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Don’t Blink! It May All Change in a Flash

6 Oct, 2014 By: David Gibbons

If you’re running your imaging business the same way you did 10 years ago, or even 3 years ago, then you are in peril. Don’t blink, because it may all change in a flash!

Wherever I travel, the one thing I note is that imaging businesses all face the same issues.  With the advent of the Internet and smart devices, end users are not printing the way they used to. And if you are a recharger, you will find your customers are going elsewhere to purchase products your niche business cannot provide.

When I started remanufacturing cartridges in Australia in the early 1990s, I sold brand new OEM products along with my remans.  It ensured me of a good source of empty cartridges while providing my customers with a one-stop-shop. I had only 6 different laser cartridge models in the range—mostly HP, Canon and Lexmark—to remanufacture in-house.

Today’s reman businesses have hundreds of different cartridge types to contend with let alone laser, inkjet, monochrome and color.  This, coupled with the periodic short supply of empty cores, has provided a global demand for new built aftermarket cartridges—an opportunity quickly picked up by the Chinese.

Now I see remanufacturers using a business model that includes many or all of the following:

  1. Both laser and inkjet cartridges;
  2. Color cartridges;
  3. Premium products to compete in what MSE’s Luke Goldberg refers to as the giant blue ocean, the OEM market (Caution! your business is in peril if you use patent infringing components or cheap, new built cartridges);
  4. Cartridges that can be remanufactured on the customer’s premises using non-infringing components;
  5. Non-infringing cartridges that can be sourced from others who remanufacture premium, specialty lines;
  6. Cartridges made by others which are new built, which have their own workaround solutions and do not infringe the intellectual property of the OEMs;
  7. Remanufactured printers as well as their cartridges as part of a managed print services (MPS) strategy;
  8. Alliance with an OEM partner to provide MPS to consumers;
  9. Frequent updates on intellectual property issues, to ensure compliance with OEM patents.

What are you doing today to ensure your business will exist tomorrow?

David Gibbons is Director, Publisher & Producer for the Recycling Times Media Corporation, based in China.  Recycling Times magazine is in English, Spanish and Chinese monthly, in addition, their trade show RemaxAsia in China, and launched the RT Imaging Summit in the USA, in May. Visit: http://www.irecyclingtimes.com for info.

About the Author: David Gibbons

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