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The Western Hemisphere Report - Market Drivers and Market Size Selected Office Supplies Categories Focus: Latin America
Thomas Schinkel and Associates, December 2007, Pages: 62
The Office Products Industry faces many challenges. Many of these challenges are organized around the need to find and develop new markets. In today’s world of globalization, all eyes are on China (and India). But are we overlooking the prospective customer next door?
This report focuses on Latin America within the context of the entire Western Hemisphere. Our ambition is not only to get a sense of the dimensions of the Latin American markets but also to provide some needed context.
While the themes addressed in this report are not new, we believe that this is the first time that anyone in the Office Products Industry has systematically taken a look at those themes in Latin
America with the aim to evaluate them against the implications for this industry.
Our ambition with this report is to bring together and systematically sort through data available from official and non-official sources and in those instances where there are no data, to extrapolate and compare projections based on what may be considered as reasonable parallel information.
Our hope is that the report will attract sufficient interest to warrant follow-up initiatives focusing on calibrating and fine-tuning the data and conclusions we arrive at in this report. For example, our sense is that it would be helpful to gain deeper insight into the size and shape of the Papeleria distribution system, and also into the entire issue of channel multipliers throughout Latin America. Such further insights would hone everyone’s skills, from manufacturers to wholesalers to independent dealers and all other players in the industry. It would open the door to an on-going process of knowledge sharing and creating a learning culture that benefits all.
In a sense, this report can act as a catalyst for such further dialogue among the players in the industry, a dialogue that can and should be focused on the strategic needs of all players and on opportunities for adapting to a rapidly changing world.
If nothing else, with this report, we share a number of observations which we believe are - or at least should be - relevant to anyone in the office products industry assigned with the task of identifying, evaluating and selecting business opportunities in the region.
This report is the product of nine months of intensive research, in-country travel and interviews with business executives in the industry in several of the countries of Latin America.
Forward and Acknowledgements
Introduction and Objectives
Economic Environment and Key Developments, including History, Population, and GDP
Market drivers Office Products Industry: A comparison between the US and Latin America
Distribution Channels and Channel Multiplier for the Office Products Industry – A comparison between the USA and selected countries of Latin America
Western Hemisphere Markets for Office Products – U.S.A, Mexico, Brazil and other Countries
Office Workers and Consumption of Office Products per Office Worker
US – International Trade in Selected Office Products Categories
Summary and Conclusions
About Thomas Schinkel and Associates
This report addresses two intertwined themes. The first compares the market drivers for office products in the U.S. and in Latin America. The second theme addresses the question of market size and growth expectations for office products throughout Latin America in comparison with the U.S. The timing for addressing these themes is opportune. During the last several years, Latin American economies have shown steady growth. The falling dollar and growing prosperity in Latin economies are boosting imports. Some of Latin America’s largest economies are importing record levels of consumer goods and capital equipment. Recently concluded bilateral treaties are also accelerating more trade.
However, there is a dearth of information about these markets, in terms of demographics, purchasing power, number of office workers, composition of business structure and the like.
This lack of quantitative information is attributable, at least in part to the cultural characteristics of the region. On critical issues, these cultures are very different from the cultures of North America and Western Europe. Among the cultures of North America and Western Europe a central tenet is the expectation to be specific, to quantify and validate. By contrast, a central tenet in the cultures of South America is the focus on the “interpersonal relationship”. This is not to say that South Americans are lacking in their desire to be specific. The issue is simply not as central to their values and beliefs as it is to the cultures of North America and Europe. That said, the challenge has remained to try and gain at the very least, a sense of context, to begin to address questions of sales, marketing, business development and investment by non-Latin companies in these countries in a more deliberate way.
Note the emphasis on “comparison to the USA”. This is important, because local economic data becomes more meaningful when they can be compared to a known baseline, so as to put perspective on the data subject to study.
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