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 user 2005-04-07 at 12:40:00 pm Views: 78
  • #8681

    The Year of Color

    Dealers share common expectations for 2005

    agree. Office Technology asked several dealer readers: “In 2005, what
    do you believe will be the single greatest area of opportunity for dealers in
    the office technology industry, and what do you believe will be the best
    strategies for success in pursuing that opportunity?” Other opportunities are
    mentioned, but dealers most frequently cite business color as the greatest
    single opportunity.


    printing! Change your sales reps’ compensation to have them look for color
    printer opportunities. We then will reap the benefits in the supply

    Wayne Cernie, Chief Financial Officer/Vice President

    BSA Business Solutions Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.


    “Selling color MFPs and printers into the office environment. Our
    strategy is simply to lead with color MFPs in every sales opportunity. We can
    always sell down to black and white MFPs. Scanning features of MFPs help make
    the sale in office environments, but our profit opportunities are in the color
    and black and white prints that will result in these placements.”

    Robert L. Siemon, President

    Halsey & Griffith Inc., Miami, Fla.


    “Placement of color copiers on customers’ networks. Aggressive
    prospecting and pricing by dealers.”

    Soucinek, President

    Advanced Business Systems Inc., Moline, Ill.


    “Networking office equipment for access by all users and allowing
    electronic transfer of information between systems and people in multiple
    locations across the country.”

    Randy Hoyle, President

    Niche Equipment, Addison, Ill.


    believe that the greatest opportunity I’m looking at now is the color print
    market. I feel we are at the crossroads of something as exciting as the
    changeover of the analog copiers to the digital copier/printers. Connectivity is
    a standard feature on most models now and manufacturers have made what was a
    very technical procedure into a simple plug and play feature.”

    Kenneth E. Nelson, President

    Viking Office Supply Inc., Alexandria, Minn.


    “Digital color combined in black and white copiers at black and
    white-level CPC pricing.”

    Michael Donovan, President

    Advanced Imaging Technologies Inc., West Yarmouth, Mass.


    “Selling network solutions like network scanning and faxing. You have to
    get to enough decision makers involved and get enough information to sell a
    comprehensive solution.”

    Mark Hepburn, President

    Best Copy Products Inc., Trenton, N.J.


    These products have enabled our salespeople to take a client’s network prints
    and convert them to B2C Digitex clicks — a much better answer than replacing a
    digital black and white MFP that could have a declining black and white copy
    volume. Once placed, B2C products are taking previous desktop color prints and
    previously outsourced documents. It’s a technology less experienced salespeople
    are having success with and one that is growing our maintenance and supply base.
    Our strategy will be to focus on color printing applications, followed by black
    and white variable data applications. These areas offer the most profitable and
    highest volume potential.”

    Mark Kinley, President

    Digitex Corp., League
    , Texas


    company connected about 60 percent of our installs in 2004. We are projecting 75
    to 80 percent in 2005. We plan to take prints from printers in 2005! The best
    strategy for success will be the redevelopment of a new type of tech and service
    department — one that will incorporate printing solutions. The service manager
    will play the largest part of capturing these prints after the sale.”

    Buddy Puente, President

    Southwest Office Systems Inc., Fort Worth, Texas


    is no question — color output devices along with application/solution software
    selling will offer the greatest area of revenue growth. Buyers will not ‘reflex’
    into staying with their current vendors. Given the change to color and the need
    to manage documents more efficiently decisions will be made with greater
    diligence. This opportunity will create new customers for many and lost
    customers for those who do not seize the day.”

    Kevin DeYoung, President/CEO

    Qualpath Inc., Pompano
    , Fla.


    greatest opportunity lies in the black to color products for the office that are
    becoming available, primarily from Ricoh. The best strategy is to use the
    existing sales force to offer the color option to customers rolling over their

    Thomas McGowan, President

    Automated Office Systems, Fresno, Calif.


    color imaging and related software solutions will be the greatest opportunity
    for dealers in 2005 and beyond. The best strategy for success is to follow the
    manufacturers’ lead as well as education for your staff in the delivery and
    support of these new product solutions.”

    Paul J. Sheridan, President

    Copytex Inc., Windsor, Conn.


    “Remolding the dealership’s ‘ethos’ from hardware sales to workflow
    proficiency/efficiency consulting is the greatest challenge and the greatest
    opportunity for office technology dealers in 2005 and beyond. Dealers should
    develop a strategy of ‘physician heal thyself,’ i.e., becoming a ‘guinea pig’ to
    practice what is being preached within one’s own dealership, and then using
    these experiences to move into (sales oriented) consultations with customers and
    potential customers about how their workflow — thus, their overall productivity
    can be enhanced. In addition, reshaping the dealership’s human resources to be
    better able to carry out these consulting operations is a vital parallel

    Michael Power, President

    Encore Business Systems Inc., Upper Marboro, Md.


    provide a level of service that the major companies who have cut cost by
    centralizing cannot provide. To take care of the people who work at the
    dealership in a manner so that they see themselves long range with the company,
    so that they will be interested in taking care of the customers on a level that
    will cause the customer to stay long-term with the dealership. The dealership
    and its people need to understand what market niche it serves and price its
    products and services so that it can keep its promises to its employees and its
    customers. It must teach its representatives how to postulate the value of these
    products and services and to develop a mindset that says it is not only ok to
    lose customers who do not want to pay for this level of service, it is the right
    thing to do. There is plenty of profitable business in this niche. And we don’t
    have to beat up our own people for not getting every deal.  We have virtually zero turnover in employees
    and customers and we sleep well at night.”

    Paul H. Story, President

    Blue Ridge Copier, Salem, Va.


    most obvious opportunity is in the area of color product sales in 2005. The
    market is changing to color much faster than any of us had anticipated. Go after
    your best customers quickly to bring them to color or they will get it from
    another source and you will have lost your advantage as a vendor. In addition,
    scan and storage software will be a good product within your customer

    Richard Shea, President

    SBP Image Solutions, St. Louis, Mo.


    output will be the greatest opportunity for 2005, both as network printers and
    copier/printer placements. The dealers that can best look for applications, cost
    savings and reduction of outsourcing of print applications that result in a net
    savings to the end user will be the success stories of 2005.”

    David R. Rodstol, President

    David Rodstol Inc., Wenachee, Wash.


    represents a critical year for our industry. I have to believe that by now every
    dealer is focused (or beginning to focus) on the document management side of the
    business. Packaging software solutions with scanning, copy and print equipment
    may be the only salvation of maintaining equipment placements and profit
    margins. Wise, smaller dealerships should enhance their commitment to true
    customer satisfaction. By this I mean they will spend more time and effort than
    the larger counterparts in the area of providing a ‘custom’ rather than ‘cookie
    cutter’ solution. This has always been the true secret to success in our
    business. I can’t imagine why this should change. 2005 will not be kind to any
    dealer who has not put his customers’ needs above his own.”

    Arthur Schwartz, President

    Image Systems For Business, Middlesex, N.J.


    It has been written about for years as the next growth opportunity, however, we
    believe the growing breadth of product offerings and the declining color cost
    per page will allow for mainstreaming of more of these products in 2005. Nearly
    all commercial customers use color in their businesses currently (usually with
    color printers) and it is no longer a stretch with a proper analysis to cost
    justify the new generation of color/black and white combination copier/printers.
    These products, when placed properly, will replace a Segment 2 or 3 black and
    white device and provide color output and scanning. We will make sure our
    representatives are doing the proper customer needs analysis to include color
    before making recommendations.”

    Edward Murphy, Vice President of Finance and

    Simmons Business Systems, Bethel Park, Pa.


    2005, the penetration of the installed laser printer base will be the area of
    greatest opportunity for traditional dealers. Enhanced color products will also
    provide increased margins and opportunities. I believe that interaction and
    education of the IT staff is the best strategy for growth.”

    Matt Rock, President

    Simplified Office Solutions, Omaha, Neb.


    believe that the printer and color copier placements will be the greatest
    opportunity for our dealership. The best strategy for success is to train the
    sales force to sell printers and color copiers vs. selling boxes up and down the
    street. The best way to accomplish this is through in-depth site

    Frank Cucco, Owner

    Impact Networking LLC, Waukegan, Ill.


    we be able to convert our copier customers into copier/printer customers? Many
    of our customers fight MFP technology. If they fight it, our copying volumes
    drop. That makes their copier contract drop below our usual minimum and makes
    them unprofitable. If we can convert a higher percentage to MFPs we will be more
    profitable because their print volumes are so much higher than their copying
    volumes and MFPs require less service when printing. The manufacturers need to
    offer us lower cost print systems or price machines with print systems. The
    manufacturers will be able to make up the initial loss when they realize the
    increased toner sales.”

    Joel Blackford, Owner

    Copy Cat Business Systems, St. Paul, Minn.


    “Opportunities exist in the connecting and scanning environment. Color
    will also be very active. If the independent dealer services the customer as
    good as ever we should be fine. The hurdle the independent dealer is faced with
    is the manufacturer being fair with reasonable pricing for the