When Is Used Better Than New?
Konica Minolta refreshes its bizhub copier range
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There are already too many “R” words being used to describe an environmental or sustainable product benefit. Whether it’s “reused,” “refurbished,” “reconditioned,” or “remanufactured,” the lexicon has become a little stale. So, when the positive sounding “refreshed” entered into copier vocabulary, we wanted to know more. Has Konica Minolta discovered a unique selling proposition (USP) nobody else had considered?
Refreshed or Reaction?
The Konica Minolta bizhub refreshed range is somewhat of a reaction—legitimizing hardware reconditioning that was already happening in several countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. And that is not a bad thing for buyers as Konica Minolta strived to maintain supply (like many others did) when components ran into supply chain challenges. What Konica Minolta has also achieved is the implementation of centralized processes and a cataloging of activities, which brings consistent remanufacturing across the region for its second user market.
Response and Range
Konica Minolta is responding to a significant and growing change in the market. Public tenders are increasingly seeking solutions that include reused hardware: Demand for high quality, low click devices is rising fast! These machines, which previously found themselves exported out of the country of first sale, are instead returning to local workshops where technicians are completing a comprehensive performance and quality assurance test program before the “as new” device re-enters the market…often with its parts under a manufacturer’s warranty, too.
Konica Minolta’s refreshed range of copiers is not extensive with just four models at last count. It is focused on devices that are competitively and currently featured, as well as those that provide a good fit with most business workflows and processes. Price positioning keeps acquisition costs low and the total cost of ownership compelling. Expect devices to be clean, fully updated with the latest firmware and security updates, and completely data-cleansed for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
A New (Old) Trend
Refurbished hardware has been around for many years, and it would be worth noting that Konica Minolta is a late entrant to this market. Independent imaging equipment remanufacturers have known for many years that bizhub models are excellent candidates for reuse. Still, Konica Minolta joins a growing list of brands now offering refurbished product ranges including Ricoh and Xerox.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
The market has moved on, and it has become widely accepted that reusing before recycling offers benefits to the carbon footprint of a manufacturer and its associated industry. However, not all equipment refurbishment processes are to the same standard or levels of quality. As more manufacturers embrace remanufacturing, expect to see “factory certified” become the gold standard for reused imaging equipment.
For channel partners, opportunities will present themselves to reinvent the role of their workshops and technicians more closely aligned to their brand partner’s requirements.
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