Sunday, August 23, 2009
MFP Wars "Death of the A3 MFP" Part II
So, what's a dealer to do?
Dealers need to become more like VARs (Valued Added Resellers). Recently there was an article I read in CRN magazine about a company that specialized in networks. Over time, the owner noticed that they were getting calls from customers to add additional network drops for printers, mfp's, and telephone systems. Along with that they would also get trouble shooting calls for the printers and scanners that were on the network. He thought, why not have be the sole source for all of the hardware in the office, the benefit to the customer is that they did not have to have multiple vendors for hardware, so a company could reduce their workload with having one vendor to support all of their products.
So, this company decided to revamp their whole business model, he stated it took about a year, however they became and authorized dealer for printers, mfp's, telephone equipment and mailing equipment. Sales, are up along with new profit centers for consumables.
Here's my point, it's so hard and costly to get new customers. This guy found a way to increase his business by offering more products and services to his existing account base, plus the fact that some new additional business was accumulated by acquiring the new hardware lines. We all have the tech departments for on-site service, we are experts in technology.
Of course this type of business model may not work for everyone, there has to be a well laid out business and marketing plan along with acquiring the right people to staff those departments.
If you're not one for adding new hardware vendors then you need to get the solution thing figured out NOW! Figure out where you want to play in solutions market, do you want to capture more clicks with forms solutions, how about transpromo, or can you make the leap into document management. You could also just specialize in moving clicks from existing customer laser printers to your devices with a print management solution. Whatever it maybe, you need to focus on a few core items and become an expert in those solutions.