Office imaging veterans have a largely positive outlook for their industry in 2011, according to survey results released today by GE Capital’s office imaging business. Growth will be driven by both sales and service in 2011, says the survey, despite hurdles such as upcoming changes in lease accounting requirements and pressure on profit margins.
“GE Capital has been involved in office equipment leasing for 20+ years and we believe the business cycle has now shifted. We’re expecting modest growth in the industry this year as companies replace and upgrade their existing equipment,” said Glen Clark, vice president of GE Capital’s office imaging business.
Forty-one percent of survey respondents expect sales to increase 5%-10% in 2011, and 30% expect growth greater than 10%. They’re primarily looking forward to end-user customers upgrading or replacing their existing equipment (36%). Participants pointed to two other positive trends: Servicing all printing devices for end-user customers and software sales attributed to document management, both of which were mentioned by 28% of respondents.
Most people in the industry see managed print services (MPS) as an important advantage; 97% of respondents said they are pursuing MPS in their business. More than half (51%) of respondents said the most important advantage of MPS is the ability to create longer-lasting relationships with customers. Others (31%) cited the opportunity to provide a single-vendor solution to customers while 15% appreciated the chance to add software to sales of equipment and supplies.
The biggest hurdle the industry must overcome in 2011 is expected to be margin pressure on equipment sales, cited by 33% of survey respondents.
Participants are aware that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is likely to mandate changes in the way businesses account for equipment leases. More than two-thirds (69%) of survey respondents said they were still gathering information to determine the impact of the changes, which are expected to be finalized later this year.
The survey polled 65 dealers, resellers, distributors, vendors, manufacturers and other industry professionals who attended the ITEX trade conference in Washington, D.C. last week.
About GE Capital, Office Imaging
GE Capital (gecapital.com), Office Imaging is a leading provider of innovative financing solutions including leases and loans to manufacturers, dealers and end-user businesses to help drive cost efficiencies and top-line growth. Its customizable financing solutions and full-service support help dealers and customers take advantage of their managed print services opportunities and “think beyond the copier.”
GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. Follow company news via Twitter (@GECapital).
GE (ge.com) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.