Global (Xerox) buys Comdoc, what does that mean to Ricoh?

February 20, 2009

I have been reading about this Condoc sale to Xerox \ Global on a couple of blogs.

And then I got to talking to a friend who use to run the printer program for Ricoh in the Northeast. He reminded me that Comdoc was one of Ricoh’s biggest customers. How big? Enough so that if they stop selling Ricoh products, Ricoh will feel it. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ricoh. I have heard from those within Ricoh that sales for the last few months have not been good. We know that Ikon can no longer sell Canon, and (from what I am hearing) soon they won’t have the ability to sell their relabeled version of the Konica Minolta product. On top of that heap on the slumping economy and this should accelerate the merger process between Ricoh & Ikon. While the first to go will likely be the redundant executives and management (some from Ikon and Some from Ricoh) just like they did when they merged with Lanier. But the Sales People and the Tecnicians won’t be far behind. I lived through the Ricoh \ Lanier merger and the last time their was a merger like that was when the Titanic merged with the Iceberg!
The last time that there was a merger like Ricoh \ Lanier...

The last time that there was a merger like Ricoh \ Lanier…

So things are starting to look pretty gloomy for Ricoh, they make this huge purchase of ikon, financing a large debt on top of what they overpayed for ikon, Canon drops them (ikon) as a Dealer, Comdoc (one of their largest customers) gets bought by Xerox \ Global, and it looks like Konica Minolta is going to drop them (ikon) soon. WOW! That is a lot to deal with! I hope that Ricoh has really deep pockets and can ride this out. I still have a lot of friends who work for that company.
I am starting to feel bad for Ricoh, do you think that they will be able to get a bailout from Washington? Hey its worth a try everyone else who has made bad business decisions and run a company into the ground seems to be standing in line in Washington with their hands out. Why not Ricoh?

“Being the low cost provider without a reasonable return can be sustained by growth for only so long. Lochridge’s comment of, “Nothing is going to change”, is a joke. Xerox (Global) spending upwards of $80 million so Comdoc can continue to sell Ricoh doesn’t fly and Ricoh won’t sit still while Xerox upgrades their base either. Further, Ricoh isn’t listed as a Business Partner or Vendor on Global’s web site.”             Posted by Gunnerdog on 02/02/09 at 9:32AM

I was recently chided because Canon “screwed” their loyal customers (in one guys opinion) by dropping ikon as a dealer. But it is the reality of our very competitive business (and this is the business that we have chosen) that you don’t buy a company so that you can help your competitor sell their products (at least not long term). The dilemma that you face is who do you hurt worse your competitor or yourself by dropping them as a dealer? In someways its like getting Chemo Therapy for Cancer. Yes it kills you a little but it kills the cancer faster.

There really isn’t a painless way to do handle it for either party. But pain can be good (REALLY? Yes Really!). Where there is pain there is opportunity. So if you find customers who are in pain or turmoil over the turbulance that our industry is experiencing you have the opportunity to ease their pain. Are you ready to step up? Because I am.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh



  1. If I throw a stick, will you leave?

  2. George,

    Was it something I said? 🙂

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