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Print Audit looks to the future

March 7, 2018

A blog by the company has offered an oversight of the industry now, and how it will grow and change in the coming years.

Print Audit has published a new blog, taking the form of a discussion between Print Audit’s West McDonald and “old industry friend” Norm McConkey, of MPS Toolbox, on which direction the office equipment industry is heading in.

Discussing the “largest trends”, McConkey acknowledges that “pages are decreasing”, adding that “the amount of pages per user compared to 5 years ago and today, and what people will be printing a couple of years from now, is on a measurable downward trend.” However, he also states that even despite this decrease, if those pages still being printed are in colour, and new customers continue to arrive, “there’s tonnes of opportunity.”

McConkey also highlights the fact that “the functionality delta between an expensive A3 device and lower cost A4 has diminished, and if we don’t pay attention to this we’ll be constantly oversubscribing what customers need and it will eventually hurt our businesses.”

“Single function devices are a thing of the past as well,” he continues. “Customers want smaller more affordable devices that can scan, produce colour, and security functions all for a small price point.  Dealers should be looking to replace as many single function monochrome devices as quickly as possible.”

Throughout the blog, McConkey and McDonald also discuss how to align managed print more closely with what customers actually want and require, and the need to pay “closer attention to where the puck is going to be.”

A trend identified by McDonald is that of new “Mega Dealers.” He explains that, “for the first time in our history as a channel, we’re seeing economies of scale and size that are incredible,” before asking: “How do smaller dealers compete in the age of the Mega Dealer?”

McConkey explains, however, that companies merging and amalgamating isn’t a recent trend, but one that was happening even twenty years ago.

“Improving buying power and decreasing costs is a pretty simple equation, nothing new to the world of business,” he says. “I think what has changed, however, is the motivation around why smaller dealers are selling to these mega dealers: It’s because they are likely looking ahead 2 or 3 years and based on current realities are thinking it’s time to get out.”

Among the other trends discussed are Seat Based Billing, the ‘Everything as a Service’ idea, and the ‘package economy.’ McConkey also stipulates “how important an online option is for customers, even if we know the customers well.”

He finishes by stating that “the future looks very positive” for dealers who are willing to expand, but “for those dealers that just want to hunker down and weather the storm, the storm is only going to get worse.”


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