As a lead-up to the ITEX Imaging & Technology Education Exposition, slated for the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas Nov. 9-10, ENX Magazine—in conjunction with ITEX—is offering a glimpse into content that will be critical for dealers and resellers to absorb in the aftermath of the pandemic. One of the cornerstone speakers will be Randy Dazo of Keypoint Intelligence, who will discuss key components of his organization’s research data—a must-see for all attendees.
Our next Two-Minute Drill installment features an interview with Dazo, who provides some insight into the dwindling volume of printed pages, the impact of work-from-home environments and how it bodes for the long-term assessment of future volume.
A significant portion of your research has always focused on printed pages. How does Keypoint Intelligence assess print volumes?
Dazo: Keypoint Intelligence has been tracking the page volume of the office for more than 20 years, and the trends we have seen over time have been pretty consistent. One of the indicators that helps us is the correlation of the US Employment Rate to devices and page volumes in the office. Basically, as the employment rate increases, so have total pages and vice versa, as a top-level trend. Therefore, a dramatic decline of pages is experienced during recessionary periods, where when employment goes down, so do printed pages. During these recessionary periods, usually one or two markets are dramatically affected, such as the financial crisis in 2000 and 2007. Notably, the fewer workers in the industries affected, the fewer pages are lost. This wasn’t the case for pages lost during the pandemic.
One of the claims you make is that pages will never return to pre-COVID rates. That’s a strong assessment. What leads you to believe that to be true?
Dazo: The COVID impact was significantly different than other recessions, where it affected almost every industry. As you probably know from your own experience with COVID, most dealers’ customers’ offices essentially shut down across the country. A significant number of pages were lost, and our prediction is that a substantial portion will never come back due to the sweeping impact of COVID on every industry that dealers serve rather than one or two vertical segments.
What concrete data do you have about lost pages during 2020?
Dazo: In 2020, Keypoint Intelligence recorded a net print volume loss of as much as 60% in some of the initial months. Across the calendar year of 2020, print volume was down some 30% compared to pre-covid levels, and 2021 is at a similar level.
It’s evident that the shift to remote work has also impacted printed pages. What are your findings regarding the transition to work from home’s impact on the industry?
Dazo: Remote work really altered the pattern of office print. We have known for many years that workers print more in an office environment than they do at home. So with work from home on the rise, print levels were automatically reduced. Workers do print at home, and we recorded a significant upsurge in home printing, but it is only a fraction of office print volumes.
With remote work on the rise and pages down, where do traditional office equipment dealers go from here?
Dazo: The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital processes for many companies as a workaround and sped up the transition away from paper-based processes. Digital transformation is not new; in the IT age, we have been, and we constantly are, striving to adopt processes that are better than those of the past, and most of this is supported by IT. The pandemic provided a perfect test group for those cloud skeptics to suddenly accept going digital, leaving opportunity on the table for traditional dealers to expand their services and thrive despite lost pages.
In addition to the lost pages and digital transformation analysis, what other topics will you cover at ITEX?
Dazo: Our role at ITEX is to present these findings to dealers to help them forge a path to the future. On the first day (Nov. 9), Keypoint will present the data in depth during our COVID Aftermath Summit. We’ll review the office of the future and the future of work, as well as the future of print specifically. We are also primed to discuss the Smart Workplace and the new Hybrid Workplace, including VoIP, cloud collaboration, and other virtual
ITEX will be held Nov. 9-10 at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV. To register for this year’s ITEX trade show and attend Keypoint Intelligence’s COVID Aftermath Summit, click here or visit www.itexshow.com for more information.