Recycling Times Magazine
Aftermarket: Internet Drives Industry Growth by Roger Asay, Publisher, Locator Magazine The Past Although used copiers have historically driven the office equipment market, more recently the expansion of quality used printers is beginning to push growth in that sector. Many of our customers recycle and remanufacture cartridges, but they are now expanding their services to include refurbishing and remarketing office machines and business equipment. With improved product quality, the switch from analog to digital imaging, the growth of networking and the impact of the Internet, there has been a huge increase in demand for aftermarket solutions. Since its infancy, printers have grown rapidly with specialized equipment satisfying new applications and meeting new demands. New features, papers, inks and toners are driving down the cost per page and improving efficiency in the office space. This increase in demand is a result of changing technology that has created an opportunity for dealers and resellers to get into the aftermarket with their existing service, repair and remanufacturing skills. We have witnessed the growth of the aftermarket first-hand. When I launched Locator Magazine in March1987, the demand for aftermarket products existed, but many companies did not realize the full value of used, reconditioned, or remanufactured equipment. They were reluctant to even try to sell these assets. Now, many companies are profiting from their sales of aftermarket office machines and business equipment (OMBE). Down through the years, Asay Media Network has fostered the growth of the aftermarket for hardware and consumables as well.
Our target then was and still is today to bring Buyers and Sellers together with our focus on the OMBE sector. Buyers responded so aggressively to Locator Magazine that Sellers often lacked enough inventories to satisfy the demand! It created a new kind of business, increased the size of the market and reduced the amount of equipment, parts and supplies that were either sent to landfills, recycled as scrap or gathered dust in a warehouse. The Present The trend toward used equipment and remanufactured consumables has not changed, but has grown more complex. Products are much more sophisticated and the industry has gone international. It continues to grow and evolve, more rapidly it seems with each passing year. In 1987, the all-in-one (AIO) cartridge as we know it today did not exist. Further, the cartridge remanufacturing industry had not yet been born. There was a demand for used and remanufactured copiers and printers, but typewriters were still a major component of every office. Computers were quite expensive then and seldom seen on desks in every office. Software capabilities were highly limited and typically inflexible. Ground, mechanical toners were relatively crude compared to todayâ€™s complex formulations and chemically produced, shapecontrolled powders. The Future In the future, we see continued growth and expansion of remanufacturing, development of more sophisticated