Printer Manufacturers continuing to look outside the office print box
When HP acquired Indigo back in 2001, many in the industry questioned the move, but today, the acquisition has proven to be a huge success for HP, who like other office printer manufacturers was searching for ways to grow their printing business knowing that the office printing market would eventually be in decline, and they were right. So, HP pursued the commercial print pages, taking business away from the traditional offset press manufacturers. Subsequent to the Indigo acquisition, HP acquired Scitex in 2005 and NUR in 2007 with the intent of grabbing more and more of those commercial pages. Since then, most of today’s printer manufacturers are also pursuing those large volumes of commercial print pages.
Printer manufacturers are pursuing other non-office printing opportunities many of which are involved in some form of industrial or manufacturing application such as 3D printing, direct printing on to durable goods, label printing, ID card printing, bar code printing, and wide format printing (printing on textiles, signage etc.). Xerox acquired Impika in 2013, Ricoh acquired Hitachi Koki’s printing business in 2004 including their industrial inkjet technology and later acquired Anajet’s wide format printing business in 2016, Canon acquired OCE in 2009 to complement their high end production offerings, and Okidata acquired Seiko Instruments, Inc in 2015 to put them into the wide format printer business which is growing faster than the office printing market. All of these acquisitions were made knowing that the office printing market would continue to decline.
The need to look outside the office printing box is not exclusively a printer manufacturer challenge since the channel is also pursuing opportunities outside their traditional office market. If you are an MPS provider, why not look outside the office and include bar code printers and ID card printers in an enterprise as part of your MPS offering? Zebra, the leader in the bar code, ID card printing market had revenues of $3.6B in 2016 and this market continues to grow!
So, for manufacturers who wish to slug it out exclusively in a declining office market where the only way to grow is to take business from someone else, you might rethink your strategy and look outside the office printer box for growth in revenue and profits.