Epson adopts service-centric approach
Epson Thailand, the local operating unit of the Japanese printer maker, is restructuring towards a "service-based" model to tap into corporate and industrial user demand.
"The printing industry will continue to evolve from product sales to a service-based model in the next 3-5 years, targeting corporate customers," said Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn, director of Epson Thailand.
Starting last month, Epson has offered a printer rental service, called EasyCare 360, for which customers pay per use.
"We plan to offer services and rental for large-format printers for industrial printing too," Mr Yunyong said.
Epson introduced the rental printer service in Thailand after launching the service in the Philippines and Singapore.
The company aims to promote inkjet printers among corporations to replace laser printers.
Epson's inkjet printers are touted for heat-free technology, which is environmentally friendly, saves energy, saves costs and is faster in operations compared with laser printers.
Citing tech research firm IDC, Mr Yunyong said inkjet printers are expected to account for 82% of the total printer market in 2022, with the remainder going to laser printers. In 2020, inkjet printers are expected to represent 78%.
In 2020, commercial or corporate users for inkjet printers are expected to account for 76% of total customers. They are expected to reach 82% in 2022.
Throughout 2019, 674,000 inkjet printers were distributed in Thailand at a total value of 3.3 billion baht. Epson captured 38% in terms of units sold and 44% of value.
Epson's revenue from rental services is expected to account for half the company's income by fiscal 2020, which starts next month, the rest coming from sales of printers.
"Our product line can serve 90% of corporate users," Mr Yunyong said. "Our biggest concern is the lack of consumer confidence, and we cannot predict how long the [coronavirus] pandemic will last."
He said the company's marketing activities have been deferred to the second half of this year.
Mr Yunyong said Epson is focusing on the online channel to reach out to customers and has shops in giant e-marketplaces.
The company's revenue is forecast to grow 6% in the new fiscal year.