In one of the latest market surveys, it has been shown that the document scanner market will rise by 5.6 % in 2021. This value is expected to be maintained over the years, leading to a rise of 1.86 billion by 2026.
That means a lot more scanners are expected to be sold in the meantime, and manufacturers are expected to rise up to the plate. It also means higher sales for dealers and distributors, which means focusing on this market could be worth it.
Main players in the document scanner market
The document scanner market has always been a bit segmented. We have the main 4, which are considered to be the key market players in the premium segment. Kodak, Canon, Panasonic and Fujitsu are brands that cover the entire range and should be considered the most reliable source for such equipment. They provide really good machines, affordable and efficient software and a lot of support directly from the manufacturer or through partners.
Then we have other companies such as Epson, HP or Brother, who still manufacture good products, but don’t cover the entire range of equipment. I would call them up sellers, as they sell other products to customers, but also push their scanners to them. This does not mean these are bad products, but they surely lack the focus of the main 4 above. Also, for production scanners, I would definitely try to get machines from the premium suppliers.
Last but not least, we have specialized manufacturers, which focus on niche products and up and coming companies from China, Koreea or Taiwan. While the specialized manufacturers have their own markets, which are rather small, the Asian manufacturers are taking more and more from the market. While their products are not up to the task just yet, they are definitely catching up year by year.
Major trends in the market
The first trend we have recognized is the specialized manufacturers. I would not call this a trend, but really small portions of the markets can now lead to good business for smaller manufacturers. Customers are increasingly focusing on niche applications, therefore sellers are seeing increases in revenue. Sometimes we have also seen major manufacturers trying to eat into this small market, or focusing on acquisitions of small players.
The second trend are the Asian manufacturers focusing on the production market. Yes, they are still someway behind, as they lack the practical experience of working on larger projects. But they are slowly catching up, and delivering better machines as time passes. I would not be surprised seeing them in a better position in 5 years.
Last but not least, the most important trend is small machines with production capabilities. I would not call them full on production machines, but rather high scanning speeds with a low footprint. Prices are also small, relative to intensive production machines. And let’s be honest, not everyone is scanning large archives. So this is a trend where smaller and lighter machines, are achieving good scanning speeds and fast turnaround.
What can we expect in 2022
Well, 2022 will be a strange year for everyone. As the global pandemic is bringing more uncertainties rather than a clear direction, scanning will be needed. So we think the market should be heading in a good direction.
Also, let’s be honest, we are hearing more and more about digitization, so paper will be one of the first to be digitized. So the market itself is not doing bad, although we have seen some workflows turn full digital, which in itself is a bit of a threat to the traditional scanning market.
Still, total paper elimination is not very close. We will still need scanning, and most importantly decentralized scanning. This in turn will lead to a lot more machines being sold, which I guess manufacturers will be happy about, as well as dealers and resellers in the market.