Thursday, September 27, 2007

John Reiling Retires from Ricoh Americas Corporation

After many years of dedication to the Duplicator Market, John Reiling (Duplicator Marketing) is now retiring. After knowing John for about ten years, I'm aware that Ricoh will miss one of the GOOD GUYS in the industry.

I first meet John in about 11 years ago while attending a Ricoh duplicator sales training course at Ricoh U. I was impressed with Johns knowledge, dedication and desire for duplicators market place. His Dedication, Determination and Desire inspired me to sell many duplicators and seek out new markets in my territory. I can remember countless times having questions and not being able to reach my DSM, each and every time I contacted John he was always pleasant, knowledgeable and treated me with respect that he always returned a phone call.

I looked forward to the trade shows, whether Ricohs Dealer Shows or Print On Demand, because I was sure that John would be there and he would have some great stuff to tell me, whether business or family.

Kudos John! Good Luck with Retirement and All of us at The P4PHotel wish you good health and happiness!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What Can Third Party Solution Provers do to Increase Business?

With my 27 years of experience in "down the street" sales, I for one can say that one of these old rules are true "Out of Site, is Out of Mind"! Lets take a look at the average reps day. Arrive in the AM, get settled in, from there you are either going on appointments or trying to get appointments whether from phone calls or cold calls. When we're not doing that we are up to our ears in paper work, or taking questions from customers in reference supplies, machine ops, billing, preparing quotes, and trying to close deals. Oops , I left one out, we also have to research speeds, feeds, pricing and solutions.

Recently, I was at a manufacturers one day training session for the Ricoh W2400 and Ricoh w3600 where they introduced the new system where we were informed about all of the new features. At most of these training sessions you may or may not have a rep from a third party solution provider show his wares and tout thier solution. This solution provider is an industry leader cost tracking and recovery technology for service professionals and their providers. We watched the slide show make some notes, asked some questions and to tell you the truth, most of us forgot 90% of what we heard. The meeting was then over and the "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" fell into place.

So, what went wrong? Was the rep boring, not knowledgeable? No, most of these reps do a fine job, its that the third party providers do not take into account is that we as reps have a full plate everyday.

The third party solutions providers like Print Audit, Captiva, Kofax, Doculex, Fabsoft, Ecopy, Zetafax and many others need to have a daily or weekly presence for the rep. It's impossible to call all of the reps, and since 20% of the reps do 80% of the business this would be a terrible waste of time. So, how about print advertising, not a bad idea however most reps do not get to see the dealer magazines, plus they are read today and gone tomorrow. Again, how can these companies maintain a daily or weekly presence? For me the answer is simple, go to where the reps are, and where are most reps, well the 20% of the best reps are researching and gaining knowledge through the Internet.

The best reps are doing research before 9:00am and after 5:00pm, whether working from the office or working at home. Ours is not a 9-5 job and we know it!

Advertising on the P4PHotel is a great way to stay in front of 1,500 reps every hour of the day and week. Brand awareness is key along with having the reps see your solution every day. The P4P Hotel averages 100,000 hits per month and has an average of 100 reps a day visiting the site. Take it from someone who knows if I see your ad on a daily basis, you'll be getting a call from me sometime in the near future.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Can SeriPrinters Revitalize Digital Duplicators?

Hear yee, Here yee, "duplicators are dead". With cpc's eroding lower and lower, and the onset of hi-speed cheap ink printers will digital duplicators go the way of the horse and buggy?
Mike Scott (Business Development and Marketing Executive) of DRYPrint tends to think that SeriPrinters may move Digital Duplicators to a niche market for production printing!

Recently, I had the chance to speak to Mike in reference to SeriPrinters, the serprinter actually attaches to the end of a digital duplicator and performs a basic function that drys the ink from a digital duplicator (using UV light) . The Seri also requires dedicated ink, or Seri UV ink, nice thing about the dedicated ink is that it can only be purchased from DRYPrint, therefor Seri Dealers have a captive ink market and a great revenue stream for years and years. But, the key to the Seri is that it will let a duplicator print onto virtually any stock! I've personally sold two units where the client needed to print lot numbers onto a gloss stock that had a varnish. They tried many laser printers and all failed, the printers could not handle the stock and the varnish caused premature failure of the fuser units. In came the Seri, and a Ricoh Duplicator and all of the problems were solved, the system was laying down black lot numbers on 120lb stock on top of a varnish finish! The customer was happy and that made me happy.

Mike states that there are many vertical markets for the Seri such as Associations, Colleges, Universities, Non-Profit Groups, Pharmacuetical, Print Shops along with Production Print Houses (in Plant Print Shops).

So, what else is Seri up to, well another model is the Seri25VDP, the VDP is for Variable Data Printing. Connecting is a snap with the built in Ethernet. Seri incorporated an ink print engine to lay down the variable data once at the end of the print cycle. The process runs smooth and adding VDP at 120 pages a minute is exactly what Associations, College and Universities need. Not only can you add a text but you can also print and image along with multiple lines of text and in different colors. As of right now Seri offers Black, Red, Reflex Blue and Green. Plus, get this the Seri even print postage prepaid on envelopes!

As Mike and I were talking, it seemed to me that reps who take on the product need to sell the Features, Advantages and Benefits of the SeriPrinter, there is no need to talk about the Duplicator, sell the SERI and the Duplicator will follow. Cool, similar to Solution Sales, sell the solution and the hardware will follow.

With the eroding GP's and lower Gross Margins, Solution Guru and Print Gurus should give the SeriPrinter serious consideration in their solution selling process. No competition, great margins and a protected ink revenue stream that will last many years.
So, when you think about the next solution think about where a Seri may fit in, think about the solution and think about the locking out the competition. Take a trip to and see what they've got going on!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

E-Copy 9.0 "What Are You Waiting For"?

Selling MFP's is a competitive business and it seems to be getting tougher every day..... for the reps who are only selling boxes or just upgrading existing clients! If can't separate yourself from the competition, your sales will and probably are in a downward spiral!

Let me tell you a quick story, we have five reps at our place. we represent Ricoh, Oki and Muratec. The guy with the least experience is 8 years in the business and then ten years and then the other three with over twenty years in the business. We have been an ecopy dealer for the last two years, at the end of the meeting I posed a question to all of the reps and then asked this one question. "What does ecopy desktop software do"? His response, "it scans...." I stopped him right there and told him he was wrong. I then made the statement that if we as reps can't start selling simple fantastic solutions, then you will be going the way of the Edsel!

E-Copy Desktop 9.0 Desktop software (Desktop Printer) is a great solution for merging electronic files from MS Word, Excel or other Windows applications along with scanned files to create a single document! You can move pages from any application to any position in the document. You can then email, LAN fax or print the document in the correct collated order. No more printing from multiple applications and then hand collated and then bring them to the copier. If you do not think that this has value in the office, YOU ARE MISTAKEN! Productivity in the office is probably in the top three when it comes to cost efficiency.

As a solutions guru, you need to bundle a 5 user license with every mfp, and stop talking about speeds and feeds and start talking about increasing productivity in the office! Start the talk track off with the software first, tell them the FAB (Features Advantage and Benefits) of E-Copy first. By doing this you will separate yourself from your competitor.

Here's another great thing about e-copy and my clients agree with me about this. The last time you created a document, think about how many different applications you used, MS Word, Excel, PDF's and maybe a scanned image or two? Ok, now you have printed all of you pages, hand collated them and then walked them to the copier for additional sets or you just needed one and did not make a copy. Tell me, what happens when you need to recreate that document in the future, arg!, you'll have to remember the file name from each application and then start the whole process over again. When you're using e-copy it can save the whole document as a pdf and can be saved in one folder! This is a great time saving for the average office user!

While in offices, I have found that a great number if SMB accounts do not have the full version of Adobe, at $400-$500 per license it is expensive. So, most of them are creating documents that way that I outlined.

Tip: Sell the solution and not the box, ecopy also has many other features which I enjoy. You can download a free 45 day evaluation here

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Samsung 6345N Review from the Street!

Its been about six months since the Samsung 6345N was introduced and about 4 months or so since it has been on the street. For those of you who do not know the 6345N is a 45ppm MFP that can scan, print copy & fax (optional) all for a retail price of $2,995. The system can take an optional fax module along with a finisher/stapler and upto three additional 550 sheet paper trays.I have sold six of these units since they came out and have captured about 50,000 pages per month for all of the devices.

Here's what I like about the 6345N:

  • Auto Doc Feeder is fast and copy and print speed is as advertised!

  • Large 550 sheet paper trays for letter or legal.

  • MSRP

  • Duplex Print Speed

  • Footprint

  • Color Scanning

  • Document Server

  • Simple Easy to Navigate Touch Screen

  • Easy Print Driver Navigation

  • Fax Forward to Email as PDF

  • Print Quality (Awesome)All in all well built, easy to use and will serve the needs well of illiterate MFP users. Not many bells and whistles, just down and dirty simple functionality.

Here goes what I don't like:

  • Can't receive letter and legal faxes, everything must go to letter or legal.

  • Accounting Package will not work, Samsung has stated that they are aware of the flaw and are developing a firmware upgrade.

  • Every time you replace or add paper you have to confirm the paper size.

  • Touch Screen seems like its not calibrated correctly and you have to select functions on most occasions more than once.

  • Halftone copy quality is horrible from a printer document, no adjustments seem to work well.

  • Extremely hard to make scan2email connections.Advanced Copy functionality such as duplex, collate, mixed sizes can not be selected until original documents have been loaded in the document feeder.


For the price there is alot of bang for the buck for the print, and copy speed. Illiterate MFP users will like this machine and it will perform fine up to 10,000 pages per month. Vertical Markets are Realty, Mortgage, Title and Attorneys if they need to receive both letter and legal faxes you need to talk them into faxforward2email, this will work well and eliminate the problem of not being able to receive and print letter and legal at the same time.

Were I would not sell this machine, is to advanced MFP users that are used to all of the functionality and ease of use of our current machines, if you do place one of these with advanced users, I guarantee you'll be removing it with in a weeks time!

Bringing me to the final point, I believe that these types of units from Samsung, HP, Xerox (relabeled Samsung) and Muratec (relabeled Samsung) are needed and their should be more of them. There is no need for an 11x17 foot print for the vertical markets that I described. Ricoh, and Canon need to step up to plate and give the customers what they need and want. It's said that 77% of all MFP users do not need 11x17.

One other note, for the price these systems allowed me to place units and beat the competition badly. I heard that a few reps stated they did not no anything about the unit, another rep stated that they only make phones. Bottom line was that in a competitive deal this system can capture your TDV each an every time.

If anyone else has anything to add, please do so!