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©2006 Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. Electronic Imaging Division. All rights reserved.

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GIVE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT AND BALANCE IT WITH WHAT THEY NEED? YOU GET A COMPANY THAT UNDERSTANDS IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO OFFER RELIABLE PRODUCTS. YOU HAVE TO

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OFFER THE RIGHT BALANCE OF SERVICE, SUPPORT, TECHNOLOGY AND PRICE. YOU ALSO GET A COMPANY THAT HAS ITS SIGHTS SET ON CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT COPIER COMPANIES. THE ANSWER IS CRYSTAL CLEAR. CALL TOSHIBA AT (949) 462-6165 TO LEARN ABOUT BECOMING AN AUTHORIZED TOSHIBA DEALER.

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CONTENTS Volume 13 No. 2 

FEATURE ARTICLES 10

16

Production Print Boosting page volume in B&W — and color

PRINCIPAL ISSUES The Sales Blitz One dealer’s advice after 20 years of experience

23

by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine

by Ben Russert ProSource

If boosting page volumes in customer locations is your first thought each workday, then you might want to give production print a second thought — if you are not pursuing this growth market already. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, it is no longer just a world of blackand-white (B&W) “big iron.” Representatives of four OEMs share their guidance and insight.

In May, Ohio’s ProSource held its week-long spring sales blitz. In one week, the sales team closed more than $2.4 million with more than 320 units sold.

The Adoption of Color End-users want color in the home & workplace

24

by Jonathan Bees InfoTrends

Strategic Thinking A look at the advantages of the right mindset

Political Correctness It is important to be sensitive to everyone by Robert C. Goldberg BTA General Counsel

Political correctness cannot only prevent your dealership from facing legal penalties, it also establishes a pleasant, respectful environment. 4 | www.of ficetechnologymag.com | August 2006

2.4%

Having the right customer profile is foundational to creating for your business a scalable and repeatable revenue engine that will sustain itself.

Close-up: Muratec America OEM strives to build relationships through support

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by Lou Stricklin Muratec America Inc.

While a task orientation can yield tremendous revenue in a stable environment, it frequently misses the mark when the environment changes or competition increases. It is important, then, to understand the benefits of strategic thinking and adopt a strategic mindset.

20

2.4%

by Arnie Valenzuela OneAccord

by Joanne L. Smikle Smikle Training Services Inc.

COURTS & CAPITOLS

5.4% 5.4% 5.4% 5.4% 2.4% 2.4%

Perfect Prospect Profiles It’s akin to using the right club at the right time

26

The manufacturers need to treat their dealer channel as a push channel in every way. Manufacturers need to provide the full carrot (reward and incentive) and stick (firm solutions quotas in order to remain a dealer in good standing) approach to the solutions business.

18

8.1% 8.1% 6.8% 6.8%

Fifty-eight percent of those consumers responding to a recent survey say the next office equipment device they purchase will be a color multifunctional device.

The Carrot & Stick It is time for a new approach to software sales by Richard C. Norton DocuTrends

11.9% 11.9% 9.2% 9.2%

Muratec America Inc. provides unique methods of support to assist dealerships in such areas as product awareness and competitive differentiation.

DEPARTMENTS 21

Business Technology Association  

August-September Education Calendar BTA Membership Application

6

Executive Director’s Page

8

BTA President’s Message

30

Advertiser Index


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7/19/06

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S PAGE

Which OEMs Report Certified Numbers?

S

everal years ago, at various OEM dealer meetings, I began noticing industry analysts expressing some concern to OEMs about their numbers. Specifically, some analysts would essentially ask, “How can we be sure that the unit placement numbers you supply us are accurate?” The implication was that the numbers could be unreliable estimates, exaggerated or otherwise erroneous. Those questions led me to quit publishing any unit placement numbers in Office Technology magazine. Kyocera Mita America Inc. was the first OEM to certify its numbers to be true and accurate. In a May 2004 press release, Michael Pietrunti, now president of the company, stated: “Kyocera Mita America invites all of our industry colleagues to stand up and accurately report certified market share data, and stop reporting erroneous and misleading information. Accurate data is critical for the marketplace as it plays a key role in product purchasing decisions. In today’s business environment, with new regulations and demands on organizations to achieve even greater transparency to their key constituencies, we believe the certification of market data is an absolute necessity.” Since then, two other OEMs have begun certifying their numbers — Sharp Document Solutions Company of America (SDSCA) and Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. The sentiments from these OEMs seem to be similar to those of Kyocera Mita America. “To ensure that our dealers and customers have the most accurate MFP 6 | www.of ficetechnologymag.com | August 2006

shipment information available, we certify the data reported to industry analysts,” said SDSCA’s president, Ed McLaughlin, in a Sharp press release. “Sharp supports industry-wide certification standards and we strongly encourage our colleagues in the MFP industry to join this movement.” Why should a dealer care whether an OEM’s placement numbers are certified? Recently, I asked Frank Cannata, publisher of The Cannata Report, this question. Frank has been an outspoken proponent of certified numbers. He described a scenario where the OEM would present to a dealer a quota that is based on “inflated” numbers. “Let’s say, for example, they say, as the manufacturer, ‘Our market share is 16 percent, according to these numbers, so, therefore, in your territory, Mr. Dealer, we want to see you perform at that same level,’” explained Frank. “What the manufacturer is doing is putting an unfair burden on the dealer.” If I was a dealer, I’d be giving some serious thought to Frank’s comment. In the meantime, hat’s off to Frank and other industry analysts for pushing OEMs to certify their numbers. Of particular note are the folks at IDC. They now request certified numbers and note which numbers are, in fact, certified in their data tables. “If a company does not certify its data, IDC applies the same data checks it always has, but the reliability of that data is inherently less than certified data,” said IDC’s Keith Kmetz. Today, I have the certified 2005 placement numbers in hand from Kyocera Mita America, Sharp and Toshiba for use in Office Technology. I have room in my file for certified numbers from the other OEMs. — Brent Hoskins

Executive Director/BTA Editor/Office Technology Brent Hoskins brent@bta.org (816) 303-4040 Contributing Writers Jonathan Bees, InfoTrends www.infotrends.com Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel Business Technology Association Richard C. Norton, DocuTrends Ben Russert, ProSource www.totalprosource.com Joanne L. Smikle, Smikle Training Services Inc. www.smiklespeaks.com Lou Stricklin, Muratec America Inc. www.muratec.com Arnie Valenzuela, OneAccord www.oneaccord.com

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Business Technology Association 12411 Wornall Road Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 941-3100 www.bta.org Member Services: (800) 505-2821 BTA Legal Hotline: (800) 869-6688 Valerie McLaughlin Membership Marketing Manager valerie@bta.org Gary Hedberg Accounting Manager gary@bta.org Mary Hopkins Accounting Clerk mary@bta.org ©2006 by the Business Technology Association. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published material. However, the publisher assumes no liability for errors in articles nor are opinions expressed necessarily those of the publisher.


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7/31/06

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BTA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ®

We Can Learn From Our Fellow Dealers

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s you monitor the activities of your dealership and review financial reports at month end, do you ever find yourself wondering what you should do differently? “How do my financials compare to those of other dealerships? Do my processes reflect best practices? Is my dealership on track for continued growth?” Recognizing that these are only a few of the many questions dealers ask themselves each month, the Business Technology Association provides dealer members the means to find the answers. It does so, in part, through peer collaboration — groups of BTA dealer members who engage in open dialog to discuss best practices through meetings, e-mail and otherwise. In addition, members provide financial information to an independent outside consultant who produces valuable reports. Specifically, each member learns how his or her dealership’s financial performance compares to that of group averages. The data presented to group members is aggregated to protect the confidential nature of the information. It began several years ago when a group of BTA dealers took action. They came together to form the Select Dealer Group (SDG). Today, SDG assists 37 member companies as they strive to adhere to the BTA Business Model, as taught in the association’s ProFinance class. Three times each year the group’s members meet to provide the strategies, encouragement and support participants need to implement the model. They also learn from leading industry speakers at their meetings. For more details on SDG, 8 | www.of ficetechnologymag.com | August 2006

contact Kevin Heitritter at (951) 676-8885 or visit www.selectdealergroup.org. More recently, BTA began working with another peer collaboration group, the long established Business Products Council Association (BPCA). This group now has 27 member companies that meet twice each year. One meeting is for dealership owners. The second is for their sales managers, service managers and other key personnel. For more details on BPCA, call (800) 897-0250 or visit www.businessproductscouncil.org. As one might expect, there is a key trait of these peer collaboration groups that provides an understandable limitation — only one member can be admitted to a group from any given market. So, for example, there cannot be two SDG members from the Dallas market. This reality, in part, led BTA to seek other choices for its members. Recently, the association announced a relationship with XSCEND Performance Services, which is now developing new groups within the BTA channel. Past BTA President Dennis Hunter will serve as conference moderator for the BTA member performance groups. Each quarter, the group members will receive a comprehensive financial composite report. There will also be two to three meetings each year, depending on the structure decided on by each group’s members. The first organization meeting will be held in the fourth quarter of 2006. For more details, contact Dennis at (877) 497-2363 or BTA’s Valerie McLaughlin at (800) 505-2821. Are you looking to strengthen and grow your business? If so, I encourage you to consider applying to join one of these peer collaboration groups today. — Dan Hayes

2006-2007 Board of Directors President Dan Hayes Purcell’s Business Products 222 E. 1st St. Campbellsville, KY 42718 dan@purcells.com President-Elect Shannon Oliver Copier Source Inc. 215-G Industrial Ave. P.O. Box 36395 Greensboro, NC 27406-4542 soliver@copiersourceinc.com Vice President Ronelle Ingram Steven Enterprises Inc. 17952 Sky Park Circle Ste. E Irvine, CA 92614 ronellei@msn.com BTA East Thomas Chin Accolade Technologies LLC 604 Hampshire Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543 tchin@accotech.com BTA Mid-America Mike Blake Corporate Business Systems LLC 2018 S. Stoughton Road Madison, WI 53716 mblake@corpbussystems.com BTA Southeast Bill James WJS Enterprises Inc. 3315 Ridgelake Drive P.O. Box 6620 Metairie, LA 70009 bjames@wjsenterprises.com BTA West Rock Janecek Burtronics Business Systems Inc. 216 S. Arrowhead Ave. P.O. Box 1170 San Bernardino, CA 92408 rjanecek@burtronics.com Ex-Officio/General Counsel Robert C. Goldberg Schoenberg Fisher Newman & Rosenberg Ltd. 222 S. Riverside Plaza Ste. 2100 Chicago, IL 60606 robert.goldberg@sfnr.com


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7/31/06

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Production Print Boosting page volume in B&W — and color by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine

I

f boosting page volumes in customer locations is your first thought each workday, then you might want to give production print a second thought — if you are not pursuing this growth market already. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, it is no longer just a world of black-and-white (B&W) “big iron.” The numbers tell the story. Market research firm InfoTrends projects that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Seg. 5 and Seg. 6 B&W MFP placements will be 2.2 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively, between 2005 and 2010. For color models the percentages are significantly higher. For 41-59 page-per-minute (ppm) color MFPs — with a fair number expected to be placed in production environments — InfoTrends projects a CAGR of 57.5 percent for the 2005-2010 timeframe. Looking out four years, InfoTrends projects a CAGR of 267.6 percent for 60-plus ppm color copier-based MFPs. “The clear trend is an ‘up’ market opportunity,” says InfoTrends’ Group Director Charlie Corr. One only needs to consider the page volumes to imagine the revenue opportunities. “These machines are designed to bang out 750,000 to a million and a half pages a month,” says Kevin Kern, vice president of product planning and development for Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc., referring to the company’s B&W 92-ppm bizhub PRO 920 MFP, 105-ppm bizhub PRO 1050 MFP and printer-only 1050. He shares encouraging thoughts on the color side as well, 10 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6

referring to the company’s 50-ppm bizhub PRO C500 MFP. “I’ve had dealers tell me, ‘If you place one of these high-speed, high-capacity color boxes the profitability is enormous compared to selling 10 to 15 Seg. 1 or Seg. 2 machines.” Robert Covington, a product manager for Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc., offers a similar comment regarding the OEM’s 90-ppm e-STUDIO900 and 105-ppm e-STUDIO1050 B&W MFPs (manufactured by Ricoh): “As long as you are there to provide the support to keep the device running, you are going to get volumes that will generate some serious income.” Selling into production print environments has the added benefit of generating opportunities for other product placements. “When you land the high-volume box, all the ‘kids’ come along with it,” says Covington. “So, all of a sudden, I own that account and I’m going to place, perhaps, in our case, e-STUDIO450s all over that building. Actually, that was the impetus behind us getting into this arena — when we realized you can own the account. Nine out of ten times, the dealership that places the highvolume machine owns that account with all the other ‘little guys’ that go along with it.” Kern agrees. “Absolutely,” he says. “If you can get product in the back office of the organization, it makes the front office a lot easier. On the other hand, if you’ve got the front office, you should be working the back office real hard. I see


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5/30/06

6:36 PM

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of corporate systems for a lot of people walking by “CRD managers need Canon U.S.A. Inc. “For missed opportunity.” to understand the example, our (86-ppm) Where is the opportuapplications and make imageRUNNER 7086, which nity? Where are these high is a Segment 5 device, can volume, placement-genersure they are a good fit. now be equipped with in-line ating devices finding a They need to know that the perfect binding, high-capacity home? While such environproduct you are selling is stacking and GBC-type ments as print for pay and not going to disrupt punching capabilities that, commercial print are often application workflow.” previously, were only found cited, two production print — Jason Dizzine on the ‘big iron’ — the very environments dominate — Ricoh Corp. high-end, heavy-production centralized reprographics Segment 6 models.” departments (CRDs) and Why is this significant? Albano states it simply: “Because data centers. Jason Dizzine, senior manager of product marketing for production and color systems for Ricoh these capabilities are coming down in the market it will be an easier transition and more affordable proposition for Corp., provides some definitions. Traditionally, the data center has a mainframe computer, dealerships — and customers — to adopt.” Covington echoes the comment. “The landscape is defiperhaps an AS400, “pushing down some kind of data stream and producing things like invoices,” he says. “Usually, the nitely changing,” he says. “Products are getting more affordprint jobs are mission critical and the room is locked to able and easier to operate. It used to be that these products protect the documents. So, those employees who run these were untouchable by all but those in production environoperations don’t have a lot of interaction with non-data ments. But now it is realistic to place them in a departmental environment.” center employees.” Even at the “big iron” level, prices are coming down. “A In contrast, the CRD environment is a place where people go to have print jobs produced, says Dizzine. “For example, Segment 6 product used to be $150,000,” says Kern. “Now perhaps I need 50 copies of a presentation, bound and ready you can get a unit for $55,000.” Meanwhile, some highto go. I might send it to the CRD through an electronic volume products can be configured to be placed in either a system, e-mail or I may just bring it down myself. These production or a workgroup environment. Dizzine cites the operations have become profit centers inside companies. example of Ricoh’s Aficio 5560 color MFP. “It can be configured with a Ricoh controller, providing all of the scanning They are run like separate businesses.” Covington offers an additional view of production print and document production qualities the user would want in environments and the MFPs that serve them. “They require the office,” he says. “However, when configured with our advanced paper-handling capabilities, such as booklet- Fiery controller, that’s where we start to press into the promaking, in-line hole punching, comb binding and saddle duction environment.” While today’s product and pricing trends will make it stitching,” he says. “And, because of these advanced features, the products often require someone with a key oper- easier for a dealership to, perhaps, ease into the product ator level of knowledge. These products have high duty segment, the ultimate target is the high-volume produccycles. In some cases they exceed a half million copies tion print environment. OEMs advise dealers to start with the CRD. Among the reasons: CRD managers are often before service is necessary.” Interestingly, while advanced paper-handing capabilities more receptive to new technologies, as opposed to the IT may serve to help define the production print environment, managers who oversee data centers. “CRD managers are using the equipment as manufacthey also serve as the focal point of a notable trend in the industry. “Many advanced capabilities that were traditionally turing equipment,” says Kern. “So, I think they are more found only on very expensive, high-volume production units open minded about looking at new technologies that might have started to move down in the market and are becoming bring them a better price point.” Dizzine agrees, noting that for CRD managers, it’s a finanavailable on low- to mid-production and high-end departmental units,” says Paul Albano, product marketing manager cial decision. However, he says, it is important for the 12 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6


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dealership’s sales rep to say that dealers should “... You are never going explain how any new hardavoid the data center. “The to be able to compete ware and software applicadata center is untapped tions can be seamlessly pages,” says Dizzine. “There on price. Your sales reps integrated into the operation. are millions and millions of and specialists need “CRD managers need to pages that are being printed to understand the understand the applications in there on different types applications that are being and make sure they are a good of printing technology, like used and the workflows fit,” he says. “They need to line printers, not necesand sell around that, not the price.” know that the product you are sarily traditional to our — Rich Lord selling is not going to disrupt channel. So, it’s a huge Canon U.S.A. Inc. application workflow.” opportunity.” In contrast, as noted, the Whether the target is data center IT manager may be less receptive to new tech- CRDs or data centers, OEM representatives cite a number nology. “IT professionals are looking at what is going to be of different traits of the production print opportunity, of the easier product to support,” says Kern. “Because to them, which dealers should be aware. Among them: quite frankly, printing is a necessary evil.” You can’t sell on price. “This may be obvious, but you are Dizzine offers a similar comment. “Data center IT man- never going to be able to compete on price,” says Rich Lord, agers are used to dealing with older types of printer tech- manager of production product marketing for Canon. “Your nology,” he says. “So, when you start trying to introduce MFP sales reps and specialists need to understand the applicatechnology, they are very skeptical. Anything with a platen tions that are being used and the workflows and sell around makes them a little nervous.” that, not the price.” While the CRD may be the best place to start, that’s not to Plan on longer sales cycles. “It’s not a 30-day turn,” says

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the “big iron” level — is domKern. “Even if it’s just one “You need to ... treat this inated by customers loyal to machine, it’s more like as a solution sale. The Xerox Docutechs. That’s not selling to a major account, folks who are able to ... necessarily true anymore, where it might take three to says Dizzine. “That was in six months. It may require a break it down to that level the past,” he says. “It’s not trial placement and you where they are not selling that there has been a decline have to be aware of when the a box, but a complete in what Xerox offers from a current lease will terminate. solution, are going to have product standpoint, but the It requires a different manthe most traction with these products.” competitive line-up has agement and care process — Forrest Leighton gotten so strong from all the throughout the sales cycle.” Canon U.S.A. Inc. manufacturers. Today, the Covington offers a similar competitors are coming in perspective. “It is a relationand offering a similar product or application set that is really ship that evolves into a sale,” he says. A high level of service is necessary. “If you are going to get attractive and at a lower price.” Citing such products as Canon’s 150-ppm image into this business, you have to realize that the customers need constant support,” says Dizzine. “A lot of data centers RUNNER 150, Lord supports the comment. “For production are 24/7 operations. When they are making money on their black and white, our focus is primarily on a replacement print output — whether selling it or, perhaps, producing market,” he says. “By and large, the majority of our placeinvoices — they will not tolerate downtime. So, the question ments come at the expense of Xerox.” Actually, there is another primary reason for dealers’ you need to ask is: ‘Do we offer the level of support to go hesitancy. “I suppose the biggest thing holding them back is headfirst into the production print market?’” Sales specialists are required. “My belief is, if you are really the financial investment,” says Lord. Kern agrees. “The issue comes down to one of ingoing after production, not just a couple of fast copier placements, you’ve got to have a specialist,” says Kern. “This is vestment,” he says. “If dealers are hesitant, it’s benot a person who is paid on selling so many units per cause they understand that they have to make an inmonth. You pay this person based on the total business he vestment and they are not sure how they are going to get a or she brings into the dealership.” Often, says Lord, general return.” How does the dealer address this concern? “I think it is line reps will supply leads to production specialists. “But incumbent on us as the manufacturer, quite frankly, to once the lead is passed off, that specialist does the majority of the selling,” he says. “Of course, if there is a sale, then the assist the dealer,” says Kern. “Our goal is to help them develop incremental business to grow their businesses in a general line rep would get a percentage.” A solution sales approach is best. “You need to have a dif- very, very tough market. Through our production print speferent kind of skill set and treat this as a solution sale,” says cialists and solution specialists we need to help dealers Forrest Leighton, manager of production product marketing identify the market potential and show them how to get a for Canon’s imagePRESS color printing products. “The folks return on investment.” Kern says Konica Minolta regularly helps its dealers in who are able to go in, focus on the workflow and application and break it down to that level where they are not selling a sales, support and management in their efforts to pursue the box, but a complete solution, are going to have the most production print market. “Our people are helping dealers not just as salespeople, but also as business managers,” he traction with these products.” Even with these and other market traits, there are, of says. “We help them enter the business and manage produccourse, many dealerships that have found success in pro- tion print. We don’t just get them set up and leave, but duction print. Others, however, have not entered the market follow up and help them expand that business.” As noted, there are many dealerships that have pursued or, perhaps, have moved forward slowly, not pursuing local and are achieving success in the production print market. sales opportunities in an aggressive fashion. What’s the hold-up? Some dealers may have the per- What are the keys to their success? OEM representatives ception that the print production market — particularly at share some of their observations. 14 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6


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changes in how people are From Toshiba’s Cov“It’s all about a balanced using equipment. It is ington: “They don’t just put portfolio within your opening up opportunities to their toe in the water. dealership’s MIF. Today, replace equipment.” Instead, they jump in with Kern also advises dealboth feet and make a finanwe are no longer in a ers to consider how procial and time commitment market that’s going to duction print could broaden with the goal of succeeding. support sustained high their product mix and boost These dealerships have gross margins with just profitability. “It’s all about high-volume specialists your core products.” a balanced portfolio withwho know the accounts — Kevin Kern in your dealership’s MIF,” that have volume requireKonica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. he says. “Today, we are no ments. These specialists longer in a market that’s know you don’t just walk in going to support sustained high gross margin and charm the customer. You need to understand the customer’s business. That’s where the total solution sale sales with just your core products.”  Brent Hoskins, executive director comes into play.” of the Business Technology Association From Ricoh’s Dizzine: “I think it’s the willingness to and editor of Office Technology, can be invest in and train on new technology and new products as reached at brent@bta.org. they are introduced, and to stay on top of enablers like MicroPress or Fiery. It is being the ‘go-to’ source for your customer. In addition, these dealerships know that uptime is critical in CRDs and data centers. Downtime will kill them in either environment. So, they have the service force that can get out there and keep that device up and running, and keep the customer happy.” From Canon’s Lord: “Typically, the most successful dealerships have dedicated production specialists and dedicated systems analysts. They have a very good service organization. In those mission critical environments service is paramount. That’s what sets these dealerships apart from their competitors.” Is it time for your dealership to join the ranks of those that have found success in the production print market? For those who are considering the question, Dizzine advises dealers to remember that pursuing the market is akin to opening a new business. “They need to look at their current base of products and their machines in field and consider whether this is the right time for them to invest in what is basically a new business,” he says. “You are investing in a new business that you were not in before, which is going to require service tech training, a demo room unit and sales rep training. So, the dealer must ask, ‘What needs to happen for this new business to work for me?’” Any dealer considering print production should keep in mind the projections for the market’s growth. “It’s a very large market for us now,” says Kern. “And we see that continuing, because of the dynamics of the market and the w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6 | 15


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The Carrot & Stick It is time for a new approach to software sales by: Richard C. Norton, DocuTrends

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or quite some time, those of us who come from a background in copiers have been talking about the transition to solutions-based sales. In many ways, the industry has not been entirely ready for this approach until recently. Sure, there have been some cases of dealers who saw the light early on and took the risk to invest in the solutions business. Many of them have been quite successful in starting a new avenue for their businesses. While the transition to solution selling has been somewhat of an optional luxury until now, I think it is about to change dramatically in the next couple of years. There are two main reasons for that. First, we have hurt ourselves by competing on price and the ever-present cost-per-copy plans. In this environment, we have reduced the value we bring to the customer to nothing more than a few mils per page. And, in a commodity market, competing on price always drives prices and margins down. As far as I can tell, there are no miracles on the horizon that will change this downward trend. Second is the competition from printers, particularly some of the HP printers, configured as MFPs. This is obviously important because the IT manager makes the purchase decision for anything that sits on the network and he (or she) is accustomed to buying the HP brand. It should be noted that HP gained this place in an IT manager’s heart by reliability and software expertise (not on hardware alone). You won’t be able to compete if you cannot match these attributes. In this environment, the copier manufacturers have been paying lip service to solution selling. However, they have by and large missed the boat by not understanding their own channel of distribution. It is amazing to me that copier manufacturers have had their own software products and thirdparty software products available to the dealer channel for a 16 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6

number of years and still do not do much business in software sales. Then, the manufacturers wonder why dealers cannot and will not sell more software. Because, at the end of the day, it is solution sales that will keep the dealer in business. I think there is a basic mistake in the tactics involved in software selling. Manufacturers develop software (their own or third party) and “make it available” to dealers. By doing this, the manufacturers treat their own dealer channel as a pull channel — one in which the end-user’s perceived demand literally pulls the product through the channel; the name is derived from the retail channel where customers perceive a need and literally pull the product off the shelf. The problem is that dealers compose one of the best, most efficient push channels in the market. Push means that a manufacturer sets goals and provides margins and incentives to push the product to the dealer who, in turn, provides commissions for the sales reps to push the product to the customer. Manufacturers treat dealers as a push for hardware but a pull for software. If they ever want to sell software and prepare their dealers for the future, the manufacturers will need to change their approach to software. Instead of offering the software to dealers who want to take it, make it mandatory for the dealer to sell software. I’m not advocating a radical shift to incenting software to the exclusion of hardware; you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water. I am advocating a slow but steady shift toward emphasizing software sales. I think manufacturers need to provide incentives to move dealers into solution selling. These could include: direct compensation (over and above his machine comp) to the sales rep for solution sales; allowing a few dealers to attend the annual incentive trip based solely on their solutions business (and


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promoting this to the other dealers); sales reps who sell that brand of software ... It is time to move establishing quotas for solutions busias part of a promotion; Canon requires a aggressively into the ness (very small at first but growing certain amount of software sales in order solutions business. The later); making a corporate statement to qualify for the Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Circle Trip. clearly establishing that solutions are All these are excellent first steps. manufacturers need to integral to future success and, therefore, However, I believe that with the threat treat their dealer important for the dealer; subsidizing a being posed by printer vendors it is time channel as a push solution specialistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salary in order for a to move aggressively into the solutions channel in every way. dealer to invest in a new hire; and, evenbusiness. The manufacturers need to tually, making solution selling mandatreat their dealer channel as a push tory if a dealer wants to continue with the manufacturer. channel in every way. Manufacturers need to provide the full Some manufacturers are starting to move in this direction. carrot (reward and incentive) and stick (firm solutions quotas For example, Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Sharp give a in order to remain a dealer in good standing) dealer quota credit for any solutions business he writes (essen- approach to the solutions business.  tially the dealerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quota is a dollar figure and any sale, Richard C. Norton is president of DocuTrends, including solutions, gets credited toward quota attainment); a market research company he founded Toshiba actually establishes a small solutions quota for a in 1996 after a career at Dataquest and dealer; Canon, Konica Minolta and Toshiba have arranged for Giga Information Group. He can be reached at some software partners to give incentives to dealers and their rcn451@aol.com.

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Strategic Thinking A look at the advantages of the right mindset by: Joanne L. Smikle, Smikle Training Services Inc.

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he reality of contemporary business life is that strategic planning and execution are among the most difficult jobs for leaders. It is much easier to be task oriented and pray for the best. Being task oriented is not necessarily bad. It is, however, shortsighted. While a task orientation can yield tremendous revenue in a stable environment, it frequently misses the mark when the environment changes or competition increases. A task orientation assumes sameness. Nothing remains the same for long. As individuals we should not be the same as we were ten years ago. If we are we have slipped into unconscious obsolescence. The same is true of any enterprise; hence, the reason for a focus on understanding the benefits of strategic thinking. This article addresses the rationale behind adopting a strategic mindset. The advantages of strategic thinking are many. It provides better guidance on the types of initiatives an enterprise should take to fulfill its mission. When an organization has taken the time to think about where it wants to go, it is much easier to plan initiatives that fuel progress. Consider this in very simple terms: An initiative developed in isolation is like a trip to a foreign land without a map or tour guide. While the trip may turn out to be quite an enjoyable adventure, it may not. It could easily be a waste of time, money and energy. The same applies to companies that work without the guidance of a strategic plan. They may get where they are going and enjoy the rewards of getting there, but the likelihood is that they will not. These companies typically experience frustration and waste. The strategic plan reduces these negative experiences because it is a proactive tool that, by its very nature, guides the allocation of every resource imaginable. This type of guidance serves another purpose. It not only guides the decision-making of senior management, it sets standards for managers working in the middle. They know that 18 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6

there is a clear mandate, in the form of mission and strategy, that informs them how they will use their resources, manage the workforce and conduct business. This strategic information helps managers and supervisors plan their activities in accordance with a higher goal. The clearly communicated strategy retrains managers so that they are able to work proactively. Leaders are more likely to be alert to the winds of change when they are working with a plan. Drops in production are quickly detected because at least one element of the plan probably addresses productivity. That element, if the plan is wellconstructed, is attached to a measurement methodology. It is through these regular measures that leaders can spot problems before they become massive. Understanding the role that a strategic plan plays in catching irregularities before they reach crisis proportions, it is easy to see the important role this type of planning plays in resource allocation. When leaders see subtle changes in performance or productivity, as the changes arise they are able to quickly redirect resources. These resources may be material, fiscal or human. This means that stagnation cannot become the norm because leaders are not asleep at the wheel. The reverse is also true. When leaders are alert to consistently superior production they are able to use quick rewards and incentives to build consistency in that noteworthy work. The immediacy of positive feedback ensures continuation of desirable behavior. Since behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated, it is important to be keenly aware of any and all signs of stellar performance. Strategic thinking, coupled with the resultant behavior, is the enemy of complacency. It is impossible to be complacent when thinking and acting with a forward focus. Strategic thinking ensures action â&#x20AC;&#x201D; well-directed action that accomplishes aims. Many of those aims will be intentional, others


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will not. This is yet another benefit of action is the creation of a proactive lead... Forward thinking strategic thinking. There are always ership posture. This refocused attention leaders are able to unintended positive consequences. Some propels the organization into new terribuild a cadre of similar of these consequences may include tory. This proactive posture keeps greater retention, easier recruitment or leaders from wasting energy on regrets thinkers. This critical greater market share. and outdated modes of operation. It also mass of strategic Strategic thinking provides the entire grants them added credibility with the thinkers keeps the organization with a sense of unity. rank and file. Employees see them as enterprise viable ... Leaders are constantly communicating capable leaders with vision and purpose. strategy in operational environments. It is through this enhanced credibility They are able to connect the dots for every level of the organi- that forward thinking leaders are able to build a cadre of zation. They can help employees make the link between what similar thinkers. This critical mass of strategic thinkers departments or individuals do with the long-term course keeps the enterprise viable and victorious.  intended for the organization. In addition to connecting parts Joanne L. Smikle is the author as a whole, this communication helps to unify departments of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Calamity-Free Collaboration: Making with one another. A leader who is able to communicate Teamwork WORK!â&#x20AC;? A speaker, consultant and strategy is able to help employees see how well-integrated trainer, she can be reached at (301) 596-3140 functions make the realization of that strategy more probable. or joanne@smiklespeaks.com. The most meaningful by-product of strategic thinking and Visit www.smiklespeaks.com.

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COURTS & CAPITOLS

Political Correctness It is important to be sensitive to everyone by: Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel for the Business Technology Association

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tions, because even the most well intenhis month’s topic came to me ... Managers should tioned remark can be misconstrued. The straight from the sports page of the be able to facilitate nature of “what is funny” is very personal local and national press. As you reasonable discussions and losing sight of this can lead to hard probably know, I am from Chicago where feelings, rage and, yes, even lawsuits. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is being amongst employees Laughter is, however, a very positive vilified. He had every right to be angry and and arrive at a thing. It can relieve stress, refocus a tell off the sports writer who criticized him. standard of acceptable problem, convey a sense of unity and What he shouldn’t have done is include a core behavior. support and generally make the workplace disparaging term for homosexuals in his a more pleasant place to be. How then can list of insults against the person. This we inject a little humor without making others uncomfortable public event had public consequences. Similar instances occur in the workplace, where they are often not intentionally mean and without resorting to knock-knock jokes? First, do not spirited, but they can have negative outcomes nonetheless. Let’s make jokes about a person’s appearance. This is an emotionexamine the issue of political correctness as it applies to your ally charged area. Even if someone demeans himself jokingly, business in the hope of not only preventing legal penalties, but this may be a defense mechanism. He can say it, you can’t. Second, avoid sexually charged material. People are often of establishing a pleasant, respectful environment. Large businesses with the wherewithal often hire trainers to uncomfortable with sexual innuendo in the workplace. Keep run sensitivity sessions with employees. For a small organiza- this material for your friends or family who know you well. No tion, managers should be able to facilitate reasonable discus- matter how close you feel to your coworkers or employees, sions amongst employees and arrive at a standard of acceptable they are still in a different category with different boundaries. core behavior. You might consider using the sensibilities of the Similarly, avoid jokes about religion, ethnic background, most thin-skinned worker as the norm. The first issue to tackle nationality, sexuality, etc. Even if you believe those present do should be appropriate terms of address when referring to not belong to the target group, the topic is simply inapprovarious racial, ethnic, religious and other minority groups. priate. Someone inevitably will be offended. Finally, avoid Proper terms include: African-American, Caucasian, Native jokes about bodily functions. Is there any material left suitable for jokes? There is “yourAmerican and homosexual. If possible, avoid asking people self.” Make fun of your own flaws, neuroses and inadequacies. what they prefer to be called, since this type of question often comes off as condescending. Additionally, use gender-neutral As a manager or owner this kind of humor makes you more terms whenever possible. For example, say “chairperson,” or human or approachable. Additionally, it will never engender a simply “chair” in place of “chairman.” However, you need not lawsuit. The business itself can provide fodder for humor such become extreme using “he/she” whenever a pronoun is as a planned product introduction, a late delivery, a difficult required. Use respect and good judgment. Recognize your “sales customer or the unbelievable service call. All employees like to be in on the joke as long as it is not about them. team” and no longer refer to everyone in sales as “salesmen.” The rules have undoubtedly changed but that is a good Similar rules of good conduct should be expected in all manner of workplace communication. Obviously, personal thing. Terms that demean, jokes that ridicule, messages that calls should be limited, but they are a fact of life in the work- humiliate have no place in business. They place. Avoid allowing yourself or employees to become so sometimes create litigation, but always create relaxed that they forget they are at work and have conversa- negativity and bad feelings. Just ask Ozzie.  Robert C. Goldberg is general counsel for the tions that when overheard might make others uncomfortable. Business Technology Association. He can be Keep e-mail, memos and other office messages professional reached at robert.goldberg@sfnr.com. and not offensive. Avoid trying to be humorous in these situa20 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6


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EDUCATION CALENDAR BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION â&#x20AC;˘ August 2006

EDUCATION CALENDAR August 28-30 Document Solutions Specialist Boot Camp

Little Rock, AR Most dealerships have a document solution specialist who has a high competence in understanding software. However, there are other critical skills that need to be mastered, such as workflow analysis and project development. The Document Solutions Specialist Boot Camp, led by Darrell Amy of Dealer Marketing Systems, provides the tools and skills to: articulate the value proposition to get the attention of C-level decision makers; demonstrate software; design integrated solutions to maximize client value; prepare profitable proposals on ROI; create a compelling reason to take action; manage the project for a smooth implementation; educate your potential clients so they can make buying decisions; creatively market to generate leads and shorten the sales cycle; and analyze potential software partners for their fit in your solutions portfolio. For more information, visit www.dealermarketingsystems.com. BTA members may use their $150 discount coupon for this class.

September 9-10

BTA FIX: Cost Management for Service Workshop Louisville, KY Learn proven service management and customer service strategies to use in your company. Costing out the service hour, effective and profitable maintenance agreements, efficient vehicle operations, reducing personnel turnover, competitive compensation plans and identifying profit-making opportunities through the service operation are issues that are critical for success. Receive service department worksheets and action plan templates, sample maintenance agreements, cost/price spreadsheet templates on diskette and a handy workshop reference manual. BTA members may use their $150 discount coupon for this class.

20-22 Office Document Solutions & Hardware Conferences

Quincy, MA Hosted by market research firm InfoTrends, these two back-to-back conferences will provide three power-packed days of education sessions that will serve to piece together the relationship between hardware, software and services. BTA and Office Technology magazine are among the sponsors. For more information, visit www.officedocumenttechnology.com. For a full list of upcoming BTA and other educational seminars or to register for BTA seminars visit www.bta.org or call (800) 843-5059.

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MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION PART 1 – COMPANY INFORMATION Company Name: Street Address:

PO Box:

City:

State/Province:

Phone: (

)

Fax: (

ZIP/Postal Code:

)

Country:

Web Address:

May we communicate with you via facsimile and/or electronic mail?  Yes  No Call before faxing?  Yes  No May we include your fax and e-mail information in the BTA Membership Directory?  Yes  No Occasionally, BTA makes its member list available to companies who wish to present opportunities to our members. If you prefer not to receive such information, please check here:  Contact Names (first name listed receives all mail): Principal Contact:

Title:

E-mail Address:

Sales Contact:

Title:

E-mail Address:

Title:

E-mail Address:

Service Contact: No. of locations (include parent):

No. of employees (include owners):

PART II – PRODUCT INFORMATION Please indicate the products you sell (check all that apply):                 

Equipment/Products:  Addressing Equipment  Audio/Video Presentation Equipment  Bar Coding Equipment  Binding Equipment/Supplies  Calculators/Parts/Supplies  Cash Registers/Point of Sale  Check Writing/Protection Equipment  Coin/Currency-Handling Equipment  Computer Telephony  Computers/Accessories/Parts/Supplies  Copiers (Analog) Accessories/Parts/Supplies  Copiers (MFPs) B&W/Accessories/Parts/Supplies  Copiers (MFPs) Color/Accessories/Parts/Supplies  Dictation Equipment/Parts/Supplies  Duplicating Equipment/Parts/Supplies  Electronic/Optical Storage  E-Mail/Messaging  Facsimile Equipment/Parts/Supplies

Filing Systems/Electronic Organizers Furniture/Stands Gateways/Bridges/Routers Identification Systems/Labeling Equipment Imaging Systems Lamination Equipment/Supplies LANs Machine Carrying Equipment Machine Cleaning Equipment/Supplies Mailing/Shipping Equipment/Supplies Networking Products/Services OCR Scanners Office Supplies Paper Handling Equipment Phone Answering Equipment Power Protection Printers B&W/Accessories/Parts/Supplies  Printers Color/Accessories/Parts/Supplies  Recycled/Remanufactured Equipment/Supplies

        

Security Equipment/Systems Shredders Software Development Software Sales Telecommunications Products/Services Time Recording Equipment Typewriters/Accessories/Parts/Supplies WANs Other:

Services:  Circuit Board Repair  Consulting  Equipment Rental  Financing/Leasing  Insurance  Internet Solutions  Publication  Service/Repair  Training/Education

PART III – MEMBERSHIP Categories, Classification and Investments Retail Dealer/VAR Memberships

Vendor Associate Memberships

Service Associate Memberships

 $430

1-10 Locations

 $1,500 Annual Sales up to $5 million

 $500 Annual Sales up to $1 million

 $885

11-50 Locations

 $1,395 51+ Locations  $125

 $2,000 Annual Sales $5-$10 million

 $750 Annual Sales $1-$5 million

 $2,500 Annual Sales over $10 million

 $950 Annual Sales over $5 million

Branch Location (in addition to parent)

 $100 Keylink

 $150 Publications Associate

Will your OEM reimburse you for your membership dues? Call BTA at (800) 505-2821 for details.  Payment Enclosed (Make check payable to Business Technology Association)

PART IV – INVESTMENT

 MasterCard  Visa  American Express

Annual BTA Dues:

$

Processing Fee:

$ 25

Card Number:

TOTAL:

$

Card Holder’s Name:

Exp. Date:

Membership dues must be submitted in U.S. funds. Dues paid to BTA do not qualify as a charitable tax deduction, but do qualify as a business expense. $45 of the annual dues pays for your subscription to Office Technology magazine. I hereby apply for BTA membership: Signature:

Date:

Return to: Business Technology Association, 12411 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64145 Phone: (800) 505-2821



Fax: (816) 941-4838

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Join online at www.bta.org

Aug. 06 OT


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PRINCIPAL ISSUES

The Sales Blitz One dealer’s advice after 20 years of experience by: Ben Russert, ProSource

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Because of our team’s hard work with oconut skeeball, a pineapple eating ... Sales blitzes are a initiatives like the sales blitz and dedicacontest and sand puzzles. Colorful huge win on a host tion to success every day of the year, it imagery, but what do they have to of levels. They are a comes as no surprise that ProSource was do with document technology? More than just named the 2006 Small Business of the you think. At ProSource we believe that tremendous boost to Year by the Cincinnati USA Regional having fun adds to our bottom line. Our biour company morale, Chamber of Commerce. annual sales blitz events prove it. and they invariably We offer ProSource sales blitzes as a In May, we charged into our week-long build camaraderie ... model for other dealerships to foster a spring sales blitz at ProSource, which team atmosphere, build business and focused on increasing our sales. This have some fun along the way. We hope you can champion a marked the 20th year we have held the enormously successful bi-annual event. Our theme for the week was inspired by a sales event like our bi-annual event to rally your troops and build your numbers in style. throwback to television’s Hawaii Five-O. We kicked off our spring sales blitz at our corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. The week was fueled by a spirit that Tips to Planning a Successful Sales Blitz Appoint a Steering Committee. Planning a week-long event in would honor our country’s 50th state. On day one, I assumed the character of Steve McGarrett and stepped up on stage to addition to managing your full-time position can be a challenge for some employees. Carefully select a Steering Comcheer on our sales team and unveil our lofty sales goals. We kicked off the festivities with an opening skit that suffi- mittee comprised of doers and creatives. Attention to detail is ciently roasted all the major players and rallied the team for key to having fun and having fun adds to the bottom line. Get all departments involved. This is not just about sales, it’s the big week. Various games ensued — including skeeball and a challenge in pineapple gluttony. Rewards were cold, hard about increasing the success of the company. Place memcash — an incentive that seemed to inspire even the least com- bers from each department on the Steering Committee. Offer incentives to technicians who provide credible leads. Set petitive among the group. After an energetic kick-off, the rambunctious sales reps financial processing goals, delivery goals or incentives for then took off in a fury to close as many deals as possible— employees who provide top notch customer service. Remember you only have a few days. Keeping the sales event offering customers exceptional value on offers available only during the promotional week. At the end of each day, the short will increase the sense of urgency for all involved, but it teams gathered to evaluate each competitor’s performance also poses a challenge. You must set goals that can be accomand award prizes for the winners. We concluded the week with plished in less than a week’s time. Make sure to communicate your promotion. You can have the a huge company luau and a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. I would best describe the blitz as intensely competitive and greatest party in the world, but if you don’t send the invitation over-the-top fun. Other past themes have included a good old then no one will attend. Make sure you properly communicate fashioned Family Feud, a nod to Happy Days and the the sales promotion to clients and prospects through an integrated marketing campaign.  immortal Dukes of Hazzard. Ben Russert is president and owner To the company, sales blitzes are a huge win on a host of of ProSource. Founded in 1985, the dealership levels. They are a tremendous boost to our company morale, and they invariably build camaraderie because we include all has offices in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and employs 130 people. He can be reached at departments in the sales effort. The financial impact is nothing brussert@totalprosource.com. short of staggering. This year, our team closed more than $2.4 Visit www.totalprosource.com. million in just one week with more than 320 units sold. w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6 | 23


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PRINCIPAL ISSUES

The Adoption of Color End-users want color in the home & workplace by: Jonathan Bees, InfoTrends

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n a recent InfoTrends primary research project Next Device to be Purchased conducted in the fall of 2005, roughly 58 percent of Which of the devices will youdevices most likely buy Which offollowing the following willnext? you most likely buy next? the retail-channel consumers 27.5% % Multifun ctiocolor n colo rlaser laser pprinter rin ter Multifunction 27.5 surveyed said the next office 18.6% Mu lt ifu nction colorinkjet inkjet prin ter Multifunction color printer 18.6 % equipment device they pur11.9% Mu lt ifu nction colorlaser laser co pier Multifunction color copier chase would be a color multi11.9% functional device. This find9.2% Singfunction le fun ctio n colo rinkjet in kjet pprinter rinter Single color 9.2% ing is consistent with trends 8.1% Multifun ctiocolor n colo fax r faxmachine mach in e Multifunction 8.1% found at all levels of the office 6.8% Sin gle fu nctioncolor colorlaser laser print er Single function printer 6.8% equipment market as end5.4% Multifunction &&white printer Multif un ct ioblack n black w hite laser laser prin ter 5.4% users increasingly are moving Single laserp rinter printer 5.4% Singfunction le f un ct ioblack n black& & white w hit e laser 5.4% to color. 2.4% Multifunction &&white machine Multifun ctioblack n black w h ite fax fax mach in e 2.4% Of the color devices they 2.4% Sin gle fu nction b lack & w hit e fax machine Single function black & white fax machine preferred, multifunction 2.4% 1.7% Mu lt ifu nction b lack w hite laser pier color laser printers led all Multifunction black &&white lasercocopier 1.7% responses with 27.5 percent Single function lasercop copier 0.7% Sing le fun ctioblack n black&&white w h ite laser ier 0.7% of respondents, followed by 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 0% 30% 10% 25% 20% 5% 15% multifunction color inkjet Percentage of Respondents printers at roughly 19 perPercentage of Respondents N= 295 cent and multifunction color laser copiers at 12 percent. Only 18 percent of respondents said they would purchase a years as laser prices come down and the price difference with inkjet products narrows. black-and-white device. The transition to color is occurring faster than some might The survey respondents represented a variety of vertical realize and the color laser printer market provides a good markets, departments and company sizes. Of the 296 consumers who responded, 106 indicated they were general- example of what is in store for the office color copier segment. purpose home users and 190 respondents said they were Prices for color laser printers have dipped below the $500 purchasing for business consumption. Overwhelmingly, these mark and the end is still not in sight. Before long, most conconsumers indicated they want the ability to produce color sumers will simply purchase a color printer rather than a monochrome device because the equipment price premium output on both their home and business devices. There are a number of factors influencing their purchasing for color technology has become insignificant. The color copier market has traditionally trailed the color decisions: business users are being enticed by increasingly affordable color laser MFPs for the office, which are ideally printer market in pricing breakthroughs. However, recent suited for bringing short-run color jobs in-house; home users price declines and the proliferation of universal copier are encountering affordable color laser products for the first printers have resulted in impressive growth. According to time; and inexpensive inkjet MFPs with photo-printing capa- InfoTrendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 2005 U.S. Color Copier Preliminary Placement & bilities are being sold in large numbers to the legions of digital Forecast the color market grew approximately 43 percent, camera owners. In particular, the color laser category for and steady growth is anticipated in the coming years. home users is expected to increase dramatically in the coming Another factor driving color copier growth is many MFP

Next Device to be Purchased

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continue to make inroads at the low end of vendors will have established near comWith color laser prices the market while inkjet devices increasplete office color lines by the end of 2006, falling so quickly, the ingly offer faster speeds and performance. offering end-users a broad selection of market has seen a much The two technologies are on a collision models from which to choose. Note that course. Meanwhile, declining monowhen monochrome digital copiers first more rapid adoption chrome shipments will continue as endhit the market in the early 1990s, vendors of color products than users increasingly adopt color-capable ran parallel analog and digital lines. A what might have been devices, resulting in the production of similar trend is expected to occur as the anticipated. fewer black-and-white pages and (vendors market transitions from monochrome to hope) an increase in the number of color color, with vendors maintaining parallel monochrome and color lines until widespread color adop- pages. At the end of the day, profitability in the copier/printer market is less dependent on the sale of hardware and more tion occurs. Inkjet technology has dominated the home environment dependent on the page volumes that generate the sales of confor years due to its attractive price and ease-of-use, and it is sumable supplies and service.  Jonathan Bees is director of InfoTrendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Digital exclusively a color technology. However, it has yet to take off in the office workplace. To overcome the significant bias Peripheral Solutions Service. He has more than 25 years experience in the office imaging against inkjet technology that exists among office users, an industry, including market research, product inkjet MFP needs to be priced dramatically lower than commanagement, competitive analysis and sales. parable laser products or perhaps provide a much lower cost Visit www.infotrends.com. of operation. As laser price/performance continues to improve by leaps and bounds the window of opportunity for inkjet devices is closing rapidly. Color Slows Monochrome With color laser prices falling so quickly, the market has seen a much more rapid adoption of color products than what might have been anticipated. However, it is worth noting that it is improved price/performance, rather than a true need for color, that is driving the current demand for color devices. Essentially, customers are moving to color products by default because the equipment price premium for color has decreased to minimal levels and the monochrome performance of colorcapable devices remains quite acceptable. There are two very important challenges for vendors. First, there are signs that shipments of color-enabled machines will not increase at a rate that offsets the projected decline in monochrome shipments. The imaging industry is mature and the recent trend toward device consolidation is already placing downward pressure on the sales of monochrome machines. Second, and perhaps more important, is that vendors will need to do all they can to promote applications that foster increased color printing volumes, such as in-house marketing. If color-capable devices are used mostly for monochrome printing, they will have failed in their primary mission. A Collision Course The transition from monochrome to color devices is occurring at all levels of the imaging market. Color laser devices

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PRINCIPAL ISSUES

Perfect Prospect Profiles It’s akin to using the right club at the right time by: Arnie Valenzuela, OneAccord

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recall a round of golf where I thought I was about to make the shot of the day. The swing felt great and the contact was perfect. However, the ball fell into the hazard. Why? I was using the wrong club. What does this have to do with selling office technology? The same result occurs when companies have great hiring practices, hire excellent salespeople, conduct stellar sales training, craft awesome sales tools, construct crisp value propositions, create incredible marketing material, build beautiful showrooms, deliver exquisite packaging, provide unmatched advertising, but aim it at the wrong customer profile. With this thought in mind, the purpose of this article is to address the easiest ways to determine the right customer profile and accelerate revenue. I call it “3P.” That stands for Perfect Prospect Profile. Think of having the profile as having the right club at the right time. With the right profile, you’re more likely to make the perfect swing and the perfect shot. It is foundational to creating a scalable and repeatable revenue engine that will sustain itself. For the 3P system to work you will first need two things: (1) A keen understanding of your solution sets from the customer’s viewpoint. This is critical since this is your qualification process to select which suspects will become 3P qualified and which will not. It will be the driving force later on in your needs analysis. (2) Demographic information that will assist you in creating a DNA-like 3P profile. This includes some intangibles, such as stage of the company development, clarity of budget structures, buying influences and patterns, and statistical data from your most profitable customers. With this knowledge and information in hand, following are four strategies to help you make sure your sales team can hit your target resulting in sales success. Where’s the Pain? Obtain a keen understanding of the pain you are seeking to solve with your product or service. You must understand who 26 | w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6

in the market is standing on the street corner “screaming” for the solution you provide. For example, perhaps you offer an advanced scanning solution. If so, the financial sector is screaming for scanning solutions that can accelerate financial transactions, such as the scanning and forwarding of checks, invoices, mortgage documents or the automated receiving and forwarding within a business process by content and business rule. It is important to have a very clear articulation of what the problem is and what solution you provide. Likewise, you need to have the ability to sit down and really think about the problem the prospect is facing. Don’t simply focus on your solution, product features or pricing. Instead, ask: What is the prospect’s problem? What is it costing them? As you consider these questions, don’t forget to think about the problem from the perspective of different individuals in the prospect’s operation. The problem will appear differently to the executive, IT manager or purchasing manager. Your best choice will be to start with the influencer who is “screaming” the loudest. Some of this will be tied to statistical and intangible items, such as stage of company growth, business model (entrepreneurial or bureaucratic), centralized or de-centralized budget control and so on. However, the critical point is to pick one influencer and try to understand his (or her) view of the problem. Develop a Checklist Develop a checklist to guide prospecting efforts so that when your team uncovers a suspect you have a process to validate whether they truly are a qualified 3P prospect. When you utilize the 3P process, you have the confidence to say “no” to those unqualified suspects in order to say an enthusiastic “yes” to the 3P prospect. If you don’t have a solution for a business’ problem, then don’t waste the only controllable asset in selling — your time. Seek to discover demographic details such as revenue, years in business, number of employees (at corporate and in the field), number of locations, ownership status, state, city, ZIP


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code, SIC and NAICS codes. When you combine your knowledge of the type of problem you are striving to solve with good demographic detail it becomes much easier to narrow who you call on and who you do not call on. It will also help you with sales coverage models and territory assignments.

When your sales team members have the 3P tool in hand, their confidence, closing ratios, forecasting, sales and profits increase in a way that is difficult to imagine and the culture of your team takes on a new face. That new face gives your team that rare combination of calm, bold aggressiveness that exudes an attitude of being invincible.  Arnie Valenzuela is a partner at OneAccord, a national executive management consulting firm that specializes in strategic and tactical solutions that provide the catalyst for rapid revenue acceleration. His career in the office technology industry spans 23 years. He has served at Print Inc., Ricoh Corp., IKON Office Solutions and several leading dealerships. Valenzuela can be reached at arnie.valenzuela@oneaccordcorp.com. Visit www.oneaccord.com.

When your sales team members have the 3P tool in hand, their confidence ... sales and profits increase ... and the culture of your team takes on a new face.

Determine the Intangibles Determine the intangibles that exist within your 3P prospects or clients. For example, determine what stage of business they are in or were in when you obtained them as a client. A business typically goes through six stages of development and each stage has different cultures and management styles. By discovering whether your best clients are always in a certain stage (concept, start up, hockey stick, professional, mature/consolidated, decline/sustain) when they became your clients, you can leverage your expertise and be better prepared to pursue prospects that are in the same stage. It is also important to determine how obvious the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s problem is in terms of the current cost. There are certain types of costs that are difficult to discover, since the actual costs are distributed to so many departments or budgets or have always been buried in a larger budget. Of course, the cost is much easier to determine in a 50-person enterprise than in a 500person enterprise. Meanwhile, it is also important to determine whether the prospect has a tendency to be an early adopter to new innovative ideas (concepts or technology), early majority, late majority or just a laggard? That knowledge can be helpful. For example, I have found that early adopters tend to be those whose own products are on the cutting edge and are themselves selling to early adopting companies. Conduct Research Conduct research to determine your most profitable customers. In addition to the demographic details and intangibles it is helpful to discover the profit DNA of your current 3P clients. Equip yourself with information like average sale amount, gross profit, number count as well as important items such as the mix of products or services they order. It is critical for you to know if your most highly touted clients are actually your most profitable clients. When pursuing your ideal 3P prospect, you will find yourself in selling situations where you have a feeling of calm â&#x20AC;&#x201D; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already been in that situation and see similarities. You will be able to anticipate objections and understand buying patterns.

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PRINCIPAL ISSUES

Close-up: Muratec America OEM strives to build relationships through support by: Lou Stricklin, Muratec America Inc.

Editor’s Note: Throughout 2006, Office Technology ha s been inviting the copier/MFP OEMs that sell through th e d eal er channel to submit articles regarding their dealer support initiatives and/or training programs. The intent is to provide the authorized dealers of each of the OEMs — and the channel in general — a better understanding of some of the current initiatives and programs. Following is the seventh of these O E M submi ssion s, from L ou Stricklin of Muratec America Inc.

The first level of support provided by Muratec is through our technical training program. After becoming an authorized Muratec dealer, we invite dealership service personnel to attend this one-week program at no cost. This comprehensive program covers machine operations, installation, network connectivity, disassembly and troubleshooting. Our tenured instructors, who average 15 years of Muratec technical service training experience, believe strongly that hands-on training is the most uratec America Inc. effective method of instruction. was presented with They also believe in tailoring the 2006 “Channel’s each program to the skill set of Choice Outstanding Perforthe attendees, which can easily mance for Secondary Product be done considering our studLine” award by the Business ent-to-instructor ratio is typiTechnology Association (BTA) cally 3-to-1. in large part because of our comWe understand that it is not mitment to excellence in the always possible for dealership field of corporate support. We service technicians to break pride ourselves on developing away from their duties to attend lasting personal relationships an offsite training session, so Top image: Muratec’s online training programs are within all levels of the dealerMuratec is pleased to provide available to dealers through the company’s intranet site. ships that represent Muratec. Bottom photo: Attendees pose with their instructor at a field training classes on a regular In addition, we look to unique recent Muratec service training class, held in Plano, Texas. basis. These training courses can methods of sales and service be customized to meet the dealsupport to assist these dealerships in the areas of product ership’s unique requirements. We also utilize this program to awareness, competitive differentiation, technical training and offer refresher courses to our existing dealerships and to real-time troubleshooting assistance. In fact, throughout this provide additional training during new product rollouts. article the main focus will not be on sophisticated Web-based As with other manufacturers, Muratec’s product direction training portals or automated service centers. Instead, the has migrated from standalone devices to digital, networkfocus will shift to the dedicated and educated support per- ready MFPs designed to capture workgroup print, copy and sonnel that have come to define Muratec America Inc. as the fax traffic. In order for our dealerships to maximize these “easiest manufacturer to do business with.” opportunities we have created a team of product specialists,

M

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By unifying the interface and functionwhose focus is on network-based assessWe are dedicated ality on our equipment we are able to ments, installations and troubleshooting. to creating sales reduce the learning curve associated These specialists participate in our onsite opportunities by with our devices. As stated, Muratec is technical training program, as well as considered a secondary manufacturer in provide ongoing phone and field support. personalizing dealer a majority of our dealerships. This This leads to our second area of suptraining and marketing equates to sales representatives spendport — the Muratec technical support support, regardless of ing a great deal of time focusing on their center. The technical support center the dealership’s size ... primary manufacturers’ product lines. handles all inquiries from our North Unifying the interface on our fax through American dealerships. Our digital support specialists average more than ten years of Muratec experience. Segment 2 products creates a “know one, know all” type of We hold an extremely low turnover rate, which is invaluable as simplicity, which forms a comfort level that will lead to it allows trusted bonds to form between our support per- better proposals, demonstrations and ultimately increased sales opportunities. sonnel and the technical service teams at our dealerships. Another method of supporting dealer sales representatives In an industry where margin is created through service contracts, Muratec understands that every second of a deal- is through our online sales training programs, which are availership service technician’s time is of great value. Our support able on our dealer intranet. These interactive training team prides itself on having one of the lowest call hold times modules examine device functionality, specifications, applicain the industry and we constantly strive to ensure that we tion opportunities and competitive analyses. Online courses close calls on the first attempt, thus eliminating the need for are available for each of our products and offer additional a return visit to the customer location. Our senior director of incentive by allowing sales representatives the ability to partechnical support, Carl Mica, and his management team ticipate in a variety of promotional programs. The most important support that we can offer sales repremembers will not hesitate to man service lines during peak periods to ensure prompt assistance. We understand that sentatives is through our experienced team of area sales this seems like a very basic concept; however, it is one of the directors and managers. Our team takes a hands-on approach most integral areas of support that a manufacturer can (and to sales support and is available to answer inquiries, provide demonstrations and assist in identifying sales opportunities. should) offer. Our entire technical support team holds weekly meetings to We are dedicated to creating sales opportunities by personalreview issues and develop new methods to better service our izing dealer training and marketing support, regardless of the dealerships. These meetings are also used as an educational dealership’s size and the individual sales representative’s forum to review device specifications, unveil software patches, experience level. As our industry evolves into more of a “solutions-based” examine emerging network technologies and imaging solutions, and to propose product development requests sub- model, Muratec has taken a unique approach by remaining device independent when it comes to both imaging middlemitted by dealerships. Weekly hold times, call-closing percentages and the overall ware and back-end storage software. Our viewpoint has been performance of the technical service department are person- that all hardware devices should easily convert documents ally monitored by our president and CEO, Yutaka Moriwaki, into electronic format and seamlessly route them into a and vice president of sales and marketing, Jim D’Emidio. The majority of the middleware and/or back-end storage solutions executive team at Muratec places a strong emphasis on this on the market. This approach fits with Muratec’s “secondary area of operation and deems it one of the most critical to the manufacturer” position by creating powerful workgroup solutions for dealers who already represent systems “supported” company’s overall success. Muratec also offers a variety of support initiatives directed by their primary high-end manufacturer. As opposed to focusing attention toward the development at our dealership sales teams. By combining unified product interfacing, Web-based training and personalized sales of a proprietary application suite Muratec has created an training and support, Muratec is able to successfully capture educational program called DocuStrategies, which serves as a mindshare among dealer representatives and assist them in guidance course for independent office equipment dealers exploiting the lucrative opportunities that lower-segment looking to make a fundamental shift to a solutions-based selling model. This software-independent course is guided by equipment represents. w w w . o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g y m a g . c o m | A u g u s t 2 0 0 6 | 29


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imaging professionals who have had cepts, cost containment measures, data As dealerships ... make actual experience in transitioning dealerstorage and secure options, work breakthis transformation our ships from hardware-only providers into down structures and imaging terminology. sales support team is full imaging application providers. By understanding these emerging areas DocuStrategies examines the fundaof opportunity our sales support team can prepared to assist. A mental changes and expectations that a better assist dealerships that have made, majority of our sales dealership will face when making this or are making, the transition into a soluteam members have transition including the structural tions-based model. been CDIA+ certified ... changes in the sales and service departIn summary, we want to reemphasize ments, sales cycle expectations, document that our number one asset in dealer assessment creation, imaging terminology and comp- service and sales support is our people. These dedicated and etition/partnership opportunities with value added resellers educated team members believe that the strongest level of (VARs) and application service providers (ASPs). Through this support we can offer is to be available, informed and prepared course we are able to educate dealers as they prepare to make to assist our dealers with whatever new or emerging chalone of the most significant business decisions they will ever lenges they may face.  make in their dealerships. Lou Stricklin is marketing As dealerships successfully make this transformation our manager for Muratec America Inc. sales support team is prepared to assist. A majority of our He can be reached sales team members have been CDIA+ certified by CompTIA, at lstricklin@muratec.com. which provides them with an understanding of imaging conVisit www.muratec.com.

ADVERTISER INDEX Ames Supply Company (800) 323-3856 / (630) 964-2440 / www.amessupply.com

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Color Imaging Inc. (800) 783-1090 / (770) 840-1090 / www.colorimaging.com

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DataVault (877) 798-3282 / (508) 797-0040 / www.trainingvault.com

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Duplo U.S.A. Corp. (800) 255-1933 / (949) 752-8222 / www.duplousa.com

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FMAudit LLC (573) 632-2461 / www.fmaudit.com

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GreatAmerica Leasing Corp. (800) 234-8787 / www.greatamerica.com

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Business Products Council Association (800) 897-0250 / www.businessproductscouncil.org

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Media Sciences (201) 677-9311 / www.mediasciences.com

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MKG Imaging Solutions Inc. (800) 881-7545 / (905) 564-9218 / www.mkg.org

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Print Audit (877) 412-8348 / (403) 685-4932 / www.printaudit.com

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Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (949) 462-6165 / www.copiers.toshiba.com

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