Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
- Ask the sales person how long they have worked with their current company. A sales person who has less than 2 years experience may not have the resources nor the knowledge to meet your needs.
- Ask about the the tenure of their service personnel and if you will see the same service technician. Having an experienced service person and the same person servicing the machine is important to quality work and troubleshooting. A company that send inexperienced service reps and multiple reps to the same machine is mot what you want. Too many chefs can spoil the soup and is true with copiers.
- Ask how long they have been in business. A couple of years may not be what you are looking for, today's machines are highly evolved from yesterdays, go with a company that has a proven track record.
- Ask if they carry multiple solutions from different manufacturers. No one manufacturer can be everything to everyone. Authorized Dealers will have multiple solutions from multiple manufacturers. While direct branches will only sell their solutions.
- Ask them how long it takes for a service rep to be on-site and then ask for some references. Doing the research before hand will save you time.
- Get a copy of the sales contract and service contract to review before you sign, a wishy washy document that was created in a word document is NOT THE CONTRACT! The contract will have many clauses to protect the Direct Branch and allow them to charge you extra for supplies, fuel surcharges and more!
Do you really want to buy from someone who offers the lowest price? Ask yourself, what are you sacrificing when you buy solely on the lowest price? Will it be the service, the training, or the support years down the road.
Typically, Independent Authorized Dealers have longevity with their customers, sales people, service staff and technicians. Typically, Direct Branches have the higher turnover with sales people, service staff, technicians and clients.
Now some of you who know me may say that I work for a Dealer and he doesn't know the other side. That's true, I have only worked for a Dealer and never a Direct Branch. My problem is that with 27 years in the business I don't know one rep who has more than 6 years with a Direct Branch while on the other hand I know 40 or more with Dealers who have over ten years with the same Dealer (they must be doing something right). Plus, why is it, that I will get new service accounts from the Direct Branch and I don't lose any to them.
The end result is most Direct Branches (mind you there are a few excellent Direct Branches out there) are out there to capture market share for the manufacturer. They have a high turnover of sales people and support people. Since they have NO "Value" to sell, they typically sell on price. What is "Value"? It could be a number of items, the value of support after the sale, the value of competent support staff to conduct on-site training, the value of troubleshooting a problem and finding a solution. The value of providing the right solution at the right time.
Some of you may be located where there is not a choice between an established Dealer or a Direct Branch, just follow that you should buy from a company that has the best support, the best people and the company that can offer more than one manufacturers and a company that can change on a dime when your needs change.
We all want a good price, however a cheap price is long forgotten after poor service!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
One of the neat features we have on the p4photel is that we often run many polls throughout the year. We've conducted polls about Color Cost per Page, Do You Think the Manufacturer that you Represent is Fair to Dealers, the Super Bowl and many others. The information provided comes from our members. The p4photel consists of 1,500 members from around the world, our largest group is from the United States.
A recent poll of our membership were asked to answer this question:
Poll #1: How Do You Feel About Your Job?
(17%) My job is Perfect and would not trade it for the world.
(33%) My job is ok, however I need more help from management to be more successful.
(21%) I'm overloaded with work and put in too many hours.
(13%) My job is not pleasant, no support from management or manufacturer.
(17%) I am looking for a new job as I read this poll!
Poll #2: Professional Corporations will offer a "piece" of the company to hold onto valued employees. This usually happens with Architects, Lawyers, Accountants, etc.Leads me to this poll:
Do you think Dealerships should offer "partnerships" to hold onto key employees?
Poll #3: What size company do you work for?
(13%) Manufacturers Branch
(13%) Large Dealer 50+
(28%) Medium Dealer 20+
(41%) Small Dealer
(6%) On Your Own
The goal of p4photel is to Inform, Share and Maintain the highest degree of knowledge for the Digital Imaging Industry. Simply put you've got a place on the Internet to share information, increase your knowledge and keep an ear to ground for the latest changes in our industry!