Office products have frequently been described as not being particularly sexy – and that’s fair enough… probably – but woe betide anyone who accuses this industry of being dull or boring. That was one of the messages that came across very strongly at the recent OPI Global Forum in Chicago, and it was refreshing and motivating to see the genuine enthusiasm for and commitment to the industry shown by the top-level executives in attendance.
It was pretty impressive that in less than two days most, if not all, of the major issues facing industry players were tackled in some way, leaving the impression that, while there are undoubtedly challenges, there are also enormous opportunities.
So here we are, already at the end of another year (am I the only one who is wondering where 2013 has gone?), and looking back over some of the things that have happened in the past 12 months, 2013 may be seen by future industry observers as something of a watershed year: dealer groups cooperating to a level that hasn’t been seen before; the number two and three global players merging; the number one global player embarking on a re-invention strategy; vendors merging; and online and mobile commerce continuing to explode.
Perhaps it’s the year the industry really woke up to the fact that digitisation is here to stay and we’d better do something about it unless we want to have a ‘Kodak moment’.
Wishing all OPI readers a happy holiday season (and a pleasant summer holiday for southern hemisphere readers) and a prosperous 2014.