I recommend the entire piece, but was particularly intrigued by Beswick's comments about the impact of today's negative economic environment, including some ideas that it might not be such a bad thing, at least for Memjet.
From a customer standpoint, there's evidence from recent industry analyst webinars and web conferences that businesses, for instance, are both delaying IT spending and also considering new ways to save IT dollars. I think there are two potential benefits from this trend.
First, businesses that are freezing or delaying IT spending in the area of printing and imaging products might just be getting back to necessary purchases in late 2009 and 2010, and although I don't expect a complete return to previous spending patterns, there may in fact be a backlog of needs that need to be fulfilled.
Secondly, as customers explore new creative ways to save money or to increase the efficiency of their businesses, there is a natural tendency to explore new brands, new technologies, and new ways of achieving value. The last analyst call I was on predicted, for instance, that a greater number of customers would be considering and purchasing cheaper non-OEM supplies options. I believe our OEM brands and Memjet will benefit from this departure from the status quo because Memjet has a strong economic message, plans to help customers save costs through "authorized refill," and hopes to be a new compelling choice in printing.
Interesting thinking and quite parallel in some ways to a post I put up several months ago (see "The economy and Managed Print Services") where I pointed out at least the possibility that the MPS market could see some upside from a more controlled IT spending environment. That's also consistent (if you're an optimist anyway!) with a piece in Forbes earlier this week, "Shrinking IT Dollars
-- McKinsey & Co. predicts that IT and corporate finance will merge".