Xerox to build its own supply chain

John Visentin, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Xerox
John Visentin, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Xerox

Xerox CEO John Visentin has indicated that the Technology Agreement between Xerox and Fuji-Xerox will be phased out. Xerox will in future source replacements for the Versant models, office printers and MFPs and the new Iridesse, from other suppliers. Xerox makes the Nuvera and iGen product ranges in the US as well as its growing inkjet portfolio that it acquired with Impika, in France.

The company does not plan to renew the Technology Agreement when it expires in 2021. In his letter to Shigetaka Komori, chairman of Fujifilm, on 25 June 2018, in response to the lawsuit filed by Fujifilm in the previous week, Visentin claimed that the lawsuit ‘is nothing more than a desperate, misguided negotiating ploy to save a takeover,’ and ‘the New York State Supreme Court has already enjoined Fujifilm from taking any action toward consummating the ill-advised takeover.’

Visentin’s letter added, ‘Fujifilm’s actions have forced us to move forward on several fronts to protect our supply chain. First, we will start, in a material way, to source products from new vendors. Second, we will build partnerships with companies that are aligned with the Xerox mission to provide world-class technology and solutions. Third, we currently believe Xerox will be much better served by not renewing our Technology Agreement with Fuji-Xerox when it expires. We will detail for our shareholders the enormous opportunity for Xerox to sell products directly into the growing Asia-Pacific market with sole and exclusive use of the valuable Xerox name, and a more efficient, better managed supply chain than exists with Fuji Xerox today.’

Fujifilm has argued that Xerox will find it difficult to thrive alone because of the reliance on its technology. However, Visentin says, “Nothing could be further from the truth . . . In fact it is actually Fuji-Xerox that could potentially suffer ruinous consequences from the loss of over US$ 1 billion of revenue from Xerox, its largest customer. And legally there is nothing Fujifilm can do to stop that happening.”

In response to Xerox’s apprehensions of malfeasance on various accounting issues, Fujifilm said Xerox’s argument on Fuji-Xerox’s accounting issue is wrong. “The accounting issue at Fuji-Xerox is properly resolved and no longer exists.”

Fujifilm said it would be difficult for Xerox to build its sales channels in Asia from scratch as it does not currently have any marketing channel in the region. “We do think that Xerox has the ability to build its supply chains and source products from scratch in Asia, although the merger with Fuji would have been the ideal situation,” an institutional investor, who holds 5 million shares in Xerox, told Reuters.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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