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Contents Volume 20 • No. 2
Feature Articles 10
Friendly Financing Selecting the right leasing partner for your dealership
p r i n c i pa l i s s u e s Game On Samsung hosts national dealer meeting June 17-19
by Elizabeth Marvel Office Technology Magazine
by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine
With a focus on growing its copier/MFP business through the use of the entirety of the company’s product and solutions portfolio, Samsung Electronics America Inc. hosted its 2013 Print & Imaging National Dealer Meeting June 1719 at the JW Marriott in Chicago.
Have you noticed? A growing number of office technology leasing companies are making strides in their efforts to ensure quality relationships with dealers. Plus, in some cases, they are now providing services that go well beyond traditional financing.
Cruise to Success BTA Mid-America hosts district event in Chicago
Never Stand Still MPS helped to fuel dealership’s growth
by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine
by Jose Lopez Barlop Business Systems
On June 17-18, BTA Mid-America hosted its Cruise to Success district event, which focused on providing office technology dealers the opportunity to learn from experts, network with fellow dealers and gather new ideas and strategies.
Making Training Work Steps you can take to ensure it is effective by Troy Harrison SalesForce Solutions
This year, my company, Barlop Business Systems, is opening a new, 15,000-squarefoot warehouse — significantly larger than the room we had when we started the business 30 years ago. Since then, the company has grown to 29 employees and our annual sales exceed $11 million.
Breaking it Down Another look at remote management software
by Mike Lamothe Office Document Consulting Inc.
It has been fashionable for sales trainers to write articles about “why sales training does not work.” I will stay away from that. I prefer to stay on the positive side, so let’s talk about how to make sales training work. In fact, let’s back away a bit and talk about how to make any training work.
I know I have talked about the importance of having remote management software in previous Office Technology magazine articles. However, I believe it requires yet another look. In fact, it may just be a matter of me needing to break it down a bit.
Courts & capitols 24
Selling Your Business For many, an ESOP may be the best option by Robert C. Goldberg BTA General Counsel
For both moral and economic reasons, selling your business to your employees may be the best option. In 2012, 40 percent of businesses did not have a succession plan in place. Without a plan, it is difficult to establish the proper direction for your business.
D e pa r t m e n t s Business Technology Association
• BTA Highlights • BTA Education Calendar
Executive Director’s Page
BTA President’s Message
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Executive Director’s Page
$23,500 Awarded in BTA Scholarships
or many years, BTA has awarded $1,000 and $1,500 scholarships to qualifying children of full-time employees of dealership members. Since the 198485 school year, BTA has awarded $1,494,500 in scholarships to more than 1,300 students. An independent, impartial evaluator reviews the submitted applications and selects the winners. Applicants must submit a transcript, essay and information in four areas: school activities; leadership positions; work experience, recognition and awards; and community involvement. For the 2013-14 school year, BTA awarded a total of $23,500 in scholarships to 21 students. This year’s scholarship recipients and sponsoring BTA member dealerships are: Taylor Brost, EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis.; Hannah Donnellon, ABS Business Products Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio; Kemais Ehlers, Yost Business Systems, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Connor Ellenbecker, EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis.; Tara Forsythe, WJS Enterprises Inc., Metairie, La.; Justine Gab, Southwest Business Machines Inc., Dickinson, N.D.; Bennett Heinz, EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis.; Kaitlin Izer, Advanced Systems Inc., Waterloo, Iowa; Julia Katz, EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis.; Jessica Keys, Fireside Office Products Inc., Bismarck, N.D.; Aubrey Kohl, Advanced Systems Inc., Waterloo, Iowa; Connor Reece, Oklahoma Office Systems LLC, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Alex Ruhland, Century Business Products Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D.; Christian Segers, Quality Graphics Equipment Service Inc., High Point, N.C.; Peyton Stanley, RJ Young Co., Nashville, Tenn.; Anne Stuart, JD Young Co., Tulsa, Okla.; Sarah Vander
Meulen, Automated Business Products of Colorado LLC, Denver, Colo.; Nicholas Wagner, Pacific Office Automation, Beaverton, Ore.; Bryan Watkins, Gordon Flesch Company Inc., Fitchburg, Wis.; Allison Yates, Automated Business Solutions Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.; and Amy Yessa, EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis. The BTA Scholarship Foundation is supported by dealers, vendors and service providers. BTA appreciates the contributions made during the 2012-13 year by the following member companies: Advanced Business Equipment Inc., Asheville, N.C.; Advanced Systems Inc., Waterloo, Iowa; Alltech Business Solutions, Kenilworth, N.J.; ASI Business Solutions, Dallas, Texas; California Business Machines Co., Fresno, Calif.; Center for Business Innovation Inc., Lansing, Mich.; Conestoga Copiers Inc., Lancaster, Pa.; Coordinated Business Solutions Ltd., Burnsville, Minn.; Copy Systems Inc., Des Moines, Iowa; CVI Digital Solutions, Denver, Colo.; CWS - Copier Word Processing Supply Inc., Parkersburg, W.V.; Da-Com Corp., St. Louis, Mo.; Des Plaines Office Equipment Co. Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Enoch Office Equipment, Timonium, Md.; Fireside Office Products Inc., Bismarck, N.D.; Hadley Office Products Inc., Wausau, Wis.; Hagan Business Machines of Meadville Inc., Meadville, Pa.; Hendrix Business Systems Inc., Matthews, N.C.; Hoosier Business Machines, Jasper, Ind.; Muratec America Inc., Plano, Texas; New England Copy Specialists Inc., Woburn, Mass.; Prior & Nami Business Systems, Hamilton, N.J.; Purvis Business Machines Inc., Meridian, Miss.; SolutionOne, Lincoln, Neb.; Sostilio & Associates International Inc., Ocala, Fla.; The Office Technology Group, Milwaukee, Wis.; Wagner Office Machines, Chicago, Ill.; and Waltz Business Solutions, Crestview Hills, Ky. n — Brent Hoskins
Executive Director/BTA Editor/Office Technology Brent Hoskins firstname.lastname@example.org (816) 303-4040 Associate Editor Elizabeth Marvel email@example.com (816) 303-4060 Contributing Writers Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel Business Technology Association Troy Harrison, SalesForce Solutions www.salesforcesolutions.net Mike Lamothe, Office Document Consulting Inc. www.officedocumentconsulting.com Jose Lopez, Barlop Business Systems www.barlop.com
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 Briseno Membership Marketing Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Hopkins Database Administrator email@example.com Teresa Leerar Bookkeeper firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Smith Membership Sales Representative email@example.com Photo Credits: Hemera Technologies, iStockphoto, Monkey Business, PhotoObjects.net, Wavebreak Media. Cover created by Bruce Quade, Brand X Studio. ©2013 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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BTA President’s message 2013-2014 Board of Directors
Download Channel’s Choice Report Today
hank you for casting your ballot in this year’s BTA Channel’s Choice program. We received 344 completed ballots from independent BTA member and non-member dealers. The results of this balloting process, tabulated for BTA by Industry Analysts Inc., determined the winners of our 2013 Channel’s Choice Awards. Dealers were asked to rate their primary and secondary line hardware vendors in key performance categories. This year, beyond our traditional awards, we added more categories to the ballot, resulting in three new awards: Third-Party Leasing; Cartridge Remanufacturing and Remote Meter Capture. Established in 1989, the Channel’s Choice program provides dealers with a means to recognize and honor those office technology vendors that are the most supportive of the BTA channel. Through the years, we have honored a number of vendors for their outstanding product lines and exceptional levels of performance and dealer support. I had the honor of joining 2012-13 BTA President Terry Chapman on stage at BTA Mid-America’s June 17-18 Cruise to Success event in Chicago to present the 2013 Channel’s Choice Awards. Congratulations to our winners, who have distinguished themselves within the office technology industry by offering highly regarded levels of support to the BTA channel. Among MFP vendors, Copystar is the winner of the 2013 Channel’s Choice Award for Superior Performance. In addition, Copystar received Channel’s Choice Awards in three other performance categories: Corporate Support, Distribution and Product Line. Canon U.S.A. Inc. received the award for Outstanding Performance as
a Secondary Product Line Provider. Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America received the award in the Inventory performance category. As noted, BTA added three new performance categories this year. The winners: GE Capital Office Imaging, Third-Party Leasing; LMI Solutions, Remanufactured Cartridges; and Print Tracker, Remote Meter Capture. BTA provides its members a detailed look at the results. Specifically, the 117page 2013 BTA Channel’s Choice Report, prepared for BTA by Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive view of the balloting process and an unparalleled look at how dealers rate their vendor partners. As a BTA member, you have free access to this report. Download your copy by visiting www.bta.org/ChannelsChoice. From the same page, you can also download copies of the reports from 2007 to 2012. Here is a sampling of some of the information you will find in the 2013 BTA Channel’s Choice Report: n Toshiba was the first runner-up for the primary product line Superior Performance Award; Lexmark was the first runner-up for the secondary product line Outstanding Performance Award. n Among primary hardware vendors, in terms of overall comparisons, three companies ranked above the industry mean (determined by the survey results): Copystar, Toshiba and Kyocera. n Among secondary hardware vendors, in terms of overall comparisons, five companies ranked above the industry mean: Canon, Lexmark, Muratec, Sharp and Konica Minolta. Download your copy of the 2013 BTA Channel’s Choice Report today via the BTA website and see how your vendors rank among the competition. n — Todd J. Fitzsimons
President Todd J. Fitzsimons Automated Business Solutions DBA Network Imaging 122 Spring St., Ste. B3 Southington, CT 06489 firstname.lastname@example.org President-Elect Ron Hulett U.S. Business Systems Inc. 3221 Southview Drive Elkhart, IN 46514 email@example.com Vice President Dave Quint Advanced Systems Inc. 2945 Airport Blvd. P.O. Box 57 Waterloo, IA 50704 firstname.lastname@example.org BTA East Rob Richardson Allied Document Solutions & Services Inc. 200 Church St. Swedesboro, NJ 08085 email@example.com BTA Mid-America Dan Castaneda International Copy Machine Center 1515 Lee Trevino, Ste. EE El Paso, TX 79936 firstname.lastname@example.org BTA Southeast Linda Hayes Purcell’s Business Products 222 E. 1st St. Campbellsville, KY 42718 email@example.com BTA West Mike Ehlers Yost Business Systems 685 E. Anderson Idaho Falls, ID 83401 firstname.lastname@example.org Ex-Officio/Immediate Past President Terry Chapman Business Electronics Corp. 219 Oxmoor Circle, P.O. Box 531066 Birmingham, AL 35253 email@example.com Ex-Officio/General Counsel Robert C. Goldberg Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg LLC 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 2100 Chicago, IL 60606 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Friendly Financing Selecting the right leasing partner for your dealership by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
ave you noticed? A growing number of office technology leasing companies are making strides in their efforts to ensure quality relationships with dealers. Plus, in some cases, they are now providing services that go well beyond traditional financing. In today’s competitive marketplace, having “true partners” on the leasing company front is especially important to dealers. Of course, there have been a few leasing companies through the years that have been less than ideal in terms of fair and equitable practices in their relationships with dealers. It usually has to do with unsavory actions at the end of the lease, manifested in unethical — and unexpected — business practices. This has been a source of frustration for many dealers. Bob Goldberg, general counsel for the Business Technology Association (BTA), reports that “leasing issues” has been among the most prevalent topics in dealer calls to the BTA Legal Hotline through the years. However, Goldberg emphasizes, the dealer and leasing company relationship goes two ways. That is, just like it is for the leasing company, it is incumbent that dealers also strive to ensure the right kind of partnership. “The reason for the absence of excellent relations with some leasing companies is the failure of not only the leasing company, but also the dealer, to pursue good relationships; instead, the dealer is just chasing low rates,” he says, questioning why any dealer would focus on getting the lowest rates when the end user is solely focused on the amount of the monthly payment. In their search for the right partnership, dealers should recognize that not all leasing companies are equal, Goldberg adds. “They range from entities that merely provide leases to those that provide a menu of services to assist the dealer.” As noted, today there are many quality leasing companies serving the office technology industry. The proper due diligence can guide dealers in identifying those that adhere to the fair and equitable treatment of dealers. Further, the dealer who asks the right questions and fully understands
the culture and focus that each leasing company provides will be best positioned to identify the leasing company that will be the ideal partner. One does not have to look far to see that there are many choices to consider. In fact, the BTA membership rolls alone include 10 leasing companies. They are: Balboa Capital Corp. (www.balboacapital.com); CIT (www.cit.com); EverBank Commercial Finance (www.everbank commercialfinance.com); GE Capital (www.ge capital.com/officeimaging); GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp. (www.greatamerica. com); LEAF Commercial Capital (www.leafnow.com); Lease Corporation of America (www.leasecorp.com); Marlin Leasing Corp. (www.marlinleasing.com); PNC Equipment Finance (www.pnc.com); and U.S. Bank Office Equipment Finance Services (www.usbank.com/oefs). Regardless of which leasing company a dealership selects, given the contractual relationship between the lessor, lessee and dealership, it is inevitable that some problems will arise from time to time. Consequently, it is paramount that leasing companies always address any lease issue based on fair, equitable and ethical business practices, Goldberg says. “This cooperation comes from a well-built relationship and knowledge of the dealer and his or her business,” he says. “Your leasing company should respect your customer relationship and not treat it as its own relationship. End-user information should be deemed confidential and never shared with a third party, and end-of-lease procedures need to be established in a Master Agreement.” A respect for the dealer’s customer relationships, as cited by Goldberg, is a primary focus among many of today’s leasing companies. “GreatAmerica was built on a ‘Customers for Life®’ philosophy 20 years ago and that philosophy remains today,” says Jennie Fisher, senior vice president and general manager of GreatAmerica’s Office Equipment Group. “Our customer is the independent dealer, first and foremost. We work through our dealers to ensure that we are meeting their needs by way of
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that customer protection.” dealers ask: “What is your Vince Faino, senior vice company’s comfort level “Look at its track record. president of sales for LEAF, from a credit and risk perHas the company responding to a question spective? What are your experienced drastic ebbs about the “traits of the ideal support and processing caand flows in the upturns leasing company,” offers a pabilities? Will we have a and downturns? The similar perspective. “The dedicated person servicing company also ... needs to ideal leasing company is reour portfolio and handling lationship-focused,” he says. credit applications? What have an industry reputation “In our business, some of mobile applications do you of good ethics and integrity.” the leasing companies ask, offer that our employees can — Jennie Fisher ‘What’s in it for us?’ too ofaccess on their cell phones GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp. ten and they focus on things in the field to help them conother than the relationship. duct business?” The relationship is critical; the ideal company understands In addition, Faino advises, the dealer’s selection process that the lessee is the dealer’s customer. It is certainly not the should include questions focused on the leasing company’s leasing company’s customer.” culture. “Will they fight for us in the trenches?” he asks. Beyond ensuring clear agreement on who “owns” the end- “Will our business really matter to them? As a dealer, I would user customer, what else should the dealer consider and want to confirm that their financing capabilities will make look for in a leasing company? What questions should be a positive difference in our sales volume and bottom line.” addressed in the selection process? Fisher, Connie Schmidt, Faino emphasizes that the line of questions, and others, national program director for PNC Equipment Finance, and need to be asked up front, before the dealer engages in any Faino share their recommendations. business through the leasing company. “Sometimes these Fisher advises that dealers pay close attention to a com- questions are not asked until after the relationship is underpany’s reputation, stability and experience. “That speaks way for some period of time,” he says, noting that the dealer volumes,” she says. “Look at its track record. Has the com- will learn too late that the selected leasing company may be pany experienced drastic ebbs and flows in the upturns and less than ideal. “By then, ‘cracks can form in the wall.’” downturns? The company also needs to be known for being In the selection process, dealers will also want to watch lessee friendly and dealer friendly. And, of course, it needs for red flags. Fisher, for example, advises dealers to be wary to have an industry reputation of good ethics and integrity.” of any leasing company that presents low rates as its key Schmidt shares a similar perspective. “I think that the value proposition. “Anybody can compete and gain market leasing company’s experience, level of commitment to the share with aggressive pricing,” she says. “Rates are an atdealer channel and its reputation in the industry are of tractive way to gain a dealer’s attention, but at the end of great importance,” she says. the day, what is the value behind the low rates? We could In addition, Schmidt says, dealers should ask questions also lower our rates, but that would mean lowering our stanthat will verify that the leasing company will be a trusted dards as well and doing things that are not favorable for the partner as the dealership pursues large accounts. “The leas- lessee or the dealer.” ing company is, in essence, an extension of the dealership,” Unfortunately, Fisher says, when dealers look at low rates she says. “The dealer needs to know, especially when trying up front, they do not always think about how that will play to pursue major account business, that the leasing company out in the long term. “What fees can your customer expect is always going to take care of the dealer’s company and pro- to be charged over the life of the contract?” she asks. “A way vide the flexibility in services that the dealer needs.” to find profitable returns can be found. However, this often The leasing company’s demonstrated industry expertise results in undesirable fees and practices. Insurance and tax is also important, Faino says. “If we [LEAF] placed ourselves administration fees, monthly invoicing fees and locked-in in the dealer’s shoes, we would ask questions that compel renewals are a few examples.” the leasing company to show us that they make the grade Faino suggests that another red flag is a leasing company’s in terms of experience in our specific asset class,” he says. unsatisfactory answers to questions: “What do you bring to “It is important that dealers align themselves with leasing the table and is the value real and sustainable? Are you fully companies that know the office technology market and un- committed to my industry?” In fact, he says, a “value-add” derstand all of its nuances.” is particularly important. “The dealer should understand Some of the other questions Faino recommends that whether or not the prospective leasing source can or cannot 12 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno log y m a g.c om | Aug ust 2 0 1 3
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company, for example, esadd value,” he explains. “Evtablished its Collabrance eryone in the industry is too “The dealer should subsidiary to provide a suite busy and the stakes are too understand whether or not of IT solutions and related high to settle for status quo.” the prospective leasing customer support offerings Adding value is a key fosource can or cannot add for dealers. “GreatAmerica cus at LEAF, Faino says. “We value. Everyone in the prides itself on gaining a are always reviewing our industry is too busy and deeper understanding of suite of products and servicthe stakes are too high to the markets that our dealer es, because we want to encustomers serve and finding sure that we bring real value settle for status quo.” ways to support them,” Fishto our dealers,” he says. “For — Vince Faino er says. “Dealers are becomexample, LEAF has introLEAF Commercial Capital ing services providers in orduced a robust managed der to grow their companies. services platform that facilitates the interactions between office technology dealers We bring solutions to the table to help them and their support services providers. We also prioritize the achieve that growth.” n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the importance of precise billing and pass-through of funds Business Technology Association, is editor while making certain the platform delivers transaction of Office Technology magazine. structuring customization, no matter the mix of hardware, He can be reached at email@example.com software or subscription components.” or (816) 303-4040. GreatAmerica is focused on adding value as well. The
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Cruise to Success BTA Mid-America hosts district event in Chicago by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
n June 17-18, BTA Mid-America hosted its Cruise to Success district event, which focused on providing office technology dealers the opportunity to learn from experts, network with fellow dealers and gather new ideas and strategies. The event was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton - Magnificent Mile in Chicago. Comments shared in event evaluations reflect those of many attendees. From Nancy Taylor, Taylor Business Equipment Inc., Chicago, Ill.: “This was a very valuable experience.” From Troy Paterson, Copy Systems Inc., Des Moines, Iowa: “This event really helps to make you think about working on your business, rather than working in it.” Cruise to Success featured a keynote session presented by Doug Albregts, president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. There were also five other educational sessions, including a dealer panel. Educational session presenters included: Larry Coco, president, Coco Training & Consulting Inc.; Bob Goldberg, BTA general counsel; Ed McLaughlin, CEO, Valderus LLC; and Terrie Campbell, vice president of strategic marketing, Ricoh Americas Corp. The dealer panel was moderated by David Ramos, director of Channel Strategy Services, InfoTrends. The schedule also included a welcoming reception and a three-hour scenic dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. The exhibiting sponsors: Crawford Thomas, DataVault, Densi, Digital Gateway, DocuWare, ECi FMAudit, EDA, ESHA, ESP, Evolved Office, Frontier Imaging, Global Printer Services, GreatAmerica, Hytec, Image Star, Innovolt, Katun, LEAF, Memjet, MSE, Muratec, NA Trading and Technology, OKI Data, Parts Now, PNC Equipment Finance, Polek & Polek, Printer Essentials, Smart Power Systems, Square 9, Supplies Network, TonerCycle/InkCycle, Toshiba, Universal Laser, West Point Products and Xerox. For information on or to register for the upcoming Sept. 26-27 BTA East-hosted Grand Slam district event, to be held in Baltimore, Md., see the ad on pages 2-3 or visit www.bta.org/BTAEastEvent. n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the Business Technology Association, is editor of Office Technology magazine.
Clockwise from top: BTA MidAmerica’s Cruise to Success featured five educational sessions and a panel discussion focused on turning business disruption into opportunity; keynote presenter Doug Albregts, president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America; attendees Pat and Carol Smith of Print Technologies Inc., Omaha, Neb., visit with exhibitor Mark Albert of OKI Data Americas Inc.; Cruise to Success emcee and BTA Mid-America President Dave Quint, Advanced Systems Inc., Waterloo, Iowa.
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BTA presented several awards at Cruise to Success, including this year’s Channel’s Choice Awards. Clockwise from top left: 2012-13 BTA President Terry Chapman (left) and 2012-13 BTA PresidentElect Todd J. Fitzsimons (right), present BTA Channel’s Choice awards to Bob Burke (center), vice president of sales at Copystar. Copystar received awards for Superior Performance as a Primary Product Line Provider, Corporate Support, Distribution and Product Line; Fitzsimons presents the award for Outstanding Performance as a Secondary Product Line Provider to Paul Piotrowski, director of field sales, Dealer Sales Division, Canon U.S.A. Inc.; Chapman presents the Inventory award to Doug Albregts, president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America; Chapman and Fitzsimons present the Remanufactured Cartridges award to Gary Willert, president & CEO, LMI Solutions; and Chapman and Fitzsimons present the Third-Party Leasing award to Glen Clark, general manager, GE Capital Office Imaging. Print Tracker also won a Channel’s Choice award for Remote Meter Capture.
Left: Chapman and Fitzsimons present the association’s President’s Award to David Ramos, director of Channel Strategy Services at InfoTrends, for his ongoing support of BTA. Right: Chapman presents the 2013 BTA Volunteer of the Year award to Rob Richardson, Allied Document Solutions & Services Inc., Swedesboro, N.J.
Above: The Cruise to Success schedule allowed plenty of time for attendees to network with their fellow dealers and exhibiting sponsors, including during a welcoming reception on June 17. Bottom left photos, left to right: BTA Mid-America President Dave Quint asks Fitzsimons to draw the winning entry in one of the many prize drawings held at the conclusion of the event; Larry Coco presents his educational session, “Growing the Business by Building a Strong Team Environment.” www.offi cetechnol ogymag.com | Au g u s t 2013 | 17
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A Case for Change I
Clockwise from top left: Ed McLaughlin presents “What is Wrong With All This Talk of Transformation?”; attendees enjoy one of the six Cruise to Success educational sessions; Bob Goldberg presents “Cruise to Success or Drown in Legalities”; Michael Kidd of McShane’s Inc., Munster, Ind., asks a question of one of the presenters; members of the dealer panel, “Turning Business Disruption Into a Welcome Opportunity,” discuss their business strategies for success. Panelists included (left to right) Greg Walker (East Texas Copy Systems Inc., Tyler, Texas), Brian Snow (Advanced Business Systems, Tallahassee, Fla.), John Kuchta (SolutionOne, Lincoln, Neb.) and Chip Miceli (Des Plaines Office Equipment, Elk Grove Village, Ill.); Terrie Campbell presents “The Great Mobile Workforce Debate”; attendee Robert Moore of Lockwood Moore Inc., Reno, Nev., asks a question of one of the presenters.
f they have not done so already, today’s office technology dealers need to break away from the status quo. After all, there are plenty of new selling opportunities for them in the small to midsize business (SMB) space. Together, the advice and words of encouragement were the core message of Doug Albregts, president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, in his keynote presentation, the opening educational session for BTA Mid-America’s Cruise to Success event. Albregts began by acknowledging the decreasing number of U.S. independent dealerships. Yet, he noted, that decrease provides a new level of strength for the dealer channel. “The balance of power is changing,” he explained. “Because the number of dealerships is decreasing and there are fewer of you, those that remain are bigger. And because you are bigger, you have more power.” This increasing power within the channel, Albregts said, helps to better position more dealers to take advantage of the new opportunities in the marketplace. A portion of his keynote presentation specifically focused on encouraging dealers to consider “expanding beyond the copier” by embracing the IT services market, given the office technology dealer’s strengths as compared to the typical VAR. “There is a great land grab, which I personally think is one of the more interesting things for you to think about as a business owner,” he said, noting that dealers, who are in the business of building relationships, have the traits that end users are seeking in an IT service provider. “They want to rely on somebody and trust somebody. They want to know a company is going to be there when they have an issue. We have a distinct advantage here as an industry.” Many SMB end users are growing tired of their piecemeal approach to IT, Albregts said, confirmed by his periodic surveying of IT accounts during his career. “They are happy with their copier dealer and with the service,” he said. “But when I ask, ‘How are you doing things in IT?,’ they don’t want to talk about it too much. It is, ‘Bob’s brother-in-law does the service and I’ve got Jim, who handles all of the computers. And I don’t know about our phone systems; they don’t work half the time.’ I then ask, ‘Wouldn’t you like one provider to do all that for you?’ And the answer is always ‘yes.’” Albregts described many of the dealer’s SMB customers as “laggards” in terms of their IT infrastructures as compared to large enterprise customers — “That seems to be an opportunity for us.” He also reminded the audience of the proverbial desire for “one throat to choke” among companies when it comes to outside service and support. “These customers want one invoice,” he said. “They don’t want your invoice and then four invoices from their IT partners. They are more than willing to listen to you in order to have that one invoice for all of their IT services, whatever they may be. “Start thinking about more than the copier,” Albregts advised dealer attendees. “You might be doing that today, but there are a lot of dealers still saying ‘I’m going to sell a box and sell a service contract; that’s what I’ve done forever, that’s what my dad did,’ or whatever the story may be. Embrace technology, because I have news for you, very shortly it is not going to be about the copier, it is going to be about the network — specific to SMB. If you don’t talk to your clients about more than just the copier, I think you are going to run into some problems.” n —Brent Hoskins
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7/29/13 5:49 PM
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Making Training Work Steps you can take to ensure it is effective by: Troy Harrison, SalesForce Solutions
ately, it has been fashionable for a lot of sales trainers to write articles about “why sales training does not work.” This, of course, allows them to slyly inject why their sales training is the only sales training that could possibly work in this and all other imaginable worlds. I think I will stay away from that. I prefer to stay on the positive side, so let’s talk about how to make sales training work. In fact, let’s back away a bit and talk about how to make any training work. Full disclosure: This article was inspired by a lunch I had recently with a client who commented on his satisfaction with my training. In retrospect, I have to say that part of what made the training effective was how the client handled it — and that is what I propose to pass along today. First, however, let me tell you the “little secret” of sales training: Almost any sales trainer can, and will, generate a return on investment (ROI) for your company. That is a big statement, I know, and there are certainly exceptions. But the reality is this: The economy of sales training is such that even the most expensive sales trainer can pay for himself if just one person in the class takes what he (or she) learns and uses it to significantly increase his performance. I have taught very few classes where at least a few people did not take my instructions and run with them. Again, there are exceptions. There are people out there using teaching techniques that will actually generate negative ROI because the techniques, when implemented, actually make the customer uncomfortable and less likely to buy. However, let’s assume that we are talking about trainers who at least understand customer friendliness. So, now that the little secret is out there (and I will follow up on it at the end by giving you some guidelines on how to pick your trainer), let’s talk about what you (whether you
are a manager or a salesperson) can do to make training work for you. Preparation is Key — I wish I could tell you how many times I have walked into a room, looked around and discovered that the salespeople have no real idea of why I am there. They just know to show up at a certain place at a certain time. Do not be one of those salespeople. If you are a manager, prepare your people; tell them what will happen and what your expectations are. A lot of time is wasted in these sessions just crossing the “Oh-this-is-training” hump. If you are a salesperson, do not just settle for a scheduled meeting; ask what will be happening and what the expectations are. It is your time, after all. Good trainers will tell you about the program outline and plan when they are selling the training program. Make use of that. Professionalism is the Most Basic Expectation — When I was a sales manager and I sent my reps to training, I always did so with the expectation that they would be on their most professional behavior; unprofessionalism was a
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Harrison Aug 13.indd 1
7/29/13 9:47 AM
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MPS-OfficeTech.indd 1 Samsung ad July 13.indd 1
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reflection on me, after all. However, too how to select a trainer. To pick the right many training programs (again, of any person for your needs, just follow these Too many trainers ... type) end up looking more like Romper simple guidelines: end up not speaking your Room than a business environment. Pick someone who is an expert. language. Good trainers Want to maximize the value of your There are a lot of “seminar” companies build in pre-training time money? Make sure your people are on out there that provide general-purpose to learn the specific their game when they are in the room speakers with prewritten courses to and that they are punctual when returnpresent. The training breaks down challenges and needs ing from lunches, breaks, etc. If you are when the first person asks a question of your business. a trainee, be a leader. Look at it this way: that starts with “Why?” Make sure your You are going to be there regardless, so if trainer can answer those questions the conduct of others is keeping you from learning, it is your through personal expertise. right to call them on it. Is it the speaker’s job to control the Pick someone who is willing to learn. Too many trainroom? To an extent, yes. But I tell all my clients that I am ers come in with a “program-in-a-box” and end up not speaka trainer, not a babysitter. If your staff members require a ing your language. Good trainers build in pre-training time babysitter, that reflects on you. to learn the specific challenges and needs of your business. Focus on Profitable Behavior Modifications — As the Pick someone who fits your culture or the culture you training is going on, you will find elements that you have would like to have. Training of any kind should set the tone heard before. That is going to happen with any experienced for how things are done at your company; if the trainer is worker going through any type of training. Training be- training a method that is counter to your culture, it will not comes unsuccessful when attendees focus in on those com- be effective. When it comes to sales training, I always tell my monalities and stop looking for the differences. Virtually clients that sales training dictates how you want your cusany training of any type, however, will have what I call “nug- tomers to be treated. Is the curriculum and approach a fit? gets,” or ways to modify behavior that can be very profitable. Finally, pick someone who is available post-session. I went to a training session for speakers a couple of weeks I have heard horror stories about trainers who came in, did ago; 98 percent of it was stuff that I had heard and knew. I outrageously expensive sessions and when a manager or have been working on the other 2 percent for the last two trainee had a question, they wanted to bill a large amount weeks and have had some excellent results. just for answering. Make sure your trainer does not mind Learn & Reinforce — There is no substitute for manag- getting the occasional call or email post-session. I always ers who participate in training sessions and learn right along tell my clients that they are free to call or email with queswith their people. And, there is no substitute for when manag- tions. If it gets to a point where I need to bill for time, I let ers, having learned the lessons too, continually reinforce the them know well in advance. message after the trainer has left. A well-designed, planned, executed and followed trainMy recent client said, “Our profit per stop is up significantly ing session can be the best thing for you and your staff. A because of your training.” That is great and I appreciate it, but bad one can be a waste of time. By following these simple the reality is that it is up partially because of what I taught steps, you can make sure that your training is effective. n and partially because the company has adopted those teachTroy Harrison is the author of “Sell Like You Mean It!” ings as part of its culture and has reinforced those teachings and is president of SalesForce Solutions, in the months since I was there. a sales training, consulting and recruiting firm. Too many managers look at training — of any type — as For information on booking speaking/training a self-contained, fix-all solution. It is not. Good training proengagements, consulting or to sign up for his grams are incorporated into the culture of the company or weekly e-zine, call (913) 645-3603 or email department, and then reinforced consistently and when an TroyHarrison@SalesForceSolutions.net. opportunity comes up. Training is designed to show the benVisit www.SalesForceSolutions.net. efits of behavioral change; however, true behavioral change Harrison will be among the presenters does not happen within a one- or two-day window. It is the at BTA’s Sept. 26-27 Grand Slam consistency of management and follow-up that really spikes district event, hosted by BTA East in the ROI. Baltimore, Md., where he will present his educational session, Selecting a Trainer “Building the 21st-Century Sales Force.” So, I promised that I would circle back and talk about Visit www.bta.org/BTAEastEvent. 22 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno log y m a g.c om | Aug ust 2 0 1 3
Harrison Aug 13.indd 2
7/29/13 9:50 AM
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Muratec Aug 13.indd 1 Muratec ad 4 Reasons Ad_2013_OT.indd 1
7/23/13 10:12 3:07 PM 5/30/13 AM
COURTS & CAPITOLS
Selling Your Business For many, an ESOP may be the best option by: Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel for the Business Technology Association
have had the pleasure of sitting at the closing table with many dealership owners who have happily sold their businesses. The reward of many years of hard work had been quantified and the value of their efforts established. Office technology dealers are fortunate that there is a robust market for their businesses that gives them an opportunity to exit profitably and pursue other ambitions. In many of these transactions, the owners have expressed a meaningful concern for the future of their employees. In fact, in one instance, on the eve of closing the transaction, the owner reached out to me to inform the purchaser that the deal was off. The owner told me: “I cannot sell my employees.” In other circumstances I have seen owners generously share the bounty with their employees. The one common thread is that these businesses were built by a team effort and not by a single individual. There is a means to exit your business and reward your employees as well. For both moral and economic reasons, selling your business to your employees may be the best option. In 2012, 40 percent of businesses did not have a succession plan in place. Without a plan, it is difficult to establish the proper direction for your business. If you decide to sell to your employees, the best course is to create an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The best candidates for an ESOP are those businesses that have a strong cash flow, stable sales and profits, generate taxable income and have good management. A trust is created and used for the purchase of shares in the corporation. It is a tax-exempt trust and, thus, its activities are not taxable. Employees can purchase stock directly, receive stock as a bonus and/or through a profit-sharing plan. The shares purchased are allocated to individual employee accounts and annual statements are provided to the employee indicating the value of his (or her) holdings. Both when establishing the ESOP and each year thereafter, an independent valuation of the company must be performed. When an employee departs, is disabled or retires, the shares are repurchased at the then current fair market value. Not all owners must agree to sell in order to establish an ESOP. However, it is normally best if all do decide to sell. Once it is established that the owners are prepared to sell to an ESOP, a feasibility study should be conducted to determine if the company can afford the annual contributions to the ESOP,
whether other benefits have to be eliminated, the effect on cash flow and earnings, the structure and how the purchase will be financed. If all these factors are favorable, then an independent appraiser should be hired to conduct a fair market evaluation. A consultant prepares the plan, which must be submitted to the IRS. Then the plan is funded, a trustee is selected and the purchase begins. The major benefits of an ESOP are that contributions of stock and cash to the plan are tax deductible. If the purchase is being financed (and most are), the funds to repay the loan are also tax deductible. Dividends from shares in the plan are tax deductible and employees are not taxed on contributions — only distributions. For the selling owners, all capital gains taxes are deferred provided the proceeds are invested in American companies. The cost of establishing an ESOP can be expensive, but the IRS has created tax advantages that more than offset the costs. If you are considering selling and are thinking about the future of your employees, an ESOP may be the solution. There are successful ESOPs in the office technology industry. These companies demonstrate higher productivity, stronger loyalty and greater profitability. When a suitor knocks on your door, remember: There are other options. n Robert C. Goldberg is general counsel for the Business Technology Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Goldberg Aug 13.indd 1
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BTA Highlights BTA would like to welcome the following new members to the association:
Dealer Members Datasource Ink, Bloomingdale, IL Gray & Creech, Greensboro, NC Interface Printers, Plano, TX Office Automation Center, McComb, MS Office Plus Business Center, Danville, VA Sims Business Systems Inc., Tempe, AZ Standard Office Systems, West Collingswood, NJ Weber Office Equipment, Muncie, IN Service Associate Members CP Office Solutions Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada DirectCloud, Madison, WI Vendor Associate Members Impression Solutions, Columbus, MS PrintFleet Inc., Kingston, Ontario, Canada RPT Toner, Bensenville, IL For full contact information of these new members, visit www.bta.org.
For the benefit of its dealer members, each month BTA features two of its Vendor or Service Associate members in this space. Founded in 2003, BTA Vendor Associate Member PrintFleet’s family of print management solutions range from simple, rapid assessment to advanced managed services, offering unparalleled agnostic data collection, data integrity and back-end support. The ability to monitor and manage third-party devices is a critical element of any MPS program, which is why so many MPS providers have chosen to partner with PrintFleet. Available in multiple languages, PrintFleet solutions empower OEMs, dealers and distributors in more than 100 countries to sustain rich customer relationships through creating exceptional value for their clients. www.printfleet.com
BTA’s Channel’s Choice Report is a comprehensive report that offers a detailed look at the results of the Channel’s Choice balloting process and provides comparisons of how dealers rate the performance and support of each of the industry’s leading manufacturers. The 2013 Channel’s Choice Report is now available for members to download from the BTA website. To access the report, you will need your username and password. Visit www.bta.org/ ChannelsChoice for more information.
For more than 50 years, BTA Service Associate Member Buyers Lab (BLI) has been a leading source of unbiased and reliable intelligence for the global digital imaging industry. BLI provides competitive intelligence, testing and reviews of copier/MFPs, printers, scanners and software solutions and products. Its products include: comprehensive reports; insightful industry news, analysis and “Pick of the Year” awards; private testing services for OEMs; and advisory services for business consumers. www.buyerslab.com
For information on BTA member benefits, visit www.bta.org/MemberBenefits.
A full list of BTA Vendor and Service Associate members can be found online at www.bta.org.
2013 Channel’s Choice Report
www.offi cetechnol ogymag. c om | Au g u s t 2013 | 25
Highlights Aug 13.indd 1
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Education Calendar August 21
BTA MPS Client Engagement Training Series The BTA MPS Client Engagement Training Series, led by Mike Lecak, president of Collaborative Consultant Group, consists of six one-hour, Web-based courses designed to assist participants in the following: getting the appointment; MPS value propositions; conducting the appointment; the assessment; the proposal; deal implementation; and client management. The series also includes three one-on-one coaching sessions. During these sessions, you will work with Lecak on three of your accounts. You will take these opportunities through the sales process, from appointment through the assessment to the proposal and contract. Visit www.bta.org/MPSClientEngagement to register.
Building My Business Webinar “Attract Qualified Leads with Engaging Social Media Tactics” In this webinar, learn what social media strategies can work for your dealership. Rebecca Adolf, with the Creative Services Group at office technology dealership Impact Networking, Waukegan, Ill., will show examples of tactics to maximize online channels to promote your business. Visit www.bta.org/BuildingMyBusiness to register.
FIX: Cost Management for Service Cerritos, Calif. FIX teaches you how to compute the cost of your service labor hour (service burden rate) and improve your overall service department profitability. Workshop instructors Ronelle Ingram and Rock Janecek will cover proven management and customer service programs to improve morale within your service department. Those struggling with MPS and IT issues can learn new management skills to help transition their staffs to the realities of solution-based servicing. Visit www. bta.org/FIX to register.
26-27 Grand Slam - A BTA district event hosted by BTA East Baltimore, Md. BTA East will host its annual district event Sept. 26-27, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore in Baltimore, Md. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Tod Pike of Samsung Electronics America Inc., five additional educational sessions presented by industry leaders and a dealer panel focused on current industry changes. In addition, there will be time to network with peers and visit with exhibiting sponsors. Dealer attendees can also enter on-site for a chance to win one of five $100 American Express gift cards and be entered into the BTA District Event Sweepstakes. To wrap up the event, attendees will travel to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to see the Boston Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles. Visit www.bta.org/BTAEastEvent to register. For more information, visit www.bta.org/Education or call (800) 843-5059.
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Calendar Aug 13.indd 1
7/30/13 8:11 AM
Game On Samsung hosts national dealer meeting June 17-19 by: Elizabeth Marvel, Office Technology Magazine
ith a focus on growing its copier/MFP business through the use of the entirety of the company’s product and solutions portfolio, Samsung Electronics America Inc. hosted its 2013 Print & Imaging National Dealer Meeting June 17-19 at the JW Marriott in Chicago. Tod Pike, senior vice presi- Tod Pike dent of Samsung Electronics America’s Enterprise Business Division, explained the theme of the event, “Game On,” during the opening general session. “You might ask, ‘Why is it game on?’,” Pike said. “Well, we spent a lot of 2012 focusing in on infrastructure. We spent 2012 launching new products. And we spent a lot of time recruiting a number of you. We think now is the time for us to really be competitive in the U.S. marketplace and to start to grow. We’ve made some good inroads. We think it’s game on. We think we’re ready to go and ready to grow this business aggressively.” Pike went on to explain some of the investments the company has made in the past year. “From an infrastructure standpoint, we have made a number of investments,” he said. “And the first is a briefing center. It is designed in six different vignettes. We demonstrate the interoperability of our devices, including print, in every one of them. “We’re also, from an infrastructure standpoint, investing in our website,” Pike said. “We’ve had a very consumer-based Web offering and we’ve changed that to be much more vertically aligned and much more focused on the enterprise.” Pike focused on Samsung’s vertical market strategy during his comments. “We think that the enterprise business wants to be handled in a vertical approach,” he said. “It’s an advantage to us because of the interoperability of the devices that we sell. Right now we’re focused on education, finance, health care and retail ... And in each of them, we can demonstrate the interoperability [of our devices], including wireless print. “It has been a major strategy for Samsung to take products from the mobile computing space, the display space and the print space, and have them work in an interoperable way in a branded solution to make the vertical market application work better and make people more effective in the marketplace,” Pike said.
Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, also spoke about the company’s vertical approach during his opening comments. “We can’t be a box-provider only,” he said. “We need to understand how the products can be used and in what vertical markets, what the needs are there and how we can best provide solutions by partnering with you.” The focus on verticals was apparent during the rest of the meeting as well. During breakout sessions on June 18, Samsung executives showed attendees the integration and use of the company’s products and solutions in three different vertical markets: education, health care and retail. One of the newest technologies demonstrated in the breakouts was Samsung’s Near Field Communication (NFC), which not only enables users to share information between mobile devices, but also allows for wireless printing as long as the user is near an NFC-enabled print device. Tom Callinan of Strategy Development led a fourth breakout session, “Best Practices in Managed Print Services,” and Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, gave the keynote address. During the opening session, executives also highlighted a growing focus on the independent dealer channel, making an announcement about Samsung’s distribution network. “What we’re announcing today is that we’re going to use the BTA [independent dealer] channel as our default mode for all print opportunities that we have where some reseller isn’t already selling Samsung-branded devices,” Pike said. “What we want to do is get every one of these accounts, unless there are already Samsung printers and copiers in the accounts. We’re going to bring you into that effort and work with you, even if it’s only print-related.” Baxter underscored Samsung’s desire to work more closely with the independent dealer channel. “We have an understanding of the playbook to win in new markets,” he said. “It’s an understanding; we don’t have it all figured out. But that’s why we’re partnering with you. You guys are closest to the marketplace, and we want and need and expect you all to bring this together ... so we can be successful in the market. So you can have success. The printer business isn’t getting any easier. We know that. You know that. We had to do something different.” n Elizabeth Marvel is associate editor of Office Technology magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com or (816) 303-4060. www.offi cetechnol ogymag. c om | Au g u s t 2013 | 27
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Never Stand Still MPS helped to fuel dealership’s growth by: Jose Lopez, Barlop Business Systems
leverage computer technology in his year, my company, Barlop the copier/MFP industry. While Business Systems, is opening most viewed the advancements a brand-new, 15,000-squarecomputers brought about as the foot warehouse — almost double downfall of the copier/MFP, we the size of the one we have now and recognized the added value comsignificantly larger than the room puter technology could bring to we had when we started the busithe office. Essential print funcness 30 years ago. Since then, the tions are made more efficient, but company has grown to 29 employthe user has email, fax, scan and ees and our annual sales exceed $11 server access capabilities as well. million. We are one of the top digital The Barlop Business Systems team. Our managed print services solutions providers in south Florida (MPS) program developed out of and one of the largest Lanier dealers the understanding that our customers were struggling to keep in the United States. Barlop also represents Ricoh, OKI Data and their businesses, just like we were. They were reducing costs Hewlett-Packard, among other copier/MFP manufacturers. and diversifying their services. Let’s rewind to the summer of 1983, when the outlook was Our MPS assessment includes an on-site walkthrough, not as promising. We were a two-man operation with a lot of equipment inventory, and tracking and cost analysis. Through ambition and a 600-square-foot room. At first, we repaired strategic management and organization of hard-copy devices circuit boards for other companies. I managed sales and Juan in a unified system, our clients experience a 20-percent cost Barroso managed service. We took a conservative approach reduction and a 30-percent increase in efficiency. The greatin our business plan; expansion is an indicator of a healthy est advantage of MPS is the increase in efficiency. Offices are business, but only when it is done sustainably. By 1990, we bogged down by slow printers that are expensive to maintain. were working out of an 8,000-square-foot space. Unfortunately, many offices avoid the higher initial investConsecutive economic downturns — combined with a ment of quality machines in favor of economical, single-user growing trend toward paperless office environments — printers. By strategically placing fewer high-end printers usbrought several seasons of struggle for our company. Clients ing office floor plans and user print data gathered during the reduced their printing budgets and many were limiting investments in equipment. The challenges of staying in business initial assessment and tracking, offices are able to maximize were growing by the day. But instead of closing our doors, we their investments in copy and print technology. We supplemented our primary product — copier/MFPs began exploring alternative technological advances in the in— with up-and-coming industry technology. The decision to dustry. We found new business possibilities and saw opporadopt new services and understanding our own needs, as well tunities that went far beyond the letter-sized sheet of paper. as our customers’, changed our business. As we embark on the Some contemporaries shunned this new era of business next 30 years, we are ready for the new challenges and opportuservices, but we chose to embrace it. The transition from a nities that lie ahead for Barlop and its customers. n copier/MFP sales and service business to that of an office soJose Lopez is a founder and is president of Barlop Business lutions provider was ironic, at best. As a company that spent Systems, Miami, Fla. Prior to the founding of Barlop in 1983, he more than two decades helping our clients produce paper, we was a national parts manager for Saxon Business had to show them ways to use less. In the beginning, we could Products. In 1981, Lopez’s division was acquired not help but think that moving clients away from paper was by TRW Customer Service. He was then not in our best interest. Nevertheless, within five years, we exresponsible for relocating the Miami office to panded Barlop into a full-fledged document management and Fairfield, N.J., and training personnel. solutions firm and the company was able to stay afloat during Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. an economically turbulent period. Visit www.barlop.com. The turning point was taking time to understand how to 28 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno log y m a g.c om | Aug ust 2 0 1 3
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Breaking it Down Another look at remote management software by: Mike Lamothe, Office Document Consulting Inc.
know I have talked about the importance of having remote management software (RMS) in previous Office Technology magazine articles. However, I believe it requires yet another look. In fact, it may just be a matter of me needing to break it down a bit. As I travel across the United States and Canada, I frequently hear this comment from dealers: “We know our dealership has to begin offering managed print services [MPS], but ... ” It is the “but” that has me concerned. There are some very successful dealerships that have made the transition into more of an MPS model and are well on their way to a managed services model, which includes IT-related services. This opens up additional areas of revenue, including charging for driver installs (most dealers do not charge) and offline service calls that are determined to be network related (most dealers do not charge). I could go on and on. Maybe this will jog your memory of past experiences: I was recently having a conversation with a dealership principal who interrupted me in the middle of our conversation, telling me: “One of our best customers is down.” The dealer was obviously upset and asked to be excused while he contacted his service manager. I could hear him mumbling: “We have to get them back up.” When he returned 20 minutes later, I asked him what the problem was and his answer caused me to drift back into my dealership past. The customer had made changes to its network, which caused an incompatibility issue with the MFP drivers. When I asked the dealer if he would be billing the customer, he gave me a blank look as if to say, “Are you crazy?” People, it is time. End users would not hesitate to call a third party or use internal services to support any other technology-related disaster. For example, if the customer experienced a server failure and required recovery services, that customer would not hesitate to pay for those services. However, when it comes to copier/MFPs, the expectation is that everything is covered. That is where I totally disagree. We have to stop covering non-hardware-related issues and charge for these additional services. After all, the customer caused the problem, which might have been avoided had someone notified you of the pending change. The result: Now you are responding to an emergency call and using technicians who might be en route or at another customer’s location. I once heard an emergency
service call can cost 35 percent more than a scheduled call due to the disruption and reallocation of resources. This is why I am suggesting you begin migrating to a managed print environment. An MPS contract will clearly detail what services are covered and where additional costs will occur. Let’s break this down. A traditional BTA dealership infrastructure consists of: an ERP system to manage service, purchasing, inventory and accounting; and personnel, including service management and equipment prep technicians, field technicians, service dispatch, administration, accounts payable/receivable, logistics/inventory, sales management and sales representatives. This traditional dealership model has proven very successful in the past, but as I stated earlier, times are changing. See Diagram A above. In Diagram B, you will see the addition of RMS. The software will begin to change your business model for at least three reasons. One, it will give visibility to your customer’s fleet of equipment (both managed and unmanaged by your dealership), which will pose as an opportunity for growth in the future. Two, you can begin proactively supporting your customer’s fleet by providing toner and service as required, eliminating the need to send extra toner out with every device call and minimize more costly emergency service calls. Finally, implementing automated meter billing will eliminate the need for manual meter entries into your ERP system. One caveat here — the RMS deployment will take a significant amount of time to install throughout your current base. That is why I am suggesting you start now; do not worry about www.offi cetechnol ogymag. c om | Au g u s t 2013 | 29
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internal respect and is prepared to hold all all the other benefits RMS will bring. The levels of the dealership accountable. The focus of this first phase is making the necThe most important champion will be responsible for reviewessary foundational changes to put your internal resource ing the installation activities of the RMS dealership in a solid position to move forfor a successful agent and for holding service technicians ward. The second phase emerges over time. transition and accountable, otherwise they will naturally Six months down the road, you should have ongoing profitable drift away from this activity if it is not mon50 to 100 accounts reporting data. The goal itored. You also need to stay on top of acis to continue installing the RMS agent MPS program will be counts that go offline. This may be resolved throughout your entire fleet so the second your MPS champion. by phone, but do not be surprised; it is a and third phases overlap each other. common occurrence. Before I explain the third phase, underSales will be a very important departstand that this model is for the significant number of dealerships that do not have an abundance of re- ment to stay close to. The department needs to assess the RMS sources and are looking for a starting point. Phase three in- data and perform assessments. Someone other than the sales volves sales, an MPS internal champion and a TCO, mapping manager will need to oversee some of these activities. Rememand proposal tool. I am not going to pull any punches — this ber, if sales reps are not closing MPS business, your program phase is difficult and tends to be where you see the most re- will dry up. So, make sure the champion is identified as a supsistance for legacy employees who are very comfortable doing port mechanism for your sales team. I will continue this discussion in the September issue of Ofthings the way they have done them in the past. Be prepared to be tested and stay focused. I have seen many dealership prin- fice Technology. So, for the time being, do not get overwhelmed. cipals question the viability at this point, but it is like most Begin with phase one and you will be one step closer to the things that are worthwhile — they do not come easily. successful transition into a managed print provider. n Mike Lamothe is president of Office Document In Diagram C, RMS, the MPS champion and the TCO mapConsulting Inc. (ODC). ODC specializes in MPS ping proposal software have specific positions for obvious strategies, developing software tools and reasons. RMS delivers the data that the MPS champion manimplementing MPS programs at dealerships ages and, in turn, that sales will analyze moving forward. The across North America. He can be reached at most important internal resource for a successful transition email@example.com. and ongoing profitable MPS program will be your MPS chamVisit www.officedocumentconsulting.com. pion. Look for an individual who adapts to change easily, has
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