Copier Industry Evolution

Rise of the Copier Dealer

The copier industry emerged in the 1970’s and grew rapidly in the United States with the availability of affordable Japanese made office equipment, sold through locally owned and managed independent copier dealerships. New office technologies such as fax machines were also offered through the dealer network and copier dealers often represented a single line of products such as Ricoh.

National Distribution Channels Emerge

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, national distribution channels such as Danka and IKON Office Solutions (formerly Alco Standard)  grew by acquiring the dominant local dealerships in key U.S. marketplaces and assimilating them into the distributor’s corporate structure, culture and operational processes. Originally, these copier companies gained efficiencies and the conglomerates grew quickly. But over time, the national copier distribution channel became homogenized, losing its character, connection with the customer and competitive advantage.

The Digital Migration

During the same period, the underlying copy machine technology also began to change with the rise of digital print technology. Traditional analog copiers became digital and office equipment such as fax machines copiers and printers morphed into multifunction printers and document management devices that efficiently and affordably print, copy, scan, store and retrieve documents. Significantly more cost-effective than a laser printer, today’s technology-based office equipment runs on your company network for convenient, efficient, secure and green printing.

Office Imaging Technology in the Information Age

Starting in the late 90’s, the national copy machine distribution channels stopped growing and contracted. Office technology changed dramatically and became print or image centric, but the need for quality and reliable local service remained critical to business operations. The major distribution channels continued to struggle with weak sales and by the mid 2000, concerned office equipment manufacturers such as Ricoh made risky decisions to acquire their main distribution channel  to protect future market share.

Today, most small to mid size business owners prefer to work with locally managed independent companies, with whom they can maintain a lasting relationship, rather than a rigid large national distributor/ manufacturer  with call centers.

Officia Imaging delivers the best solution for its customers through a financially strong, locally managed document imaging services provider with experienced leadership, dedicated employees and a deep commitment to customer service.

Contact Officia for local service you can trust and —Make a Great Impression.
One Response to Copier Industry Evolution
  1. Great piece of statistical data on the industry that provides these essential, yet grossly overlooked services and equipment… It (copier industry) really had a different “flavour” but has indeed become “cold” and impersonal, the corporate structure apparently “screening out” *real*talent and raw passion, that once was fairly popular, but seemed to “die out” suddenly… This would basically explain the poor design issues such as serviceable lifespan, operational difficulties, HDD/password security issues, environmental impact, and this is just a summary and customer/user sentiment is correspondingly negative.

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