NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It is a known fact that small and medium businesses (SMBs) IT spending is tied to the economy and not shielded from the effects of the slowdown. As more SMBs feel the pinch, they are pressured to make internal changes and implement cost cuts. Reducing office supplies and printing costs is the most widely employed cost cutting plan among SMBs, ahead of reducing travel or telecommunication costs. These findings were released today by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., and come from a new AMI study, “Printing During the Downturn: How the Recession Has Created A Significant Printing Opportunity.”
Reducing office supplies and or printing costs is simpler to implement than other cost reductions, and the benefits can be immediate since all employees can play a part in reducing this line-item expense. “Due to their greater touch points and exposure, MBs (companies with 100 to 999 employees) are likely to be more negatively affected by the downturn and have initiated more cost cutting plans compared to SBs ( companies with 1 to 99 employees). “In a recent internal study, 77% of U.S. MBs and 47% of U.S. SBs, respectfully acknowledged that their company has taken measures to reduce office supplies and printing costs,” notes Melissa Chong, New York-based Analyst at AMI-Partners.
“Printing and copier vendors need to react quickly to reverse this cost cutting trend and advance SMBs’ use of existing IT infrastructure, since SMBs are very likely to prolong the lifecycles of basic computing hardware such as PC and printers during lean times. Furthermore, AMI has observed a growing proportion of SMBs that are concerned with to what degree the economic downturn will impact their business. It is not far-fetched to imagine SMBs will increase these cutbacks as concern grows and prolongs,” added Ms. Chong.
However, I.T. vendors should be reassured that the downturn has forced companies to more seriously consider investing and using IT to address their business needs for efficiency and cost control and help them manage through the downturn. Around half to two thirds of SMBs would like to leverage IT to reduce costs and improve productivity.
The AMI study includes strategies and recommendations for printing and copier vendors to reverse the reduction in office supplies/printing cost trend by SMBs in the U.S. A key strategy is to target high-value printing customers (HVPCs). “It is not practical, especially as vendors find themselves increasingly resource strapped, to try to address the whole market. Vendors should start by zeroing in on the needs of SMBs that print the most or the HVPCs,” noted Chong. HVPCs are the most attractive group as they spend more on printing hardware and supplies relative to the total number of small and medium businesses. Vendors that successfully the address needs of the HVPC will reap the larger benefit due to the HVPC’s higher propensity towards printing spending.
This study also pulls intelligence from the AMI’s new service 2009 Q-1 U.S. SMB: Impacts of a Game-Changing Economic Downtown: How to Market Effectively & Stay Competitive, a quarterly survey that tracks the pulse of SMBs’ IT/Telecom usage and investments, especially as they navigate through the present economic climate. The countries available in the Q-Pulse service are the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, China, Korea and India.
AMI-Partners’ Printing During the Downturn: How the Recession Has Created A Significant Printing Opportunity report focuses on the major challenges that are U.S. SMBs are presently facing given the current economic downturn, and how they are reacting to these challenges. This data points to key opportunities and messaging hot buttons for specific technology vendors and service providers seeking to match their offerings to SMB market requirements. AMI-Partners’ Technology Sector studies highlight major trends in the context of current/planned IT, Internet and communications usage and spending. Products and services covered include established and emerging hardware, software, applications and business process solutions. The sector reports are based on AMI-Partners’ annual SMB market surveys, new “Q-Pulse” quarterly tracking studies and Global Forecast Model database.
About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.
AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence — with a strong focus on global small and medium businesses (SMBs), and extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and “go-to-market” solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.
AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries; and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.