This Week in Imaging: Are Weak Financials Due to Less Office Printing? Samsung Steps up for Employees; More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Again this week, several copier/MFP Japanese vendors reported weak financial news, and slower results for MFP and printer sales year-over-year. These include Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Epson, Foxconn’s Sharp, and OKI. Virtually all cited an increase in the value of Japanese yen versus the U.S. dollar as a key factor. (The yen’s appreciation makes Japanese products more expensive – and less price-competitive – overseas, which is said to result in lower sales; Additionally, profits made abroad are worth less when brought back home.)

Keep in mind of course that these results aren’t necessarily an indictment of office printing, but probably also reflect slowing global economic conditions. While office print volumes are declining, it’s been a very gradual rate, and the paperless office is still very far off for most offices – for instance, see this recent AIIM study indicating that only 25 percent of respondents state that their offices are paperless, and a Xerox study indicating that half of respondents’ enterprises are still paper-based.

We suspect that for most enterprises, paper will continue to remain a very significant portion of document processes, with documents either originating in paper or digital form, and typically being converted back at least once into paper or digital form via printing or scanning. The scanning portion of the process has become increasingly important, along with the hardware for scanning, and the solutions for classifying scanned documents, extracting key information from them, and storing and sharing them digitally, which is increasingly done offsite via the cloud.

That said, also keep in mind that the demand for commercial applications such a package-, label- and large-format printing is on the rise, and the vendors best equipped to provide the solutions to do so can reap the benefits.

In the “that’s nice work if you can get it” department, Samsung Electronics of Korea gave employees of its Printing Solutions group bonuses of approximately $52,000 because these employees had been concerned about their job security due to the pending acquisition of the Samsung printer group by HP Inc. (expected to be completed next year). This is something unheard of in the United States. We hope that American companies can take a page from Samsung … and profit. As billionaire Richard Branson put it in an interview: “If the person who’s working for your company is not given the right tools, is not looked after, is not appreciated, they’re not gonna do things with a smile and therefore the customer will be treated in a way where often they won’t want to come back for more. So, my philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customers second, and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and (you) yourself are happy.”

Financial News

  • Tough Six Months for Konica Minolta, as Revenue, Profits Decline – Read more here.
  • Smaller Loss for Sharp’s Six Months, but Revenues Decline – Read more Smaller Loss for Sharp’s Six Months, but Revenues Declinehere.
  • OKI Records Extraordinary Loss for First Half, Cuts Full-Year Forecast – Read more here.
  • Kyocera Cites Stronger Yen for Lower Sales, Net Income in First Half – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • Samsung Forms ‘S-Printing Solution’ Company Prior to Sale to HP; Compensates Employees for ‘Job Security’ Issues – Read more here.
  • HP Inc. Marks 1st Anniversary: Looks Back on its 3D Printers, Samsung Acquisition, Copier-Market Disruption – Read more here.
  • New Epson Factory in Japan to Triple Epson’s Inkjet-Print-Head Manufacturing – Read more here.
  • Panasonic to Provide Scan-Optic Cloud-Based Document-Capture Services – Read more here.
  • Why HP A3 PageWide Color Inkjet Printing for the Office? – Read more here.

Commercial- and Productin-Printing News

  • New Fiery Digital Front Ends for Xerox Color C60/C70 Light-Production Printers – Read more here.

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November 2016

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