State of the Office Equipment Channel

Keypoint Intelligence unveils a host of fresh research

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05/27/2021

Anne Valaitis

 

After a tumultuous year ushered in enormous change and transition for business workers and owners, renewed confidence in a vaccine and the opening of businesses carries providers into 2021 and beyond. Last year was one of survival for many in the channel, pivoting and adapting to conditions all while accepting that this “new” normal of work is here to stay. As we near the midway point of the year, and with a majority of adults already vaccinated, 2021 is about strategy and growth.

 

Keypoint Intelligence launched its annual State of the Channel Primary Research Survey in Q1 to better gauge the effects the pandemic had on the office equipment channel as well as to see what the future holds for many of these companies. We sampled more than 300 resellers in the US—a good mix of traditional office equipment dealers and IT resellers—and we further split them by small and large-size establishments to better understand how each was responding to the market conditions.

 

“Major impact [from the pandemic] due to declining print volumes, fewer service and supplies requests.”
–Anonymous, from Keypoint Intelligence’s COVID-19 Industry Survey, March 2020

 

Last April, office equipment dealers were in a confusing and critical place. Offices closed and print volumes plummeted as they searched for new opportunities—the pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses. A drop-off in traditional sales of copiers and supplies, along with a massive migration to working from home, was devastating. As quickly as the stoppage of business happened, though, many dealers realized the potential to transform and become a supplier of smart workplace solutions, work-from-home equipment and IT services.

 

In fact, our new research suggests that the turnaround will continue, and many providers claim their business revenue will be larger going forward than before the pandemic. Furthermore, 48% said that their dealership is likely to make acquisitions to bolster their position. Consolidation in the channel is fluid as the environment undergoes adjustments. As the adaptation to the new style of business progressed, so did the mix of products offered—with many having added brands during the pandemic (more than 50% claim). Adding brands was a way to protect their business as many were looking to add one that could provide reliable availability.

 

Have you added/or dropped a brand of print device sold in the last 12 months?

 

Top findings from the report:

  • 62% of OE dealers added a brand in the last 12 months
  • 48% of OE dealers and 36% of IT Resellers said they were “likely to acquire”
  • OE dealers added IT services, cloud solutions, single function scanners, and security solutions to their portfolios
  • 94% of survey respondents support devices for customers’ work-from-home users
  • A4 all-in-ones were the most in-demand device for work-from-home users

 

Subscribers to our channel- and office-related Advisory Services can log in to the InfoCenter to view the full Primary Research Survey. Not a subscriber? No problem. Just send us an email at sales@keypointintelligence.com for more info.