UK cartridge retailer feels benefit of economic growth

July 30, 2014

inksquidlogoThe Ink Squid, based in Blackpool, has experienced growth in the north-west of England.

Blackpool Gazette reported on how the region in the north-west of England, including the city of Blackpool, is beginning to feel the “effects of [a] rising economy”, with printer cartridge etailer The Ink Squid noting that it is seeing “big improvements in business”.

The UK economy has grown 0.8 percent in the past three months, which means it is “now bigger than its pre-recession peak”, with manufacturing seeing 0.2 percent growth, and the news outlet pointed out that the turnaround “is being put down to a variety of factors”, and not just “those prompted by government policies”.

The Ink Squid’s Adrian Meakin commented: “I would say we are definitely seeing big improvements. Summer is our quiet time – anything that takes people away from a computer is bad for us, so hot weather, Commonwealth Games and the holiday season are all bad for us.

“Nevertheless, we are still doing well – far better than this time last year. We also sell a lot business to business and almost everyone we talk to is reporting an increase in business. The same for the businesses I network with – happy times all round I would say.”

Additionally, Paul Foster, Development Manager for Lancashire at the Federation of Small Business (FSB) Development Manager, added: “The national picture is welcoming and while the figures announced could yet be revised, the pattern of an improving UK economy is clear.

“What the data does tell us is that growth is being driven by the service sector, with manufacturers and construction output still lagging behind. To get these sectors really moving we need to ensure that we create the correct environment for investment locally, encouraging small businesses to grow and foreign investment into the area, too. Enabling our small businesses to export and reach into new markets would also be a boost to the local economy.”

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Cartridge World North America shares student saving tips

July 30, 2014

The franchise has discussed how its stores can help students save money.cartridge world

Cartridge World stated that it is “making sure students get a passing grade when it comes to selecting the right printing supplies”, with Marketing Director Tom McLaughlin stating that “students are so busy getting ready for college, they don’t have time to research printers. They can save a small fortune if they visit Cartridge World before stopping at a Big Box store. We’ll help students choose the right printer for their needs”.

McLaughlin added that “tech-savvy students probably need a printer that’s Wi-Fi direct and capable of receiving print jobs from smart phones, tablets and laptops while running between classes”, and the franchise believes that students can save “as much as” $50 (€37) a year “if they use just two sets of inkjet cartridges”, whilst many stores “also provide student and teacher discounts”.

Three tips on how students can “find the best printer” included “determine the cost for ink [which] can be 10 times as much as the printer”; “stay away from printers that use tri-colour ink cartridges”, as the ink “costs a fortune because when one colour is empty, you need to replace the entire cartridge”; and finally “look for reliability […] take expert advice […] read reviews and make sure the printer lasts for four years”.

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Jet Service announces summer closing dates

July 30, 2014

jetserviceThe company will close for the summer on 9 August.

Jet Service has stated that it will close down for the summer on 9 August, and will reopen on 25August, adding in turn that it will operate reduced hours from 25 August until 29 August of 9am to 2pm, with normal hours of 9am until 1pm and 3pm until 7pm resuming on 1 September.

If your company is closing down for the summer, and you’d like us to help spread the word, email us at news@therecycler.com.

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Study finds consumers perceive remanufactured products as “dirty”

July 29, 2014

laser_ink_phone_recycleThe study by a US business college found that negative perceptions of remanufactured products as “dirty and disgusting” are leading to fewer purchases.

The reportRemanufactured Products in Closed-Loop Supply Chains for Consumer Goods, was written by Penn State Smeal College of Business’ faculty members Meg Meloy and V. Daniel R. Guide Jr., and states that remanufacturers in different industries “will have to overcome a big barrier” to “increase market share of remanufactured consumer products”, due to consumers perceiving many remanufactured products as “dirty and disgusting”.

Remanufacturing of a product means something that has been “disassembled, cleaned, and […] reassembled and returned to the market” after “replacement of any worn or defective parts”, according to the report, and the writers state that remanufacturing “represent[s] a significant opportunity for businesses aiming to increase sustainability”.

However, remanufactured products are said to “only account” for around five to 10 percent of the consumer market, and the report states that part of the reason for the low market share is “consumer perception that many of these products are dirty or disgusting”, despite the “thorough sterilisation process that products undergo as part of the remanufacturing process”.

Disgust “plays a particularly strong role” when the products are used in food or personal cleanliness, but the report’s authors note that these perceptions add a “previously undocumented and powerful predictor of remanufactured product attractiveness”, adding that “fully mitigating these negative perceptions […] may prove difficult”.

Even those who buy based on a product’s environmental credentials, who “are often more willing” to use remanufactured products for this reason, do not “necessarily have a significantly more positive perception of remanufactured products”, which was a finding running contrary to the report’s hypothesis that remanufacturing’s environmental benefits would be positive for users.

The authors added that “such a finding indicates that some green-minded consumers may not fully appreciate the potentially environmentally-friendly or green attributes of a remanufactured product”, and that remanufacturers “will need to reduce consumer perceptions of disgust directed at these products in order to make them more viable”.

Reminding consumers of the “environmentally-friendly aspects” of using remanufactured products would perhaps then increase “green” consumers’ “positive perceptions” of the products, and in turn “hold[s] promise as one way to potentially remove the barrier to this market”.

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Xerox reports second quarter results

July 28, 2014

Total revenue fell by three percent, but OEM maintains the quarter “demonstrates progress”.nr_Xerox_Square_Building_with_New_Logo_2008Jan7-prv

The results for 2Q2014 saw total revenue of $5.3 billion (€3.9 billion), a three percent fall, though its services business, which makes up 57 percent of the total revenue, saw a growth of two percent to $3 billion (€2.2 billion), whilst in turn its document technology business, representing 40 percent of revenue, fell seven percent to $2.1 billion (€1.5 billion).

The OEM’s operating profit for the quarter came in at $514 million (€382 million), a growth of one percent, whilst $325 million (€241 million) of cash flow was generated from operations in the quarter, meaning $611 million (€454 million) was generated in the first half of the year. Xerox also repurchased $204 million (€151 million) in stock in the quarter, totalling $479 million (€356 million) purchased in the first half of the year.

Acquisitions cost the OEM $227 million (€168 million) for the quarter and $281 million (€209 million) for the half year, though Xerox noted that the expenditure “strengthen[ed] our services portfolio”.

Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox, commented: “The second quarter demonstrates progress in executing on our strategy. In our services business, revenue growth and margin are trending well in commercial services, document outsourcing and internationally. Services segment margin improvement was muted by continued pressure in our government healthcare business including unplanned impairment charges.

“Our document technology business continues to deliver strong profitability through a disciplined and effective approach to operations. As we enter the second half of the year, we are focused on improving on our progress and capitalising on opportunities that will shape the success of our business. Our business continues to deliver strong cash flow that gives us the flexibility to invest in growth, build shareholder value now and in the future, and positions us well to deliver on our expectations.”

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Uninet Europe completes first phase of relocation

July 25, 2014

Uninet's new office

Uninet’s new office

Barcelona-based manufacturer and solutions provider told The Recycler it has successfully completed the first phase of its relocation, with offices already in place and doing business as usual.

Uninet stated that the new offices in Barcelona are “bigger”, with a new extended technical training room created to “accommodate internal as well as customer training”.

However, the company added that moving the warehouse “will be a bigger task to complete” and so it is obliged to close the warehouse for five business days. The warehouse closure will start on Friday 8 August at 3pm, re-opening on Monday 18 August at 9am.

During this period, sales operations will be “business as usual”, with customers able to place orders, get quotes and receive technical support. Customers are however urged to place orders before the warehouse closure to ensure that they do not run out of stock during Uninet’s move.

Hector Aguirre, General Manager of Uninet Europe, commented: “The complete relocation will allow Uninet to increase the level of service to its customers, as well as greatly improve the company’s work flow. We believe all of our customers can soon enjoy the benefits of our new home.”

The company added that its new contact information for your records are:

UniNet Imaging Europe SL

Avinguda del progrés, 52

08340- Vilassar de Mar (Barcelona)

All other contact information will remain the same:

Website: http://www.uninetimaging.com/

Phone: 0034-937571335

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LMI Solutions acquires Printersdirect

July 25, 2014

handshakeArizona-based cartridge remanufacturer announces “strategic acquisition” of Atlanta-based business printer remanufacturer.

The acquisition announced by LMI is said to “strengthen” the company’s “commitment to provide the imaging channel with a full line-card of OEM alternative consumables, hardware and related print solutions”; and follows another recent acquisition by the company as it consolidates both Printersdirect and Global Printer Services (GPS).

The three companies together aim to enable customers to “leverage a complete end-to-end strategy to grow recurring revenues and profitability with top-quality remanufactured printers, remanufactured toner and managed print infrastructure services”; with Printersdirect clients being “leading distributors” of imaging supplies and parts in North America and the company selling under the MPS Ready brand.

Commenting on the acquisition, Gary Willert, President and CEO of LMI Solutions, said: “We’re listening to our customers and responding with investments like this acquisition to give dealers, whether buying direct or through distribution, another advantage over their competition.

“The remanufactured printer hardware category has become increasingly important to dealers who rely upon remanufactured consumables as a profitable alternative to high priced OEM [consumables]. Many resellers have discovered after the fact that when customers ‘upgrade’ to new devices, they are also inadvertently returned to purchasing OEM cartridges. This causes the end users’ printing costs to dramatically increase and reseller profits to plummet.

“As a result, solution resellers are asking for an alternative to new devices – a device that has been engineered to perform as well as new, but which utilises affordable and sustainable cartridges. That solution is a high-quality remanufactured printer.”

On behalf of Printersdirect, Steve Francis, President of the company, commented: “We’re thrilled to position the team behind LMI’s ambitious strategy of providing the aftermarket with a full set of products and services that mirror the OEMs’. With the combined strengths of the three organisations, we are uniquely positioned to support our partners and are focused on delivering advances in product quality, programs and after sales service. This is a big win for any reseller interested in maintaining and increasing their market share while expanding their imaging offering.”

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Static Control appoints new Senior Sales Executive

July 25, 2014

Stephen Wall

Stephen Wall

Largest manufacturer of aftermarket imaging systems and components expands its UK sales team with appointment of Stephen Wall.

Announcing further developments to its UK and Scandinavia sales team, Static Control has appointed Stephen Wall as Senior Sales Executive, effective 14 July; with the company appointing a number of other sales team members in recent weeks, including Nick Bush as Unit Business Manager and David Gibbins as Junior Unit Business Manager.

Wall joins Static Control with a background in retail sales management and printer cartridge sales, having previously worked as a Store Manager for Dixons Stores Group before becoming a Smart Cartridge franchisee in 2004. This franchise business he developed over 10 years, eventually owning and managing five retail stores. He was also appointed Smart Cartridge UK Franchise Trainer, with Static Control stating that he has a “comprehensive understanding of ink and toner remanufacturing, as well as retail sales and store management”.

Commenting on his new position at Static Control, Wall said: “It is an excellent opportunity for me to come on board with a company that values customer service as highly as Static Control. I hope that through integrating my industry experience I will play a vital role in the ongoing success of the team. “

Meanwhile, Jason Doran, Sales Manager for Western Europe at Static Control, said: “The UK and Scandinavia team goes from strength to strength, having already added the talents of David Gibbins and Nick Bush this year. I am wholly confident that Stephen will prove to be another asset, and we welcome the support his credentials in the remanufacturing industry will bring to our customers across the region.”

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Canon sees mixed 2Q2014 results

July 24, 2014

CanonLaser printers maintained “steady growth”, while inkjet printer sales decreased.

The OEM’s results saw MFD and laser printer sales continue to grow as the overall market for inkjet printers decreased, due to “the increase in consumption tax in Japan”.

Net sales fell by 4.1 percent to ¥926.8 billion ($9.176 billion/€6.812 billion) for the quarter, but increased 0.6 percent over the first half of the year to ¥1,795.1 billion ($17.773 billion/€13.198 billion). Efforts to reduce spending saw operating expenses fall by 1.6 percent to ¥373.0 billion ($3.693 billion/€2.721 billion), and operating profit grew by 12.4 percent to ¥110.5 billion ($1.095 billion/€806 million).

Other income grew by ¥5.9 billion ($59 million/€43 million) due to “foreign currency exchange gains”, and income before tax increased by 18.3 percent to ¥117.0 billion ($1.158 billion/€853 million). Additionally, operating profit for the first half of 2014 grew by 26.2 percent to ¥193.2 billion ($1.913 billion/€1.409 billion).

Sales of MFDs allowed the Office Business Unit’s sales to “remain the same level” as the year before, largely thanks to the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5200 series, whilst high-speed continuous-feed printers and wide-format machines were boosted by “solid growth” thanks to sales of the Océ ColorStream 3000.

Laser printers saw monochrome remain “sluggish”, but colour grew, with sales for the quarter increasing 0.5 percent to ¥522.5 billion ($5.173 billion/€3.81 billion), and for the first six months of the year growing by 4.8 percent to ¥1,031.7 billion ($10.215 billion/€7.583 billion), while operating profit increased by 17.8 percent to ¥160.6 billion ($1.590 billion/€1.180 billion).

Inkjets meanwhile saw sales volumes fall thanks to “market contraction in Japan”, though consumable sales “remained at the same level”, meaning that overall inkjet sales fell by 13.9 percent to ¥332.4 billion ($3.291 billion/€2.443 billion), and operating profit fell 9.4 percent to ¥51.0 billion ($505 million/€374 million). For the half-year, sales fell 8.6 percent to ¥625.2 billion ($6.190 billion/€4.959 billion), and operating profit grew by 9.7 percent to ¥93.0 billion ($921 million/€683 million).

The OEM stated that demand for MFDs is “projected to expand moderately”, and mainly in colour, whilst laser printers are “expected to continue growing moderately” with an emphasis on MFPs. In turn, inkjet is expected to see “an end to dwindling demand”.

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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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