The office supply industry has been struggling for years, thanks to new products like tablets and smartphones, coming out at the same time as the 2008 recession. To better compete, many have been adding these type of products to inventory, but a recent merger shows that this isn’t enough. Office Max and Office Depot announced this week that the two would be joining forces to compete with the office supply front runner, Staples.
According to the Wall Street Journal, all three companies had a decline in sales at the end of last year. In particular, paper sales and other paper-related products, like notepads, have fallen by 8 percent since the recession, and Lexmark inkjet printers even more so – by 75 percent. In fact, Lexmark has even announced that it would be “winding down its inkjet printing business” as a result of the new office changes.
What will happen now that the second and third largest members of the office supply industry have merged forces has yet to be seen, but the reasons behind the move point out major changes in the paper and printing industries. With so few offices relying on paper products like they once did, printer and paper sales continue to decline. As printing companies exit the industry, more companies may becoming paperless, whether they like it or not, adopting to tablet and digital document use instead.
Document scanning services can help businesses that do rely on paper to adapt more quickly to the changing office supply industry. As printers make their way to becoming obsolete, having documents already in digital form can help a current paper-heavy office stay ahead of the game.