Lexmark International is inviting other companies to create applications for its line of touch-screen all-in-one printers that use what the Lexington printer maker calls "SmartSolutions" technology.
The applications function essentially as macros and let users carry out a task with the touch of a button.
For example, customers can scan a document directly into Evernote, a Web-based application that allows users to store and access information on a variety of platforms. Another option is to print postage using a Stamps.com account.
Lexmark is encouraging developers to sign up at Developer.lexmark.com.
Spokeswoman Shannon Lyman said the company does not yet have any details to offer on how or whether it would require developers to have their applications approved, or how much, if anything, they would cost.
Praise for new CEO
Ed Crowley, founder of Versailles-based printer industry research firm The Photizo Group, recently released a research report examining Lexmark's announcement that Paul Rooke has succeeded Paul Curlander as chief executive.
Rooke, who most recently led the company's inkjet division, was hailed by Crowley as "a very capable executive with very strong leadership qualities, a clear understanding of the industry, and the vision and willpower to make the tough strategic and tactical decisions the firm needs to make."
Crowley worked with Rooke several years back, when Crowley was senior manager of worldwide laser printer marketing at Lexmark.
In comparing the two, Crowley wrote that he thinks Rooke's "greatest strength, and the greatest difference from Paul Curlander is that while he is a strong technologist, he also is very marketing-savvy, and he has very strong interpersonal skills, which will play well with both employees and customers."
Curlander to guide Perceptive Software
Although he has retired as CEO, Curlander announced in October that he will stay on as executive chairman through the spring. In that role, he will continue to oversee Perceptive Software, a company Lexmark recently acquired that creates software for businesses.
"We're in an important time for Perceptive," Curlander told the Herald-Leader after the announcement of his new role. "They're new for Lexmark. I think in the next six months, I can be helpful to them as they work on the integration."
Curlander was one of the reasons that Perceptive Software agreed to be bought, Perceptive CEO Scott Coons told the Herald-Leader in August.
"The first time we met with Lexmark ... Paul Curlander came out to talk about partnering and what they're all about, and I was just thoroughly impressed with him and the company," he said.
Inventory not a problem, CFO says
Lexmark's product and supplies inventory increased substantially between the second and third quarters. At the end of the second quarter, the company had $339 million in inventory out of total assets of $3.66 billion. At the end of September, that amount had increased 15.6 percent to $391.9 million.
The issue was of some concern to analysts, who questioned the increase, because in general, most analysts hope that companies manage their inventories to prevent dramatic swings.
Part of the reason for the increase, though, was that Lexmark was able to secure more hardware components that had been in short supply in recent quarters and that had dragged down growth because the company couldn't complete products for shipment, chief financial officer John Gamble Jr. said.
Gamble said the company also had a higher number of shipments being prepared for large businesses at the end of the quarter that wouldn't be shipped until the early part of the fourth quarter.
"The timing of it might have been a little bit later, but it's just relative to the very good performance we have seen throughout the year and that we have been consistent with," he told analysts.