Change. This is a word we are hearing a lot at the moment in the business supplies industry. And note I’m using the term ‘business supplies’ as opposed to ‘office supplies’ – just another example of how our industry has changed and is still changing.
Since our last issue went to press, I’ve been to the EPIC convention in the US and OPI’s European Forum in Amsterdam, and – arguably – the overriding theme at each event was how the players in this industry must adapt to the changing world on a number of levels: category expansion, e-commerce, social media, branding, stripping out costs, developing solutions vs just selling products, etc, etc.
The most successful companies, of course, are constantly evolving as part of a natural, normal business process, so perhaps I should really be talking here about ‘transformation’ as opposed to merely ‘change’. I might just be becoming forgetful in my old age, but as each month goes by, we seem to be covering more and more transformational stories in OPI magazine and on opi.net.
In the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen a seismic shift in the UK wholesaling channel, news of the split of HP (the biggest supplier for many resellers), and Office Depot announcing it will cut 15% of its workforce in Europe as it strives to remain relevant in the – here’s that word again – changing market.
One of the biggest changes for many resellers in recent years has been the growth of the facilities management (aka FM) category. We’ll be looking at the latest developments and opportunities in this segment in next month’s ‘FM Special’ edition – so don’t miss that!
Have a great month.
Andy Braithwaite, Editor