‘Vendors must do more to clamp down on illegal print consumables’

The majority of IT channel professionals say that vendors can do more to stop illegal print consumables such as ink from entering the market.

68 per cent of executives across Western Europe say more could be done, while 52 per cent claim “a lot more” could be done, according to Context’s ChannelWatch report, which surveyed more than 2,000 business owners and senior managers from resellers, vendors, retailers and distributors.

Also, more than half (59 per cent) claimed the channel itself could do more.

While a majority (55 per cent) of resellers said it was easy for them to tell the difference between a real and a fake cartridge, just 15 per cent claimed the same was true for their customers.

Better packaging was therefore highlighted as the most helpful measure that could be taken to rectify the situation. Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) argued that clear labelling for any remanufactured and legal compatibles would be the best way forward.

Elsewhere, the ChannelWatch report also found that over half of respondents rated their main distributor’s performance as “good”, with a further 31 per cent claiming they were excellent in the period.

In the UK, the percentage of distributors excelling (according to those surveyed) climbed above 40 per cent, contrasting with Portugal and France, which had the lowest number of ‘excellent’-rated distributors.

Speed of delivery was the top distributor strength cited by the channel, and customer service came second.

At the other end, training continued to be the biggest weakness for distributors, followed by certification and technical support.

Elsewhere, respondents claimed Dell’s acquisition of EMC/VMware had mainly benefitted the Texan computing giant, but reaction was largely positive with over 50 per cent approval ratings for all parties concerned.

In fact, a net number of 88 channel businesses are thinking of adding Dell to their list in the next six months. The only other vendor close to these figures was Lenovo with 59.

On the other hand, HP’s restructuring – which has seen it split into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc – was greeted with a more muted response.

Two-thirds of respondents claimed the demerger would have a ‘mixed’ impact on whether they’d choose HP products going forward. However, those who were positive and very positive about the demerger (22 per cent) slightly outnumbered channel businesses who reacted negatively and strongly negatively to the change (13 per cent). 

“This the largest reseller survey of its type,” said Context CEO and co-founder Jeremy Davies. “Resellers are clear on their opinions, especially when it comes to how they rate their distributors where overall the verdict has been good.”

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