Comment November 2016

Rising to the challenge.


 Back in 1973, Roy Wood’s band Wizzard famously sang I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. As the OPI team immersed itself in 263 past issues of this magazine, that tune remained in my head throughout.

Why? Well, regular readers of OPI may notice that this is a bumper issue – almost double the size of recent editions – and that’s due entirely to the very generous and humbling support we have received from the industry in the shape of testimonial advertising. I wish it could be our 25th anniversary every day!

So thanks to all those companies that have backed this special issue which takes a look back at a quarter century of news and views from what we used to call the office products industry. Indeed, thank you to all advertisers, sponsors and subscribers – past and present – for making this milestone possible and also to the many, many colleagues with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working.

Our industry – whatever we choose to call it these days – is undergoing a sustained period of change, the speed and extent of which is unprecedented in the memories of the dozens of key executives we interviewed for this issue.

While no one knows for sure what the future holds, what is a certainty is that a rapid evolution, perhaps even revolution, in current business models is now a critical priority for the future of this sector.

Is the industry ready to face the task ahead? I would argue it is, but not universally. For there will be further carnage and casualties, but also opportunity for those businesses brave enough to rise to the challenge.

At OPI, our mission has always been to offer an unbiased, yet analytical, insight into the issues affecting our sector, now and in the future. We also strive to provide platforms, on- and offline, that enable education and collaboration for the benefit of all participants – not that dissimilar from what many of you are doing.

So are we up to that challenge? As we say in the media, watch this space…

Steve Hilleard, CEO, OPI