Saturday, February 28, 2009

On Demand AIIM Show 2009

Just thought I'd let you all know that I'll be blogging live from the "On Demand/AIIM Show" in Philadelphia on March 31st.

Plans are to visit Sharp, KonicaMinolta, Canon and Xerox, from their I'll be at Print Audit, Paradigm Imaging and Equitrac. So stay tuned and check in on March 31st!

If you want me to check something out for, post a comment here or you can reach me on the P4PHotel Message Boards

-=Good Selling=-

Thursday, February 26, 2009


According to Kieth Clarks Blog "New Hamsphire Document Solutions" Keith opines "As the layers of the onion come off - we are finding lease payments that are as much as twice what they would have been if the purchasing people had been doing their job and simply visiting the marketplace every few years".

What Keith is making reference to is the recent take over of Ikon by Ricoh. It seems there are many loyal followers of Canon that are now seeking out dealers only to find out that they've been Ikon'd (call it what you want, but it doesn't seem good).

Keith also suggests that Ikon now wants to replace the entire fleet with Ricoh devices, however during the last four years all they did was replace a few here a a few their to maximize their profit (Hey, there's nothing wrong with making profit right), well it seems that IT at a local University were pretty upset that they were not being kept up to date with the latest copier technology. Well, they got IKON'D

Take a read at Keith's blog, nice little blog about The Mighty Ikonot

Copiers, Laser Printers & Your Health!

I've heard about this report before and had heard all of the critics, however it seems that this is not going away. Some have referred to it's th same as inhaling "burnt toast". Well, I don't inhale burnt toast everyday, however I'm sure there are many technicians that inhale this stuff everyday.

My main concern is that if this stands to be true, what do we do with the millions upon millions of copy machines. Let's face it, the copy machines of today are nothing more than heavy duty laser printers!

Has anyone noticed and increase in copier or laser printers technicians with cardiovascular disease? Is this even tracked? Is there really a problem here?

The post below is from Osko News

"Almost every third laser printer emits a large number of ultrathin harmful particles, which have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. This is illustrated by Australian scientists.

According to the author of the study from University of Queensland Lydia Morosku, danger comes primarily during the printing process, when the coloring of the heat comes from paper.

“This end-product of chemical reaction is comparable with the clouds of smoke or automobile exhaust gases, which are potentially hazardous to human health - stressed Morosku - Thus, by inhaling a “bouquet”, the owner of a laser printer inadvertently cause irritation of the respiratory system, which subsequently develops in cardiovascular disease “.

Professor also recommended clerical related to office equipment, keep the laser printers as far as possible from their jobs and ensure that vehicles are well ventilated. It should be remembered more than the printer is operating, the higher the concentration of harmful particles, said AMI-TASS."

-=Good Selling=- I hope!! Here's a cool Xerox file for you

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ricoh being Ricoh?

Salespeople are competitors they enjoy selling, some say there is an emotional high when a deal is closed. I agree, it is quite satisfying to get the order, and know that the client has put forth their trust in you, and your products and service.

Which brings me to the craziest deal I have ever been involved in over my 29 years in the business.

We all compete, well at least some us compete with Ricoh Direct aka Ricoh Business Systems.

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing RBS compete with RBS. Thats right! Two branches in the same area (one was a hold over Lanier that was turned into RBS and the other was the traditional branch) I thought, what the %$^$ is going on?? Okay we'll call them RBS #1 & RBS #2 for now.

Now, I'm going to take this a step further. The customer was interested in a 4ppm wide format system, along with PC, delivery, supplies, installation and training.

So, where was RBS #1 in price for all of this, they were basically at the Lowest Dealer Cost (thats what they were reselling the unit for), and the RBS #2, well they were 28% below Lowest Dealer Cost (I have the quote to prove it). Far be it from me to figure how how the %$#$ they are going to stay in business with these types of prices. Oh, that's right we dealers subsidize their ability to give equipment away at cost or lower.

So, the whole selling adventure became one big crap show.

Ricoh Business Systems aka Ricoh Direct, what is the problem, can't your salespeople at least here in NJ be real salespeople instead of order takers, low ballers or drop your pants specialists (I'm sure there's a few good reps out there), my God learn how to sell features, solutions and ease someones pain, or better yet, learn how to prospect for the accounts that are not in the market, you'll have a better chance of making a living.

I couldn't care less if I got the sale or not, it's just the arrogance the that the reps (and mind you, this has got to come from the top down) spew out to clients such as "We're direct, we'll always have the lowest price", "We're direct, we'll have the best service and support", "Why would you buy from a dealer when you can buy from us".

Ricoh get it through your heads, the dealers are your life line, and if it wasn't for having profitable dealers, you WOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Five Tips for Collecting in Today’s Economic Times

Dan Donahue from Polek and Polek sent this to me today and thought it would be valuable info for all of P4P Hotel Dealer Principal members. ENJOY!

By Alicia Leary, Credit Manager

Are you having trouble collecting from your customers? Do they say their customers aren’t paying them and they can’t pay you?

It’s a vicious cycle I know. I know it’s a tough time and you have probably heard every excuse in the book, but I am here to tell you, don’t give up. You may not get paid as quickly as you’d like but ,you can get paid. The best thing you can do right now is WORK with your customers. They will remember that you did and when this bad economy is over, who do you think they will remember helped them out during their rough time? YOU! That’s right.

Here are some strategies that have worked for Polek & Polek that I would like to share with you as they may be helpful:

1. Make calling your customers your TOP priority.

Cash is the most important asset of your business. Go through your Aging report at least once a week. If you need it, request help with your other duties so you can get on the phone. Your customers are most likely going to pay those vendors who call them first as opposed to those who don’t call at all. You will be at the top of the list.

2. Be nice and courteous.

Don’t call with a bad attitude because no one likes that, and you will only hurt yourself in the process. The nicer you are the further you will get.

3. Constantly Calling?

If you are constantly calling a customer who doesn’t return your phone calls, try sending them a letter or an email.

4. For those customers that you have had for years and who normally pay you well, but have gotten into a little financial trouble, work with them.

Offer a solution and a helping hand. For example, suggest a weekly payment plan; $50, $100, $500 a week until they catch up. In the meantime, keep selling to them, but do it on a COD or credit card basis. This way, you are getting paid for your product/services and they can continue doing business as well. They will be very happy you helped them through their difficult financial period and they will remember in the future.

*Some studies show the following statistics: You have a 90% chance of collection within the first 60 days. After that, this drops to

50% after an account gets to 90 days and 20% on accounts over 180 days.

5. If customers are very past due, and you have exhausted every possible avenue in collecting money, then send them a collections letter.

Once an account is over 60 days your probability of collecting your money gets less and less. The longer you wait the worse chance you will have of collecting what is owed you. I suggest you send a collections letter if you have exhausted every possible avenue and the customer has not responded. When you send this letter, include a deadline for payment or to set up a weekly payment plan, and a date that you will put them in collections if this deadline is not met. In my experience this letter, gets the customer to contact you before the deadline 90% of the time. If you do not hear from them, put them in collections on the date you said you would. Once this letter is sent out, you MUST follow through on your end.

*information provided by

Since 1992, Alicia Leary has been the Credit Manager at Polek and Polek, a family owned wholesale distributor of parts and supplies for copiers, faxes, and printers in business since 1974. To learn more visit

MFP Weekend Industry Notes 2/22/09

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

- The scientist who made complaints about the emissions coming from Hewlett Packard laser printers. Lidia Marowaska of Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia has produced a second study that claims that the HP laser printers emit submicron-sized particles formed by complex reactions between volatile organic compounds. Apparently the particles are coming from the fuser rollers. Prior claim was rebuffed by Hewlett Packard. HP has yet to respond to this second study.

- Ricoh displayed its MFPs and demonstrated the security features during the West 2009 conference for the U.S. Navy & Marines in San Diego, CA on 2/11-13/09.

- Ricoh launched an optional embedded EFI Fiery controller for its color MFPs, the Aficio C2800, C3300, C4000 & C5000. Details of Fiery:
- 1.86GHz processor
- 80GB hard drive
- 10/100/1000BaseT
- Booklet-maker wizard
- PCL & PostScript print drivers
- Named the Ricoh E3100 or E5100 controller
- Base MSRP of $4500.00

- Ricoh announced it is now offering a connector for Open Text fax server software, called Captaris RightFax or FaxPress), allowing access from Ricoh MFP control panel.

- Kodak announced that Ricoh Europe will resell its NexPress production color systems and the DigiMaster production b/w systems. Kodak also announced it has named Kevin Joyce as the Worldwide VP of Sales & Marketing of the division.

- Kodak introduced the Versamark VL6000 production color inkjet press, running at top speed of 150 meters per minute at 600x600dpi.

- According to research firm, Gartner, printer, copier & MFP shipments in Europe, Middle East & Africa totaled 48.2 million units, a decline of 8.4%. HP’s units were down 11%.

- Gartner also announced that Hewlett Packard is the largest consumer of semiconductors in 2008, for use in the PC’s and printers that they manufacture.

- Hewlett Packard upset many of its Indigo production color systems when it launched “MarketSplash”, a on-line print for pay service. Prints ordered on-line are either sent via mail, or customer can pick up at Staples. This service apparently competes against print shops that own HP Indigo systems. (in contrast, Kodak launched something in 2007, called “Kodak Creative Network”, and then shut it down 5 months later after pressure from printshops that own Kodak Digimaster and NexPress production systems)

- Hewlett Packard announced it has received the coveted “GRACoL” certification, a graphic arts standard for quality color printing, for its Indigo production color systems. The acronym stands for General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography.

- Hewlett Packard announced financials from the last quarter:
- Revenue from the printer/MFP division was down 19%
- Printer supplies revenue down 7%
- Business printer/MFP revenue down 37%
- Printer unit sales down 33%
- Printer division profits were up from 15.5% to 18.5% (since many of HP’s desktop printers are sold at a loss, and since they sold less, the division is more profitable)

- Advanced Copier Technology, a dealer in the Charlotte, NC area, announced that someone took off with their copier delivery truck. Police are confidant that they will recover it due to the large logo on the side. (LOL, oh thats a smart person)

- In a study conducted by The Photizo Group of copier dealers, it found the following regarding their implementation of becoming managed print services dealers:
- 80% of dealers are either “fence sitting” or “testing”
- 15% are committed to becoming successful
- 5% are very successful
- Predict revenue from MPS will be $15.7 billion in 2009, and grow to $26.8 billion in 2012
- Predict devices under MPS contract in 2009 will be 11.1 million, and grow to $19.1 million in 2012

- NEC announced it will relabel more products for its MFP product line. Details:
- NEC IT5050, IT6030 & IT8030, are b/w models offering 50ppm, 60ppm & 80ppm (from Kyocera)
- IT25C5, IT35C5 & IT45C4 are color models offering 25ppm, 35ppm & 45ppm (from Konica Minolta)
- IT2530D & IT3530D are b/w models offering 25ppm and 35ppm (from Konica Minolta)

- Ingram Micro, one of the country’s largest distributors of computers and peripherals, announced it will shed 8% of its workforce due to declining sales.

- Canon announced a new embedded solution for its MEAP-equipped MFPs. It will resell FACSys Fax server software from emFAST Inc. Pricing not announced.

- Canon launched a new solution software package called Canon Studio Solution. The software is for digital camera users and offers color management, image resizing, image re-touching as well as scheduling, contracting and invoicing for professional photographers.

- BERTL recently gave out a 4 Star award to the KIP 3100 b/w wide format system. Details:
- KIP is the North American subsidiary of Katsuragawa Corp. of Japan
- “a pleasant surprise”
- “delivers great printing and copy performance”
- “an excellent system”
- “performed very well in testing”
- To purchase copy of the report, visit

- Xante’ of Mobile, Alabama announced it is now shipping a desktop color LED printer for printing on envelopes:
- Called the Ilumina Digital Press+
- Engine is actually made by Okidata
- Advertised as handling up to 13”x15” envelopes
- Will also print on some window envelopes
- Has 500 envelope input bin and output conveyor
- Base MSRP of $14,995
- Optional extended warranties do not include supplies which includes toner, drums and fuser section
(printing on envelopes usually damages fuser rollers due to folded paper surface)

- In a cost cutting move, Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser Beer, the following new rules are being considered:
- All management should turn in their Blackberry’s
- Putting a limit for each employee on how many pages they can print or copy
- Allow only one printer and copier will be allowed per floor in headquarters
- Eliminating overnite shipping

- EFI, maker of the Fiery print server, announced it will spend $100 million to buy back stock to boost its share price. (Take it from, this is one sign that the company is courting a buyer, or there has been a slight up tick)

- Oce’ announced it will resell Sefas Innovation software, called “Open Print Remake”, which allows companies to perform complex document enhancements without changing the original application. Pricing not announced.

- Sharp launched two new A4 b/w laser printers, the DX-B350P and DX-B450P featuring:
- 35ppm and 45ppm
- 1200x1200dpi
- Two standard paper drawers
- Can add up to two more paper drawers for maximum of 1800 sheet paper supply
- Optional auto duplex
- PCL & PostScript print drivers
- 533MHz processor
- 128MB RAM standard (can upgrade to 640MB)
- Optional 40GB hard drive (required for spooling)
- (units most likely are made by Fuji)

- Lexmark had its rating cut by Barclays Capital from “Equal Weight” to “Underweight” due to firm’s struggles. The stock dropped to a low of $18.95 per share.

- Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s both reduced the ratings for Toshiba Corp. The company announced it would post a $3 billion loss in the year to end in March. It also carries a near $20 billion debt burden. The stock has lost 70% of its value in the past year to a 28 year low.

- Are your customers using digital copiers that are in compliance with federal data security laws? The fines are hefty for non-compliance:
- HIPAA: up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines
- GLBA: More than 10 years in prison and $1 million in fines
- SOX: Up to 20 years in prison and $5 million in fines

Monday, February 23, 2009

MFP Copier Polls "Print4Pay Hotel #9"

Polling Copier Sales People #9

The Print4Pay Hotel consistently runs polls among our members. Global membership is now over 2,200 members from 137 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: 110 votes cast
Question: How much did Global a Xerox Company pay for Comdoc?

100 million or more 49%
75 million to 99 million 21%
50 million to 74 million 13%
25 million to 49 million 9%
Under 25 million 8%

110 votes total (word on the street is the deal was more than 100 million)

Is your company going to offer Managed Print Services: 83 votes cast

Yes 45% (Planning to offer)
No 16%
We already have it in place 40%

An astounding 45% of dealers plan to offer Managed Print Services, sounds like our advertiser (Print Audit) has hit a home run!

Next poll results: How many dealers are planning to get on board selling Document Management Software? You'll be surprised!! If your company is interested in advertising to our members we are know looking to put on a DMS vendor, give us a shout if interested.

-=Good Selling=-

Art Post

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Comdoc Global Xerox "P4P Feedback"

When the news hit with the Comdoc Global/Xerox deal the P4P Hotel experienced over 1,000 page views and 50 responses, I'd like to share some of the responses from Print4Pay Hotel members.

Wow! Never saw this coming.

That's huge!!!

WOW...... that all I have to say......

I was flabbergasted when Mike called me this AM!! Nothing surprises me anymore! Oh, that's got to hurt Ricoh big time.

Canon seems to be going the route of signing up new dealers up to this point, which is likely being done quietly.

and the beat goes on...The industry is going to continue to contract and over the next 3-5 years...

Not to insult my Ricoh sales brethren but as a longtime ComDoc employee/owner the overwhelming majority of the people here look at this as a very, very positive thing.

Ricoh will surely utilize IKON to go after the COMDOC base and probably not add any Independent Dealers in the Ohio and upstate NY marketplace.

Hrmm. Since Global is owned by Xerox and Xerox is a public company, won't the costs for this purchase be listed in the annual report?

The purchase price is now "known" on the street, and it's enough to say that the poll above picked the best of the available answers, though several additional higher options would have been helpful.

Just the tip of the iceberg in the quotes. But the purchase hit home for many dealers, reps and Ricoh. It's my understanding that all employees were owners! Kudos to all of you for building such a fine company and I hope all of you were rewarded with a great purchase price!!

-=Good Selling=-

Big Brother Can Track Your Copies

Just when you thought it was safe to make copies, you then find out that Big Brother can track where and when the copy was made! I knew this was true for color systems but was a little alarmed when this report stated it SOP for most digital copiers.

-=Good Selling=-

Managed Print Service for Printer Fleets

The hype around Managed Print Services is deafening! Everyday I'm coming across information about how good it is to have a Managed Print Service Program, well..... it's great for the provider of the program and may or may not be right for every client.

I have no idea how many laser printers or inkjet printers are sold every year to commercial businesses. What I do see, is a multitude of printers in the commercial work place, in some businesses there is one for each employee!

1. Do I need a Managed Print Services Program for my Fleet of Printers? False.... What you need to do is eliminate most of these printers and strategically replace them with work group Multifunctional Systems or Multifunctional Devices (Same thing, a digital copier that will print scan, fax and copy). You will lower your cost per page, produce less paper, and increase productivity! The Office Equipment Dealers can then monitor page usage, supply levels, and service from a remote location. In essence they will manage your fleet of MFP's while reducing your cost per page and increasing your IT productivity. This will ease your pain!

2. Can I increase my IT departments productivity and save money? True (somewhat)... but you won't save as much if you eliminated the fleet of printers and went with MFP's. You could also stand to save a bundle buy reducing the energy needed for all those laser printers.

3. Can they really provide excellent service, provide parts and support for all my fleet of printers? True and False
False; especially if your fleet has multiple models from multiply manufacturers. In my 29 years in the field, I've only seen a handful of accounts that had printers from one manufacturer. Nine times out of ten, it's a hodgepodge of different models and different manufacturers. HP, Epson, Lexmark and the rest will not give tech support nor parts support to non-authorized resellers.
True; If all of your printers are from one manufacturer and the company that is offering the Print Managed Program is an authorized service provide, then they will be able to support these systems. The goal for the provider is to get their systems in place, and most likely when a printer fails they may replace it or sell you one that they can provide support for.

Basically, if you don't have the time to manage your printers and you can't replace them with MFP's, then you may be the right candidate for a MPS program. However, if you do your homework, you will have a greater return on your investment by eliminating printers. For some this may be a hard pill to swallow. But there are really some incredible print features that will take the printing pain away, such as secure print, locked print, print2mailbox, hold print, store and hold print.

Take the time to investigate what options are out there and don't jump at the first option that is proposed. Have an analysis done of who prints what, when they print, how much they print, and what types of media that is required. If you do that you'll be able to make the right choice.

-=Good Selling=-

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Print Management Company Offer Guarantees Office Equipment Dealers Sell More Hardware

Take it from me, this is a killer app and you get a guarantee for your money back!

New Print Audit Offer Guarantees Office Equipment Dealers Sell More Hardware

Print Audit offers dealers new Assessor starter packages – with a money back guarantee if the print analysis tool doesn’t result in a sale

CALGARY, ALBERTA (February 19, 2009) – Print Audit long ago discovered a simple truth: knowing about a customer’s print volumes and environment helps dealers sell more hardware. This week, the print management company announced the new Guaranteed Deal Package, which will help new dealers improve their sales with the industry’s premier assessment tool, the Print Audit Assessor. The package features a money-back guarantee if the tool does not lead to a sale.

Print Audit Assessor provides dealers with a 60 day print tracking capability that may be used to conduct thorough assessments of customers’ print environments. The data collected from this process illustrates a clear picture of how potential customers are utilizing their current equipment by answering critical workflow questions such as who is printing, what printers are being used, what documents are being printed and the size of each job.

“In these tough economic times many companies are examining every department and cost center for opportunities to streamline and save. Many organizations know that there is potential to increase printing efficiency, but don’t know enough about their print environments to make effective changes,” said John MacInnes, President and CEO of Print Audit. “The Print Audit Guaranteed Deal Package lets office equipment dealers help their customers pinpoint significant cost saving opportunities.”

In their new promotion, Print Audit will offer dealers Guaranteed Deal Packages, which include one 60-day assessment program for use on any sized customer, online technical and sales training, free award-winning technical support, and a money-back guarantee if the package does not lead to a sale. Additionally dealers can earn a free Assessor use for each assessment they perform that leads to the sale of a Print Audit product.

“With today’s highly-competitive market, equipment vendors need to be more than salespeople – they need to become consultants. They need to provide their customers with both a product and a plan,” said MacInnes. “Print Audit Assessor gives dealers that edge by offering far more in-depth data than is available with meter reading solutions.”

Print Audit 5 and the Assessor already have a strong history of increasing sales. The value added by the tools has helped Print Audit’s partnered office equipment dealers bring in $650 million in additional hardware sales to date.

“Print Audit recently helped me uncover the total expenses a trade school in my territory was paying out on a monthly basis,” said Stephen Fogarty, an Account Manager with Zeroid & Company. “With the help of Print Audit we were able to show the school that they were spending over $8,000 per month, and presented a solution for them to recoup costs as well as reduce their monthly expenditures by over $3,000. For less than the cost of operating their present HP printer system, we were able to upgrade their entire fleet of Xerox devices to 10 units and replace many personal HP printers.”

Please click on the link below to view the Guaranteed Deal Package brochure:

About Print Audit:

Established in 1999 and headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Print Audit is the fastest growing print management company in the world. By providing businesses with innovative and practical print management software solutions, the company has helped customers recapture over $150 million in printing and photocopying expenses while saving an estimated 90,000 trees a year. Print Audit has offices located in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United States.

For more information about Print Audit, please contact:

Trevor Hofer
Print Audit - North America
877.41.AUDIT (28348)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

HP Edgeline "What Went Wrong"

I had an email the other day from an analyst from a major printer vendor. In the email I was asked "what went wrong with this program?" I thought, geez your asking me?? I had done a few blogs in reference to the HP edgeline after it's before and after the release. (HP's Touted Edgeline MFP's "Ready to Rock"? & Who's Afraid of HP Edgeline CM8000 Series?)

Here's my response to the analyst:

Where Edgeline Went Wrong! Maybe I should have named it the Death of Edgeline (arrggg!! Greg Walters from The Death of the Copier already scooped me on that! LOL)

HP tried to take copier market share from Copier Manufacturers, even though they put some copier dealers on, HP did not do it's homework on the media and finishing applications that end users need (or maybe they did, but thought they could capture market share based on cpp pricing). I heard from many reps around the country who complained that there was no bookletmaker option, the system could not print or copy thicker stock, no 3-hole punching, Slow FCOT, duplex limitations and limited paper supply and the weight of the unit. If you're going to attack the copier market place, you need to make a copier or MFP centric device, not a printer centric device.

I have client who has an HP MFP because they thought they were getting a good deal on the Internet. Everyone in the office despises the unit because it is not user friendly, I must say over the years that's one thing that the Japanese manufacturers got right "Ease of Use"!

Hey, being on sales for 29 years in the office equipment business you need
to "sell" the sales people, and get them pumped!

The "Edgeline" concept was a good one based on the low cpp of color and monochrome, however end users want more from these systems. They want to be able to print almost anything at any given time. Today' business climate is an "on demand one", I want it now, I need this ASAP, we need to make changes now. With the limited specs of the HP Edgeline, sales people could not recommend these systems to end users and some of the
companies that purchased or leased them wish they had bought something else.

My dealership (the one I work for) was in business for 28 years not once
did an HP DSM come calling on us to take on the product line. I really
don't think HP understands the mentality of the ITEX Dealer Channel. They
understand VAR's, but not dealers. Also, why would a dealer take on their
product when HP is selling the same product on it's web site?????

Dealers need at least 50% MARGINS, in order to "make things happen"
offering anything less in this channel and you're wasting your time and the
dealers time. Guess HP thought that everyone should be happy with 12%

Is the end result that HP did not know how to sell them? Naw, I just think that they rushed the product to market and didn't "copy" how copier manufacturers market their devices. I remember reading something with the pre-launch of Edgeline in reference to HP thinking that they would capture 35% of the volume in "x" amount of years in the ITEX channel! I wonder if that guy still has a job?

Couple of other items I heard, not sure if it's true or not, the entire Edgeline team was laid off, support was moved to Singapore and their may or may not be a second gen HP Edgeline. If there is a second gen, they'll have to dump the "Edgeline" which will be synomous with "New Coke", "Ford Edsel", "BenGay Aspirin", "McDonalds Deluxe", "Apple Lisa", and "Windows Vista".....and the list goes on.

Selling Copiers "Prospecting"

This is a copy of a blog I did many months ago, and thought I'd repost it as a reminder about Propsesting for accounts.
Prospecting in the office equipment industry is equal to putting your shoes on every day. It's just something you do all of the time!
Now that I'm a little older and little wiser (that's me), I've been able to hone some of my prospecting skills to get better results and qualified prospects. Here's a few tips for you.

1. Sometimes during the sales process, the customer will ask for a better price, and yes you can use the standard close, "If I can give you a better price can we do business today?", however I'll also add that in order to get the better price I'd like to get two to three names and contact information for friends or associates that are in business that may have a need for my services. This is probably the best references or leads that you can get, and you must follow up on them right away!

2. Vertical Market Prospecting, follow up with other businesses that are in the same business where you just made a sale. Mention that so and so just upgrading to state of the art technology and also make the statement that there are many features designed for your type of business that will save time and money. It's just like the copier industry, when you come right down to it, its a small world and everyone pretty much knows someone else in their same line of work.

3. Prospect Around The Corner, when you have made a sale or have gained an appointment be sure to make a call to other businesses in the area and let them know you'll be meeting with so and so, and ask if you can stop buy. The same goes true for knocking on doors, whether before or at the end of the appointment take the time to stop at other businesses and tell them of your success or just drop a card and a brochure. It may take so time, however these cold calls will pay dividends down the road.

4. When going to a network event, GO ALONE!, this will force you into having conversations with other people and not yucking it up with ]your buddy from the office.

5. Develop and maintain a mailing list of all your cold calls whether phone or on-site calls. Then set a reminder on a calendar program for a monthly mailing to these clients. You can mail brochures, flyer's or my favorite a neat little one page newsletter that will keep them updated with your new products and services. If you are religious in sending this every month, you will start seeing great results in 3-6 months.

If you have anything else to add, please feel free to!

-=Godd Selling=-

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Competitive Copier Street Pricing

Just wanted to give you all a heads up. I've uploaded some "Street Pricing" . Special kudos to those Print4Pay Hotel members that sent them to me for uploading.

If you're selling MFP's, or still calling them copiers the Print4Pay Hotel currently has 5 active message boards for Ricoh Family Group, Sharp, KonicaMinolta, Kyocera , Xerox and Canon. We will be launching new boards for Toshiba and OCE in 2009.

These "Street Prices" were observed:

Ricoh Pro 1106EX
imageRunner 7105
imageRunner 7095

imageRunner 105
Xerox DocuColor 242

Become a member while it's still FREE, talk to your peers, share inspirations, success stories, sales tips, quotes and much more. Start by following the link below.

-=Good Selling=-

Weekend MFP Notes from 2/15/09

Xerox is protesting a bid award given to a Ricoh dealer. The Westport Public School District of Connecticut awarded their contract to Advanced Copy Technologies, owned by Greg Gondak. The contract was for 60 months with b/w clicks at $0.009. Xerox claims that its subsidiary, CBS, should have won the bid because it was substantially less, including clicks at only $0.0042. The contract included 5 million clicks per quarter.

- Xerox announced it sold two of its X980 production print systems. These units have twin engines, and use flash fusing for top speed of 900ppm.

- Xerox announced it won a bid to provide 20 color MFPs to Fiat Automotive of England.

- Kodak gave an update on its future color inkjet press, called the Stream:
- 2500 ppm top speed
- 508-660mm wide web that move rolls of paper at 150-200 meters per minute
- Designed to compete against the HP Digital Web Offset press
- Will launch in early 2010

- In a study conducted by PIA/GATF, postcards made by a Kodak NexPress S3000 survived being delivered by the U.S. Postal Service with less marks than any other production color system tested.

- IKON won a bid from the Winchester School District of Indiana. The contract is for 5 years.

- In a survey completed by the Photizo Group the following was discovered about dealers who provide managed print services:
- even after an assessment is performed, only 52% of prospects end up signing up for a MPS contract
- The fastest growing segment of customer that is choosing MPS are those with 500-999 employees
- 92% of companies that try MPS renew their contracts

- Hewlett Packard claims that by the year 2011 that its printers will use 40% less energy than they do today.

- Hewlett Packard announced 0% interest lease programs to boost sales of its printers and MFPs.

- Microsoft, in an effort to increase sales, announced it will open Microsoft stores in the U.S., just like Apple Computer has done. Also considering this supposedly is Hewlett Packard.

- BERTL recently completed a test of the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO 1050e, and gave it the coveted “5 Star” award. The report can be purchased at Example of review includes this statement; “BERTL was impressed with the system’s steel paper drawers, which we found to be very sturdily constructed – a key advantage for high volume applications”

- Oce’ announced it will sell its paper making division to Precision Paper Company. Oce’ will sell its plants in Guilford, CT, Charleston, IL and Corona, CA. Purchase price not announced.

- Panasonic launched a new desktop color laser AOI (all-in-one mfp) offering, called the KX-MC6000 series:
- 20ppm top speed
- 4 tandem OPC drum design
- A4 (letter/legal size only)
- Scan/copy/print/fax
- 50 sheet document feeder
- Optional automatic duplexer
- 3.6” full color LCD display
- 1200x1200dpi (does not offer true 8 bits per pixel)
- Can receive faxes into memory, and then preview them on the LCD
- Pricing not announced
- optional extended warranties do not include supplies

- In Japan, Panasonic has requested that 10,000 of its employees go out and buy 1,000 yen worth of Panasonic electronic items to boost company revenues.

- Some involved with the construction of Canon manufacturing plants in China are involved with scandal. Norihisa Oga, president of Oita, Japan based Daiko Contracting, demanded and received millions of yen from another contractor, Nichimatsu, after winning contracts to build plants in Hiratsuka. Major construction firm Kajima Corp. is suspected to have provided Daiko billions in yen in return for securing Canon contracts.

- Okidata announced that it plans on launching more floor standing A3 color LED MFPs during the ITEX trade show.

- Kyocera announced that it will bring 15 new MFP models to market in 2009, most of which will be color laser devices. The company also announced the formation of a dealer council, which will be led by Jim Oricchio, owner of Coordinated Business Systems.

- Ricoh announced it will resell DocuLex Archive Studio content management solution software. Packages for 10 users start at $11,994.00 MSRP.

- Ricoh showed its embedded software capabilities at the recent IBM Pulse conference in Las Vegas. Their booth showed IBM’s Tivoli Asset Management software running on the control panel of a Ricoh color MFP.

- Lexmark now shipping its T650 series of A4 b/w MFPs that offer speeds up to 53ppm. While the MSRPs start as low as $2500, the optional extended warranties do not include the expensive supplies. The black toner cartridge, with a yield of 36,000 pages, based on 5% coverage per page, sells for $508.20 each.

- US Express Leasing has changed its name to Tygris Vendor Finance and has offices in Chicago, Stamford and Parsippany.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Panasonic Copier Division Dumps all but a Handful of Dealers

One of my predictions for 2009 was that Panasonic would drop it's copier line. Well, on Feb 12, a letter was sent all to all but a handful of Panasonic copier dealers that they were no longer a Panasonic Dealer but rather a Panasonic Reseller! The prediction has not come true yet, however this is such a major shift from traditional distribution that it may be the Swan Song for Panasonic's Copier Division.

A member of the Sharp P4P Hotel pm'd me some of the talk that's going around. Info came from a tech web site called

Here's some of the chatter:

"There had been rumors circulating that Panasonic was in dire straits. Some..................

"All of these I discarded, because Panasonic just recently.................................

"There was also a rumor going around that Panasonic was going to .............................

"Either he'd been lying to me, or he was just as blindsided..............................


"I just got off the phone with DSM, (former). Apparently Panasonic cut ........................

"If you have an existing Parts account, you'll keep it. Whew. That was my biggest ....................

"Machines and supplies (and supply items like drums, developer, PM kits) will be purchased ..............................

"KeyAccount program will still exist, deals ......................................

"Unknown if dealer co-op will ..............................

"Tech Support is shifting to the distributors. This is frakking .................................

"I don't know what Nick Miyake is .......................................

More inside the P4P message boards

-=Good Selling=-

Friday, February 13, 2009

Office Equipment Leasing "A World of Changes"

It seems like we've had our fair share of quest bloggers in the last two weeks.

Starting with Trevor Hoffer from Print Audit, and then Dan Donohue from Polek & Polek .

I'd like to introduce our latest guest blogger as Kevin Clune, President of Clune & Company LLC.

Take a trip to the Clune & Company web site, and see how Clune can help your dealership gain extra margins while retaining the best customer satisfaction in the office equipment leasing industry.

A World of Changes

We have seen incredible changes in our industry (leasing/finance) in the past 6 months. Many leasing companies have shut down and are just collecting their portfolios. They've been racked with record portfolio losses and now have an inability to access the capital needed to fund new deals.

We have not seen so much turmoil in our industry since the early 80’s. The prime borrowing rate peaked at 21.5%, unemployment was almost 11% and 12% was a great fixed rate for a home mortgage.

Leasing will be a larger share of equipment sales this year for at least two reasons: Budgets in almost every company have been tightened down like never before—a lease slips into a budget far more easily than a large capital outlay. Additionally, many companies have had their borrowing abilities greatly reduced by their banks. When banks had plenty of money to lend many would pay cash for equipment…… it’s a totally different landscape.

We also believe that "leading" with a $1 buyout lease is not in the best interest of the dealer. It's a higher payment for the customer AND since he owns it at the end of the lease it is far more difficult to regularly trade them up into new equipment. The $1 buyout rate of .0246 is frightfully high.

We partner with copier vendors so that they can lead with a unique concept that is a true lease (off balance sheet). One of the essential differences in our arrangement is that the vendor owns the machine at the end of the lease. That gives the vendor total control of what options are given to the customer, and the vendor, not the leasing company profits accordingly.

On a standard FMV or $1 lease the vendor gets nothing at the end of the lease. On our plan the vendor stands to make significant yet ethical profits.

Kevin Clune
Clune & Company LLC

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ricoh & Kodak "Coming to America?"

Just when you thought things would settle down, today Kodak and Ricoh join forces so Ricoh will sell Kodak in Europe, and it may just be a matter of time before there's and OEM agreement here in the US. Right now no additional word from Ricoh or Kodak, mums the word!

I just posted the YouTube videos last week of Kodak dis spelling the rumors of planning to sell off its DigiMaster and NexPress commercial printer business. All in all one week later and CEO Antonio Perez drops a pretty big bomb shell.

I'm going to have to agree with Andrew Tribute and his blog, that there may be more to come of this agreement.

Here's the link to his blog:

Kodak and Ricoh Partnership

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Copier Sales Proposals "Pricing on the Street"

Just wanted to give you all a heads up. I've uploaded three Kyocera quotes with cpc's that will blow your mind. Along with Oce, KonicaMinolta, Canon and Ricoh. Special thanks to the Print4Pay Hotel members that sent them to me for uploading.

If you're selling MFP's, or still calling them copiers, the Print4Pay Hotel currently has 6 active message boards for Ricoh Family Group, Sharp, KonicaMinolta, Kyocera , Canon and Xerox P4P In the early spring of 2009, we will launch Toshiba and OCE P4P Message Boards!

The Print4Pay Hotel averages 60,000 page views a month, with over 210,000 hits, and over 55,000 threads, we are the Global Resource on the Web for Copier Sales Professionals.

These quotes were uploaded today:

OCE IM3511
Kyocera KM6030
Kyocera KM4050

Ricoh MP 5000
Canon imageRunner 3245
KonicaMinolta Bizhub 421
KonicaMinolta Bizhub 501

Become a member while it's still FREE, talk to your peers, share inspirations, success stories, sales tips, quotes and much more. Start by following the link below.

-=Good Selling=-

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Selling Copiers MFPs "Electric Savings"

Some of us do ROI presentations and some of us don't. For those who don't you're missing opportunities!

When presenting an ROI presentation, how many of us will focus on electricity savings, I'll be most of us don't!

Recently, I had the opportunity to quote for two MFP's in two workgroups. First thing I noticed is that every desk had a laser printer on it. Below is a run down of the two work groups:

Workgroup #1 (6 people)
  • 6 laser printers

  • 1 fax

  • 1 large copier (MFP) however it was not connected

Workgroup #2 (8 people)

  • 8 laser printers

  • 2 fax (one for inbound and one for outbound)

  • 1 large copier (MFP) this also was not connected

I did my usual routine, gathered config sheets from every printer, got the meter reads from the copiers and printer along with the reports from the faxes for inbound an outbound pages. Once I gathered all of the information, I went back to office and looked up the cost per page for each device and put together a ROI spreadsheet for the customer.

As per usual, I indicated that the desktops printers and fax machines should be eliminated because of the higher cost per page when compared to a connected copier/MFP. Working late on the proposal I needed to save the customer some additional dollars, but where was it going to come from? I had already accounted for auto duplexing to save paper, fax4ward2email to save paper and consumables, put them on a cost per page plan, and even had 10 licenses of ecopy to help save paper.

Well, something finally clicked and I did a search on the Internet for "electricity cost for copiers" and I got what I was looking for at . They had a document that actually showed the average cost of running office equipment on an annual basis. With that I created a new line in the spreadsheet that focused on the electricity savings by removing 14 laser printer and 3 fax machines. Eliminating the fax machines would save $27.00 per fax per year (if left on 24 hours), and then the laser printers were $44.00 per year (if left on 24 hours).

The faxes total $81 annually and the laser printers came in at $616 annually. Total $697 per year. Break that down to a monthly cost and the savings would be around $58 per month. Over the term of 60 months, the total savings is $3,484.99.

Summary: I doubt that the laser printers were left on 24 hours a day (ya never know), however even if they were turned off at night, the end user still had a savings each and every month. Plus, if you're the person presenting the ROI proposal and you've taken the time to show this to the client, my guess is you'll get their business. It's all about saving money.

-=Good Selling=-

MFP News 2/09/08

- Fuji Film of Japan announced a 10.9% drop in revenue due to reduced sales of Xerox product, which the company makes. The company also announced it would increase spending on research and development by 7.5%.

President Tadahito Yamamoto stated; “We will still continue to sell copier based machines and printers, but we want to be known as a total solutions and services company dealing in office and document management rather than just a copier company. Hence, research and development and new technology are very important to us.”

- Sharp was ordered by the Fair Trade Commission to pay a fine of 261 million yen for attempting to fix prices with Hitachi of color LCD displays sold to Nintendo for its game consoles.

- Apparently Sharp employees are volunteering to teach a class to elementary schools about global warming. (most likely Sharp gets to hand out their solar calculators)

- Fujitsu announced it will close it’shard drive manufacturing plant and layoff 360 employees

- Microsoft signed a patent sharing agreement with Brother. It has signed similar deals with other MFP makers, HP, Samsung, Fuji, Epson and Kyocera. “Our partners and customers continue to demand collaboration as they run increasingly diverse IT environments using technology and solutions that rely on both proprietary and open source code” said Microsoft’s David Kaefer.

- Toshiba announced it will allow 16,700 employees to take second jobs while they are temporary leave.

Monday, February 9, 2009

MFP Weekend Industry Notes 2/08/09

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

- Panasonic announced it will lose $3.9 billion for year 2008, its first loss in 6 years.

- Danka Business Systems PLC asked its shareholders to approve a voluntary liquidation for the second time since it sold off its business to Konica Minolta. The vote will be on 2/19/09 to distribute the $6.5 million that it is left from the sale after debts were paid off.

- In a survey conducted by Gartner of 443 production print managers, they were asked on a scale of 1 to 7, which technology offers the best image quality:
- Toner: 5.68
- Liquid Ink (HP Indigo): 5.40
- Inkjet: 5.24
- Offset Press: 5.17
- First time ever that toner based production color output was favored over offset

- Xerox announced it will try a new managed print services to market its wax-based color printers & AIOs, the Phaser 8860 and the Phaser 8860MFPs
- Hybrid Color Plan #1
- Three meters collected
- $0.0169 for b/w and “useful” color pages (color text or small color logo)
- $0.039 for “everyday” color pages (web page prints)
- $0.079 for “expressive” color pages (heavy color)
- Hybrid Color Plan #2
- Two meters collected
- $0.0169 for b/w and “useful” color pages
- $0.059 for “everyday” and “expressive” color pages

- Xerox signed on as official sponsor of the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum event in Chicago, IL on 10/5-7/09 to promote document management.

- Xerox makes a change in one of its Global locations. Mike Hosking, formerly a Xerox executive in Rochester, NY, was named the new president of Capitol Office Solutions of Columbia, MD.

- Xerox send out a full color direct mail piece to customers across the country, with the tag line “Learn how to cut document costs by up to 30% or more!”. End users who respond and request info from Xerox are entered into a drawing for several Sony Bravia 40” HDTV sets. The promo claims lucrative trade-in dollars for existing competitive MFPs.

- A company named RITI claims it will introduce a printer that uses old coffee grounds to create the image.

- The U.S. Graphic Design Business study shows:
- 11% increase in graphic design establishments by 2013
- 13% increase in graphic design employees
- 2% growth in graphic design revenue
- 20% growth in graphic design freelancers

- Hewlett Packard, in an effort to boost sluggish sales, announced a trade-in program:
- Trade-in credit of up to $1000.00 off purchase price of new LaserJet (b/w or color)
- Trade-in can be any make and model
- HP claims it will “recycle” the trade-in laser printer
- Does not apply to inkjet printers

- Rochester Software Associates (RSA) announced the “Print Stimulus Package” where it has lowered the pricing of its web-to-print software for the print-for-pay industry. Customers can now get its WebCRD for as little as $19,995.00

- New technology to replace laser engines? Inventor Peter Salmon has introduced “Solid State Printing”
- Salmon Technologies Inc. is located in Mountainview, CA
- Does not use a drum or a laser printhead
- Promises high speed printing at a much lower cost
- Has not yet attracted investors
- Uses integrated circuits to attract toner to transfer roller
- The integrated circuits employs electrode structures on glass substrates with electrodes driven by solid state devices
- Electrodes are driven by 40 volt traveling waves (VTW)
- Each electrode applies one toner particle at a time
- Uses traditional fusing method
- Uses polymerized toner technology
- Can image both sides of paper at same time
- A printer with a 36” wide print width would consist of 86,400 writing channels per head
- Each channel includes a 10 micron micro print engine
- 2400x2400dpi
- Top speed of 200 feet per minute
- Machine would take up 16 square feet of floor space

- After a misleading article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Kodak CEO, Antonio Perez was forced to deny the implications that it was going to sell off its copier division (the NexPress production color system and the DigiMaster production b/w equipment). He stated; “We are not thinking of divesting any of those businesses.”

- eCopy announced that it will allow IRIS Group to resell its product. IRIS makes the OCR engine that is used in eCopy products since 1998.

- Printable Technologies Inc. announced it will make PURLs more affordable. Personalized URLs (PURLs) are essential to variable data direct mail printing, where the end user can respond to an offer by entering a website that uses their name (i.e. Originally costing $5000 for FusionPro Links software and $0.02 for each PURL created, the price was reduced to $995 with unlimited PURls.

- Ricoh announced new programs to get software companies to develop applications that can be embedded into new Ricoh MFPs. The Ricoh Developer Program (RiDP) now features:
- Java based Embedded Software Architecture
- DocumentMall membership, for $1000 per year, access to Ricoh’s web-based DocumentMall Software
As-A-Service (SaaS) solution
- Major Account/Strategic Account (MASA) membership is $2500/year for specific accounts only
- Education (EDU) membership is free to accredited higher education institutions
- Basic membership is free
- Premier is S400/year
- Premier Plus is $4500/year

- A company in Shingle Springs, CA was created to test hard drives removed from digital copiers for confidential data. Digital Copier Security Inc., run by John Juntunen, claims that when companies trade-in or dispose of their digital copiers, that they are leaving sensitive data behind for others to take advantage of. The company charges thousands of dollars to remove the hard drive, destroy it, and then provide certificate of its destruction to the end user.

Oce’ launched its new VarioPrint 4000 production b/w series

- Oce’ launched its new VarioPrint 4000 production b/w series, which includes the VP4110 and VP4120:

- Uses CopyPress technology
- Low heat reduces limitations on media
- Does not slow down when running thick stock
- Single charge reduces static buildup
- Does not use developer
- VP4110 offers top speed of 106ipm for $39,961 MSRP
- VP4120 offers top speed of 120ipm for $45,961 MSRP
- Rated for 1.5 million impressions per month (max of 2.5 million/month)
- Both versions run 51ipm for 11’x17”
- 600x1200dpi with 141 lpi
- Back to front registration guaranteed at 0.5 mm
- Void area of average of 2mm on all 4 edges
- Comes standard with Paper Input Module
- 4 paper drawers
- Handles sizes from 8”x8” to 12”x18”
- All support tab stocks
- All drawers can be used for post process insertion
- Automatic tray linking for continuous operation
- Air separation and vacuum paper feed from all drawers
- Can refill paper on the fly
- Top two drawers hold up to 600 sheets
- Bottom two drawers hold up to 1700 sheets
- Option allows these two drawers to hold two stacks of 1700 letter size sheets
- Optional second Paper Input Module
- Available in Fall of 2009
- Same as standard Paper Input Module except the top paper drawer is replaced by a pass thru
- Large touch screen color LCD display on armature
- Control panel includes a Scheduler feature that shows time allotted to complete jobs in queue
- Comes standard with scanner for copy and scan operations
- Top speed of 56ipm
- Face down feeding
- Double feed detection
- Optional standard with 6000 sheet stacker for $17,000 MSRP
- Optional Set Finisher bolts to top of the stacker unit for $9800 MSRP
- 3 trays, 4000 sheet capacity
- Up to 100 sheet staple
- Optional Die Punch
- 3 or 4 hole punch
- Punch for wire, comb, velobind of proclick binding
- Optional Multi-format stapler for $14,500 MSRP
- 50 sheet stapling
- Corner or side stapling
- 2,000 sheet capacity
- Other finishing options include GBC punch, booklet maker or perfect binder
- Two embedded print controller options
- Standard controller with 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive with Intel Celeron processor
- High End controller with 2GB RAM, 160GB hard drive with Intel Dual Core processor
- $400 optional PCL
- $1400 optional PostScript
- Includes DPLink to print Xerox DocuTech language files

- Oce’ announced it has sold three of its VarioPrint 6160 production b/w systems to Municipal Code Corporation of Tallahassee, FL, which is a printshop that specializes in government publishing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

You Have Options in a Tough Economy

Dan Donohue is our next guest blogger. Since 1998, Dan Donohue has been the Director of Sales at Polek & Polek, a family owned wholesale distributor of parts and supplies for copiers, faxes, and printers in business since 1974. Take a good read of Dan's article, its quite good!

You Have Options in a Tough Economy

The headlines of today’s economic news are adding to the already challenging environment in the imaging industry. OEM’s, now more than ever, are operating in your territory. This is bringing concerns to dealer management all over the United States. Pricing pressure coming from CPC pricing in the .0029 vicinity is challenging even the best dealers to search for ways to compete and reduce costs. Here are some other forces that are creating serious headwinds for the dealer community.

 OEM quotas are demanding on your resources, stuffing warehouses all over the country to the benefit of the OEM and to the detriment of the dealer community.

 Cash flow is slowing down as a result of this and the slowing economic environment.

 OEM’s threaten cancellation or to open competing dealers down the street.

 Color printing and page coverage is squeezing the dealer between the customer and the OEM supplier more than anyone else in the supply chain.

 OEM direct competition is still going on at or below your lowest price with all discounts included at retail.

 Some dealers are seeing machine placements, copy counts and new business slowing to a trickle.

 Operating expenses are all going up.

 Tech salaries are being challenged and competed for from the IT industry.

 The burden of producing profit is on service and supplies.

There ARE ways to overcome these tough setbacks and situations.

Become part of a buying group or Industry organizationIBPI, BTA, BPCA, CDA or SDG groups.

These groups provide buying power, rebates, discounts, legal advice, best practices, education, networking and benchmarks for success in our industry. By taking advantage of these resources and industry experts, you can help your dealership capitalize on best practices. The informal networking is often some of the most valuable benefits of belonging to one of these industry trade groups.

Make sure you attend ITEX, your industry trade show, to catch up on the latest trends and education. Take the time out to work “on” your business instead of “in” your business.

Take a Managed print service approach to your market. Tom Callinan, managing principal of Strategy Development said he would not hire pure hunting copier sales reps today. He would only consider hiring print management specialist to develop a strong net new business model. Equipment sales and the growth of print and copy charges will follow. Software programs like PrintFleet, FM Audit, and other programs help you make the leap into these new areas of profitability. Line extensions to include HP are a great strategy in a tough economy. You are getting deeper into your account and locking up all of their printing activity. Closer relationships with your customer are critical now more than ever!

Use compatible products to increase your profitability. Many dealers are rethinking their OEM relationships and are discovering that compatibles have a significant role in their company. Print management programs only work with Compatible cartridges according to Low Slawetsky of Industry Analysts at the BTA East meeting in September. Ronelle Ingram says” Compatibles are no longer an alternative”. Industry experts push for service profitability over 50% and compatible products are critical to the success of that profit objective. Low margin CPC contracts can be turned profitable using compatible toner and parts. These lower costs for parts and supplies will also help you compete in the skinny margin deals to grab new business and make sure you keep what you have. The other area to consider is machines coming out of the field. Use generic parts instead of OEM parts if you are going to take the machine out of the field in 6 – 12 months. Ex‐lines are an area to move compatible supplies and parts into your base of equipment.

Find an area most challenged for profit and start there.

How compatibles can help offset lost revenue – A dealer’s experience ‐ Rob DiCerbo, a sales executive for Polek and Polek wroteabout his experiences with a dealer facing the current tough economy. In the second half of 2007, machine sales had slowed to atrickle. For the entire year of 2007, XYZ Company had fallen short of their goal by $1.5 million dollars. When we asked “What can wedo to help you run your business better?’ their response was, “find us our lost revenue”.

The missing revenue equated to $270,000 in lost profit. This dealership was already buying aftermarket parts and drums so additionalsavings in this area would have less of an impact. However they were using OEM toner in all machines, even those that were 5+ years old! Here was an opportunity to put real dollars back into the hands of the dealership. I asked for some current usages andpricing, then we went to work.

The first proposal only dealt with machines that were over three years old. The second also included newer machines segments 1‐4,while the third proposal added segment 5. There were meaningful savings with all three proposals, and we presented all three to the dealerships management.

The first proposal saved the dealership $45,000 annually or 16.7% of the lost profit. The second proposal would have saved the dealership $97,000 annually or 36% of the lost revenue, and the third proposal saved the dealership $145,000 annually or 53.7% of the lost profits. When translated into recovered revenues this last proposal equated to an additional $805,000 in revenue. The management team saw that this simple change could recover over half of the lost revenue they had experienced in the prior year, and after a couple of meetings decided to move forward with proposal number three.

The important lesson here is that if a dealer is experiencing a mild or severe loss in revenue,there are still options on the table that you can take advantage of. The nice aspect about this proposal is that we went through the exercise through the lens of lost revenue. We have done this for many dealers, but the association to revenue really showed the impact that compatible products are able to have on dealership profitability.

Despite the many headlines and events of the day, there are options in this tougher economic environment. Use your industry associations, get into the print management services business and use compatible products to increase your profitability and compete more effectively!

To learn more visit

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ricoh Eco - Why It Matters

This is the first video I had seen of the Ricoh ECO billboard in Times Square, NY. Seems like Ricoh wants to be known as the ECO MFP company of the world. All in all a pretty interesting video:

Here's how it works:

HP Warns LaserJet users to patch printers


In the initial post I had stated that I thought that a Laser Printer at Digital Defense was hacked into. This was not the correct information! There was no breach nor was any system hacked into at DDI. I have since changed the post to reflect the correct information.

Got this from Computer World by Gregg Keizer, and WOW this is pretty big, kinda reminds me of Battlestar Gallactica, they did away with all networks because they could never be kept 100% safe, and yes tonights episode was awesome!!!!

February 6, 2009 (Computerworld) Hewlett-Packard Co. has warned owners of some of its laser printers to update their devices' firmware or risk having remote attackers access previously printed documents.

In an advisory published Wednesday, HP said users of certain LaserJet, Color LaserJet and Digital Sender models are affected, and it urged them to immediately download and install firmware upgrades.

The devices include 10 LaserJet models, ranging from the 2410 to the 9050; two Color LaserJet models; and the 9200C Digital Sender, a sheet-fed document scanner.

According to San Antonio-based Digital Defense Inc., the security company that reported the problem to HP last October, attackers can exploit a bug in the printers' Web-based control interface to "read arbitrary system configuration files, cached documents, etc."

Exploiting the vulnerability, the Digital Defense researchers said, is "trivial" with common Web server "directory traversal" tactics. A directory transversal attack is an HTTP-based exploit that lets attackers access restricted directories and execute commands outside of the server's root directory.

Adrien de Beaupre, an analyst at the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center (ISC), also called for patching the printers. "The impact might not seem severe, as in the attacker can view the printer configuration; however, viewing cached versions of printed documents can be," said de Beaupre in an alert on the ISC site today.

Other than patching, the only other defense measure available is to disable access to the printers' online control interface, de Beaupre added.

HP listed the affected printers in a security bulletin, which also included instructions on how to download the firmware update.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What is "Print Management"

Special thanks to Trevor Hoffer (Print Audit) for this article. Trevor is our featured "Guest Blogger" for the month of February!

What is Print Management? How will it benefit you and your customers?

Despite the fact that print management has become a ubiquitous term there is still considerable 
confusion about what exactly it is and what its benefits are. Many people confuse print management and fleet management solutions, but the two perform very different functions.

Fleet management (or device management) solutions are used to collect meter reads on imaging devices and perform service functions such as supplies management and service history tracking.

In contrast, a comprehensive print management solution allows organizations to capture and control every print job that occurs in an environment. Print management solutions also enable organizations to control who can print to where and can be used to alter user behavior by setting printing limits, restricting color usage and forcing duplexing.

As this article will explain, a print management solution can be a powerful revenue generating and 
cost saving tool that can benefit any organization by performing three key functions: Workflow analysis, cost reduction and cost recovery.

“A print management solution can be a powerful revenue generating and cost saving tool that can benefit any dealer and organization.” 

Workflow Analysis - Sell more equipment. Optimize your customer’s print strategy.

Many dealers are already conducting rapid assessments using scanning software on USB drives and are under the impression that this is all that is needed to perform a thorough print analysis. Rapid assessment is very useful for capturing instant snapshots of the print environment and this 
capability is valuable for opening doors. However, it only scratches the surface when it comes to uncovering equipment sales opportunities.

There are analysis tools available that are designed specifically to allow office equipment dealers to perform a more detailed, time-limited silent print analysis. This is best accomplished using software which is installed onto individual workstations at a customer’s site to enable ongoing 

Some people are intimidated at the thought of having to install software onto their client’s workstations. However, most large organizations already have mass installation methods in place that will make this process painless and relatively non-intrusive compared to software solutions that must be installed to print servers.

Analyze all printing

Tracking printing at the desktop level will allow you to analyze all of the devices at a client’s site, including local, networked and direct-to-IP printers. Since desktop printers are the most expensive to run, it is important to monitor how these devices are being used. Some of the biggest surprises come out of an analysis of this type of printing.

Are your customer’s printing to their inkjet printers instead of your multi-function device? A rapid assessment tool won’t reveal this type of information, but a comprehensive print analysis using a client-based tool such as the Print Audit Assessor will.

Gather critical workflow data
A comprehensive analysis tool will gather valuable workflow information to help answer questions such as: Who is printing the most? Where are they printing to? What size and types of jobs are they printing? When are they printing and are there any bottlenecks?

Without this workflow information it is very difficult to determine which devices are currently being misused. Having a clear picture of the current state will help reinforce your proposals regarding new equipment and any other changes that are warranted.

Prove the need for new equipment

Assessment provides reporting that details what the current state of printing looks like in your 
client’s environment. This can then be used to calculate what would be gained (saved) by implementing changes. Dealers are able to make proposals based on their clients real print data, rather than generic, one-size fits all, industry stats.

“Many dealers drastically under-estimate the volumes they are losing to competitor’s devices.”

Cost ReductionDirect volumes to your devices. Reduce your client’s costs.

After a print analysis has been completed and new devices have been placed, are you taking measures to ensure that the new devices are being used to their full potential? Is your cost per copy program getting the majority of your customer’s volumes?

Many dealers drastically under-estimate the amount of volumes they are losing to their competitor’s devices. After a thorough print analysis, one of the largest office equipment dealers in the United Kingdom recently discovered that their printers were only receiving 20 percent of their customers’ volumes. Prior to the analysis they had assumed that number to be closer to 60 percent.

The problem as they understood it was one of human nature -- people will print to their convenience printer, rather than the device best suited for the job. Instead of assuming that you are getting most of a client’s volumes -- ensure that you are by putting a “gatekeeper” in place, to monitor and alter user behavior.

Redirect print volumes to your devices – A print management tool with reduction features can help to change the printing habits of users and encourage them to make better printing decisions. 
For example, if a user tries to print a large print job to their personal printer, a popup window can encourage or force them to print to your more efficient, multi-function device instead.

Give your customers control and increase their ROI – Your clients will be more likely to buy a color device if they know that it won’t be abused. A reduction tool will give your customer a variety of cost saving options. For example, they could configure the print management software to force users to print on both sides of the page when printing to certain devices. It could also be configured to disallow color printing from specific individuals or to disallow black and white printing to color devices.

Clearly cost reduction tools are a win-win situation for the dealer and the customer. For this reason, many dealers have begun bundling print reduction tools with their devices to ensure that they are being used to their fullest. Those dealers who are utilizing print management tools are quickly taking over entire accounts.

Cost Recovery: Overcome sales objections. Add value to your proposals.

Many dealers are already familiar with cost recovery solutions. Cost recovery is most common in professional service firms such as architects, engineers, law firms, realtors and advertising agencies. These firms typically charge their users or clients for printing and photocopying expenses.

Surprisingly, many of these companies still calculate out-of-pocket expenses by manually logging print jobs with a clipboard kept by the printer/plotter. This method has been proven to be very inaccurate -- case studies have shown that people simply forget to record the data up to 80 percent of the time.

Any dealership can take advantage of cost recovery opportunities to overcome sales objections and add value to proposals:

Facilitate equipment sales – Cost recovery solutions tend to be an easy sell since they usually pay for themselves in a matter of weeks or months. In many cases the ROI is so significant that in providing these solutions the dealers are helping to generate additional revenues that the customer can use to literally pay for new equipment.

Simplify your client’s chargeback process - Manual print or copy tracking is a time consuming process that companies will gladly give up. Most companies can greatly simplify and increase the accuracy of their bill back process by installing a print management solution. Cost recovery solutions can automate a company’s chargeback process by automatically recording printing and photocopying costs and integrating the data with most accounting and billing packages.

Getting Started

Have you been missing out on many of the benefits a print management solution can provide? The good news is that there are powerful solutions available that are easy to get up and running, without any formal training. A complete solution with the workflow analysis, cost reduction and recovery features discussed in this article will reward both you and your customers.

A word about support

Your reputation is on the line when you sell or promote any product. Make sure that you are fully satisfied that your client will be in good hands with the print management partner that you choose. Try the software in your own offices and test the support yourself.

-=Good Selling=-