Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Samsung Stings MFP Manuafactuers!!!

It had to happen, did I think it was going to be MFP new comer Samsung! NO!!!

Samsung recentely released their flagship MFP the SCX-6345N. With a copy speed of 45ppm for letter and suplex print speed of 42ppm they have stunned the MFP market place, this is only the second system on the market that I know of that will not copy, scan or print 11x17, but as I have stated before, how many customers really need to print, copy or scan 11x17!

It has always been my contention that more of these systems should be developed and marketed to companies that do not need 11x17 capability. There are other options also, such as fax, finisher and stapling

A brief look at the unit tells me that this unit can an will compete with the likes of Ricoh, Canon and Xerox and will take significant clicks away from them! Dealers and sales people have been yearning for a system like this. Consumables, you bet! Drum is rated for 60K, Fuser for 200K, transfer unit 100K, Pick up Roller 100K, and toner is 20K. I have searched for supply pricing, however I had not found any, and I hope to have this in a few days so I can comment on the TCO and the CPC pricing.

Think of the possibilities! You can now sell a 45ppm MFP along with a 45 ppm color laser printer that has the 11x17 print capability less than the price of a 25ppm color MFP! Dealers who hop on this trend will be able to place more units at full retail and command a good margin on cpc pricing.

Here are a few statements from the Samsung web site:

Printing: At 43 prints per minute (simplex) and 40 prints per minute (duplex) your workloads cab be completed efficiently. And with many standard printing functions built in you can expand the range of your printing jobs.

Copying: Not only does the SCX-6345N's produce 43 copies per minute in A4 size but its duplex copy speed is almost as fast ~ 40 copies per minute when using the in built Document Feeder[DADF]. Moreover, the SCX-6345N performs nearly all the copy functions that are generally operated on A3 copiers.

Fax Option: With the optional Fax kit installed you can experience a variety of functions such as speed dial up to 200 numbers, group dial up to 100 groups (max. location per 1 group is 200), duplex send and receive, Fax-Email and etc. And because of the Duplex function then received faxes can be printed out double sided to reduce your operating costs.

Network Scanning: The SCX-6345N supports efficient distribution of scanned documents by allowing you to send them through email, FTP, SMB, Client.

All in all a force to be reckoned with in the emerging MFP Wars! Hey, it's all about the clicks RIGHT!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Are you Selling in a Vertical Market?

Today's offering from manufacturers is overwhelming to say the least. I can remember starting out on the business where one of the requirements is that you had to own or have access to a station wagon! One of the basic routines was to load a copier in the morning and then go cold calling, and if you found a hot prospect you would ask them if they would like to see a demonstration of the product. When they replied yes, you stated "great, I have one in the car, where can we do the demonstration? Yes, the good ole days when doors weren't locked, no soliciting signs were not the order of the day along with any intercoms and cameras to allow access.

Since, 2001 I have taken a vertical market approach to selling, having a territory that is high in NOPA ratings allows for a multitude of possible accounts. The vertical market that I concentrate on is Construction; which incorporates architects, engineers, general contractors, contractors, surveyors, mechanical contractors, and security systems companies.

Focusing on a vertical market allows me to learn more about each of this business and how they print, copy, fax and scan on a daily basis. I have become very familiar with the terms and their language, and boy does this help when trying to open the doors for discussion or attempting to dig for a solution that you might be able to present. Knowing their language positions you as the expert and the consultant that they can rely on for up to date solutions. It's really not as big a world as everyone thinks it is, most companies know of everyone else in their industry and have at last heard of them.

Here's how I started, I started with wide format systems for a few reasons. One the competition is not as fierce as regular copiers and the margins are usually higher due to the fact that there are only a few manufacturers. Plus the volume of paper that's needs to be copied, printed and faxed is enormous.

Focus on your smaller architectural firms that have 5-15 employees, most of the time when cold calling in person or when calling on the telephone you will be able to get to the owner of the firm. From there you need to use your skills to close for an appointment or a demonstration. Once you have sold an architectural firm you must ask for references, you can ask for Mechanical Engineers, General Contractors or Excavators and even Landscape Architects. All of these will have a need for wide format, copiers, scanners and fax. By the way, you can also go back to all of the wide format accounts and then solicit them for copiers, printers and fax.

Keep the ball rolling; use the "6 foot" approach when working the vertical market. Whenever you get within six feet of them ask them if they are need of saving time or saving money with their wide format documents.

I developed a mailing list for the wide format vertical market and every month I send out mailers to them. I do this in quarters, meaning the first month is for wide format, the second month is for MFP's and the third month is for software solutions (ecopy desktop, fax server software). Each quarter I repeat the process, after about one right or nine mailings, you will have clients calling you!

You can get your lists from Trade Associates, just go on the Internet and do a search for type of companies that you are interested. After the mailing I will also conduct phone calls and in person cold calls to the accounts. Conducting your prospecting this way will insure that you will get an audience sometime in the future.

Become a member for these trade organizations and offer to sponsor a meeting; most of these associations will have monthly or quarterly meetings. We have done a few of these and are always looking to do more. Nothing is better than having a captive audience and showing that you are recommended by their Trade Association.

Vertical Market Selling allows you to become an Expert in their business in a short amount of time and also allows you to spend more time with learning Features, Advantages and Benefits of the hardware that will be suit their needs.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ricoh Organizational Changes

Ricoh has finally pulled the trigger on the much anticipated merger of Lanier and Ricoh. The new Corporation will be call Ricoh Americas Corporation. The U.S. business unit of Ricoh Americas Corporation will continue to be known as Ricoh U.S.

Lanier's Direct Sales Force will be merged with Ricoh Business Systems and thier name will change to Ricoh Business Solutions and they will sell Ricoh branded products.

Existing Gestetner Dealers and Lanier Dealers will be merger to form a new National Dealer Network selling Lanier branded products and the Gestetner name will be phased out!

I for one had hoped that the Lanier name would just go away, but instead they opted to remove one of the oldest names in the business Gestetner.

The name change of Ricoh Business Systems to Ricoh Business Solutions is ideal for changing market place, however the clout of this merger may hurt Ricoh Dealers. What I mean is that you will now have twice as many reps running around telling customers that they are buying from Ricoh Direct! If they were buying direct they would be buying from Ricoh Americas Corporation right?

Will all of these branches have to turn a profit? Or are they there just to gain market share by selling on price. I believe I read an article where most of these business units were losing money and very few were turning a "real" profit. What's whacked out about RBS is the compensation for thier sales reps, paying commissions on Gross Dollars billed is bad for the industry, and most direct sales locations of all manufacturers have turned great pieces of equipment into a commodities market. When you compensate your reps on gross dollars, who cares how much is made on the box. Unfortunatley Dealers again will bear the brunt of this merger. Ricoh Americas Corporation must take a note from Dealers and learn "how to sell" and "how to sell solutions", Ricoh's Dealers must turn a profit, if not they will be out of business. So why is it that thier branches can not or will not turn a profit? From what I have seen is that the best and most experienced reps are working for dealers and not branches, hmmmmm why is that?

Another thought comes to mind, with the merger of Lanier Dealers and Gestener Dealers, what are they going to call themselves Lanier Direct? I'm sure there are a few Gestetner Dealers that are not happy with the way this has panned out. They spent all these years selling against the Lanier's and now they must adopt the name change.

I sell down the street, just like alot of you, the last thing I need is another 4 reps in my area telling customers that they are direct with Ricoh and another 4 reps selling the same model number.

Don't you think it would be a great time to launch the Great American Copier Corporation, darn... forgot about Xerox, however most of thier boxes are manufactured overseas also.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

On My Way Home!

I was on my way home from Palm Beach, Florida (went there to watch my son's collge baseball team) and the wife and I decided to get a drink at the airport in West Palm.

I ordered two Bloody Mary's, one for me and one for the wife. After I ordered the bartender asked if I would like a double for $2.00 more, I agreed and then he asked if I would like a triple for another two dollars, I agreed again. While I was there I watched this bartender work his magic. Everyone who ordered a beer, he would then tell them that for every beer they ordered they could get a shot for an additional three dollars more! This guy was must have poured 20 shots while I was at the bar!

This guy was a terrific sales person! Ask and ye shall recieve, I am taking a note from his aggressive style and will be asking all of my cleints if they would like an additional small from MFP for only $8.00 more per month!