Friday, January 30, 2009

A Xerox Company Agrees to Buy Comdoc

Whoa! I had the call at 8:00am this morning and I was flabbergasted. My first thoughts was of this release; Xerox has become the latest technology heavyweight to issue a major round of layoffs.The company revealed on Thursday that the sagging economy has forced a reorganisation plan which could see some 3,000 jobs eliminated. Such a cut would remove five per cent of Xerox's total workforce.

Global Imaging Systems, Inc. is owned by Xerox, Global has agreed to buy Comdoc.

For the sake of almost 3,000 people who lost their jobs, was this a good move by a Xerox owned company? Heck in Rochester the other day, Xerox laid off 40% of the HR department!

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, however I'd like to see where all of the money came from. You don't go out and lay off 3,000 workers and then buy one of the largest independent dealers for office equipment in the US.

KUDOS to the employees of Comdoc, I'm thinking all of you made out real well with the sale.

Quote from Crains in Cleveland:

The employees at ComDoc Inc. might not own the company for much longer.

The pending purchase would bring to an end what ComDoc CEO Riley Lochridge in a past interview with Crain’s had described as a “culture of ownership.” The company’s employees increased their ownership stake in ComDoc to 100% from 42% on Dec. 29, 2006.

The Akron-based distributor of copiers and printers has agreed to be acquired by Global Imaging Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Xerox Corp. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2009. Terms were not disclosed.

Global Imaging Systems, Inc., a Xerox company (NYSE: XRX), today announced a definitive agreement to acquire ComDoc, Inc. This acquisition will expand Global Imaging’s coverage into four states offering them access to more than 14,000 new customers.

One of the larger independent dealers in the U.S., ComDoc, sells products from various suppliers, none of which today include Xerox. In addition to its existing offerings, ComDoc will start selling Xerox document management products following the close of the acquisition.
Comdoc, founded and headquartered in Akron, Ohio in 1955, has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Youngstown, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y.; and Fairmont, W. Va.

Summary: This was one of Ricoh's largest dealers in the North East, another hit for them and probably all the more reason to keep expanding direct. Canon? Where were they, you haven't heard squat from them since Ricoh bought IKON except for a purchase of NewCal in California.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leasing Copiers "A Word to the Wise"

In my 28 years selling office equipment, I've seen many ups and downs in the economy. Each uptick and down turn present unique issues for all of our clients.

When the economy is booming, you'll have clients that outgrew the system you leased to them last year and they still have 2-5 years left on the lease. When the economy is struggling you'll get calls from clients who are struggling to make their lease payments, what they leased a year or 18 months ago is now a burden because they don't have the work and can't keep up with the payments.

So, what are we to do? In the past 30 days I've had calls from three clients who are having a rough go of it, in particular one account who leased equipment two years for an office they closed a few months ago. Now they have two set of identical equipment and struggling to keep up with payments. I was called in to see if there was any way I could reduce the payments either with upgrading and buying out the old equipment. The bad news I have to give to the customer is that I can't do anything with either of their leases. Both of them are only two years into a 60 month lease and both have optional buyouts attached.

Keep in mind that when I present a proposal, I give my clients the option of how long they wish to lease and the type of buy-out option at the end of the term. Most customers will opt for the lowest payment, meaning they go for a 60 month term and the option to buy at the end of term.

Here's some points to consider when explaining the leasing options:

1. Always try to get the customer to commit to the shortest term possible that will meet their financial needs.
2. Explain the advantages and the disadvantages of a Fair Market Value Lease and a $1.00 purchase option lease.
3. Explain the how the equipment needs to be returned if they enter into a Fair Market Value Lease.
4. Explain the additional charges such as insurance and documentation fees.
5. Read the lease yourself, if you're not comfortable with the contract, don't give it to the customer to sign.

Getting back to my last client, where they have the extra equipment and they need to lower their payments. My only idea is to have them call the leasing company and see if the leasing company will start a new lease for them. It means that would have to resign for 4 or 5 years, however they would get what they need in order to make ends meet (lower payments). On the other hand I'm not even sure if leasing companies will do this.

Art Post

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sale of Ikon Sinks Canon Stock last quarter.

Canon falls 81% in profit from the last quarter!

My thoughts, at least for here in the US is that the last quarter was the straw that broke the camels back. I'm thinking it took one quarter for Ikon to sell of the remaining Canon stock of hardware, so the demise really took hold in the 4th quarter with no orders from Ikon for hardware. I'm also sure all of the reps are trying to get everyone out of the Canon units as soon as possible and thus there would be a drop in revenue for parts and supplies.

(Pictured above is the new Superstore )

I am surprised that there has been no major move from Canon, especially with reports that OCE is struggling! Canon buying OCE, hey, we've seen stranger things happen in the last 18 months. Other than giving a Canon dealership to any dealership that is breathing and the purchase of Newcal, Canon has remained quite.

The purchase of Ikon by Ricoh finally took its toll?

Tokyo: Japan's Canon Inc reported an 81.5 per cent fall in quarterly profit as a deepening recession hit demand for cameras and office equipment, and it forecast a bigger-than-expected profit decline for 2009.

Operating profit at Canon, the world's largest digital camera maker ahead of Sony Corp and Nikon Corp, came in at 35.8 billion yen ($401.7 million) in October-December, down from 193.58 billion yen a year earlier.

Canon's profitability was also hit by steep price falls and the strength of the yen, which makes Japanese products less price-competitive overseas and eats into exporters' revenues when converted into the Japanese currency.

For 2009, Canon forecast an operating profit of 160 billion yen, down from 496.1 billion yen a year earlier and compared with the consensus forecast for a 309.8 billion yen profit in a poll of 16 analysts by Reuters Estimates.

Shares in Canon, which competes with Xerox Corp and Ricoh Co Ltd in copiers and printers, lost 47 per cent over the past year, compared with a 49 per cent fall in the Tokyo market's electrical machinery index.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Driving Our Own Demise "MFP Business"

I just had the time to read Jim Lyons Observations Blog titled
Lyra Symposium -- first sessions include keynotes from Ricoh's Potesky and Xerox's Appelo, Lyra's LeCompte and Priede size up the industry

One conclusion that Jim offered up was are we "Driving Our Own Demise"?

Well, come to think of it, we are offering our customers more solutions to print and copy less along with scanning more. Along with that we sell hardware devices that put ink on paper. The manufacturers HP, Canon, Xerox, Ricoh and the rest all survive by planned obsolecense and the need for consumables. How can these manufacturers survive by reducing the amount of pages that are printed and copied every year?

I've heard from a few members in the P4P Hotel in recent days, and we continue to see an increase in the scanning of documents, in some cases users are scanning more than they copy and print. Far be it from me to be the first to start charging for scans, however I think the industry may have to go that way, especially if print and copy volumes continue to drop.

It's very strange indeed.

"TWIC" This Week in Canon!

A Canon dealer in Texas won a bid to supply DocuWare document management software and MFPS for 13 locations of Radiology Associates of San Antonio

- Canon announced that it will offer an embedded version of Prism DocRecord & DocSystem scan/retrieval software for its Canon imageRUNNER MFPs using its MEAP technology.

- In a sign of the times, Canon announced that it has halted construction plans for a new North American headquarters. The company originally announced grand plans to move from its current office in Lake Success, New York to a new 690,000 square foot facility in Melville, NY situated on a former 52 acre pumpkin farm.

-Canon Inc. expects 2009 group operating profit to drop about 60 percent because of the strong yen and weakness in U.S. and European sales, the Nikkei business daily reported in its Wednesday morning edition.

-Canon's sales have been hurt by the weakness of the economy, which has cut demand for the office equipment that makes up about 60 percent of its business, and by increased competition in digital cameras, which has led to lower prices.
-Camera and copier maker Canon is to close its Amstelveen headquarters with the loss of 226 jobs, the Parool reports on Tuesday. Canon has a workforce of 950 in the town of whom 250 are temporary staff.

-Canon is sending employees homes early (5:30) twice a week, to help the birthrate of Japan. Japan has a low birthrate and a rapidly aging population and the traditional 12-hours work days did not help in that matter. At least, that's the assumption here.

We wonder if this has any economic repercussions as well (are these hours paid or not?). Because it's not like companies around the world aren't asking their employees to take their vacations as soon as possible to make the books look better for next quarter.

-=Good Selling=-

Muratec MFX-C3400

I can see this box as a big seller in the AEC market place. A3, scan2email, scan2folder and fax. This is an Oki product, and I for one am hoping that Muratec also has the embedded print solution software. This would make this a tremendous value for AEC (Architect, Engineering and Construction).

One pitfall of this system is there is no LAN fax, LAN fax is very popular now, and the ability to send faxes from the PC and forward faxes to a folder or email address is valued point when discussing a customers business process.

Here's the specs:

Muratec announced it will relabel an Okidata color LED MFP, and call it the Muratec MFX-C3400 featuring:

- Base MSRP of $9995.00
- 26ppm color speed and 34ppm b/w
- Uses LED instead of laser technology
- Pulverized toner infused with wax
- Built-in print controller
- HP PCL and PostScript print drivers standard
- 40GB hard drive
- 512MB RAM
- Scan to email/PC/FTP
- USB & 10/100BaseT ports
- Auto duplex standard
- 600x1200dpi (does not offer true 8 bits per pixel)
- Up to 11”x17” paper handling
- Banner print mode up to 42.7” long
- Offers smallest footprint for an A3 color device, only 22” wide and 26” deep
- 4 tandem OPC drums
- 50 sheet RADF
- ID card copy feature
- Fax board
- Comes standard with 100 sheet stack bypass and 300 sheet drawer
- Can add more drawers to make the unit floor-standing
- Maximum paper supply of 1,460 sheets
- Uses a 5.8” monochrome LCD control panel
- Bypass supports up to 110lb. index
- drawers and duplexer support up to 46lb. only
- Black toner yield of 9,500 based on 5% coverage
- Color toners yield 10,000 each
- Each drum yields 20,000 images

Monday, January 26, 2009

MFP Weekend Industry Notes


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

- A resident of Dickinson, South Dakota, was surprised to find out that the cash deposit they attempted to make at their bank was rejected as counterfeit money. Local police and the Secret Service are looking for an individual who used a color copier to create the $100 bills that were given to the customer.

- A Chattanooga, Tennessee man named Michael Pardue was arrested after the fake $20 bills he made on a color copier were caught when he tried to make a purchase at a convenience store.

Note from Art: When are people going to learn you can't copy money, you'll get caught!!!

- GE Capital announced it will have a sizeable layoff of employees in its division in Macon, Georgia. This division is called IKON Financial, as it was the primary funding source for IKON prior to their acquisition by Ricoh. Unknown what the impact will be on existing IKON customer.
- IKON, now a division of Ricoh, announced it won an FM contract from Disney for 5 of its resorts in the U.S.

Note from Art: I wonder if IKON meetings will now be held at Disney World, and maybe Mickey Mouse and Goofy can help them write a profitable business plan!

- IKON announced it will lease space on Metro Parkway in Fort Myers, Florida for a new branch.

- Intel announced its fourth quarter financials:
- profit plunged 90% to $234 million from $2.27 billion
- loss of $1.1 billion from equity investments and interest
- 23% decline in revenue
- will shut 5 manfacturing plants and layoff 5,000 employees

- Franchise Services, which runs many print shop chains, announced a reorganization:
- Runs Sir Speedy, PiP, Signal Graphics, Copies Now and MultiCopy
- Richard Lowe now President & COO
- Dan Beck is Executive Vice President
- John Bowen is VP
- Dan Conger is VP & CFO
- Kelly Kimberlin is VP of Strategic Development
- David Robidoux is VP of Marketing
- Christian Lau is VP of IT

- More info on the partnership between IBM and Ricoh. Apparently Ricoh copier sales reps are going to attempt to sell IBM Managed Services, which is a hosted service to monitor customer’s networks.

- HP announced it had won a bid to supply MFPs to McQueary Henry Bowles Troy, a large insurance brokerage headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

- Hewlett Packard announced that its top executive, Mark Hurd, received a $34 million in pay for the year 2008. His base salary is $1.45 million.

Note from Art: Good for him, and I hope he spends every dime of it, or maybe he can give some back to HP so they don't have to lay off any workers!

- Oce’ announced that it had received Fogra Validation for prints from the Oce’ CS665 coupled with an EFI Fiery print server, which is a relabeled Konica Minolta PRO C6501. This certification is based on the ISO/CD 1264707 color accuracy standard.
- Xerox announced it won a bid to provide MFPs and document management solution to the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida.
- Xerox announced it will relabel software from Autonomy Corporation, which makes Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) technology, which will be used in Xerox’s DocuShare content management

- Xerox announced it is working with the Lotus division of IBM to make software to embed in its MFPs.

- Xerox announced its last quarter’s financials:
- will cut 3,000 jobs to cut costs on top of the 1,500 jobs the company already shed in 2008
- jobs cuts are supposed to save $200M per year
- Stock share price dropped 73 cents to $6.86
- Revenue from supplies dropped 8%
- Profits dropped 99.7% to only $1 million as compared to $382 million last year
- Total sales fell 10% to $4.37 billion
- Equipment sales fell 15%
- Still has $1.2 billion in cash on hand

Note from Art: How is that Global aquisition looking now? 1.2 billion in cash and they lay off 3,000 workers???

- Toshiba’s copier division announced it will sponsor the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Road Racing series. It will provide a “mobile business center” that includes an eSTUDIO 4520C color MFP.

- U.S. NRG Energy announced it will pay $8.8 billion for equipment from Toshiba to build two new nuclear power plants in Texas.

- Standard Register announced it won a 5 year contract with MedAssets, a group purchasing organization for the healthcare industry. Standard Register offers forms and facilities management.

- Panasonic named Bob Perry as Executive VP, reporting directly to Shiro Kitajima, the president. Mr. Perry is formerly from Sharp.

- Due to recent weak performance, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the Lexmark’s debt rating to “Baa2”, the second lowest possible rating.

- Sony announced it will close a TV manufacturing plant in Japan due to slow sales and layoff 2,000 employees.

- Best Buy announced it has named a new CEO, Brian Dunn. He replaces Brad Anderson, who leaves the company during reduced revenues.

- The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a scam at the Cleveland public school district. Details:
- The district paid $160,200 to buy size high speed duplicators from Superior Offset Supplies (SOS). - Order was for six machines selling for $24,750 apiece.
- Also included $11,700 for consulting fees
- The purchase was authorized by Dan Burns, who at the time was Chief Operating Officer, who resigned from his job eight days ago.
- The machines were bought two at a time to circumvent a rule which required a bid for purchases over $50,000.
- Sheriff’s deputies searched the schools, but did not find the machines, nor any proof that they were ever delivered.
- Also under investigation is the owner of SOS, Mr. John Briggle.

- Microsoft announced it will terminate 5,000 employees to reduce costs.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Small business multifunction copier

Below is a question that was posted on CNET. I took the time to answer the post on CNET. Here's the link for the entire thread small business multifunctional copier.

We would like to purchase a color/b&w copier for under $1000. Estimating 2500 b&W, 1000 color copies/day. We don't need alot of whistles just volume. Any suggestions. Also where can I find cost/page info for comparisons?

Here's the real scoop, if you get a machine for under $1,000, here's what you can expect based on your volume.

1. Color per page cost at .20 cents per page based on 20% coverage of the page. That means you'll spend $200 per month for color supplies!
2. Black per page cost at .03 cents per page based on 5% coverage of the page. That means you'll spend $75 per month for black supplies!
3. Within two years or less the machine will be worthless and probably be down more often for consumable supplies and maintenance than its running.
4. If this device could last 5 years you would spend $16,500 for a $1,000 system.
5. You would probably replace the system every year, because systems under a $1,000 are not built for that capacity.

Now here's what you should do:

1. Lease a larger machine ie: Ricoh mp c2550 for under $120 per month
2. Black per page cost is .015 with on-site service, means you'll spend $37.50 per month for supplies and maintenance.
3. Color per page cost is .10 or under with on-site service, means you'll spend $100 per month or less for supplies and maintenance.
4. System will be faster, have better reliability, plus add additional features which may stream line your business process.

Summary: That $1,000 system will cost you $275 per month in supplies only and will not last the year. In 12 months you'll need another, here you must also amortize the cost of the $1,000 system over 12 months which equals $83.33 per month. So your TCO (Total Cost of operation) is $358.33 per month. Moving to a larger unit such as the Ricoh MP C2550 your total monthly cost with supplies, on-site service and lease is $257.50. That's more than $130 per month in savings. Keep in mind that if your volume increases so do your costs. If your volume increases at 10% per year for 5 years your savings could be well over $300 per month.

Don't let the small investment price fool you, you need a larger system to meet your needs. Please also keep in mind that the cost per page for the Ricoh device may vary from dealer to dealer and geographical location, the cost per page is only an average of what I have seen in the industry for this device.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

5 questions to ask BEFORE buying a new printer

5 questions to ask BEFORE buying a new printer was a google alert I received to day. I took a peek to see what someone else had to say about printers or MFP's. Headlining the article was
Essential home-office equipment for the accounting and finance professional

The article was targeted for Accountants and

Here's the 5 points that he spoke about, I'll follow with rebuttal:

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

1. Is most of your printing producing monochrome (black & white) output? If so, an inexpensive mono laser printer might be the best choice. These are available in the $100 range, and have great looking output as well as fast print speed. Black and white printers.

These $100 printers will cost a small fortune to keep them running, it's estimated
that a $100 laser printer can have a monochrome per page cost as high as 5 cents a page depending upon the make and model of the unit. Plus the fact, that if the system does break the cost to fix will be more than the printer, and off to the municipal landfill goes another printer.

2. Does your typical output include color graphics? A color inkjet printer is affordable, and fine for proofing. For this use, an inexpensive inkjet in the under $75 range is perfect. Color inkjet printers

Ah, inkjet printers, the person writing the article is a CPA. The printer maybe inexpensive, and depending on page coverage of ink, these inexpensive printers can cost as much as seventy cents per page. Plus, most of these printers incorporate a tri-color ink cartridge. What that means is that there are three colors of ink in one cartridge, so if the blue expires, you have to trash the entire ink cartridge and get another. If you are printing only 100 color pages a month. Your cost $75 printer could cost you $70 a month in supplies or more!

It's late and I'm not going to get into the other points. The main point I'd like to make is that yes these printers are inexpensive to buy. However printer manufactures lose money to sell these printers so they can make millions of dollars on the ink and toner cartridges.

Do your self a favor when buying a printer, whether it's color or monochrome. Spend the extra money for a more expensive and larger printer as long as you have the space. Spending a $1,000 now will save you a ton of cash. Think of it this way, you spend $75 per month on ink cartridges for 5 years, after 5 years you will have spent $4,500 and probably another $300 on four more printers (because they won't last).

When you invest in a commerical laser printer, you will have a lower per page cost. In most cases a $1,000 color laser printer will have a per page cost of about .18 cents per page. The cost to make a 100 pages is $18.00, your 5 year cost for toner cartridges would be $1,080, plus the investment of the printer. Your total cost is $2,080 compared to $4,800. That's a savings of almost $3,000 over 5 years. Plus you will get 5 years out of your $1,000 investment.

I just thought that since this article was written by an accountant for accountants that they should have focused not merely on the cost of the printer, but the cost per page.

-=Good Selling=-
Finance Professionals that will work out of the home office.

This Week in Canon "TWIC" 1/18/09

Picked all of these items up during the last week.

A Canon dealer in Texas won a bid to supply DocuWare document management software and MFPS for 13 locations of Radiology Associates of San Antonio

Canon announced it has won several awards from Buyers Labs Inc.:
- “MFP Line of the Year” for overall quality of entire product line
- “Outstanding Segment 4 Monochrome” for imageRUNNER 3245
- “Outstanding Segment 3 Monochrome” for imageRUNNRE 3235
- “Outstanding Segment 2 Monochrome” for imageRUNNER 3225
- “Outstanding Segment 2 Color” for imageRUNNER C2550

Canon released a new b/w MFP, the imageRUNNER 5050n featuring:
- 50ppm top speed
- Scan speed up to 65ipm
- Comes standard with print controller offering PCL print driver (PostScript is an expensive option, as Canon outsources its print controller technology)
- Finishing options include stapling, booklet-making, hole-punch and z-fold
- Optional cover insertion
- Optional scanning (does not come standard with print controller)
- Optional fax board
- Maximum paper supply of 7,650 sheets
- Maximum paper weight handling of 110lb. index

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Xerox Innovation "Mouse turns 40"

I couldn't believe when I read it. The computer accessory called the "mouse" is now 40 years old! Plus, I never knew it was a Xerox invention, boy those guys and gals in Palo Alto are pretty clever. I picked up this article from IT Web, thought I would repost for everyone.

The computer mouse has turned 40: It was in December 1968 that the first mouse was demonstrated at research labs in California.

Thirteen years later, Xerox took the mouse commercial when it attached it to its Star computer system in 1981.

Remarkably, the mouse has changed little in these 40 years. The first prototype was developed at Stanford Research Institute by Dr Douglas Engelbart's research team as a new way of interacting with computers. Its original name while under development was "turtle"!

"It is worth remembering that in 1968 not many people even communicated with a computer by means of a keyboard," says Rob Abraham, MD of Bytes Document Solutions, the distributor of Xerox to 24 African countries.

"Computers filled entire rooms, they were difficult to program and use, very costly, limited in memory, and hard to interact with. Computer operators then used teletext and punchcards, by and large, and people seeing the first mouse were bemused."

On 9 December 1968, a simple demonstration of the new mouse changed everything. Point and click was made possible by a handheld wooden device with a button and two metal wheels. It had a thick cord protruding from its rear, which gave it its nickname, mouse, which stuck immediately and forever.

While the first mouse was primitive, even today it would be instantly recognisable. However, it was far ahead of its time and it remained a theoretical concept.

Xerox worked on it in subsequent years, and in 1981 it became part of commercial computing. Still, adoption was limited and it was only in the next year, when Xerox sold the new device to Apple Computer for $40 000, and Steve Jobs connected it to Apple II, that it took off and entered the mainstream.

The mouse has proved so successful as a man-machine interface that its basic design has remained intact for 40 years. In the meantime, it has sold literally in the billions - in November 2008 Logitech built its billionth mouse.

"Xerox is renowned for its innovation," adds Abraham. "Its other inventions include xerography, Ethernet, the laser printer, the graphical user interface, and most recently, reusable paper. Xerox invests $1.4 billion a year in research and development and has 5 000 scientists worldwide working on tomorrow's technology. Given its commitment to innovation, the company will continue producing such breakthrough technology as the computer mouse."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Print4Pay Industry Notes

Gathered from recent publications, here you go!

Digital Publishing Solutions magazine conducted a study of print for pay providers and found:
- document communications industry still growing at 12%
- 29% plan on buying a 60+ppm production color system in 2009
- 23% plan on buying a 80+ppm production b/w system in 2009

Fedex Office, formerly known as Kinko’s, announced results of a study of office workers:
- 58% believe it will be more important to find better work/life balance in 2009
- 86% plan on pursuing a better balance in 2009
- 49% plan on taking all their vacation time
- 42% will start a weekly to do list
- 41% will leave work at a reasonable hour
- 36% will take lunch on a consistent basis

Staples, the office supply superstore, announced results of study of business owners:
- 62% admitted that they were transforming into a “mouse potato” (i.e. constantly on the computer)
- 66% work and eat at same time
- 25% admit to eating breakfast during work
- 69% are constantly trying new things to increase revenues
- 47% are “intrapreneurs” (i.e. operates within the corporate structure pursuing innovative projects)
- 84% are confident they will survey the economic situation
- 51% are reducing their own compensation in 2009
- 38% are reducing their business travel
- 45% are advertising less
- 48% are using more viral and word-of-mouth marketing
- Over 50% are willing to forgo vacations to ensure job stability

The next trade show to show off the latest in new production print systems is the OnDemand Conference & Expo in Philadelphia on 3/30-4/2/09. Among the sponsors are Konica Minolta & Canon.

Microsoft announced that it will introduce a new operating system to replace Windows Vista, called Windows 7. Also, the company announced it will end support for Windows XP on 4/8/2014.

The Printing Industry of America announced results of a new study in how printed direct mail pieces survive the U.S. Postal service, comparing output from a production toner color system and that from a traditional offset press:
- percentage of tears was roughly equivalent between digital and offset produced mailers
- 25.3% of output from offset press arrived with significant damage
- 7.2% of output from digital system arrived with significant damage
- All output was identical, with heavy coverage on 6”x9” postcards, and no UV coating

Results of a study on value of direct mail conducted by Direct Marketing News:
- 50% enjoy reading their mail more than reading e-mail
- 85% review USPS mail daily
- 94% took action on an offer they received in a direct mail offer
- 75% responded to less than 11% of the offers received
- 30%-66% said that direct mail coupon usage would increase
- 78% prefer to receive coupons in the mail versus e-mail
- 65% said they are examining mail more closely to find coupons
- A direct mail offer prompted 37% of customers to business with a vendor for the first time
- 70% of respondents renewed their relationship with a vendor due to a direct mail piece
- Up to 44% donated money due to an appeal from a direct mail piece

Sony announced it will report a loss for the first time in 14 years. The company will close 5 of its 57 plants to cut costs.

Acacia Research, a firm that buys obscure patents, announced it has forced Dell & Lexmark to pay license fees for a patent it owns pertaining to network multifunction printer technology. The dollar amount was not released. Other companies that have already settled with Acacia are; HP, Samsung, Oce’, Brother, Epson, Muratec, Okidata, Panasonic & Toshiba. Acacia reports that its total annual collections are up 45% to $13.8 million per year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend MFP Industry Notes


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

Xerox scientist, Peter Kazmaier of Canada, received his 100th patent from the U.S. Government for technology that he hopes one day will lead to erasable paper.

Lexmark warned that its fourth quarter financials would be lower than expected:
- stock shares went down 11%
- restructuring charge of $45 million
- Layoff of 375 jobs
- 17% drop in revenue
- Company started as a spinoff of IBM in 1991
- Stock dropped to $28.35 per share
- Still has 14,000 employees

Drytac of Richmond, VA announced an off-line UV coater that supposedly works with production color systems that use polymerized toner. The VersaCoater offers a 20” width and a footprint of just 18 square feet. For info visit

Kodak announced it will buy the high speed scanner division of Bowe Bell & Howell:
- Bell & Howell owns some proprietary scanning camera technology
- Some models scan up to 48” wide documents
- Bell & Howell CEO was Marvin Isles
- Kodak technicians have been a subcontractor for Bell & Howell scanners to provide warranty service since 1991

Kodak announced it has now sold 9 of its Kodak-made NexPress production color systems to WMSG, a print for pay provider in Dallas, TX.

Kodak announced it has sold a NexPress 700 (which is actually a relabeled Canon imagePRESS C7000VP) to Full House Press, a print shop in Bel Air, MD. and Glenmore Printing of British Columbia, Canada. Both systems were bundled with Kodak MarketMover, which is a package to assist printshop owners in marketing and selling digital output.

Xerox announced it has sold its first Xerox 980 to Ames, a print for pay in Massachusetts. If you recall, the 980 is the world’s first roll-fed color production system that uses “flash fusing”, meaning that it only uses heat, but no pressure to get toner to stick to paper. More details:
- 600x600dpi
- Top speed of 493ipm or 986ipm in auto duplex mode
- Selling price not announced

In a cost cutting move, Xerox announced it will let go of 50 employees from its plant in Wilsonville, Oregon. The plant employs 16,000, and was the former Tektronix Phaser color printer plant.

Oce’ announced its last quarter financials:
- Net income dropped 98%
- Profit down from 36.1 million euro to only 700,000 euro
- Sales were down 4.3%
- Stopped manufacturing some products temporarily due to high inventory levels
- Total revenue down 5.5% to 802 million euro
- CEO, Rokus van Iperen stated that company’s business was “severely” affected by financial crisis
- “We will pursue our strategy including exploring of opportunities to enter in to new partnerships”
- 280 jobs eliminated
- is considering allowing other firms to relabel its wide format and roll-fed systems
- Total liabilities of 2.5 billion euros

The U.S. Patent Office announced that for the 16th year in a row, IBM is the top patent holder for 2008, by receiving 4,186 patents.

IBM announced it will be raising the price of its desktop printers.

Hewlett Packard announced it has received awards from Buyers Labs Inc.:
- “Color Printer Line of the Year”
- “Outstanding Achievement Award” for its CM8060 Edgeline color inkjet MFP

EFI announced it won “Best” awards from the Business Equipment Research & Testing Laboratory (BERTL) for its Graphic Arts Package and Command WorkStation software which are part of the Fiery print servers.

IKON, now a division of Ricoh, announced it won an FM contract with a large multi-state law firm. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen LLP has offices in New York, Washington DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong & Shanghai with 650 attorneys.

Toshiba announced it will buy the hard drive division of Fujitsu for $450 million. This division’s most common product is a 2.5” drive for notebook computers. (further investment by Toshiba in a business outside of MFPs on a division of Fujitsu that was losing money)

Toshiba announced that is eSTUDIO 2330C, 2830C, 3530C & 4520C color MFP series has won some awards:
- Better Buys For Business “Editors Choice”
- BERTL “Best” award
- BERTL “Exceptional 5 Star Rating”
- BLI “4 and a Half Star Rating”

Sharp announced it is now shipping its new color laser MFPs, the MS-4100N, MX-4101N & MX-5001N, featuring:
- 4 tandem OPC drum design
- Uses pulverized toner infused with wax
- Does NOT offer true 8 bits per pixel imaging
- Built-in retractable QWERTY style keyboard
- 8.5” high resolution, touch screen LCD control panel
- Support the optional Sharp OSA embedded software feature
- Textured exterior with chrome accents
- Built-in print controller offers only a 800MHz processor
- PCL print driver standard (PostScript is an expensive option as Sharp outsources its print controller technology)
- Optional fax board
- Auto duplex standard
- Maximum paper supply of 5,600 sheets
- 100 sheet document feeder on the MX-4100N
- 150 sheet document feeder that scan both side of original at same time on the MX-4101N and MX- 5001N
- Optional card swipe authentication

DocuWare announced it won a bid to supply document management software to Porter County, Indiana.

Zoran, maker of print controller technology, in its latest financial report, claims to provide technology for:
- Xerox
- Samsung
- Hewlett Packard
- Sharp
- Epson
- Ricoh
- Okidata
- Oce’

A Zogby poll on color printing revealed:
- 53% think that color printing is a luxury
- 35% said cost is main reason why they do not print in color
- 82% would print in color if it cost the same as b/w
- 39% said they do not recognize the value of color in their documents
- 28% said they print presentations in color
- 25% said they print graphs in color

Sunday, January 18, 2009

HP & Redington Feud over Iran

It seems the Boston Globe may have hit a nerve with both Redington and HP.

Just a week ago HP announced that it will tell Redington not to sell products in Iran.

Redington has now lashed out at HP:

But Redington Gulf has angrily hit back at suggestions it has been serving as an illicit conduit for HP in Iran, insisting the company has an authorised contract with HP that permits the sale of certain printer lines and supplies to approved Iranian customers.

Raj Shankar, CEO at Redington Gulf, explained: “We have a separate contract for Iran and we are allowed to sell a certain type of products, which they classify as EAR99. But irrespective of that, the fact is there is a certain class of products in what HP would call IPG hardware — that is printers — which you are allowed to sell. And you are allowed to sell supplies, this is how it is.”
Writes Andrew Seymour in an article named "Redington speaks out over HP Iran saga"

It seems that Redington was allowed by HP to sell certain types of printer to approved Iranian customers. You go figure, cause I'm figuring there must be a couple of hundred page contract sitting out their somewhere.

Is there a big deal about selling printers in Iran, if so why. Can printer technology make give Iran an advantage when it come to weapons? Why can't HP sell printers to a company in the Gulf, come now its a printer. It does provide good reading and writing material though.

-=Good Selling=-

Selling Copiers and MFP's "Get Back to the Basics"

Too often in sales we get caught up in the day to day work of research, solutions, speeds, feeds and analysis and forget some of the basic sales skills that we learned.

Some of us had formal sales training classes and some were self learners going out and purchasing sales books.

Over the cold and snowy weekend, I did some surfing on the web and found a fantastic web site that brought me back to the basics. It was clear, concise and I didn't have to go searching for my books.

I've put these links in the P4PHotel Forums. Just click on your manufacturer and go to the sales forums the links will be there. Ricoh Family Group, KonicaMinolta, Kyocera, Sharp, KonicaMinolta and Canon.

  • Relationship Selling

  • Become a Sales Consultant

  • Don't Nickel & Dime

  • Top Down Selling

  • Columbo

  • Assume Consent

  • Puppy Dog

  • Take Away

Some of my favorite sales movies used some of this material "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" with Neil Page (Steve Martin) and Del Griffith (John Candy). John Candy was a rep for shower curtain rings, and he did a scene at the bus or train station where he sold all of his sample shower curtain rings as earrings! The there was "Tommy Boy" with Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) and Richard (David Spade), Tommy had to go out and sell a million brake pads to save his fathers company.

Mind you, it was good to read all of these again, the one that I had never read or heard of before was the Columbo one, "just one more thing". All in all, it's always refreshing to get back to basics.

"Good Selling"


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Selling Copiers "Death of a Dealer"

Today or tomorrow the copier dealership that I work for will be sold. Well, thank God that they just didn't close their doors like a few other copier dealers did in just this last year in the New York City Metro area.

My feelings, we are being bought by a first class outfit out of PA. I'd like to think of them as a technology solutions company first, and of the many hardware solutions are multifunctional copiers.

I always referred to my old company that they were stuck in the 80's. No corporate web site, no goals for growth, no training (the first two years we had training), no understanding of technology solutions and the thought that most customers were out to screw them.

Over the last few years, I started to see the writing on the wall, you know the signs of a sinking ship (I should have abandon ship a few years ago) Where we had inventory, now their was none. Where we had a demo room, and then there was none. Where we had test machines and then their were none. We used to be able to get systems in a few days and then it turned into weeks. I thought to myself what in the world is going on. Somewhere in the last five years it seems that the owners lost the three D's (Desire, Dedication and Determination) to succeed or to improve. That's' what I believe led to what will happen today or tomorrow.

Can desire come and go along with dedication and determination? Well, it seems it can. The industry that they once loved had beat them into the ground. With the likes of RBS, TABS, CBS, KMBS, SBS, Xerox and Global all in our market place, direct branch sales managers were gung ho on buying business and buying clicks, and they had deep pockets. My best guess is at times deals from direct branches had no more than 6-8% margins. This type of selling took many traditional accounts and the effects were soon felt. I've always stated that the dealers subsidize the direct branches. Manufacturers will say its not true, however the books are held so tight we'll never know. I say let the Direct Branches stand or fall on their own, if this were true. most of them would fail.

So, now I'm at a cross roads in the copier/mfp industry. Being in the industry for
29 years, I seen all of the tricks, heard all of the excuses and know all the dirty secrets. It seems that I may know too much and sometimes that can also hurt.

I'm going to stick it out for the change over, see if the grass is greener (I hoping it is) and if not, I'll make a move to see who wants and experienced sale professional that always puts the customer first. One of my favorites, "The customer is always right, and as long as you hold this true, the customer will always be your customer and will give you many opportunities down te road".

I'm not sure what to expect, however this old dog can learn new things and I can't wait for the opportunity!

-=Good Selling=-

Ricoh Launches MP C2030 for Affordable Color MFP

Color for Everyone!!

Ricoh's new MPC 2030 (A3) will give color copy, color scan and color print to masses! Priced at only $8.00 more a month than a conventional mono chrome device, small businesses will now have the opportunity to have an all in one (A3) device for less than 50 cents per day over the cost of a monochrome device.

Ricoh is pleased to announce the introduction of the new Ricoh Aficio MP C2030 Digital Imaging System. Built off of the Ricoh Aficio MP C2050/C2550 mainframe, the MP C2030 is competitively priced and is the perfect solution for first-time Color MFP buyers that require basic copy, print and scan capabilities. Out of the box, the device offers standard RPCS printing, G3 & LAN Faxing plus TWAIN Scanning capabilities for Windows only environments. For accounts that require PCL printing, the MP C2030 can be configured with the Printer Enhance option.

The introduction of the MP C2030 allows Ricoh to continue our successful B2C conversion strategy. Providing color into the lower segments has given us the ability to provide a full suite of products from entry-level to light production environments.


Equal BW/FC speeds
Compact Design
Fast warm-up and first copy out times
Supports paper stocks up to 140 lb. Index
Reduce paper consumption & filing space with standard duplexing.
Standard RPCS Printing, Faxing & TWAIN Scanning capabilities

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MFP Copier Proposals

Just like to let you all know we have posted two more competitive proposals on the Print4Pay Hotel Message Boards.

Gathering competitive proposals after the sale is as important as asking the customer for three business associates that you can call on. Getting these types of potential leads puts you in the front of the pack, especially when they hear that their Friend or business associate has just purchased a hardware or software solution from you.

Always remember to get back to the basics when you're in a slump, whether it's asking for three references, or cold calling on a 15% degree day (believe it or not, you are admired and accepted when you brave daunting weather).

Here's what we uploaded:

Teriostar Wide Format Proposal

Xerox 6204 Proposal

All you need to access the proposals is to sign on as a member for the Print4Pay Hotel (its free). Currently we have message boards for Canon, Ricoh Family Group, Kyocera, KonicaMinolta, Sharp and Xerox. Become a member of the P4PHotel Network to increase your knowledge and collaborate with others in your industry!

Established in 2003 and headquartered in Highlands, NJ, Print4Pay Hotel is a Business Network Web Site that is designed for Imaging Professionals to share their knowledge of the copier Industry. The Print4Pay Hotel has message boards dedicated to Ricoh Family Group, Xerox, Canon, KonicaMinolta, Sharp and Kyocera, along with the Print4Pay Hotel Blog. The Print4Pay Hotel has over 2,000 Global Members from 124 Countries.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Canon USA "With Six You Get Eggroll"!

That's the first thing I thought of when I read the report from BLI, that Canon USA had won yet another "MFP line of the Year" Award. Kudos to Canon for winning six out of the last eight years. You guys are doing something right!

George Carlin stated "If a man smiles all the time he’s probably selling something that doesn’t work." I'm not saying that Canon stuff (yeah, George had a lot to day about stuff) doesn't work, however six out of eight years is a bit much for me.

Coming from a company that named Duplo for outstanding picks in Segment 3 & 4 in 2007! If you're not familiar with Duplo, they mostly resell duplicators and finisher equipment. The two MFP's that won the awards are relabeled (meaning someone else is the manufacturer).

It seems to me that every manufacturer will win an award one long as you can slap a label on it and plug it in. Which leads me to another rant, every time I see a new report from independent analysts on a new machine, rest assured that you will never every see a "Do Not Buy Recommendation". Personally, I haven't seen one in twenty years.

Sometimes, I just shake my head and really wonder if these reports mean anything to end users or are they published just for benefit the manufacturers and the salespeople.

Borrowing another line from George Carlin; "One out of every three Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of two of your best friends. If they are OK, then it must be you." Did you know George Carlin was in the movie?

All kidding aside "With Six You Get Eggroll" was a great kids movie. George Carlin made his first feature film, Doris Day made her final big screen appearance. Jamie Farr, Barbara Hershey and Brian Keith were also in the cast and does anyone remember the Grass Roots playing the nightclub?

Summary: Canon is doing everything right! Plus, I'm not sure every machine is "the best thing since sliced bread" (George wrote something on that also).

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, January 12, 2009

MFP Weekend Industry Notes

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

- Ricoh launched “Document Security & Management Services” (DSMS) through its factory direct branches, Ricoh Business Solutions (RBS):
- is a IBM/Ricoh joint venture
- Components are:
- Assessment & Deployment
- End User Services
- Managed Services
- Security
- Green Office
- Enterprise Content Management
- RBS apparently will resell IBM Managed Servers
- Mark Minshull was appointed as VP and Chief Technologist to head up program
- Aimed at large accounts
- When asked about dealer conflict, Mr. Minshull said; “I can’t guarantee it has no impact, but IBM is obviously in a lot of places already”

- Ricoh announced it will lease 13,320 square feet in the Golden Triangle complex in the Washington DC area for direct sales operations, and will next door to the GSA office of the federal government.

- Ricoh launched a new software solution for its MFPs, called Ricoh Reform PDC featuring:
- Actual created by FabSoft Inc.
- Base software sells for $3850.00 with annual support for $399/year
- Produces and distributes business forms from any host system, application or Ricoh MFP
- Once it captures print stream data, it place info into the form and automatically distributes it to the user’s selected print, e-mail, fax and archive system
- Reform Archive option $1455.00
- Reform Fax option $1875.00
- Reform E-mail option $1245.00
- With optional Reform Modular Object Scanning Technology (MOST) plug-in users are able to manage multiple forms on demand. End users can scan documents from Ricoh MFP to printers, fax machines, e-mail addresses and archives with specific options for each destination. $999 for each MFP
- Customizable interface on MFP
- Optional $1875 TagDoc feature adds bar codes to documents for workflow monitoring
- Optional $395 (per MFP) Document Authority Control (DAC) means that documents must be signed by certain parties before processing them

- Okidata launched an MFP version of the new C830 printer, called MC860 mfp offering:
- copy/print/fax/scan standard
- advertised as “only A3 color MFP that you can put on your desktop”
- 26ppm top speed color, 33ppm for b/w
- Scan to USB, PC, fax, FTP, folder and e-mail
- 33.6Kbps fax board standard
- Banner printing up to 48”
- Included document feeder holds maximum of 50 originals
- 5.8” color touch screen LCD control panel
- Comes standard with Nuance PaperPort and OmniPage OCR software
- Base MSRP of $3999.99
- Same paper supply options as C830 printer models
- Does NOT offer optional finishing
- Optional extended warranties do NOT include supplies

- In an article, Steve Stasiukonis, founder of Network Security Technology, details how he and his employees are able to break into banks and steal data. His company is a contractor that is hired to test the data security of its clients. The most common method they use is to rent a white minivan, place a magnetic sticker on the van of the appropriate copier dealership, and then enter the premises as copier repairmen. Once in, the unplug the copier from the network, and use its port to tap into the network to steal data.

- In a cost cutting move, Xerox announced it will cancel its annual Xerox PGA Classic golf tournament, normally held at the Irondequoit Country Club in New York.

- Apparently some low end Xerox color laser MFPs have an issue with scan to e-mail, where the MFP gives the attachment the same file name every time. Not only does this make it difficult on the recipient, and they may not know where the scan came from, but this also can cause problems with Microsoft Outlook, as once Outlook sees 100 e-mails with same file name, you no longer can open the attachment.

- At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer announced that in 2010 the company will replace Windows Vista operating system with Windows 7.

- announced that in its tracking of printer supplies, it sees that retail pricing for cartridges has increased 3% to 6% during last year.

- PC World magazine conducted a survey of how end user’s felt about their desktop printers, and Canon was awarded with the highest marks for reliability, even above Hewlett Packard, who led in placements.

- Facing punishment by the federal government, and pubic outcry, Hewlett Packard stated it would stop one of its distributors, Redington Gulf, of selling its printers and MFPs into Iran.

- Study of color that the human eye can see by Bruce Lindbloom revealed that the most single visible colors humans can see is 2.4 million. In contrast, the average computer LCD monitor produces a maximum of 1.5 million.

- Sharp Electronics emphasized its relationship with Major League Baseball in a big way at International CES in Las Vegas, hosting seven big league stars at its booth and touting some new initiatives for the coming season:
- Sharp hosted autograph sessions at its booth the Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, the New York Yankees' Joba Chamberlain, the Oakland A's' Matt Holliday, the New York Mets' John Maine, the Milwaukee Brewers' Prince Fielder and other players.
- Now Sharp, sponsors baseball's monthly "Player of the Month" awards, as well as the Hank Aaron Award.
- the company plans to be "very integrally involved" with the MLB Network, a 24-hour cable network that launched last week. Sharp, he said, has supplied a 108-inch LCD TV for the set of the network's flagship program.

- In Danbury, Connecticut, a total of $920 in counterfeit $20 bills made by a color copier was confiscated by city police Thursday in two arrests that were apparently connected.
- At 5:03 p.m. Thursday, police responded to a call from the owner of Sabrosura Restaurant at 268 Main St. on a possible counterfeit bill complaint -- three minutes after a similar call had come in to police headquarters from the Dunkin' Donuts at 101 White St.
- After investigating the two incidents, police said, they arrested Alan Kamba, 40, and Patricia Aeshilmann, 50.
- In that case, one of the city men, Jean DeOliveria, 20, of Fairfield Avenue, was allegedly caught Nov. 24 with about $7,000 in counterfeit currency in his truck in the parking lot of the New York Sports Club in Danbury, according to authorities.
- Authorities said he arranged to sell the cash to a New York man -- a man he didn't realize was a police informant.
- Following Thursday's incidents, Kamba was charged with first-degree forgery and sixth-degree larceny, while Aeshilmann was charged with second-degree forgery.
- Kamba was held on $100,000 bond and Aeshilmann on $5,000 bond. Both have a court date of Jan. 21.

- In 1865, President Lincoln created the Secret Service to track down counterfeiters, as at that time 33% of all currency was fake. Today the Secret Service estimates only 0.2% is fake.

- One Toshiba dealer buys another. James Imaging Systems of Brookfield, Wisconsin (suburb of Milwaukee), owned by Tom Tegeder, (a dealer for Toshiba, Savin, HP & KIP) acquired Marnett Business Center of Grafton, Wisconsin.

- Kodak announced that it sold one of its NexPress S3000 production color systems to Mr. Copy, a printshop in Dubai.

- A company named EcoFont has launched fonts that supposedly will use up to 20% less toner. The fonts are not solid, but instead are made from an array of small circles. The company claims you can still read the text, while reducing your costs and helping the environment.

-=Good Selling=-

- Former IKON executive, Dennis LeStrange, is now apparently running the North American branches of Neopost Mailing Systems.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Week in Canon

- Canon announced more management changes. Tod Pike, who was in charge of the wholesale side of the office equipment division, and then of Canadian operations, was named President of Canon Business Solutions, which is the retail, or factory direct branch side of the company. He will report to Joe Adachi, CEO. Under Tod will be Dennis Uhniat, Executive VP. No replacement was named for Tod’s old job.

- In an effort to gain its customers back from IKON (which was acquired by Ricoh), Canon Business Solutions launched the “War Chest” program, giving sales reps ability to pay for up to 9 months of a competitive lease,

- A year after being booted from the program, Canon announced that it is once again part of the U.S. Federal Government GSA contract for copiers. This will allow Canon to again sell to U.S. Federal Government.

- The chairman of Canon, Fujio Mitarai, said on Sunday the company's year-end holiday sales were "disappointing" and expected a difficult 2009 as an economic downturn hits consumer demand:
- "We had very big influence from the deteriorated economic situation. Unfortunately we are not an exception,"
- “(Holiday sale) was disappointing but this is happening all over the world."
- "This year must be the worst year" Mitarai said when asked about the prospects for 2009.

- “Probably the recession will continue in the world for a year or 18 months”
- He added that a recovery could hinge on how the U.S. government could spur up its economy.

- the company said it would delay the construction of a $196 million digital camera plant in Japan due to slow demand.

- Analysts surveyed by Reuters Estimates forecast Canon's net profit would fall to 213 billion yen ($2.36 billion) in 2009 from 359 billion yen estimated for 2008 and 488 billion yen it earned in 2007.

- Canon’s Ryoichi Bamba, when asked about mergers stated; “We had discussions with Nokia….we’ll see”

- Canon is in process of installing a new central computer system, with completion in 2010, at a cost of 20 billion yen
- Canon’s COO, Tsuneji Uchida, when asked about layoff of 1100 workers in Japan stated; “Chinese labor costs are a tenth of those in Japan”

- Canon launched a new wide format color inkjet printer, the iPF5100 that offers 12 ink cartridges (cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow, red, green, blue, black, light black & gray)

Polling Copier Sales People #8

The Print4Pay Hotel consistently runs polls among our members. Global membership is now over 2,100 members from 127 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.

Managed Print Services Poll:
Question: Is your company going to offer Managed Print Services

40% Yes
17% No
43% We already have it in place

An astounding 83% already has Managed Print Services in place or will enter the market!!

Monochrome Segment IV CPP Poll:
Question: Monochrome Segment Cost Per Page Poll 31-45ppm (what do you charge)

.015 and over 0%
.013 - .0149 0%
.011 - .0129 5%
.010 - .0119 29%
.009 - .099 14%
.008 - .0089 24%
.007 - .0079 19%
.006 - .0069 0%
.005 - .0059 10%
under .005 0%

Cost Per Page Poll:
Question: Monochrome Segment V Cost Per Page Poll 46-69ppm (what do you charge)

.016 and over 0%
.013 - .015 0%
.010 - .012 8%
.007 - .009 73%
.004 - .006 19%
under .004 0%

-=Good Selling=-

Art Post

Friday, January 9, 2009

"On Hold" Selecting the Right MFP Dealer!

I will tell you this from experience, not having someone to answer the phone at an Office Equipment Dealer is equaled to telling your customer to call someone else!

Here are some responses I received when I asked posed this question in our end user forums.

"I thought, why the heck am I wasting my time, this is BS, hire some more people"

"Why the heck am I doing business with this company?"

"All, I wanted was to speak to a sales person to get information now, I'm calling someone else and not even leaving a message"

"I just got sick and tired of counting the pencils that were hanging in the ceiling tiles, I've just hung up and will call someone else"

To think that keeping customers on hold or not having someone to answer the phone is a "cost savings" is ludicrous. This is one way to sink your business and never have repeat business. Here's a few more for you!

"I'm thinking it's August, 90 degrees and I'm listening to Holiday music while I'm on hold, are these people a pack of idiots?"

"Twenty minutes later, someone answers the line and I forgot what I wanted. I screamed at them and told them never to call me again!, I'll bet that threw them for a loop!"

Believe it or not, there are decent sized dealers that just rely on customers leaving messages and never picking up the phone. I say, find someone else to do business with!

-=Good Selling=-

3D Printers "Believe It or Not"

Here's a product that I heard about from an Architect a few months ago, he said "Art, you should be selling something a 3-D printer, it will be the next great thing in the AEC market place". Thought I would search it on the web, but never really had the time, then I picked up this article today by Kenneth Wong

Sen-Yung Lee, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Mechanical Technology Research and Development Center at the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan, may have found a new revenue stream for his country. He and his colleagues recently developed a prototype of a rapid prototyping (RP) machine, or a 3D printer.

In the announcement, the university wrote, "This RP technique has also been transferred to a domestic company, MicroJet Ltd. … The annual revenue garnered from this technique is expected to reach 3-5 hundred million NTD [New Taiwan Dollar), approximately US$10-16 million, in five years."

Terry Wohlers, founder of Wohlers Associates and the author of Wohlers Report 2008 (an in-depth global study of the advances in additive fabrication, including 3D printing and rapid manufacturing), observed, "It's possible to ramp up to $10-16 million in five years, but they'd have to invest aggressively, put together a strong R&D team, create a good method of distribution and support, and make few mistakes along the way."

Wei-Hsiang Lai, a participant in the RP machine development, pointed out this could lead to "the first commercial RP machine developed domestically," with "many commercial potentials. … All of its parts and assemblies are nowadays supplied and manufactured domestically, instead of imported from other countries [as] in the past."

Wohler noted that the project's success also depends on the price and reliability of the system and the quality of the parts it produces.

Explaining the technology, the university wrote, "The RP technique 'prints out' the stereo object by assembling components stack by stack, layer by layer, to the final stereo work. It integrated CAD and CAM systems, similar to computed tomography technique, to slice a 3D solid object to many 2D cross-sectional pictures. This RP device simply prints out these 2D tomographic pictures one by one, eventually to assemble the original 3D object." The machine is expected to print color models in addition to black-and-white ones.

The technique described resembles the technology employed by Z Corp.'s 3D printers, which use a derivative form of ink-jet printing (for more, read Jan/Feb 2009 feature article in Cadalyst).

Wohler added, "The Dimension product family from Stratasys, followed by the machines from Z Corp., have been the most successful in Asia." If the NCKU prototype results in a series of commercial models, Stratasys and Z Corp. will compete with MicroJet, the recipient of NCKU's technology, for the Taiwan market

I remember a line from Independace Day (Movie) with Will Smith saying "I gotta get me one of these"!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Canon Printers Top HP Printers!

This was a nice little read By Jeff Bertolucci , PC World , 01/07/2009 :

The basic theme Canon printers are adored by their owners and HP is continuing its slide.

is to printers what Apple is to desktops and laptops: Simply put, our
readers love their products. Like last year, the vendor garnered high marks
eight of nine categories, missing only on the "Problem was never

Funny thing while I'm out selling here in New Jersey, I can admit that I haven't seen one Canon printer out their. I work in the New York Metro area, so I think if they were this popular I would see more of these. Now, I'm thinking that maybe this report was based on very low end personal printers?

Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see, right?

-=Good Selling=-

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lucas Distributors Sponsors Print4Pay Hotel Message Boards

I'd like to introduce Gary Lucas of Lucas Distribution to all of our readers and Print4Pay Hotel members. Lucas Distribution has signed on as a sponsor the Print4Pay Hotel Message Boards. I asked Gary to give us brief outline of his tenure in the office equuipment business and to tell us about his flatpack cabinets.

I spent 35 years with 3M / Harris-3M / Lanier / Ricoh – starting in the 3M Service Dept in 1972 as a facsimile technician (when 6 minute faxes were considered state-of-the-art!), spent many years in the Harris-3M & Lanier Product Sourcing group and finished up in the Product Marketing Dept in Atlanta, GA.

After retiring in 2007, I started Lucas Distribution, LLC, based in Atlanta, GA, as the exclusive distributor of Kentinental flat pack cabinets for the Ricoh family of products. These patented cabinets are custom-designed for Ricoh family MFPs. My manufacturer, Kentinental Engineering, has been an approved OEM provider to Ricoh Europe and to Lanier. This product line had been sold exclusively through the Lanier channel until 2007, when Kentinental authorized my company to open the products up to all Ricoh family distributors.

In 2008 I brought out a line of Canon cabinets using the proven flat pack design.

Here are some of the reasons customers like to use my flat pack cabinets:
• Can be assembled in less than 1 minute
• Flat pack design allows for lower storage and shipping costs - the 19" FAC16 cabinet ships in a carton 7.5" high!
• Prevents back strain that can occur when removing fully assembled cabinets from the carton
• Less susceptibility to shipping damage - if a cabinet is ever damaged, you can replace the damaged part without having to discard the entire cabinet
• 100% guarantee against shipping damage - if you unpack a cabinet and it has damage, replacement parts will be provided at no cost, regardless of who or what caused the damage
• 2% 10 Net 30 payment terms - products are stocked in Atlanta, GA
• As a small business owner, customer service is very important to me. I want to make it easy to do business with Lucas Distribution!

Oki Announces Price Busting A3 device!

Below is the Press Release from Oki. I had heard about this system coming to market, and considering price point and features this should be an awesome system for the AEC market place.

Oki Data Americas Tuesday unveiled the MC860 A3 color MFP series, a new set of A3 color multifunction printers Oki Data says are comparable in capability and price to many competitors' A4 printers.

"What we heard most was 'costs,' " said Mike Garofola, senior marketing manager for color products at Oki Data Americas, in a ChannelWeb briefing. "The size is a nice point as well, but people are looking for an affordable solution that allows them to bring an A3-type of device into their [infrastructure] and the consolidation that comes with not having multiple devices."

Oki Data's new MC860 A3 color MFP series is targeted at businesses seeking a color MFP that can provide both A3 and A4 capabilities. Among many features, the MC860 harnesses HD color technology (including 48-inch banner support); allows full print, copy, scan and fax capabilities; offers print/copy speeds of 26 ppm in color and 33 in monochrome; can scan to USB Flash Memory, PC, fax, FTP, folder and e-mail; and has a duty cycle of 75,000 pages.

The MC860 series comes in three models, including a desktop standing model starting at $3,999 (400-sheet paper capacity); a floor standing model with one tray and cabinet, starting at $4,459 (930-sheet paper capacity)' and a floor standing model with two trays and a cabinet, starting at $4,739 (1,460-sheet paper capacity).

"We do have other A3 color MFP series," Garofola said, "but before they were only sold exclusively through our BTA [business technology alliance] channel and are more of a copier-based product that competes with other copier-based MFPs. This is the first tabloid A3 color MFP we've really designed for the 'Comdex' channel."

The MC860 series MFPs will be made available at the end of January through all of Oki Data's North American channels. Oki Data is targeting the MFPs especially at medium workgroup users and space-reliant, cost-dependent verticals such as education, manufacturing, retail, finance and life sciences.

"Print has surpassed copying in terms of functionality, but people are also looking to have more affordable output," Garofola said. "They're doing a lot more scanning, for document management. And while faxing is the function that's used least, when you do need it you have to have it. From a legal standpoint, a fax is still a legal document as opposed to a scan, and still very viable."

Garofola said to expect additional MFP announcements from Oki Data later in the year.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oce Premia Class "Saving the World One Click at a Time"

It had to happen sooner or later, and Oce seems like they may have winner under their belts with the new Premia Class line of Multifunctional Copiers. If marketed correctly and having the right price point, this could be a major change in the way office equipment is bought and sold.

Here's a statement from Oce's Premia Class brochure:

The Prémia Class is the epitome of our commitment to Design-for-Reuse. Océ was
one of the first in the industry to establish a complete Asset Recovery Factory
for this purpose. Prémia Class products are fully remanufactured from
end-of-life products to give them a new lifecycle and reduce waste. The Oce
systems are also a healthier choice for the working environment because they use
less energy, produce less waste, emit virtually no ozone or run very quietly

In a recent blog MFPs, Refurbs, Repos Pre-Owned, I stated "Let's face it, in the last twenty four months has there been dramatic changes in with multifunctional copiers systems?". The answer is no, with every manufacturer you'll have some changes in security, LCD displays, authentication and some minor features.

Could this open the door for Manufacturers to have two lines, one dedicated to new and the other for refurbished products? The budget conscious and environmentally conscious customer would have a second choice.

If you've every been in a copier reclamation warehouse you would be astonished at the rows an rows of copiers, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands at some location, lined up like soldiers waiting to ship out. My thoughts have always been what a waste of space and product! All of these system are off lease systems that were returned. I can tell you first hand that most copiers are returned because most leasing companies refuse to negotiate price with the end user or the copier company that has upgraded the lease at the end of the term.

Another paragraph within the OCE brochure outlines the extensive remanufacturing process:

Prémia Class products are a class above typical refurbished systems, which
may be merely cleaned and check-listed before being resold. Every Océ Prémia
Class system is built to order and undergoes a rigorous multi-point
certification process – at the component and system level – by Océ-trained
engineers and technicians. Each system is individually inspected, measured,
calibrated and checked for compliance with original specifications. This
guarantees the same quality as a newly manufactured product.

So, what if? What if Oce decides that their new machines are only available as rentals and they held the finance note on their Premia Class Systems? Smart move, they would control all of their systems, no third party involvement from leasing companies and every system would be recycled!

I'm not aware how much the Premia Class resells for, I would tend to think that it would be less than a new system, since OCE has the Premia Class will they now be able to get higher margins for new and then use the Premia Class as a fall back when price and the environment is an issue?

I like what OCE has done, and what they may be able to do down the road. Everyone benefits from the dual line scenario.

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, January 5, 2009

Samsung of Korea announced two desktop b/w laser MFPs:

Samsung of Korea announced two desktop b/w laser MFPs:

- SCX-5835FN
- Scan/fax/print/copy
- 33ppm top speed
- Large 7” color LCD control panel
- (this engine is also sold by Xerox as the Phaser 3635MFP/X and the Dell 2335dn)
- Base MSRP of $1099.00
- First copy out time of 9.5 seconds
- Comes standard with 500 sheet paper drawer and 50 sheet stack bypass
- Auto duplex standard
- 50 sheet document feeder standard
- Built-in print controller has 256MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, USB port with both PCL and PostScript print drivers
- Rated for maximum of 80,000 pages per month
- Will be sold by copier dealers
- Replacement toner/drum cartridge sells for $159.99 with yield of 10,000 pages based on 5% coverage
- SCX-5935FN is the same except:
- Base MSRP for $1299.00
- Will be sold by computer dealers
- Will offer future embedded software capability (JScribe JavaScript)

Competitive MFP Copier Info

I've had the time to upload the following for all, membership is free, follow the link and become a member of the Print4Pay Hotel. Get the skinny on all of these new models!

Recent uploads to the Print4Pay Hotel Message Boards:

Bid pricing seen for new Ricoh C900 production color system from IKON:

More info on the new low end color laser MFP from Ricoh, the Aficio MP C2050, featuring:

Competing against the Xerox WorkCentre 7335C? Point out the following:

Competing against the Panasonic WORKiO DP-C405? Point out the following:

Here's a few items for your information:

Kyocera completed its acquisition of Triumph Adler(TA), a chain of office equipment branches across Europe:
- Had total machines in field (MIF) of 194,000 units
- 35,000 customers
- In 2007 alone, TA sold 97,000 units
- Has 1400 employees in 60 locations
- Europe accounts for 51% of Kyocera’s MFP/printer sales
- Kyocera’s printer and MFP sales were $2.2 billion worldwide, or 21% of the total company revenue, which is primarily ceramics for semiconductor industry.

Ricoh launched its new GlobalScan NX document capture and routing software featuring:
- Replaces ScanRouter EX
- Ricoh also announced that is has discontinued the Ricoh eCabinet
- Compatible with all current Ricoh Aficio models
- Java based application
- Requires $140 Java VM option for MFP
- Not compatible with any desktop Ricoh model
- Enables scanned documents and metadata to be routed to e-mail addresses, fax servers, network folders, home folders, FTP locations, document archives, and watched folders
- Automatically routes incoming faxes to folders or users
- Customizable graphical user interface on control panel
- Web-based drag and drop job workflow config tool
- Serverless pricing starts at $600 for first MFP
- $2,850 for 5 MFPs
- $75,000 for 250 MFPs

Weekend MFP Industry Notes

1-4-09 Special Thanx to all for these notes:

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

Canon announced that Bill Joseph is no longer with the company. He spent 33 years with Canon, most recently in charge of most factory direct branch locations on the west coast. A replacement has not yet been made. (Canon continues to make changes to its direct sales division, as it struggles to make up for lost sales through IKON and DANKA)

Due to the change in the yen to dollar conversion, corporate officials from both Canon and Sony have stated their intention to raise prices in 2009 to make up for lost profits. Canon’s Ryoichi Bamba stated that the currency exchange “is a 30 per cent cost increase for us. Maybe 10 per cent we can absorb through higher productivity, 10 per cent from higher prices, and 10 per cent from cuts to our own costs and profits.” (unknown how this will affect selling prices of Canon MFPs and printers)

Canon gave out a few more details on its upcoming new production b/w systems, the imagePRESS 1110, 1125 & 1135:
- 110, 125 & 135ppm speeds respectively
- Actually made by Canon
- Will not replace the current Kodak-made models that Canon offers (imageRUNNER PRO 7110VP, 7125VP, 7138vp & 7150vp) that run up to 150ppm
- Base MSRPs are $80,000, $92,000 & $110,000
- Have document feeder that scans both sides of original at same time
- While output is only b/w, the device can scan in color
- Comes standard with 2,000 sheet paper supply
- Maximum of 14,000 sheet paper supply with options
- Uses finishing options from the existing imagePRESS C7000VP color model
- Will use a transfer belt for imaging
- Controller choices range from embedded generic unit, EFI Fiery and EFI MicroPress

A large electronics chain lets go of one of its executives. Fry’s Electronics, which sells a wide array of technology, including desktop laser MFPs, was forced to fire Vice President, Omar Siddiqui, who is accused of a $65 million fraud to pay off gambling debts. His bank records show he spent $121 million in just three years at the MGM Grand and the Venetian casinos in Las Vegas.

The Secret Service reports catching more folks who make fake money using a color MFP. Recent busts include:
- A 15 year old boy was caught using fake money to buy lunch in school cafeteria
- In Moultrie, GA, a man was caught making fake $20 and $100 bills and using at local restaurants
- Nationwide, arrests jump 28% in 2008

In a survey of computer/VAR dealers by Business Solutions magazine, Cabinet NG Inc. was named as the “Best Channel Vendor” for document management software solutions. Their products include Retriever, Synchronizer and CNG-API. For more info, visit

Both Gartner Inc. and Forrester Research have issued reports predicting lower IT spending in 2009.

Sharp announced it will record a loss of more than 50 billion yen ($555 million) due to its 14% stake in struggling Pioneer Corp.

Toshiba, which earlier announced its intentions to make a nuclear reactor that would fit in a small closet, announced that it will give one of these for free to a small, remote ski resort in Alaska. Toshiba is waiting for federal government approval in late 2009, before it can ship or market this new Toshiba 4S nuclear technology.

Toshiba announced it will spend “several tens of billions” of yen to build a battery factory in northern Japan. It hopes to start shipping its “Super Charge Ion Battery” in 2010.

Toshiba announced that it will apparently be the first MFP vendor to release its own homegrown software connectors for software embedded into its MFPs. One connector is for Microsoft Exchange, and the other is for Microsoft SharePoint. (this means that Toshiba will de-emphasize its reliance on eCopy)

Western Digital announced it will NOT buy the hard drive business of Fujitsu Ltd. of Japan due to current economic conditions.

In a recent survey of printshops, when asked if they offer variable data digital printing, only 44% responded affirmatively, and of those only 82% produce it in full color. (obviously, there is still a lot of opportunity in providing digital color solutions to PFP)
- In the same survey, only 36% of the shops have a web-based print job submission tool
- 45% prefer to acquire their equipment from a factory direct branch
- For shops that have:
- b/w copier under 70ppm, the average monthly volume is 14K/mo
- b/w copier over 70ppm, the average monthly volume is 96K/mo
- office color MFP, the average monthly volume is 4K/mo
- graphics color MFP, the average monthly volume is 22K/mo
- light production color MFP, the average monthly volume is 44K/mo

According to survey of printshops conducted by PIA, shop owners have increased their pricing by an average of 1.6%.

Ricoh launched a “Canon/Xerox ATTACK!” program where it provides dealers and branches with funding to assist in upgrading Canon or Xerox competitive equipment to new Ricoh product.

Ricoh announced that IBM agreed to open up its sales network for Ricoh office equipment. This means that the companies will jointly market Ricoh printers and MFPs along with IBM computers, servers and software to IBM and Ricoh customers. Ricoh hopes that this will add $1.1 billion in sales in the next two to three years worldwide. (is Ricoh preparing to fight a possible future alliance between Canon & Hewlett Packard?)

Acacia Research, a firm that buys obscure patents, announced it has forced Oce’ to pay a license fee for a patent it owns pertaining to network multifunction printer technology. The dollar amount was not released. Other companies that have already settled with Acacia are; HP, Samsung, Brother, Epson, Muratec, Okidata, Panasonic & Toshiba. Acacia reports that its total annual collections are up 45% to $13.8 million per year.

Oce’ announced that it will resell its trade-in copiers, after refurbishing, and call them “Premia Class” models.

Lexmark is launching a new strategy to increase its color laser printer and MFPs. It is adding a new product line that has a higher selling price, but lower color cartridge prices. Details:
- The existing Lexmark C782 models sell for $1299, $1599 & $1999 depending on configuration
- The new Lexmark C782XL models are identical, and sell for $1999, $2299 & $2599, but have color cartridges that are 50% lower in price.
- Lexmark is advertising the new models as “color same price as black/white”, as the color cartridges sell for $199.99 each just like the b/w cartridge