Last week, we began a series that gives industry leaders a venue to talk about their highlights from 2016 and their expectations for 2017. This week we hear from Sharp Electronics Corporation, BEI Services, Des Plaines Office Equipment, Bay Copy, and Toshiba America Business Solutions.
Sharp Electronics Corporation
“2016 was a big year for Sharp Electronics Corporation in the document business. Not only did we launch our vendor managed inventory program with Tech Data Corporation, which helps our dealers expand their portfolio, we also had an aggressive product launch plan that saw 16 new MFP and interactive display models. These initiatives allowed us to provide our dealers with the latest technology in the marketplace and as a result helped expand our market share considerably in the third quarter of the year. Additionally, Sharp Corporation was revitalized when, in August, Foxconn Technology finalized their investment in Sharp, with a 66 percent ownership in the corporation. This really got our dealers excited as they realized that although they had already been growing and improving their business with Sharp, it was going to get even better.
“Our future strategy will revolve around helping our dealers provide a better working environment for their customers by integrating the right technology for their needs into their specific working environments. This will mean that our solutions will be more customized, since the workflow for a law firm, at a doctor’s office or at a title company are all very different. Key to this strategy will be an understanding on behalf of our dealers of how their customers are using office technology and how our dealers can leverage Sharp to customize those solutions for them.” — Mike Marusic, chief operating officer Sharp Electronics Corporation and vice president, marketing, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America
“2016 has been a very exciting year for BEI. We have successfully transitioned BEI from being a data focused company to a solution-focused one. With the launch of AIM (Advanced Inventory Management), Technician Insight, REACH Leadership Development, Supplies Auditing, and the beta testing of our Leadership Vison module, we are positioned to make 2017 a breakout year.
“We’ve added four new members to our team and expanded our solution offerings to 12 countries in Europe. We’ve been honored with 23 years of trust from many of the most respected dealers and manufacturers in the industry and will continue to work diligently to earn their continued business. Watch for the formal launch of BEI Acuity in the first quarter of 2017.” — Wes McArtor, president
Des Plaines Office Equipment (DPOE)
“On the national level, with a new President set to take office in January, we hope the economy will be improve and have a strong, positive effect on business. Many small dealers feel that profitability is still good, but are working harder to make the same money. There has been a selling off of many smaller dealerships in our industry, which provides opportunity for growth for those who are staying in the industry. My hope for the industry is that a larger number of our fellow dealers will embrace the principles of managed print services and managed network services.
In a related field, dealers should look at archiving software as a growth strategy. With the transition to paperless and heightened issues about security, protecting data is very important. Undertaking these strategies will help dealers be more strong, profitable, and will benefit our industry overall. And for us, we believe that bringing more clients into the cloud will be a strong area of business growth for us.” — Chip Miceli, president
Managed print services continues to be an area of strong growth for dealers. We see opportunity in a number of industry verticals, and for us in particular, the healthcare industry. With HIPAA and other regulations demanding the highest levels of security, there is heightened need for systems and solutions that protect this sensitive information beyond question.
We see additional technological advances which will further enhance the products and services that we offer. A number of the dealers who sell and service equipment have formed trade groups or serve on Advisory Boards which can be very helpful in giving dealers input as to what services their customers value the most.” — Ray Belanger, president
Toshiba America Business Solutions
“2016 was a terrific year for Toshiba America Business Solutions. We experienced growth in MFP sales while continuing to see an increase in demand for our expanding portfolio of software solutions and MPS programs.
“The introduction of 23 redesigned e-STUDIO MFPs was very well received by our customers, reseller community and industry media and analysts. Toshiba’s new e-STUDIO platform allows dealers to quickly and easily customize the user interface for handling common tasks specific to their customers’ industries.
“Toshiba also recently released an industry focused sales program to our reseller community. The program, Vertical360, provides dealers with in-depth education and solutions to better address their customers’ challenges in seven different vertical markets ranging from healthcare to retail.
“2016 also saw exponential growth of Toshiba’s Ellumina digital signage business. Our expanding partnership with AEG has led to the deployment of digital signage in sports and entertainment venues throughout the United States and Europe. We also had a number of high profile digital signage wins in retail and our dealer business continues to grow as well.
“2017 promises to be another successful year for Toshiba. We’ll continue to introduce more feature-rich products, solutions and services to continue to power our customers’ ever-evolving document workflow and content management needs.” — Bill Melo, chief marketing executive