Sunday, September 23, 2012
The Transition of the Copier Industry "Part III"
I'll take an example of Ricoh because I'm more familiar with their products since I sell their products. One of their brightest products is the ewriter, it's not for playing games, surfing the web or doing your fantasy football at the office (Ricky), the ewriter is a business tablet that is designed to address technology gaps in the digital work flow by replacing paper based solutions with digital alternatives (I borrowed this from Ricoh). Basically, the Ricoh ewriter will replace paper, maybe the best example I can give is my own. When making a sale, I need to produce a sales order, a maintenance agreement, and a lease. I need to print these documents and then have the customer sign them. Bring them back to the office and then print another 10 pages of information to complete the order process. This type process is archaic, thus if I had an ewriter all of my forms would be on the tablet, I enter the information on the tablet, capture the customers signature and then transmit the documents to the office. Then I'm done, thus if I wrote 10 orders per month I could increase my efficiency 4-5 hours every month. In ten months I could write another weeks worth of business! So why aren't dealers embracing this technology!
The Ricoh ewriter is just an example of awesome technology that is changing our industry. Other manufacturers have also developed real-time visual communication devices for the office that share video, audio an image sharing. Thus if you had one of these in each office your offices you would be able to communicate in real time with video, and audio.
It's not only just about the hardware also, it's about the services. Dealers and Direct branches can now offer an array of services including Managed Network Services, Managed Print Service, Managed Print Stream (managed print stream seems to be one of the most overlooked solutions in our industry) and Managed Document Services. Our industry is preparing for the eventual demise of what got us to where we are today. Putting toner or ink PAPER!
The holy grail is how can we get to new renewable revenue streams with print volumes that will be on the decline ? Of course I have some ideas, however I'll address these in Part #4