BOSTON, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- OnForce, the trusted online services marketplace that empowers businesses to find highly skilled local service technicians, today released the OnForce Services Marketplace Index (OSMI) for both the fourth quarter of 2009 and the full 2009 Year End Report. The OSMI provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in information technology (IT) and consumer electronic (CE) services based on thousands of service events across North America. For the Year End report, OnForce measured data from more than $150 million of services transacted through the OnForce marketplace throughout 2009.
Last year, OnForce saw two major trends in the marketplace. Early in the year work order pricing was tested as the economy wavered; later in the year work order pricing stabilized for three consecutive quarters. The marketplace also saw an uptick of installation work order for the second half of the year. Both aspects provide some positive signs for technology service businesses in the coming months.
Highlights for 2009:
Over the course of 2009, several observed trends were in line with OnForce's year end prediction:
- "Fix not Buy" was the mantra as businesses opted to repair current equipment rather than invest in new purchases.
- Overall, 62 percent of all work orders in 2009 were in the break-fix category.
- Nearly 86 percent of TV/Video work and 78 percent of PC Desktop work orders were break-fix.
- "Cheap Remained Chic" as customers turned to more affordable technologies such as VoIP.
- VoIP/Telephony work volume grew nearly 200 percent from Q1 2009 to Q4 2009.
- New installation work accounted for 73 percent of all VoIP/Telephony service events for 2009.
- Customers became price kings and strongly influenced the cost of equipment and services.
- In 2008, VoIP/Telephony was the highest revenue generating category at $500. In 2009, work order values in this category declined to $150.
- Security and Wiring & Cabling service events were the most expensive work order categories, each surpassing $200.
"Many of these trends will continue during 2010 as businesses continue to tightly manage their IT spending," said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. "We expect a moderate return to growth over the next few quarters as companies will continue to be cautious, and as many are still faced with an overstock of technology equipment."
"For VARs, 2010 is about getting closer to your customers; to be successful in this climate it is critical to listen to customers' needs, become their partners, and offer a broad portfolio of software and services abilities. At OnForce, we believe that it is important to drive a new standard of service excellence by partnering with our service buyers and technicians," concluded Cannone.
Highlights from Q4 2009 OSMI:
In addition to work order pricing, OnForce saw continued stabilization of work order volume in the fourth quarter of 2009. The marketplace saw installation work increase by three percent, offsetting a slight decline in break-fix service events. Installation service events accounted for 35 percent of total service events while the break-fix category accounted for 59 percent. Additional key findings include:
- The top four categories this quarter in terms of work order volume include:
- PC Desktop: 27% (down 3% from Q3)
- TV/Video: 17% (relatively flat)
- Network: 16% (relatively flat)
- Printer: 10% (relatively flat)
- Oklahoma, Vermont, and South Dakota were the least expensive states for onsite services in Q4, a shift from Q3 when Maine, New Hampshire, and Nevada were the least expensive states.
- Houston, New York, and Chicago saw the most onsite service volume in Q4 for the fifth quarter in a row.
Based on major industry-wide trends and the OnForce Marketplace, Cannone offered the following predictions for the coming year:
VARs to Become Full Service Organizations
"Organizations today are seeking an integrated, single solution to meet all of their IT needs and VARs are poised to meet this demand. In the year ahead, the successful VAR should strive to become the 'full service organization' that can offer a total solution for their clients. VARs that can offer a wide-range of abilities, from hardware to software to services, will be in high demand in the months to come. Increasing their breadth of capabilities allows VARs to become more entrenched with customers and move beyond vendor status to become their customers' true partner. Those who made this transition last year are ahead of the game."
Slow and Steady
"Organizations will still look to closely manage their IT costs in 2010. While we have seen an uptick in installations across several technology categories in our marketplace, we expect the break-fix trend to continue into 2010."
Overstock Bottleneck Signals Asset Disposal Opportunity
"Many companies are faced with an overstock of technology equipment and will look to optimize current infrastructure or offload older, excess technology in an effort to be as economical as possible. Those companies who specialize in asset disposal are going to thrive in the next 12 months."
Pipeline to Prosperity Paved With New Technology
"While 2009 was the year of cost-cutting, 2010 is going to be the year for revenue generation. Companies of all sizes can gain a key competitive edge by embracing new technologies, such as mobile devices, that will enable them to work smarter and more efficiently."
Outsourcing Becomes Valuable Business Tool in the New Decade
"While outsourcing was once thought to be negative, things have changed. As companies are continuing to downsize, work still needs to be completed. When they cannot add the capacity internally needed to complete IT services, organizations will look to augment their staff by outsourcing work to qualified, temporary staff."
The Year End 2009 and OSMI Q4 2009 reports are available for download at:
OnForce is service made simple. The company provides access to a trusted national network of more than 13,000 onsite service technicians connecting service demand with local supply through an online marketplace -- easily, efficiently, and profitably. With more than one million completed service orders, is a proven leader in helping technology service businesses increase profits, gain a competitive advantage, and contain service costs. The OnForce community is made up of 5,000+ IT and CE customers and more than 13,000 service technicians who work in a number of technology categories, including computers, printers, networking, VoIP, point of sale, and consumer electronics. For more information, visit www.onforce.com .