential deal would have “included a spin-off of certain parts of the business”, with the deal “dead at this point” as “EMC wanted too much for HP”, though one added: “Could it come back alive? Oh yes.”

HP’s PC business performed strongly in its recent quarterly results, with sales up by 12 percent to $8.64 billion (€6.7 billion), though the printer business’ sales were down by four percent to $5.59 billion (€4.3 billion). CRN gave context to the potential deal, stating that a hedge fund bought a stake in EMC last year before Tucci’s plans to retire in 2015 were announced, with no successor yet named.

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Consumables purchasers most stressed in SMBs

September 18, 2014

A Staples survey found that small business owners spending more time managing printer consumables are “most stressed”.work-personalities

The survey, called Know Your Type, focused on “identifying workplace personalities” as well as discovering the purchasing habits of SMB owners when it comes to inkjet and toner cartridges, with management of this aspect of a business causing “high stress levels” for business owners. 300 SMB owners were surveyed from companies varying in size from one to 19 employees and 20 to 49 employees.

One third of SMB owners who classified printing as “very important to their business” were said to have either “high” or “very high” levels of stress, with those spending more time managing printer consumables “the most stressed”. More than 70 percent of the owners surveyed described their position in the workplace as a “hands-on doer”, in that they “prefer to dive in and tackle the work themselves, rather than spending time convincing others to take action”.

38 percent of owners identified as “helpers”, meaning that they “focus on the well-being of others and what they can do to help”, and these owners “have high stress” when purchasing printer consumables. 85 percent of “helpers” are “somewhat last minute in buying ink and toner”, and more than 75 percent “frequently run out of ink and toner during a job at least some of the time”, with 69 percent buying their consumables at a retail outlet.

“Creative” owners, who “prefer going with the flow and working with minimal structure or direction”, are said to be “more organised than they appear […] keeping ink and toner supplies organised”, with the survey finding that 57 percent of creative types “tend to stockpile or keep just enough ink and toner on hand”, though 60 percent of these had “forgotten” the model number of the cartridge they needed “when shopping”.

Finally, the “organiser”, who would “prefer to create structure and follow a routine”, is the one SMB owner that “recycles more”, with 68 percent of “organisers” saying that they “always recycle their ink and toner cartridges”; Staples added that recycling used cartridges “is particularly common” among these SMB owners.

Alison Corcoran, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Staples, stated: “Small business owners tend to operate as CEOs – chiefs of everything. Their focus needs to be on increasing productivity and running a company as efficiently as possible, not worrying about their ink and toner.”

Michael ‘Dr. Woody’ Woodward PhD, an organisational psychologist, added: “Doing it all can mean losing it all. Being hands-on isn’t necessarily a good thing, particularly when it comes to growing a business. Knowing your workplace personality type can help you manage others more efficiently, so you can spend more time on CEO duties.”

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Lenovo could launch printers worldwide

September 16, 2014

TechRadar believes the Chinese manufacturer might consider a global printer launch in 2016.lenovo-printers-900-80

The site has warned OEMs including HP to “watch out”, as printers “could be Lenovo’s next big thing”, having already launched printers in the Chinese market in August 2013, which TechRadar stated was a “low-key announcement” that “barely registered on western technology websites”.

Noting that this was “unlike other Lenovo announcements”, and that “you can’t even find a review of one of them online”, the site believes however that news of the launch “must have reached HP and other vendors months before” due to them being manufactured by the Kinpo Group, whose production lines “churn out half of the printers sold globally”, and believes there is a chance the Chinese company might expand to worldwide sales.

However, it reflected that the global printing market “is tricky”, using the example of Seine Technology’s Pantum printer, which had “big global ambitions in the printer market” after “having done particularly well in the highly-lucrative consumables arena”. Lenovo’s sister company Legend Capital acquired 15 percent of Seine in a “clear indication of the validity of its business model” before the launch of the Pantum brand in 2012 worldwide “having captured five percent of the Chinese market in 2011”.

The Pantum however saw “disappointing” sales, in Europe particularly, and TechRadar notes that the company earned the “unenviable British record of the cheapest brand new laser printer on the market as the channel got rid of remaining stocks”, with some machines “literally being given away when purchasing five reams of A4 paper”.

The site went on to state that the outcome “is likely to be different for Lenovo” if it is “willing to invest in the channel and take some calculated risks” in printer manufacturing, because “unlike Pantum, it is not an unknown brand”, which gives it a “lot of goodwill value and a lot of powerful relationships across the channel”, whilst adding another product line “will not require as much effort as Pantum’s failed endeavour”.

Pointing out the company “needs to find another long term engine of growth” after mobile phones and computers, TechRadar uses the example of how much money HP earned from printers in the last quarter - with $5.59 billion (€4.3 billion). With the world “printing more than ever before”, the site believes that 2016 “might be the year when […] Lenovo finally goes global with its printer range”.

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UK businesses unaware of new waste laws

September 12, 2014

Recycling-Bins-780x585Survey finds 90 percent of UK businesses are “completely unaware” of new changes to waste disposal law, putting them at risk of being fined.

The survey, conducted by BusinessWaste.co.uk, involved 1,700 small businesses in the UK, with just 10 percent of business owners found to have any knowledge of the imminent changes to waste laws in England and Wales, which will come into force from January 2015 and will require businesses to significantly alter their waste management processes.

The amendment to the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 will mean that businesses in England and Wales will be legally obliged to ensure the separate storage and collection of paper, glass, metal and plastic waste; with those who fail to comply faced with potentially unlimited fines.

Following a summary conviction in a magistrate’s court, businesses could face a fine of £5,000 ($8,100/€6,300); but for more serious offences that are heard in a crown court, businesses could face “totally unlimited” fines.

Alex Wignall, Customer Services Manager at BusinessWaste.co.uk, commented: “It is shocking that 90 percent of the businesses we spoke to had no idea that these changes are set to come into law very soon. The cost of not complying with these new regulations could be catastrophic for businesses – small businesses in particular.

“Businesses don’t have much time left to implement these changes, so if they aren’t separating their recyclables already then they really need to start right now. If they don’t, they could find themselves being slapped with unlimited fines by the courts, something which can obviously cause huge damage to any business involved.”

The new legislation originated from the EU Waste Framework Directive, and means that co-mingling recyclables with non-recyclable waste types will become a criminal offence. However, mixing recyclable waste types together will still be categorised as separation and will be permitted. The new waste regulations resemble those already in force across Scotland.

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Governments and businesses working towards circular economy

September 11, 2014

A number of manufacturers have begun to take a lead in working towards a circular economy.RecycleItStand

Marketing Week reported on the moves towards implementing a circular economy model through governments and businesses, with some brands “pushed towards” rethinking manufacturing, and governments promoting the idea that “recycling is about to get serious”.

The site notes that with the world’s population set to increase to nine billion by 2050, the “strain on natural resources is ever-tighter”, with the circular economy the “latest buzz phrase” to describe an “ideal economic system in which all products and industrial activities are recyclable”. It adds that the idea is “a direct challenge to marketers to devise alternative strategies” to products having a defined lifecycle, meaning they would need to consider eco-design from the outset.

One manufacturer seeking to “take a lead” is Philips, which has “set up a circular economy team to focus on innovation”, with ideas including “repurposing old components in its healthcare equipment business to build new products”, and a target of “using 3,500 tonnes of recycled plastics in its consumer electronics division in 2015”.

The idea of going beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) was also addressed, with the site noting that “sustainability should permeate every aspect of a company’s activity, from the products it makes to the energy it uses […] undertaking these kinds of process improvements will create savings across [businesses] that will ultimately benefit the bottom line”, with management consultants McKinsey & Company claiming businesses “could derive” over $1 trillion (€773 billion) of value each year “from materials that are presently deemed to be waste”.

Marketing Week points out that many governments are implementing or investigating the circular economy, with the European Commission’s Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe report published in July with the aim to develop “new business models, eco-design and industrial symbiosis [that] can move us towards zero-waste”, alongside pledges to increase packaging waste recycling to 80 percent and lower food waste by 30 percent by 2030.

One recent example is the French government’s move in August to “compel electronics retailers in the country to make space in their shops so that consumers can drop off old devices such as mobile phones, toasters and kettles for recycling”. UK MP Laura Sandys also proclaimed the circular economy model in July, as The Recycler previously reported.

Whilst Marketing Week’s article notes that “such reports are unlikely to herald a sudden regulatory overhaul […] they do, however, show that the circular economy has become part of the mainstream political discourse, and is likely to prompt a gradual creep of measure that brands must adapt to”.

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