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 user 2005-05-14 at 11:04:00 am Views: 55
  • #9483


    By Ronelle Ingram
    experts continue to write and speak about the no-growth or static growth economy
    in the office equipment sector. Yet each major manufacturer’s marketing
    spokesperson continues to predict that his or her specific company will grow
    their own business by 5-15% this year. Someone has to be either misinformed or
    overly optimistic.
    How is the independent dealer
    supposed to increase market share in this no-growth climate? Reportedly, the
    size of the marketing pie is remaining static. Yet everyone is expecting to
    receive a larger piece of the proverbial office equipment
    If our market’s pie is static, the
    only way to grow your share of the business revenue is to take new business away
    from some other companies. For the independent dealer, the logical place to look
    for growth is from disillusioned customers of the major manufacturers.

    Ricoh, Toshiba, Kyocera and Global
    continue their quest to acquire formerly independent dealers. With each
    purchase, there is a shift in the local market. Aggressive independent dealers
    can take advantage of any change in ownership in your market place. Customers
    and the employees of the newly purchased companies are a bit more vulnerable
    than usual. Change always creates an atmosphere of vulnerability.

    A common tactic the incumbent
    dealer may try to use to keep a wavering (former) customer is to
    –“You must buy all your products
    from us or we will not service your equipment.”
    –“You can not
    buy compatible products because it will void your
    –“We are the only authorized
    dealer in the area.”
    –“You can only buy parts from an
    authorized dealer.”
    –“If you do not have a service
    contract, we will not service you.”
    –“Other products are counterfeit
    and against the law for you to use.”
    When dealing with purchasing
    agents, trying to convince them that these threats are just that—ideal
    threats—is often difficult. Once a current vendor threatens to disrupt the flow
    of the customer’s business, trepidation sets in. Historically, purchasing agents
    will side with a current vendor, even at an inflated cost, rather than take a
    risk at a similar or lower cost with an unknown vendor.
    I have found
    factual, authoritative documentation will help purchasing agents be educated
    enough to make a change. This also gives the purchasing agent documentation to
    file away, or to use to explain to a supervisor why a change in vendor was made.

    Treat all decision makers in a
    professional and respectful manner. Provide them with factual material that will
    help back up their choice to start (or continue) buying from your company. Your
    ability to provide factual information that will provide them with legal
    recourse when they are threatened by other vendors will win you creditability
    and their business.
    Following is documentation of the
    U.S. federal laws and regulations that will enable you to professionally stand
    your ground when dealing with other companies that threaten your clients with
    unlawful statements.
    Free trade and fair competition are
    part of the American business cycle. Learn to let the United States government
    be your partner in growing your market share.
    Federal Trade
    Bureau of Competition

    Clayton Anti-Trust Act
    of 1914
    Clayton Act was established in 1914 in order to prohibit actions that may
    substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of
    commerce. It prohibits such activities as: price discrimination, selling of the
    same commodity to different buyers at different prices, exclusive dealing,
    holding a retailer or wholesaler to a single supplier on the understanding that
    no other distributor will receive supplies in a given area; interlocking
    directorates, holding by an individual of directorships of two or more competing
    companies; and companies holding competitors stocks. It also prohibits mergers
    and acquisitions where the effect is to lessen competition or to tend toward
    monopoly. It gives the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission
    authority to block any merger that would violate antitrust

    The Clayton Antitrust
    Act (1914)
    The Clayton Antitrust Act is comprised of SS12,
    13,14-19,20,21,22-27 of Title 15.

    Sec. 14. Sale, etc., on agreement not to use goods of competitor
    (S3 of the Clayton Act):
    It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce,
    in the course of such commerce, to lease or make a sale or contract for sale of
    goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities, whether
    patented or unpattended, for use, consumption, or resale within the United
    States or territory thereof or District of Columbia or any insular possession or
    other place under the jurisdiction of the United States, of fix a price charged
    therefore, or discount from, or rebate upon, such price, on the condition,
    agreement, or understanding, that the lessee or purchaser thereof shall not use
    or deal in the goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other
    commodities of a competitor or competitors of the lesser or seller, where the
    effect of such lease, sale, or contract for sale or such condition, agreement,
    or understanding may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a
    monopoly in any line of commerce
    Bureau of
    The FTC’s antitrust arm, the Bureau of Competition,
    seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. As a result,
    purchasers benefit from lower prices and greater availability of products and
    Bureau carries out this mission by investigating alleged law violations and,
    when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement
    action. If the Commission does decide to take action, the Bureau will help to
    implement that decision through litigation in federal court or before
    administrative law judges.
    The Bureau also serves as a research and policy resource
    on competition issues. It prepares reports and testimonies for Congress, and may
    present comments on specific competition issues pending before other
    Bureau of Competition has developed expertise in a number of industries
    important to consumers such as health care, other professional services, food,
    and energy.
    The antitrust laws are enforced by both the FTC’s Bureau
    of Competition and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. In order
    to prevent duplication of effort, the two agencies consult before opening any
    Commission’s antitrust authority comes primarily from the Federal Trade
    Commission Act and the Clayton Act both passed by Congress in 1914.

    —Most current update and judicial ruling, January
    your entire selling and servicing staff be familiar with these documents. Have
    them ready to give, email, fax and include in any sales presentation when the
    competition pressures your customer. Knowledge is a valuable partner in your
    quest to increase your market share. Do not allow your clients to be intimidated
    by unfair business practices of other companies that are vying for their