Friday, November 28, 2008

Top Ten Copier Sales Tips

Whats made me successful in the field for so many years? I given this much thought and would like to share my top ten from my 28 years in down the street sales.

1. Be a consultant and not a sales person. Dig deep for their workflow and volume.
2. Always try to meet with the buyer/decision maker and not the gate keeper.
3. Be a professional at your job. Be on time, Courteous, Clean, speak their language.
4. Find out what your potential client does, what do they sell or manufacturer.
5. Position your self as the expert. Testimonials, Recommendations, Certificates..etc
6. Find out who they do business with. You may have common ground.
7. What is their buying time and why? (do they have pain)
8. What will make them buy or lease now. You won't know if you don't ask.
9. Know who your competition is.
10. Be creative, think outside the box, just because they have one unit does not mean they are not open to more units. Offer third party software solutions. Change the rules if you need to.

Too many sales people get lazy and look for an easy sale, believe me the days of easy sales are over. A Customer has a 35ppm system and the first thought is they need another 35ppm system. WRONG! They may need more or less, you've got to dig deep into their workflow, volumes and current costs. It's much easier to place your system if you can show the customer that they will save money, or increase productivity at no extra cost. It can be done, you just need to do the research, ask the right questions and be creative.

-=Good Selling=-

MFP War "How 2 Takedown A3 devices with A4's!

I've completed the "How 2 Takedown A3 devices with A4's", I also have a spreadsheet that will enable you to put in the existing customers costs, your costs and the savings will be calculated.

These papers will only be available to P4P Hotel members. I am also offering a premium service where you can email me what devices you need a cost per page for. Information on that service in provided in the files that will be sent to you.

Send me an email if you are interested in the documents and spreadsheet, again they are free to P4P Hotel members.

-=Good Selling=-

Polling Copier Sales People #7

The Print4Pay Hotel consistently runs polls among our members. Global membership is now over 2,100 members from 117 countries.

Our membership includes Dealer Sales People, Dealer Owners, Manufacturer Sales People, Sales Managers, Service Engineers, Customer Service Engineers, Dealer Sales Managers, Product Managers and Management.

I urge everyone to become a member, talk to your peers, exchange ideas, share competitive quotes and get a daily does of MFP Inspiration.

P4PHotel members responded with these answers in recent polls on the P4PHotel Message Boards.

Manufacturer Poll:
Question: With recent aquisition of Ikon, was it a good or bad business deal for Ricoh.

77% Good Deal
23% Bad Deal

One of our highest Polls ever! 209 votes

Color CPP Poll:
Question: How low will color cost per page go?

.075 14%
.070 27%
.065 32%
.060 14%
.055 5%
.050 0%
.045 0%
.040 0%
.035 9%

Cost Per Page Poll:
Question: Monochrome Segment 2 Cost Per Page Poll 21-30ppm (what do you charge)

.019 and over 0%
.015 - .018 42%
.011 - .014 47%
.008 - .010 11%
.005 - .007 0%
under .005 0%

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Managed Print Service Poll

It seems there is quite a bustle about Managed Print Services, from down sizing printer fleets, "Going Green" and managing all service, supplies and hardware.

Personally, I'm a big advocate of doing this with MFP's. Thus eliminate most personal printers in the workplace and provide workgroup MFP's to take care of printing, copying, faxing and scanning. Thus, you get the best of both worlds, a low cost per page on the workgroup MFP's and a service that will manage toner inventory, maintenance, service calls and support. Plus, nowadays all MFP's come with "Green" features such as Scan2Email, Far2ward2email (up to three lines in some machines), Scan2folder, Default Duplex Printing and Copying.

What, I've heard on the street is that most Managed Print Services are about capturing your clicks and making a profit on each one. Now, not all, but some are turning to remanufactuered toner cartridges, remanufactured fuser kits to increase profits. My, point, get an workgroup MFP it will be less expensive on a cost per page basis, faster, and provide "Green" paper saving solutions.

Take the poll and let us know what you are doing for MPS. Click here for MPS Poll.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Minolta Beta 450Z Copier

While cruising thru You Tube, I caught this old Minolta copier commercial!

The ole 450Z, brought accolades to Minolta for one of the top selling units ever! If some of you don't remember the Minolta 450Z was the first copier to have a zoom lens. It would reduce or enlarge to 1/10 of 1%. I can't tell you how many of these systems I sold to print shops, graphics artists, and newspaper companies.

One of the selling points was the lens, yes Minolta was making some of the finest lenses in the world and they used the camera lenses on these systems. Well....kinda, that what we said back then. The system had a stationary top, document feeder and a 10 bin sorter, and it was a heavy beast! Try loading these in and out of the car a few times a day.

On to the commercial! Only from the eye of Minolta!

MFP Weekend Industry Notes 11-23-08

Special thanx to the person who complies this!

A copier dealer in Dallas launches a website to sell printers nationwide. David Gu, who founded Meridian Office Systems Inc. in 1994, announced the new portal featuring:
Supplies for most brands of printers
Desktop machines from Okidata, Panasonic, Xerox & Muratec.

Kyocera launched three new desktop A4 color laser printers, the FS-5100DN, FS-5200DN and FS-5300DN featuring:
4 tandem amorphous silicon ceramic drum design
Does not offer 8 bits per pixel
Advertised as offering 9600dpi (actual is 600dpi)
Engine design is very similar to Xerox Phaser models (but apparently is not made by Fuji)
FS-5100DN offers 21ppm b/w or color w/533MHz for base MSRP of $899
FS-5200DN offers 21ppm b/w or color w/667MHz for base MSRP of $1399
FS-5300DN offers 26ppm b/w or color w/667MHz for base MSRP of $1699
Auto duplex
Polymerized toner technology
Up to 4 paper sources for up to 2,150 sheets of paper capacity
Need option to be able to handle thick or glossy paper

Kyocera announced plans to acquire Triumph-Adler of Germany from Volkswagon AG for $133 million. Triumph-Adler, which got is start making and selling manual typewriters, will give Kyocera a number of factory direct copier selling locations in Europe.

According to research conducted by Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is projected status of print worker types in the U.S.:
Graphic Designers = 286,424, up 9.8%
Desktop Publishers = 32,137 up 1%
Bookbinders – 5,995, down 16.9%
Bindery Workers = 50,697, down 21.8%
Job Printers = 43,749, down 9.3%
PrePress Technicians = 55,959, down 21.1%
Printing Machine Operators = 186,337, down 5.7%
SUMMARY = Not enough young people going to school to become print shop workers

Zoran Corp. of Sunnyvale, CA, which normally gets its revenue from making generic print controllers, announced it is now offering components for digital flat screen TV’s. (for instance Sharp has used Zoran to make its generic print controllers)

A Sharp copier dealer, New Smart Office Automation, announced it will host a quiz show at a local auditorium and give a new Sharp MFP as the grand prize. The quiz topics will be about information technology, printing, and document solutions.

Lanier, a division of Ricoh, announced that its largest dealer in the U.S. is TGI Office Automation of Brooklyn, New York. TGI employs 300 people in branches in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Owner is Frank Grasso.

Rosetta Technologies of Tampa, FL announced it will sell a modified version of a 50ppm Ricoh b/w laser printer so that it will use MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) toner for check printing. It will be called SP 8200DN MICR.

Ricoh announced it has hired former EFI executive, Kathy Wilson, to run its operations in Australia.

Ricoh announced it won a bid with City of Camden, NJ that bundled in docSTAR document management software with its MFPs.

Once Ricoh completed its acquisition of IKON, it supposedly sent folks to IKON’s headquarters in Malvern, PA and removed every piece of equipment inside that did not carry the Ricoh badge.

Ricoh announced it will spend $3 million to install a billboard in Time Square, New York City, that uses wind and solar to power the lighting.

The City of Salem, MA awarded a copier bid to Ricoh. A Ricoh Aficio 6000MP copier was chosen for $227 per month on a 48 month lease. Service/supplies are an additional $87 per month.

After Ricoh bought the printer division (InfoPrint) of IBM, which is headquartered in Boulder, CO, it has begun moving executives from Japan to run the company. Katsuya Ochiai is now the VP of Strategy & Business Development. The existing 550 employees in Boulder will be joined by three other executives who are moving from Japan.

Street pricing seen in the print for pay market:
Xerox 700 Digital Color Press w/Creo/Booklet-maker/fold-unit/LCT for $72,400. Color clicks @ $0.049 and b/w clicks @ $0.0129. 11”x17” billed as one click.
Xerox DocuColor 252/embedded Fiery/LCT for $31,100. Color clicks @ $0.049 and b/w clicks @ $0.0129. 11”x17” billed as one click.
Canon imageRUNNER C5185 w/Fiery/RADF/booklet-maker for $20,300. Color clicks @ $0.055 and b/w clicks @ $0.01. 11”x17” billed as one click.
Xerox 4112 w/Fiery/booklet-maker for $39,400 with b/w clicks @ $0.005 up to 200K/month, with overages @ $0.0039. 11”x17” billed as one click.

Toshiba announced that it now has available connectors for its MFPs for Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint.

A three decade ban on nuclear technology in country of India has ended, and Toshiba announced it will send nuclear engineers to the country to develop relations.

JBM Office Systems, a Toshiba dealer in Ontario, Canada, announced it will hold a “Printer Cost Reduction” conference at its office.

Canon announced that it will move is desktop inkjet printer manufacturing to Thailand in 2010 from Japan to cut costs.

Possibly due to the loss of IKON’s business, Canon announced that it has halted construction of a toner plant in western Japan, that would have cost $1 billion. A company spokesperson said it hoped to start construction of the plant perhaps in late 2009 if business improves.

Canon announced it sold an imagePRESS C7000VP production color system to Printing & Publications of Langhorne, PA.

Konica Minolta’s Planetarium division announced it has sold a GEMINISTAR system to the Gwasheon National Science Museum in Korea. Audiences will now be able to enjoy a real star-field with dome imaging.

Konica Minolta announced it is developing a portable projector that is only 1.6” long, .79” wide, and only 3” thick, roughly the size of a thumbdrive. It will show 20” wide images from 24” away from a screen or wall.

Police in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, are on the lookout for someone passing color copier-made fake $20 bills at local taverns.

Xerox installed six 25,000 gallon tanks as it works to complete a new polymerization toner plant in Webster, New York.

IBM won a bid from the State of Georgia for information technology. The 8 year contract is worth $873 million, and includes IBM sourcing computers from Dell and copiers from Xerox.

Xerox announced it will partner with a software company in India to expand managed print services. HCL, run by Vineet Nayar, will “open new opportunities for Xerox in the high-growth market while bringing sustainable business benefits to more customers worldwide”

When competing against Xerox, remember that if customer chooses NOT to use the preferred Xerox Leasing, the Xerox sales rep will normally charge a higher cost per copy service rate.

Xerox announced new paper products for production color laser systems:
Everflat paper, allows pages in an open book to lay completely flat, rather than bowing or arcing up towards the spine. Available in 80lb. cover weight. Actually made by Fuji Film of Japan.
PhotoPix, a pre-cut tabloid sheet, that pulls apart to yield one 8”x10”, one 5”x7” and 4 wallet size photos.
SportsPix, a letter-sized sheets that is precut to yield trading cards when pulled apart
FunFlip, a letter-size pre-cut sheet , that folds into a 3”x3” cube.
AccordianPix, a letter-size pre-cut sheet that folds into a free-standing panorama of eight images.

According to an article in ProPrint magazine, interesting info on the new Xerox 700 Digital Color Press:
That it is based on the same Fuji-made engine in the DocuColor 260 (also 242 and 252 models)
Sheet to sheet and front to back registration during auto duplex improved from 3mm (in 260) to 1mm
Improved laser assembly to provide more accurate laser dot placement
Runs at 70ppm for uncoated stocks up to 176gsm stocks, slows to 51ppm for 177-256gsm and slows to 35ppm for 300gsm stocks
Coated stocks of 106-176gsm run at 51ppm and 35ppm for heavier than 177gsm
Meant for 20K/month to 75K/month
Decurler added which makes unit 150mm longer than 242/252/260 engine

Hewlett Packard announced it has now placed 130 each of the Indigo 7000 production color systems worldwide which runs at a top speed of 120ppm.

Troy Group Inc. announced it will make a version of the Hewlett Packard LaserJet 3035 MFP that will use MICR toner, and call it the Troy 3035.

Hewlett Packard announced it will resell Readsoft accounts payable software as an option for its printers and MFPs.

The most popular magazine covering the computer industry, PC Magazine, announced it will cease printing the publication. The magazine, which started in 1982, will now only be available on-line.

XMPie, maker of popular high end variable data software, will conduct a video demonstration during the Print World 2008 show in Toronto on 11/22-24/08.

Smart Papers announced a new high gloss stock for production color laser systems. The new KromeKote True-Photo papers, use 30% recycled product, and are available in both 10point and 12point, 12”x18” sheets.

Dell launched new desktop color models:
New series of inkjet printers that are made by Kodak. Previously, all Dell models were sourced from Lexmark.
New color laser models include:
1320C offering A4 color speed of 12ppm for $299
1230C offering A4 color speed of 4ppm for $229
2130CN offers A4 color speed of 16ppm for $349
2135cn MFP offers copy/print/scan/fax and A4 color speed of 12ppm for $549
3130CN offer A4 color speed of 26ppm for $549
3115CN MFP offers A4 copy/print/scan/fax and color speed of 17ppm for $899
5110CN offers A4 color speed of 35ppm for $1349
Extended warranties do NOT includes supplies

Common electronic document search methods:
Boolean – in this type of search, words are placed in between the words to be searched, for example, if you search for “Black and White”, it will find documents with both words.
Fuzzy – retrieves pages that have the word searched both on its own or part of another word, for example, searching for “Key” will yield both “Key” and “Keystone”
Wildcard – allows you to use an asterisk in place of a word or phrase
Relational – finds the words and words that relate to the original search term
Context – can link like subjects based on context of the document

Buyers Labs Inc. gave its pick of the year award in the scanner category to:
Epson GT-1500
Fujitsu fi-6130
Fujitsu fi-6230
Visioneer 480
Fujitsu fi-6670
Fujitsu fi-6770
Panasonic KV-S4085CW/CL

Kodak filed a lawsuit against Samsung and LG over their cell phones. The company claims that they are infringing on Kodak patents through the use of the built-in cameras in their new cell phone models.

According to a report released by Nemertes Research, user demand for the internet will exceed its network capacity in 2 to 4 years. It predicts internet brownouts by 2012.

Okidata announced it will expand its plant in Dalian, China and move production there from Japan.

Lexmark announced that some of its sales and marketing staff will be let go at the end of the calendar year to cut costs.

Copier Humor II

Here's another, again back in the eighties.

Got a call from a person that ran a business out of their home. I secured the demonstration for the date and time. Loaded the copier and my partner in the car (remember when demo's took two people and you had to have a station wagon) and we were off! We got there and knocked on the door, then rang the doorbell, nothing.....figured we would go around back and knock on the backdoor.

We opened the gate and found a woman nude sun bathing in the back yard! She saw us, screamed and went indoors...... we had the wrong address.

Ah the eighties!

Here's another from Jason with the Ricoh Family Group P4P Hotel:

Years ago, a new rep asked for help running a comparison in BLI. She had already found our machine in BLI, but was unable to find the customer's current machine in the database.

I looked at her notes and found the machine she was looking for was the "Bodankor 2000". I told her I'd never heard of that manufacturer... was she sure that she had the name right?

She replied "yes, that's exactly what the customer said, "I just want to get rid of that old "Boat Anchor"."

These and more are just dome of the threads in the P4P Hotel, just yesterday I combed the internet for old copier commericals, you'd be suprised at what I found and posted.

-=Good Selling=-

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ecopy Desktop & "Eric the Office Worker"

"Eric the Office Worker" is now working at Acme Buy. "Eric the Office Worker" is a Customer Sales Rep, and helps customers fulfill their orders as the customers visit the Acme Buy Showroom.

Eric has no clue there's a better way to reduce paper and save time. Eric's current workflow is that he will print a sales order form (pdf) in color from a local color printer, he will then hand write the order information for the customer, when Eric is finished he has the customer sign the order, process payment. From there Eric will make a copy of that order for him self, a copy for the customer and hand over the original to order processing. Order processing will then enter the order, make another copy to forward to accounting. At this point the order that "Eric the Office Worker" filled out has been copied three times.

Now, did I tell you how "Eric the Office Worker" has a small issue with handwriting, although he enters all of the information needed, on many occasions "Eric the Office Worker" 2's look like 7's and some of his script needs to be deciphered. So, order processing will call him back about the order and verbally go over the numbers or words that are in questions. At times, Eric the Office Worker has even added sticky notes to the order to draw attention to a question on a model number the color of a specific item. Did I tell you that sometimes the sticky note never makes it to order processing? The last sticky note was found hanging off of Sally's shoe as she was entering the lunch room.

Eric is not the only sales person at the office, there are 9 more and each has the same workflow. Order entry spends countless hours questioning handwriting, additional notes, and if the order is misplaced there are additional hours spent each and every month.

So, where is the solution for "Eric the office Worker"? Acme needs to simplify the process and reduce errors in order to increase profit.

Ecopy desktop to the rescue! Ecopy desktop would be installed on all of the pc's, in additional we would add 10 USB signature scanners to all of the sales people. Now, "Eric the Office Worker" will pull up the sales order, from there he will edit the pdf form with Ecopy Desktop, that's right he'll be able to type all of the information on the screen. Once the order is correct, he will than have the customer sign the USB scanner and then import the signature to the form. Once completed, he will print one for the customer, then email the sales form (by, the way if Eric, needs to add anything additional to the form, he can add a "sticky note" to the electronic document)to order entry. From there order entry will view the order, enter the order in the system (order entry can also add notes at this time). Order Entry then emails the form to Accounting. Accounting then creates and invoice and files sales order electronically.

Using Ecopy Desktop has just saved three printed pages, seeing that there are 10 sales people that makes 30 pages saved, and then four orders from each rep per day now saves 120 pages a day, they're open 7 days a week, so that's a total of 3,600 pieces of paper saved. Monthly paper savings is $25.20.

We've also saved 3,600 copies at .0125 per page, there's another $45 per month. However the true savings is in productivity, the office now saves more than 7 hours per month due to the reduced paper based workflow. Documents are now clean and easy to read, everyone can keep an electronic copy if they need to along with the not every having a lost sales order ever again. At an average cost of $21 per hour, the company has saved an additional $147 in productivity.

End result is a monthly savings of $217.20 per month, cost to have ecopy desktop (15 seats) and scanners (10 USB scanners) and consulting equals $145 per month. Net savings every month equals $71.31 and a customer forever.

-=Good Selling=-

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Copier Humor!

Funny copier stuff is a recent thread on the P4P Hotel Message Boards. Like to share a few with everyone.

A young executive was leaving the office at 6 pm when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in hand.

“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is important, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?

“Certainly,” said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”

Special Thanx to John from Paducah for this next one:

I installed and trained an Aficio 3035 yesterday to a Sheriff's Office. One of the ladies (who is a true blonde) was asking questions on the yellow key. I instructed her that before you make copies, to press the button to first clear any job that was previously run. I thought she understood that. When I was following up today, I was told by one of the other clerks that what she understood, was that you press the yellow button after every copy made!! She was trying to run 25 stapled sets of a 10 page file, and was pressing the yellow button every time it made a copy. They said it took her about 3 hours to run the job, and someone finally told her that the only time you press the button is before you start to make copies, not during. I thought you guys would enjoy a "blonde moment."

-=Good Selling-=

Ricoh, IKON, RBS & Ricoh Dealers

Here's a what if scenario for everyone. With Ricohs acquisition of Ikon, I can see them more as a top tier distributor for Ricoh. Which means that they get all products PPBG (high end) and all the rest. I would tend to think that they will stay in the same market Fortune 1-1000. Ricoh Americas Corp aka Ricoh Business Systems may concentrate locally for Schools, Municipalities, State Agencies and Top 100 Accounts in their respective territories.

I also believe that larger Ricoh Dealers who are maintaining quota and above will stay on as Ricoh Dealers with some being offered PPBG. Ricoh Dealers that are not maintaining quota may be asked to take on Savin and Lanier brands instead of Ricoh. Those dealers would not be offered a shot at the PPBG machines and would have to concentrate on their own SMB market place.

If this was a strategy and believe me I have do idea what's going to come down the road. But, what if this panned out to be true. The Ricoh brand would be a top tier brand just being marketed by IKON, RBS and Mega Ricoh Dealers. Smaller dealers would compete for local SMB with Savin and Lanier. IKON, RBS and Mega Ricoh Dealers would be on the same playing field, while Savin and Lanier Dealers would also not have to compete against Ricoh in the local SMB market place.

Too me, the road the manufacturers are traveling down is a scary one. If Canon starts thier purchasing of Dealers (stated in a press release), they will obviously go after the top tier dealers in every major market. Canon needs to regain market share!

Where does that leave me, or other sales guys like me, we will be doomed to work for a manufacturer or will there still be some decent independents left in the next go around of purchases?????

-=Good Selling=-

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MFP Wars "How 2 Takedown A3 devices with A4's!

In a few days I will be publishing a sales paper on "How to Takedown A3 devices with A4 devices.

I will outline the step by step process on the sales interview, questions to ask, target markets, and spreadsheets for color and monochrome analysis. As you all know I'm a firm believer in A4 devices. Both Gartner and IDC agree that there will be more activity with these devices.

This document will be only be available to P4PHotel members. Membership is free

-=Good Selling=-

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ricoh MPC2030/2050/2550 Review

I traveled to Ricoh's New York City portal for the BIG BANG LAUNCH for the Ricoh 2030/2050/2550. I must say that I was impressed with color quality of this unit along with some outstanding features and new solution software!

A few of the notes that I collected:

Ricoh 2030spf (Entry Level Color)
20ppm in color and monochrome at 600 dpi
4 line LCD Display
512MB Memory Max
Standard TWAIN Scanning
No Adavanced Architecture, meaning no Document Server, no HD available
10K Black
5.5K Color
upto 12x18 paper thru by-pass
no finishing options

Pretty much a bare bones color system built to compete against A4 color units. MSRP is $5,500

Ricoh 2050spf and MPC 2050 (scanner and printer)
20ppm in color and monochrome at 600 dpi
Large Color Display
Optional Internal Finisher staple up to 50 Pages and optional hole punch
WSD scanner, XPS Driver, Mobile Driver
500 x 1 Paper Feed Unit (with Caster Table)
Mail-to-Print feature (MP C2050/C2550)
Scan-to-Media (USB/SD Card) (MP C2050/C2550)
Advanced Architecture, full boat with scan technologies. MSRP is $5,800

Ricoh 2550spf and MPC2550 (scanner and printer)
25ppm in color and monochrome @ 600 dpi
Large Color Display
Optional Internal Finisher staple up to 50 Pages and optional hole punch
WSD scanner, XPS Driver, Mobile Driver
500 x 1 Paper Feed Unit (with Caster Table)
Mail-to-Print feature (MP C2050/C2550)
Scan-to-Media (USB/SD Card) (MP C2050/C2550)

Advanced Architecture, full boat with scan technologies. MSRP is $7,500

No Fierys will be available for these units, if you need a fiery you'll have to advance to the MPC2800. The Fiery for this unit is set as a post launch.

What I liked most:

Mail2print (Print an E-mail attachment directly to the MFP!)
CAP Card Authentication Package
Scan2media, USB and SD Card
Automatic File Naming
Global Scan NX
Previre before Tranmission

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, November 17, 2008

MFP Weekend Industry Notes 11/17/08

The following is a quick review of copier/MFP industry news from industry publications.

- KIP provides more details on its new Color 80 wide format color system:
o Unlike most wide format color printers, this system uses toner and not ink
o Uses LED imaging instead of laser
o 600x600dpi (not 8 bits per pixel)
o Top speed of 2,160 square feet per hour (world’s fastest)
o 6 minute warmup time
o Holds 4 rolls of paper
o Total capacity of 6,000 square feed of media
o Can use plain paper, trace paper, film, gloss, up to 32lb. bond
o Maximum paper width of 36”
o Engine takes up 61” wide x 37.5” deep x 57” tall
o Weighs 2200 lbs.
o Needs a 220 volt, 16 amp circuit
o Accepts TIFF, JPEG, PNG, bitmap, GIF, PCS, TGA, RLE & RLC raster formats
o Accepts HPGL, HPGL/2, HP-RTL, PostScript, PDF & DWF vector formats
o Optional 2100 Scanner
 600x600 (8 bits per pixel)
 Up to 9.5” per second scanning for b/w
 Up to 4.1” per second scanning for color
 54” wide x 19.5” deep x 10.5” tall
 168lbs.
 Requires 120 volt outlet
o Optional stacker and fold unit
o MSRP for base engine and print controller = $105,985.00
 Optional premium RIP = $3700.00
 Optional 2100 scanner = $18,685.00

- Cooper’s & Lybrand study of office documents:
o 80% of corporate memory is on paper (contracts, memos, project plans, etc.)
o 90% of documents are merely passed along
o Average document gets copied 19 times in its life
o Average of $20 cost to file document
 $120 to find misplace document
 $220 to replace lost document
o 7.5% of all documents get lost
 This means if office generates 200 documents a week, it will lost 15 of them, costing company $3300
o 3% of all documents get misfiled
o 50% of office worker’s time is spent looking for information
o Only 5-15% of time is spent reading documents
o Currently, there are 4 trillion paper documents in the U.S. and is increasing 22% or 880 billion a year

- The British Columbia Biomedical clinic of Canada announced it has acquired Laserfiche software to manage its documents.
o Scans average of 10,000 records per day
o Eliminated 25 man hours per day used to file and retrieve documents

- The value of color on documents according to InfoTrends:
o Reduces visual search time by 80%
o Improves comprehension by 73%
o Increases retention by 78%

- Bozeman Deaconess Hospital of Montana announced it has purchased DocuWare to manage its documents:
o Saved $20,000 per month in payroll costs due to improved efficiencies
o Reduce patient wait times
o Eliminated 20 man hours per day in document tracking
o Eliminated 4 hours per week in old lab order search time
o Also purchased 12 Fujitsu high end scanners and 8 Canon MFPs
o Dealer who won the bid was J&H Office Equipment

- The Environmental Protection Agency of the federal government has filed a complaint against Oce’ for its plant in Fiskeville, Rhode Island for allegedly violating environmental law. Spokesman David Deegan says that the company failed to adequately capture pollution.

- Hewlett Packard announced it sold an Indigo ws4500 production color system to Weber Marking Systems of Arlington Heights, IL. In addition, it sold an Indigo 7000 system to Frecklebox, a print shop that specializes in variable data direct mail printing.

- Hewlett Packard hired Mike Feldman from IBM and made him Vice President and General Manager in charge of enterprise sale of its printers and MFPs. He will report to Lynn Pendergrass.

- Hewlett Packard won a bid to supply 850 scanning systems to UPS to reduce paper usage.

- Hewlett Packard announced it will discontinue the use of music written by Gary Glitter in its ads, after it found out that the artist was convicted of child molestation and porn.

- Hewlett Packard officially approved the use of some Neenah paper types with its Indigo production color systems.

- Hewlett Packard won a lawsuit against a company which made unauthorized cartridges for HP printers. LexJet of southern California was ordered to pay an undisclosed sum to HP for patent violation.

- Ricoh announced that in 2009, it will also offer a Creo print server for the new Aficio PRO C900 production color system, which currently only offers EFI Fiery solutions. It also announced that the official MSRP for the base print engine is $117,500.00.

- New rules for leasing given to sales reps of local Ricoh factory direct branches:
o 0.02968 rate factor for FMV, 36 months
o 0.02105 rate factor for FMV, 60 months
o Banks used include Wells Fargo, CIT, DLL, GE and Bank of America
o Maximum funding of 125% of MSRP of Ricoh products
o Apparently does not require that original lease documents be sent to bank used
o Policy is not to store equipment for customer if it is still under lease with a third party
o Not currently booking leases to:
 Real estate companies
 Mortgage companies
 Title companies
 Any request for exceptions require last two years’ financial statement

- Canon launched a new software solution called uniFLOW Output Manager, to help end users track copies and prints.

- Sharp announced that the base MSRPs of its new A4 Frontier series color laser MFPs, the MX-C311 and MX-C401 will be $7099 and $7995 respectively.

- Sharp announced it has purchased some more dealers and converted them into Sharp factory direct branches:
o Kearns Business Solutions, former Kyocera dealer, in Greenville, South Carolina, and will be run by Tom Pickens
o First Choice Business Machines of Seattle, WA, run by Dan Taylor, and has 8 locations in Washington.

- Several recent studies have shown that many inkjet printers require end users to change out inkjet cartridges even when the cartridges are not completely out of ink. One of the main reasons is due to a decrease in image quality when a cartridge runs low on ink. Contrast this with color laser MFPs, which suffer no decrease in image quality, and if under CPC contract, end users need not worry about wasted toner.

- Lexmark launched a new A4 color laser MFP, the X782E XL offering:
o Base MSRP of $4499.00
o Also available as print-only device, the C782n for $1999
o Top speed of 35ppm color and 40ppm for b/w
o Optional auto duplex
o 800MHz processor
o 768MB RAM
o Banner printing up to 48” long
o Optional stapling finisher
o Optional 5 bin mailbox output trays
o 1200x1200dpi (does not offer 8 bits per pixel)
o Black toner cartridge with 16,500 page yield, based on 5% toner coverage, for $183.00 each
o Color toner cartridges with 16,500 page yield each, for $410.00 each
o 11 second first b/w page out time
o 8” color touch screen LCD control panel
o 50 sheet document feeder
o Up to 75gsm paper weight handling
o Optional extended warranties do NOT include supplies

- InfoTrends predicts that the year 2010 will be the first year where the average solution sale will eclipse a hardware only sale in revenue. It also predicts that the amount of hardware-only providers could decrease by 50%.

- Kodak announced it won a bid to provide 30 each of the NexPress production color systems to print shop locations of Consolidated Graphics.

- Okidata started a “RED” program to allow its dealers’ sales rep to earn prizes for selling its color LED printers. The company also announced it will open up a factory direct branch in Argentina.

- Apparently if end users choose to buy cash, or use their own financing to get a Xerox copier, their click charge goes up as compared if they use Xerox’s leasing division.

- Xerox’s president, Ursula Burns gave out the following advice in an interview:
o Communicate – “Whenever you’re in a crisis you have to talk”
o Know the Culture – “work to build diversity”
o Have a Vision – show how to portray your company in the best of times
o People Matter – “the best strategy devised is worthless without a work force willing to adapt”
o Customers Matter Too – “the customer is the center of the universe” “customers aren’t always right, but you can’t tell them they’re wrong”
o Leadership is Key – “Good leaders are humble, focused and human. They put the enterprise before themselves”

- One of Xerox’s finest inventors, Christopher Snelling, pasted away. During his 44 years with Xerox, he received 101 patents.

- In another cost cutting move, Xerox laid off 50 workers in its Irish plant.

- Xerox announced it won a bid from IBM for MFPs, scanning and document management. What is worth mentioning is that IBM sold off its MFP and printer division (called InfoPrint) to Ricoh, yet did not award them the contract.

- The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, will be printed daily in New York on a Screen Truepress Jet520 production inkjet color printer at an Alphagraphics store. The unit can print up to 1200 newspapers an hour (each consisting of 48 tabloid pages)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ricoh, IKON, and the Next Great Bubble

Give credit where credit is due, special thanx to Jake Fishman at Gap Intellience for this.

Bubble, Bubble, Bubble….. The aftermath of the last big bubble, analysis of the current bubble, how to guard against the next bubble. There is no avoiding it. Every time we turn around it seems we're inundated by bubbles. Speculative bubbles are both everyone's favorite scapegoat and next great opportunity. From Holland's Tulip Mania Bubble of 1637 to the more recent examples that are currently affecting our economy, speculative bubbles throughout history have followed the same general blueprint. It has been proven time and time again, excessive buying that results in unjustified price inflation will eventually result in market contraction.

Ricoh completed its $1.6 billion acquisition of IKON Office Solutions last week, vaulting the manufacturer to the forefront of the office machine market and inciting what may prove to be the greatest run on dealer acquisitions to date - or the next big bubble. The deal is expected to allow Ricoh to surpass Xerox as the top selling office equipment manufacturer worldwide, as the company "upgrades" the estimated 720,000 non-Ricoh products that IKON has in the field. The acquisition also provides Ricoh with access to IKON's impressive Fortune 500 and public sector client list, adds 400 sales and service locations, and significantly bolsters the manufacturer's print services resume.

Since the merger was first announced in late August, rumors of impending consolidation and market-wide buying sprees have dominated conversations across the Internet and around the water cooler. With memories of Xerox' purchase of Global Imaging and Konica Minolta's acquisition of Danka Imaging still fresh, manufacturers quickly turned their attention to independent dealers across the country to ensure that their foothold in the channel remains intact. By the end of September, Canon had already acquired office equipment distributor Newcal Industries, reportedly outbidding Xerox by 20 percent, and revealing plans to "expand its sales network." Toshiba further fueled consolidation forecasts last week, announcing its acquisition of HPS Office Systems. Suddenly the value of the mom and pop copier dealership around the corner (not to mention regional distributor) is appreciating faster than a Southern Californian McMansion circa 2005 – and that was a big bubble.

It should be noted that the overlying theme of consolidation within the office machine channel is nothing new. All it takes is a Google search for "Independent Copier Dealer" to illustrate the fact that independent dealers are formed far less often than they are being acquired. In fact, IKON arguably had more influence in this phenomenon than any other company. IKON (then Alco) was among the first true copier dealer conglomerates, acquiring 450 independent dealers during the 1980s, and quickly emerging as a dominant player in the channel. IKON was also instrumental in educating manufacturers on the importance of maintaining control over channel partners, as it later dropped Sharp and slashed much of the vendor's US presence almost overnight.

Beyond possibly jump-starting the independent dealer boom of 2009, the acquisition of IKON presents several very real challenges for both Ricoh and IKON's now-former partner Canon. Canon devices represented roughly 60 percent of IKON's revenue and the termination of the relationship is surely keeping both manufacturers up at night.

Late last week Canon notified its dealers that the manufacturer will no longer supply copiers to the new Ricoh-IKON entity, essentially green-lighting competition with its expiring IKON contracts. Similar to when Jerry Maguire was unceremoniously ousted from Sports Management International, you can guarantee that Canon's network of Maguires plan to bring their share of Rod Tidwells with them. Like its previous contract terminations with both Danka and Global Imaging, it is very clear that Canon will not sell through its competition, even if it means a remarkable drop in channel presence. Canon will likely rely on dealer-friendly incentives as a short-term solution to its sudden loss in volume, but the vendor has no choice but to expand its direct and authorized network in order to maintain market share.

Despite Canon's ongoing independent dealer push, the manufacturer has just 53 direct branches providing the company with few opportunities to make up for the lost channel presence in the near future. With the prospect of a 40 percent lower US channel presence on Canon's mind and promises of an "expanded sales network" published, expanding its direct distribution network is undoubtedly at the top of the manufacturer's priority list. Canon's expected channel push will place similar pressure on every other vendor that relies on independent dealers to sell MFPs, laying the groundwork for an unprecedented year of acquisitions.

The supply void created by the end of Canon's distribution partnership with IKON and the promise of aggressive competition for the manufacturer's existing contracts provides Ricoh with its own set of challenges. Given the added financial burden created by the $1.6 billion acquisition, which comes in conjunction with the company's first drop in quarterly sales in 15 years, Ricoh is ill-equipped to invest in rapid capacity expansion. With that, it is likely that Ricoh will look to competing manufacturers to sell though the new reseller entity, delaying returns on many of the advantages that it sought to gain through the acquisition. The deal also disrupts the distribution of Ricoh's various brands and may concern some of its independent authorized dealers that share sales regions with IKON's 400 locations.

And so it continues, as the worldwide economy tries to buy its way out of the latest bust, MFP manufacturers move forward on a trend that has all the makings of a bubble. The need to establish and expand direct sales bases have never been more emphasized and the number of available independent dealers has never seemed more limited. Many manufacturers will see little choice but to expand their direct sales network, likely resulting in aggressive bidding wars, unrealistically steep premiums, and some unsound business decisions. That said, with dealerships rapidly being purchased, manufacturers have little choice but to take part in the ongoing consolidation and unlike previous bubbles, the true winners will not be the parties that resisted the trend. As long as the current copier business model remains intact, manufacturers who are conscious of dealers' intrinsic value and make sound investments will be best positioned as the latest boom period concludes.
And now I am off to open my own copier dealership...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Canon will Acquire US Office Equipment Dealers

Stop the presses, hold all of the merger deals and acquisitions. Seems Canon is going to be throwing some money around to buy dealers! So where will they go, major market, secondary markets. Is your dealership now worth more, since Canon has announced it needs to make acquisitions??

Here's the Press Release:

Friday November 14 2008 TOKYO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Canon Inc, the world's largest digital camera maker, said it will pursue acquisitions of office equipment distributors and strengthen its direct sales network in the United States after a key distributor was bought by rival Ricoh Co Ltd.

Canon Managing Director Masahiro Osawa also told Reuters in an interview that the company needed to review its target for calendar 2010 due to drastic changes in the economy.Canon has said it aims for 6 trillion yen ($62 billion) in sales and a net profit margin of 10 percent or more in 2010.Earlier this year Ricoh acquired U.S. office equipment distributor Ikon Office Solutions for $1.6 billion, dealing a blow to Canon because Ikon is a major dealer of its copiers and other office machines.

Canon machines represent 60 percent of the products Ikon handles, with Ricoh machines accounting for 30 percent. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MFPs & Printers Crossing Fine Lines

So, here's yet another A4 (55ppm) ready for the market place. Here's what they don't tell you, if you buy the regular image cartridge, your cost per page for the image cartridge only is .024 per page! Not including an optional maintenance agreement, a fuser maintenance kit (300K), Oil Fuser Wiper, Wax Fuser Wiper, Dual Charge Rollers, Pick Roll Assembly and Adf Maintenance Kit.

While you can get the Image Cartridge per page cost down to .012 by buying the high yeild at a hefty $438 per cartirdge.

LEXINGTON, Ky., Nov. 13, 2008 – Lexmark International, Inc.'s (NYSE: LXK) new Lexmark X658 family of monochrome laser multifunction products (MFPs) offers the robust design and rapid output speeds of large copiers in a smaller, more efficient device that saves valuable office space and can lower the total cost of printing and boost productivity.

The Lexmark X658 family, part of the new Lexmark X650 Series of monochrome laser MFPs, is targeted squarely at the high-growth A4 letter-size (8.5 inch x 11 inch) office segment. Sales of A4 MFPs are growing quickly due to their many inherent advantages over A3 tabloid-capable (11 inch x 17 inch) devices in most office environments, such as:

Cost savings – The acquisition price of X658 models is less than half that of a typical A3 MFP. Customers can save as much as 25 percent in their total ownership costs, depending upon average monthly page volumes, by using an A4 device. (Yeah, but the cost per page will kill you at .024 just for the image cartridge)

Space savings – The X658 family takes up significantly less floor space than typical A3 devices.
Time savings – The space-saving design of the X658 family enables time-saving finishing options and workflow solutions to be deployed close to users.
Technology optimization – Research shows businesses are out of balance when it comes to their A3 devices. These devices make up 24 percent of unit placements, and some research shows as few as 3 percent of pages produced are A3 size3.

With prices starting at $3,799, the Lexmark X658de, X658dme, X658dfe, X658dte, X658dtme and X658dtfe models deliver up to 55 prints, copies or scans per minute. Some models offer integrated finishing capabilities including a StapleSmart II™ finisher model to staple multiple sets of documents up to 50 pages each, or users can organize output with the four-bin, illuminated mailbox configuration. The MFPs also feature an input capacity of up to 2,300 sheets, advanced workflow capabilities with flexible scan destinations and formats, and powerful fax with time-saving functions, such as fax forwarding. A large-capacity 80GB hard drive offers expanded functionality.

The Lexmark X658 family also features Lexmark's award-winning e-Task color touch screen, which saves precious time and training effort. Complicated processes that involve multiple steps on competitive devices are reduced to the single touch of an icon on the e-Task touch screen. Additionally, Lexmark's Embedded Solutions Framework enables the MFPs to be customized with industry-specific and cross-industry solutions.

With Lexmark's new MyMFP solution, users can personalize the touch screen with the functions and short cuts they use the most.

These efficient MFPs can help businesses save the environment with eco-conscious features such as workflow solutions that enable users to scan and route documents digitally, reducing the number of printed pages, in addition to built-in two-sided printing to save paper. Other features include Eco-Mode to reduce power consumption and extra-high-yield cartridges that print up to 36,000 pages6, which means customers save time by replacing cartridges less frequently and reduce the number of cartridges recycled or sent to the landfill.

The Lexmark X658 models are equipped with state-of-the-art security and customizable user-access controls to help protect valuable corporate data. All of the models arrive pre-assembled and can be up and running in minutes.

The new Lexmark X658 family of monochrome laser MFPs is available through Lexmark's channel partners and on

About LexmarkLexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) provides businesses and consumers in more than 150 countries with a broad range of printing and imaging products, solutions and services that help them to be more productive. In 2007, Lexmark reported $5.0 billion in revenue. Learn how Lexmark can help you get more done at

Lexmark and Lexmark with diamond design are trademarks of Lexmark International, Inc., registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

1BLI Special Report: Copier vs. Printer, October 2007.

2Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, 2008Q2, September 2008. Includes only MFP Laser, 2008 H1, A3 and A4 Format, Worldwide excluding Japan.

3The A3 Document: Perception versus Reality, NewField IT, 2007.

4All prices are estimated street prices in U.S. dollars – actual prices may vary.

5Pages per minute at letter size.

6Average continuous black declared cartridge yield of standard pages is in accordance with ISO/IEC 19798.

All prices, features, specifications and capabilities are subject to change without notice.

ISO Page Yields

I get a real headache when I read this stuff. What they don't tell you is that is you only print 3 pages or less every time you click print, the cartridges will expire long before the manufacturers rated life. There outta be a law!

In December 2006, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) body approved new standards for ink (ISO/IEC 24711) and color toner (ISO/IEC 19798) printer cartridge page yield measurements. These new standards complement the ISO/IEC 19752 yield standard for monochrome toner printer cartridges published in June 2004.

The new ISO standards for ink and color toner cartridge yields clearly define the key attributes that affect yield and apply robust statistical analysis so all manufacturers can utilize the same methodology when measuring yield. Until now, printer manufacturers have not been able to use a uniform methodology to measure cartridge yields.

Details of the ISO/IEC standards are available on the Web site

What is page yield?
Page yield is the total number of pages that can be printed with a print cartridge. Until now, printer manufacturers have used a variety of methodologies to measure cartridge yields, making it challenging for you to accurately compare brands. That's why Lexmark, along with other printer manufacturers worked in conjunction with the ISO to create new standards for measuring page yield. On December 13, 2006, the ISO approved the new standard for inkjet (ISO)/IEC 24711) and color toner (ISO/IEC 19798) printer cartridge page yield measurements. These new standards compliment the ISO/IEC 19752 yield standard for monochrome toner cartridges published in June 2004.

Why are page yield standards important?
These page yield standards will help you make more informed purchase decisions by objectively and accurately evaluating print cartridge yields. The new ISO standards for inkjet and toner cartridge yields clearly define the key attributes that affect page yield and apply robust statistical analysis so all manufacturers can utilize the same methodology when measuring yield.

How are the tests performed?
The ISO/IEC 24711 and 19798 specifications stipulate that page yield is determined using a standard suite, printed in a controlled environment, with printer default settings. Because the printer environment can affect page yield, the testing environment is controlled at a temperature of 23.0C +/- 2.0C.

The test suite, specified in ISO/IEC 24712, is designed to work with either A4 or 8.5x11" paper. The suite is a PDF file consisting of four typical customer pages and one diagnostic page is to be printed using the most recent version of a PDF reader.

How many cartridges and printers are used in the testing?
A minimum of nine cartridges or cartridge sets are tested until they reach end of life. This allows reliable estimates of the average predicted yield within statistically defined boundaries. The standards recommend attaining cartridges from a variety of manufacturing dates and locations for testing.

A minimum of three cartridge sets are tested on three different printers to avoid bias due to printer variability. An equal number of cartridge sets are run on each printer.

Why are page yields listed as a cartridge and printer system?
ISO page yields are always listed as a cartridge and a printer system. Listing the page yields as a system best reflects the differences between printer speeds, color tables, maintenance routines, and firing frequencies in various printer models.

How are page yields calculated?
The reported ISO page yield must be at or below the lower 90% confidence interval of the mean. If there are 9 cartridges tested, the maximum ISO page yield is calculated as follows: ISO Page Yield = Average page yield - (1.86 * (std dev of page yield / 3))

How does this standard translate into 4x6" photos?
The ISO/IEC 24712 print suite is specified for A4 or 8.5x11" paper. There is currently no ISO page yield specifications associated with 4x6 prints. There is a new ISO committee that is starting to address this issue. It is estimated that the 4x6 page yield specification will be ratified in 2008 or 2009.
-=Good Selling=-

Sharp Frontier Series delivers a dream that....

"... a dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars", I remember this line from Captain Kirk on Star Trek. That's my thoughts when I first saw the new Frontier series the MX-C311 and the MC-C401 A4 devices from Sharp.

So, whats so cool about these new systems. Well, first of all as a sales guys that has to constantly address questions in reference to "how do I do this" or "how can I do that", the Frontier series stands atop all others.

The Frontier Series utilizes a "Remote Front Panel Feature"

•Can be used by organizations that have in-house help desks to help reduce costs associated with on-site device support
•Can be used to help remotely diagnose and provide quick resolution to problems
•Can be used to provide remote key operator training
•Used in conjunction with MWAi’s Scope™, can be remotely used by the dealer to provide outsourced device support – including full access to Service Simulation tests, reports and settings.

Can you imagine, no more traveling to the customers office to resolve a "how can I do this" or how can I do that" . I could actually take control of the key panel and walk them thru the issue or the feature. Awesome, this type of feature could save me a weeks worth of work during the course of the year!

Now, I've heard some talk and I even posted a thread in reference to how light the Sharp was. Indeed, I'll admit that I was not aware that the Sharp utilizes a Unibody frame.

•Provides strength & stability
•Reduces vibration
•Protects & isolates critical components

I'm sure that this innovation will cross over to other manufacturers.

Business Card Feeder Attachment allows for a stack of business cards to be placed in the autodocument feeder and then easily scanned and stored. This will work with most commericially available business card scanning software. Think of that, after a long day of cold calling all I have to do is put the cards in the feeder and send em to my scan file!! Whoo YA!

How about the OSA 3rd generation Developement Platform:

•MFP becomes a portal enabling quick access to information
•Quick and easy integration with network applications
•Flexible interface offers personalization and customization
•Uses industry standard protocols, such as XML and SOAP *
•High-resolution graphical UI and support for additional protocols, such as HTML, JAVA and others allow users to interact with network applications faster than ever before.

Another innovative feature is "My Sharp", in essence this allows a dealer to create a customized web site for training customers, what's the big deal, well the customer can view this right on the Color LCD display of the system, giving pretty much 27/7 suppport.

There's a lot to like about the new Frontier series, from the A4 paper capability, My Sharp, Remote Front Panel and 3rd gen OSA to all of the cool and innovative features.

Sharp has a homerun here and hope I don't see these soon in my territory.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Checking In & Out at The Print 4 Pay Hotel

This was an article written by Scott Cullen back in 2004, I have update some of the numbers such as total members, membership demographics and a few others to keep it current. (Art)

01/09/2004 By: Scott Cullen

When one checks into the Print4Pay Hotel it’s the guests who receive tips, not the staff. The Print4Pay Hotel: The Imaging Professional's Resource Center is a Website ( and message board focused on providing extensive imaging product information to resellers as well as a forum for imaging industry personnel to share knowledge. Although most members work for different dealerships, virtually all sell and service the Ricoh, Lanier, Savin, Sharp, Canon, KonicaMinolta, and Kyocera family of machines.

The site also contains an impressive collection of documents and brochures on various manufacturers office equipment. Art Post, CEO of the Print4Pay Hotel and Docusultant with Century Office Products in Middlesex, NJ, is the architect behind the Print4Pay Hotel. The site allows digital imaging specialists to share information and find answers quickly, says Post. It's also a place where imaging professionals can store their knowledge, search their knowledge, and share their inspirations, ideas and passion for the industry.

Launched seven years ago on a Yahoo! community, Post eventually switched to an MSN community to take advantage of additional features, such as additional memory which allowed him to include product brochures and photos that could be downloaded for proposals. Post notes that the purpose of the site isn’t to show how smart its members are and encourages visitors not to be afraid to ask questions. I think it's the real skinny about what the products can and can't do, says Post, plus the ability to get information quickly. Too often we call a product manager or district sales manager and don't get a call back in a timely manner, and then when we get the call, they say they'll get back to you if they don't know the answer. This could take a few more days. Adds Post, The reason we're asking the question is because the customer or the potential customer asked the question and these days you must be on top of your knowledge because if you aren't someone else is, and that someone else may get the sale or the heads up in the knowledge area. I've stated many times on the P4PHotel that with more than sixty pieces of hardware and 30 pieces of software, none of us are experts. However, we all have a certain expertise in different markets or different hardware and software. The Hotel allows us to share our information and then we as a group are more knowledgeable in all of these markets along with hardware and software.

The inspiration for the site came from a message board on Ricoh's sales/support extranet site. I thought I could do a better job and unite Ricoh, Savin and Lanier salespeople so that everyone could share information and knowledge within minutes, notes Post. Post subscribes to the notion that the days of selling boxes is over and that dealers must focus on selling solutions. In order to do this, not only are we required to know our own products but we must also know our competitor's products almost as well as our own, maintains Post. While we are doing this, we still must prospect, consult, evaluate, listen and then close the sale.

Since opening its doors in 2001, the hotel has grown to over 2,000 registered members and averages over 1,000 page views a day. Members aren’t limited to the U.S., the site has members from around the globe, including more than 116 different countries.It's not easy managing an Internet site, especially one that requires a constant flow of information and exchange of ideas. When asked what the biggest challenge of this Internet enterprise is, Post replies, The constant dedication to post new information, answer questions and grow membership. Post spends at least two hours per day on the site.

As with any discussion board, there are a number of topics of interest that seem to resonate more with members than others. Although Manufacturers do not sanction the site, Post reports that some of his contacts have told him that what he is doing is great and needed in the industry. That said, Post is aware of some sales manager's who are uncomfortable with what he's doing. I guess we have united Copier Salespeople across the country and now good and bad news travels quickly, opines Post. So, if a product bombs or a if a product is exceptional we get the word out to our members immediately.

Post believes the site has been a boon to his and other member's sales efforts even if there is some uncertainty from the manufacturer side. We know we're kicking butt with our products and all of our members are busy selling, maintains Post. All we're about is sharing information, sharing knowledge and sharing product information to support ourselves and our families.

MFP Competitive Quotes "Selling Copiers"

Over the past few weeks there have been a dozen or so competitive quotes uploaded to the P4PHotel Message Boards. These quotes are from our members share with our members.

Here's whats been uploaded:

Oce im2330
Oce im3512
Savin C2525
Xerox 7232
Oce Varioprint 2100
Ricoh MPC2000
Toshiba estudio 352
Bizhub futura C203
Sieko 1020MF
Samsung 6345
Samsung 6355
Ricoh MP1600
Ricoh MP161spf

Click on the links, become a member, it's FREE.

-=Good Selling=-

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Print Audit Green & "Eric the Office Worker"

So, you just bought a shiny new Color "Green" MFP. You know the system, your salesperson touted the "Green" features such as default auto off, default power save mode, default duplex copying, the small carbon foot print, scan2email, scan2folder, scan2UDOCX, scan2dropbox, and of course it was the end of  the month special deal just for you!

So, what good is all of this if you can't control printing?

Did you know that the average employee prints 34 pages a day and 17% of those pages are never used?

Do you think that "Eric the Office Worker" knows the cost per page of every MFP and printer in the office? What stops "Eric the Office Worker" from printing a 100 page color report to an ink jet printer (that can have a per page cost as high as 60 cents a page), all just because he didn't want to walk to the Color MFP or workgroup printer that prints at .08 cents per page.

The idea of "Eric the Office Worker" not taking the short walk just cost your company an extra $52 from one employee for one, try working this number with 10 employees doing this per day with 22 work days per month. Think of the abuse and the cost!!!

Rules based printing, what does this mean to "Eric the Office Worker", well the next time "Eric the Office Worker" prints a report he will get a pop up alert on his pc that directs him to print green to this device (meaning the device with the lowest per page cost). Plus the fact that all of management will know when and where "Eric the Office Worker" is printing. So, if "Eric the Office Worker" does not print responsibly he could have a new "Green" job cutting the grass around the office!

Did you know that Print Audit Green on the average reduces your printing by 15%? Taking a closer look, I have a client who produces 200,000 prints each month on their MFP's. A 15% reduction would lower those pages to 170,000. So, that's 30,000 (that's more than 3 trees a day you are saving from the mill) less sheets of paper at .008 for a savings of $240. Then 30,000 less meter clicks per month at .01, this will be a savings of 300.00. Overall savings is $540 per month, cost to implement Print Audit Green in their environment (about 50 users) would be $146.25 per month. Savings WOO YAA of $393.75 per month.

Here's some more cool facts about Print Audit:

Understand your environmental impact

•Monitor 100% of the printing in your environment to spot abuse and waste.
•Learn who is printing to where and when.

Reduce unnecessary printing and waste•Cut waste through the knowledge that all printing is being monitored.
•Decrease abuse by forcing duplexing, and restricting color printing.

Create green-friendly and cost-conscious users•Utilize printing limits or redirect users to use more efficient devices.
•Educate users of the costs and environmental impact of each print job they print.

Not once in the last 10 years did a customer every present a print or copy report to me on an appointment. Thus, showing that the average company has no idea of how many pages are copied, printed, and scanned. Nor do they have any idea of the cost associated with their volume and hardware. How the heck can you be in business and not know this? Print Audit should be in every office, even if it's only used at the end of the year to review how many pages were used and what the cost was per page.

Did you know that you can enable Print Audit Green Software for less than 10 cents per day per employee?

-=Good Selling=-

Polling Copier Sales People #6

The Print4Pay Hotel consistently runs polls among our members. Global membership is now over 2,000 members from 117 countries.

Our membership includes Dealer Sales People, Dealer Owners, Manufacturer Sales People, Sales Managers, Service Engineers, Customer Service Engineers, Dealer Sales Managers, Product Managers and Management.

I urge everyone to become a member, talk to your peers, exchange ideas, share competitive quotes and get a daily does of MFP Inspiration.

P4PHotel members responded with these answers in recent polls on the P4PHotel Message Boards.

Manufacturer Poll:
Question: Do you think every copier manufacturer needs and A4 line of MFP devices?

72% Yes
28% No

Lease Approval Poll:
Question: What type of lease approval percentages are you seeing compared to six months ago?

(8%) 100%
(17%) 95%
(0%) 90%
(0%) 85%
(8%) 80%
(0%) 75%
(8%) 70%
(8%) 65%
(0%) 60%
(8%) lower
(42%) unchanged

Cost Per Page Poll:
Question: Monochrome Segement One Cost Per Copy Poll 13-20 ppm (what do you charge?)

.025 and over 10%
.020 - .024 40%
.015 - .019 40%
.01 - .014 10%
under .01 0%

Monday, November 10, 2008

The History of Fax According to Art

Go ahead, you can do it, no one will see you. It's ok to hug your fax.

Facsimile "make similar", "make a copy" was invented in 1843 by Scottish mechanic and inventor Alexander Bain. He received a British patent for “improvements in producing and regulating electric currents and improvements in timepieces and in electric printing and signal telegraphs”, and the fax was born, well not entirely.

Alexander Bain's fax machine transmitter scanned a flat metal surface using a stylus mounted on a pendulum. The stylus picked up images from the metal surface. An amateur clock maker, Alexander Bain combined parts from clock mechanisms together with telegraph machines to invent his fax machine.

I can remember one of the main applications for fax was that of military use, when we demonstrated the technology we also spoke of how it was first used by the military. In fact the military adopted faxing in 1943 to transmit maps, orders and weather charts during World War II.

It was not until 1948 that the FCC authorized commercial use of fax technology, Western Union then manufactured 50,000 Deskfax machines for use at their offices.The first users of facsimile were newspapers to transmit and receive photos from around the world. The next user of facsimile were the weather services around the world.

Sixty years have passed since Western Union created the Deskfax. Remember these words, fax is dead, there's no need for fax when you have email. I'll admit that email has taken some of the fax machines popularity away, however there is still some type of fax in every office, whether its a stand alone product, a modem in a pc or a modem in multifunctional copy machine.

What would we have done in the eighties with out the fax? Any of you remember the Teli Vaxafax (made in Sweden)
I can remember some funny stories about faxing. Back in the Eighties, selling copiers we always ran across a rude "gate keeper" when we were telemarketing for copiers. Now, one of the quickest ways to get information to a customer was to "fax" a brochure, sometimes we had a fax number and sometimes we did not. However, it was not wise to be rude on the phone if we had your fax number. On a few occasions we would get the number of the fax machine from someone who was rude or hung up on us. We would then take a few sheets of letter paper and tape them together to make a long document, in most cases it was three sheets taped together. We would then dial the number, press the start key, once the paper started to feed (you had to remember that the early fax machines were very slow) we would then create a loop in the paper taping the end of the document to the beginning. Well, that's all it took, we would then let the fax do its work. What happened at the other end was that the fax would continue to receive the transmission until either the machine ran out of paper or the fax was turned off.
Well, it was funny back in the Eighties.

-=Good Selling=-

MFP Weekend Notes from 11/9/08

The following is a quick review of copier/MFP industry news from industry publications.

In an attempt to stop IKON from replacing their Canon MIF with Ricoh units, Canon ran full color, full page ads in major newspapers around the U.S. last week. The ads try to push customers to contact their local Canon factory direct branch for service and sales.

IKON announced it won an FM bid to displace Pitney Bowes at Emory University, including all facilities and hospital.

IKON also announced it won a bid to provide scanning and document management for Harrison County, Kentucky. The project starts by scanning 57,000 records.

Konica Minolta launched the CS-2000A Spectroradiometer, which is used by makers of flat screen televisions to check performance of the products. The CS-2000A is the world’s best ultra-low luminosity analyzer, and can measure as low as 0.000 cd/m2 and contrast measurements of 1,000,000 to 1.

Konica Minolta launched the CM-SA Skin Analysis Software, which will measure Melanin Index, Hb (Hemoglobin) Index and Hb SO2 (Hemoglobin oxygen saturation) Index. The software will be used by pharmaceutical companies, clinical organizations, dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

Toshiba announced it has purchased its 54th & 55th dealers.

HPS Office Systems of Indianapolis, IN
Will report to Toshiba branch in Illinois, and president, John Applegate
Was an authorized dealer for Toshiba and Savin (will no longer market Savin product)
Started selling copiers 35 years ago
Dealership started in 1939
90 employees
Former VP and GM was Wayne Wilkinson
Leon Mordoh, VP and GM, joined in 1965
$15 million annual revenue
Locations include Indianapolis, Muncie, Bloomington, Terre Haute & Columbus
Rocky Mountain Copiers Inc. of Colorado Springs, CO

In a cost cutting move, Xerox announced it will close its pulverized black toner plant in Oklahoma City, OK and lay off 100 employees.

Police in Twin Falls, Idaho, are looking for someone who is flooding the town with $20 bills made from a color copier.

Canon announced a new option for its imagePRESS production color systems. The X-Rite i1Process Control Software will provide more control of the color management of the systems. Pricing and ship date unknown.

More details on Canon’s new production b/w systems, the imagePRESS 1110, 1125 & 1135 models:
actually made by Canon (unlike current Canon imageRUNNER PRO models which are made by Kodak)
110ppm, 125ppm and 135ppm speeds respectively
Up to 14,000 sheets of paper on-line
Optional document feeder scans both sides of original at same time (600dpi)
Can scan in color, even though output is only b/w
256 level grayscale
Up to 300gsm paper handling
Optional print controllers include standard and EFI MicroPress
Finishing options include:
High capacity stacker
Perfect binder
Booklet maker w/trim
GBC punching
Folding unit

According to Global Industry Analysts Inc., the sale of computer printers worldwide will decline 3.09% per year until 2010. However, color laser printer sales will increase 15.98%.

American TonerServ, maker of generic toner cartridges, announced it is buying a competitor, named iPrint Technologies.

Panasonic announced it has sold off its Victor division, which it originally acquired in 1954. At one time, Victor was a leading manufacturer of high end calculators, among other electronics. Victor has now merged with Kenwood Corp.

The Print Council, an association of print shop owners, announced it will spend $750,000 and hire Leo Burnett Advertising Agency to create an ad campaign aimed at “C-level” executives to promote the use of print in the U.S.

Ricoh launched a direct mail campaign to promote the new Aficio PRO C900 production color system. The mailer program contained:
“Ricoh ROCKS” theme
Mailers were sent across the U.S. to print shops of all sizes
First mailer sent was a “Backstage Pass” inviting prospects for a free demo at the recent Graph Expo trade show in Chicago
Second mailer invited customers to “Unleash Your Inner Rock Star” and get a “Front Row Seat” by going to the local Ricoh factory direct branch for a “Private Performance” of the C900.
End users invited to run print job for free
C900 advertised as offering a “Hot Performance” for a “Cool Price”
Respondents receive a Ricoh-branded T-shirt and a “Record”, which is an invite printed on a sheet of plastic that looks like an LP.
Mailer has a PURL that directs end user to website for response.

Kodak announced a new option for its NexPress production color presses. The option, named Specialty Substrate Leveler, will allow thick, special stocks to run through the machine. This includes Laserwell and Digimagnet stocks, which are loyalty cards and magnetic reference cards.

According to a study conducted by PressTek, maker of digital offset presses, the following is a guideline for print shop owners of the optimum usage of color devices:
Runs of 250 sheets or less are best for digital toner devices
Run lengths of 250 each to 499 each, are good either for toner or digital offset devices
Run lengths of 500 to 20,000 are best for digital offset presses
20,000 or greater is best for conventional offset

Hewlett Packard announced it will resell several third party solutions for tracking prints and copies from its printers and MFPs:
CapellaTech MegaTrack
Pharos Systems Uniprint
SafeCom Tracking & GoPay
Software Shelf
Platinum Direct, a print shop in Dallas, announced it has purchased its second Hewlett Packard Indigo production color system, which it will use to print VPD jobs.

Hewlett Packard announced it is working on a huge color inkjet press for use by newspaper publishers. Expected selling price of $2.5 million.

Laser’s Resource, an HP dealer, announced it won a managed print services bid for Grand Rapids Community College.
personal printers eliminated
5 year cpc contract
Reduced printer/MFP unit count from 300 to 150 placements
HP Web Jetadmin used to track clicks

Hewlett Packard announced it lured Starbucks CFO, Pete Bocian, away to become HP’s new Chief Administrative Officer.

Having trouble printing a color PDF on your MFP? When using Adobe Acrobat Reader, go to the print driver, click on “Advanced” and then click “Print as image”, and job will most likely print.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Japanese Copier Companies & WWII

Before Ricoh was Ricoh, it was known as Riken Kankoshi Co., Ltd. was formed to produce positive sensitive paper, used to develop film. Riken also developed computer-designed lenses originated during World War II.

Before Canon was Canon, it was known as Precision Optical Industry., LTD, not much here for them, all I could get was that they were still a camera manufacturer.

In 1940 Precision Optical made a significant contribution to Japanese medical imaging technology when it developed the nation's first indirect x-ray camera, which played a major role in preventing spread of tuberculosis in Japan. When Japan went to war with the United States, the Japanese economy was entirely given over to supporting the military.

The company barely survived World War II. It was unable to manufacture its mainstay 35-millimeter cameras for the duration of the war, and only Mitarai's tireless efforts kept it afloat in the economic desolation that followed Japan's surrender in 1945.

Before Minolta was Minolta, it was known as Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha , alot here.

Produced Binoculars and Other Optical Products During World War II

In September 1940 Japan joined Germany and Italy in the Tripartite Pact, which divided Asia and Africa into spheres of influence. Japan's was to be Southeast Asia. As it became clear that war was ahead, Japanese military planners determined to develop precision optical equipment for range-finding, navigation, and bombing aids.

During World War II, when the U.S. military used electronics to track enemy ships and aircraft, the Japanese chose optics. Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko produced high-powered binoculars and other optical instruments with wartime uses. Demand was so high that it opened the Itami plant in 1942 solely to manufacture optical glass. In another document another company was Itami Glass Company and was founded under the IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy), they produced Binoculars and range finders.

Before Konica was Konica, it was known as Konishiroku Honten Co., Ltd. a lot here also.

Military Production: 1930s--44

In 1936 the company was registered as a publicly owned corporation with the name Konishiroku Honten Company. In 1938, as the likelihood of war increased, the Japanese government placed restrictions on cameras produced for consumers, and Konishiroku directed its major efforts to military products. It developed two types of ultra-compact aerial cameras for the Japanese Army in 1939 and 1940. In 1940, five years after Kodak introduced its Kodachrome color film, Konishiroku unveiled its Sakura natural color, Japan's first color film.

Rokuemon Sugiura VIII, grandson of the company's founder, became president of Konishiroku in 1941. Two years later, the company changed its name to Konishiroku Photo Industry Company, and established a research center. In 1944, under an industrial readjustment order, Konishiroku amalgamated with Showa Photo Industry.

Toshiba since 1939: The company's pre-World War II Japanese innovations included fluorescent lamps and radar.

During the late 1940s, Japan rapidly passed from a period of self-isolation and self-reliance into a period of largely benevolent occupation and advocacy. With the assistance of the Japanese government and its citizens, the American Occupation Authority instituted social and economic reforms, and poured resources into post-war financial markets.

Toshiba since 1939:

In 1945 the company's Yodobashi factory, warehouse, and research center were damaged by U.S. air raids. At the end of the war, in September, all factories that had been taken over for military production reverted back to the manufacture of consumer goods.

Panasonic before it was Panasonic was known as Matsushita Denki Sangyo :

Japan at this time was undergoing a severe political transformation as a right-wing militarist clique rose to power. The group won support from many industrialists, including Konosuke Matsushita, because it advocated the establishment of a Japanese-led pan-Asian economic community promising great profits for Japanese companies. As a leading manufacturer of electrical devices, Matsushita benefited greatly from the government's massive armament program. It soon gained markets in Japanese-controlled Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria, and prospered during the beginning of World War II.

After the Battle of Midway, it was clear not only that Japan would lose the war, but also that the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere promised by the militarists would never come to pass. Matsushita, locked in an uneasy partnership with the government, saw its fortunes deteriorate with Japan's.

Hitachi since 1920:

The ascendancy of the Japanese military government in the 1930s forced some changes at Hitachi. Although Odaira struggled to maintain corporate independence, his company was nonetheless pressured into manufacturing war material, including radar and sonar equipment for the Imperial Navy. Odaira, however, was successful in preventing Hitachi from manufacturing actual weapons.

World War II and its aftermath devastated the company. Many of its factories were destroyed by Allied bombing raids, and after the war, American occupational forces tried to disband Hitachi altogether. Founder Odaira was removed from the company. Nevertheless, as a result of three years of negotiations, Hitachi was permitted to maintain all but 19 of its manufacturing plants.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So, You Wanna Buy A Color Printer

I had a demo to do today on a color printer, however the color printer had to a have a fiery. Well, the only printer I could think of was the OKI 9800 hn or the OKI 3461 (Print Shop in a Box). I arranged a visit to Oki for the customer, it was close. however six miles away from the house I got a flat, and I didn't have a spare (all baseball equipment). So, I took a 5-10mph ride home.

The demo went ok, and my rep tried to show the 3641 MFP more however client the has his heart set on a printer. Now, when it comes to printers we do not offer a cpp, why?? is beyond me, however the client is not interested in service. So he would buy the consumables as needed and service as needed.

As I am a numbers man, and I'll make more selling the MFP than the printer. I ran some numbers based on a cpp for the Oki 3641 and the Oki 9800hn getting supplies an service as you need them. To tell you the truth I was astonished at the numbers. I complied a spread that encompassed 20% coverage to 100% coverage.

Here's the document for you all, MFP vs Printer Workbook this is also great to use for other comparison's when up against printers, its quick and easy and all you have to know is the cpp of the printer you are working with.

So, here's a freaky number I got, if you did 5,000 pages of 100% color per month, you would spend approximately $2,460 per month for service, parts and consumables, on the other hand if you had an MFP at a flat cost per page your cost would be $425.00 WOW. I know these are not real world usage however even on the low end the flat cpp is the way to go on a color mfp!

-=Good Selling=-