Each year, we ask dealers to rate their primary A3 MFP suppliers as “Excellent,” “Very Good,” “Good,” “Fair,” or “Poor.” Five points are then awarded for “Excellent,” four points for “Very Good,” three points for “Good,” two points for “Fair,” and one point for “Poor.” We then divide the total by the number of dealers participating from that manufacturer to determine the rating.
A year ago, the overall ratings for the Big Six A3 OEMs plummeted to their lowest ever (4.0), which we attributed to fallout from the pandemic and supply chain issues. Those supply chain issues continued to plague dealers for much of 2022, however, despite the challenges, dealers were much more generous with their A3 OEM ratings in this year’s Survey as the overall rating rose from 4.0 to 4.2 (Exhibit 2.18).
For the third consecutive year, the OEMs with the highest ratings in this year’s Survey were Sharp (4.7) and Toshiba (4.6). For the past four years, Sharp has been the highest-ranked OEM with ratings of 4.7 (2020), 4.5 (2021), 4.6 (2022), and 4.7 (2023), followed by Toshiba at 4.6 (2020), 4.5 (2021 and 2022), and 4.6 (2023). Credit goes to the leadership at both companies for the high scores given by those company’s dealers participating in our Survey.
With the exception of Kyocera, whose rating (4.0) was the same as last year, all Big Six OEMs received higher ratings in this year’s Survey compared to the previous year. We found this surprising considering the supply chain issues that challenged some OEMs more than others for the better part of 2022. Case in point, Konica Minolta, which received the lowest rating ever in the history of our Survey for an A3 OEM last year (3.0). Despite much grumbling in the Konica Minolta dealer community about how it handled supply chain issues in 2022, Konica Minolta’s rating improved to 3.8 in this year’s Survey, the biggest improvement of all the A3 OEMs.
As far as the other A3 OEMs, Canon’s rating increased from 4.0 to 4.2, as did Ricoh’s from 4.2 to 4.3. It’s safe to say, as I write this in late September 2023, that the supply chain issues that plagued OEMs and by extension, their dealers in 2021 and 2022 have been resolved. Because of this, we expect the OEMs who have taken the biggest hits in their ratings during this time frame to receive higher ratings in future Surveys.
For the past four years, we have presented representative themes derived from the comments shared by dealers representing each of the Big Six OEMs to explain their ratings. We have found these dealer comments enlightening, insightful, and sometimes surprising.
Canon A3 MFP Ratings
Excellent: “Canon’s current lineup is affordable and performing extremely well.”
Excellent: “Minimal backorders, solid performing A3 products, excellent wide-format solutions.”
Very Good: “Price increases kept reasonable. Backorders have gotten much better. Discount programs very good.”
Fair: “Do not appreciate how they treat mid-size dealers. They cater heavily to top-tier dealers to the detriment of mid-size dealers.”
Fair: “Canon has lost its relationship with the dealer. They make a great box though.”
Konica Minolta A3 MFP Ratings
Excellent: “Konica Minolta is a very responsive vendor with fair programs and a quality East Coast account team from sales to service personnel that we have worked with for many years. They have a strong product line that our team knows very well.”
Very Good: “Konica Minolta has great equipment. It’s not perfect, but what is? I have a great rep that has my back, which makes life with Konica Minolta much easier.”
Very Good: “Konica Minolta has done a good job with supply chain problems and new products. Its DSMs aren’t up to the task. I have not seen my DSM for over two years.”
Good: “Decent product, decent pricing. Sometimes poor technical support. Lacks modern account management tools. Hard to get answers or simple requests accomplished by staff. Been over a year since anyone visited in person from sales or service.”
Fair: “Equipment is good, but Konica Minolta communication and support services have declined significantly.”
Kyocera A3 MFP Ratings
Excellent: “Best support overall in every aspect.”
Very Good: “Good product, good parts and supplies. Price increases are ridiculous and organizational restructuring makes things hard.”
Very Good: “Kyocera management is very transparent with us and treats us like a partner.”
Good: “Kyocera is starting to price themselves out of the business.”
Fair: “Kyocera’s FY23 objectives were to be great communicators and be easy to do business with. They failed to execute on both.”
Ricoh A3 MFP Ratings
Excellent: “We’ve been a Ricoh partner since 1994. They provide excellent product and services support!”
Excellent: “They manufacture a quality product and are very responsive to market conditions.”
Very Good: “Ricoh does a great job of providing service and bringing value to our team. I love what they do as an organization. My only complaint is the constant changes in business plans and focus.”
Very Good: “I have always been happy with the Ricoh product, but I don’t believe they care about the small independent dealers anymore, they only look out for the big dealers.”
Good: “Ultimately, they don’t care about us or help us retain/win what we would classify as big deals.”
Sharp A3 MFP Ratings
Excellent: “Sharp is the perfect partner. They define what a manufacturer should entail. From its personnel to the support that they provide. They help their dealers succeed.”
Excellent: “Great support: product availability, product reliability.”
Excellent: “Responsiveness from upper management is stellar.”
Excellent: “Sharp has been an excellent A3 supplier because of how they handled the supply chain issues over the past two years.”
Very Good: “Sharp has overall, good products, but they are not exceptional from a sales excitement perspective.”
Toshiba A3 MFP Ratings
Excellent: “Toshiba goes above and beyond and well past our previous A3 supplier.”
Excellent: “The best people in the business work at Toshiba.”
Excellent: “Toshiba understands the independent dealer community.”
Very Good: “They are very good at providing products at a fair price. They could be excellent if the products were always available.”
Good: “Everything out of the box needs firmware upgrades.”