Predicting how the scanner market will behave over the next five years always presents its own challenges. Predicting how the scanner market will behave over the next five years during the COVID-19 crisis makes it that much more difficult.
In the North American Document Image Scanner Market Forecast: 2019–2024, we present market trends, channel feedback, market performance, and forecasts for the mobile, personal, desktop, and departmental segments as well as for low-, mid-, and high-volume production. With the entropic nature of the COVID-19 crisis in mind, we decided to do things a bit differently this year. We’re proposing two outcomes: One based on a probable model and another on a broader, pessimistic model.
A Little Taste of What’s Inside
2019 was a bittersweet year for the scanner industry. While the total number of single-function scanner placements grew slightly YOY (excluding mobile and micro units), revenue was down from 2018. Fujitsu was the industry leader in placements and revenue. The outlook for 2020, however, was looking good—unemployment was low, and the stock market was raging—until the COVID-19 crisis disrupted everything. Businesses and schools closed, and “non-essential workers” were told to work from home. The growing stock market started shrinking, and the shrinking unemployment rate started growing.
In both of our forecast models, the numbers are stark. In our probable model, placements drop by single digits. Our pessimistic model predicts a double-digit decline. Revenue numbers are even more concerning.
Beyond placements and revenue projections, we explored pain points created by the COVID-19 crisis, such as supply chain disruptions in China, shrinking demands for “non-essential” products, and getting comfortable with remote work. That said, there are bright spots and areas of opportunity for the most agile and resilient of vendors as companies look to recover with renewed initiatives towards digital transformation, edge computing, and cloud capabilities. We have gathered a great deal of feedback from the vendors and the associated channel, so we can present as accurate a portrait of the industry at this moment.
Subscribers to the InfoCenter’s Image Scanning Trends service can click here for the forecast!