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CONTENTS Volume 18 • No. 1


Data Security Helping end users protect confidential information

FEATURE ARTICLES Convergence 2011 Ricoh, Lanier & Savin dealers meet May 23-26


by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine

by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine

The MFP can be added to the list of items that are possible tools for unscrupulous individuals seeking personal gain. Like a PC, it, too, contains a potentially vulnerable hard drive where data may be stored. Fortunately, safeguards for MFPs are available today.


Q&A: Tom Ouellette BTA’s new president assumes office July 1

Before an audience of approximately 500 dealers attending Ricoh’s Convergence 2011 national dealer meeting, Ricoh senior executives and its management team took the opportunity to reassure dealers that the company remains committed to them.

COURTS & CAPITOLS Equipment Returns All parties should strive to ‘play fair’


by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine

by Robert C. Goldberg BTA General Counsel

On July 1, Tom Ouellette became the 77th national president of the Business Technology Association. He is president and owner of Budget Document Technology, a Konica Minolta, Kyocera Mita America and Samsung dealership headquartered in Lewiston, Maine.


Solutions Revolution Lexmark emphasizes commitment to BSD Program by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine

A frequent call to the BTA Legal Hotline involves equipment coming off lease and being returned. The issues are many, but regardless of those issues, the equipment return system is broken and needs an industry solution.

P R I N C I PA L I S S U E S Service Team Evaluation Now is the time to get your house in order


by Ken Staubitz Strategy Development

Speaking to approximately 150 of the company’s Business Solutions Dealers (BSDs) at the 2011 Lexmark Solutions Revolution Dealer Meeting, executives at Lexmark International left no doubt that the manufacturer is dedicated to the success of its BSD Program.


‘Fast Forward’ Toshiba hosts national dealer meeting in Las Vegas by Elizabeth Marvel Office Technology Magazine

On May 22-24, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. hosted 650 dealers and end users at its 2011 national dealer meeting and end-user conference. The meeting, themed “Fast Forward,” focused on new products, applications and services.

Summer is well under way, and for those who see a drop in service activity during this period, it is time to review the previous months, analyze trends impacting your service business and evaluate your current processes and procedures.

D E PA R T M E N T S 26

Business Technology Association • BTA Highlights


Executive Director’s Page


BTA President’s Message


Advertiser Index

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$25,000 Awarded in BTA Scholarships


ach year, the BTA Scholarship Foundation awards several scholarships to qualifying sons and daughters of BTA member dealership employees. This month, the association is awarding 22 students a total of $25,000 for the upcoming 2011-12 school year. The foundation is supported by contributions from BTA members. An independent evaluator reviews the submitted applications and selects the winners. BTA then awards $1,000 and $1,500 scholarships to the selected winners. Since the 1984-85 school year, BTA has awarded $1,449,500 in scholarships to 1,286 students. The 2011-12 winners and their sponsoring BTA member dealerships: Lauren Naylor (in memory of Cy Tyler), ABM Automation, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Leah Jensen, Advanced Business Methods Inc., West Fargo, N.D.; Amanda Hovind, Advanced Systems Inc., Waterloo, Iowa; Lacey Henderson (in memory of Pat Merritt), Anderson Business Technology, Pasadena, Calif.; Allison Yates, Automated Business Solutions Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.; Valerie Berry, Berry Business Machines, Shelby, N.C.; Rebecca Spanton, Coordinated Business Systems Ltd., Burnsville, Minn.; Brett Derleth (in memory of Jim Ayres), Bennett Heinz and Julia Katz, EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis.; Allison Bean (in memory of Herschel “Zip” White), Eakes Office Plus, Grand Island, Neb.; Carly Hutchins and Jordan Langer (in memory of Dorothy R. Ames), Gordon Flesch Co. Inc., Madison, Wis.; Nicole Kempke (in memory of Robert E. Todd Sr.), Martin Whalen Office Solutions, Bradley, Ill.; Mary Grace Berry (in memory of Quincy Hutson), Memphis

Communications Corp., Memphis, Tenn.; Cara Peters, Network Business Machines Inc., Redding, Calif.; Patrick Ward, Oklahoma Office Systems LLC, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Emma Ridder, Ridders Business Supply Co., Quincy, Ill.; David Hess and Matthew Roberts, RJ Young Co., Nashville, Tenn.; Justine Gab (in memory of Dax Carter), Southwest Business Machines Inc., Dickinson, N.D.; and Kemais Ehlers (in memory of Gordon Guild), Yost Business Systems, Idaho Falls, Idaho. The contributions made by BTA’s members are greatly appreciated. During the association’s 2010-11 fiscal year, the following companies made contributions to the foundation: Advanced Systems Inc., Waterloo, Iowa; Aregood Technologies, Ridgeland, Miss.; Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, New York, N.Y.; Automated Business Solutions, Indianapolis, Ind.; Bennett Office Technologies, Wilmar, Minn.; Budget Document Technology, Lewiston, Maine; Copiers Plus, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Dean’s Office Machines Inc., Greensboro, N.C.; Duplicator Sales Co., Cincinnati, Ohio; Dustin Office Machines, Gainesville, Texas; EO Johnson Office Technologies, Wausau, Wis.; Fireside Office Plus, Bismarck, N.D.; Hadley Office Products Inc., Wausau, Wis.; Hoosier Business Machines, Jasper, Ind.; Kachina Business Solutions, Tucson, Ariz.; Lockwood-Moore Inc., Reno, Nev.; M & M Sales, Urbandale, Iowa; Integrity Business Machines, Conway, S.C.; Muratec America Inc., Plano, Texas; New England Copy Specialists Inc., Woburn, Mass.; Printers & Stationers Inc., Florence, Ala.; Prior-Nami Business Systems, Hamilton, N.J.; Purvis Business Machines; Meridian, Miss.; Solution One, Lincoln, Neb.; Waltz Business Solutions, Crestview Hills, Ky.; and WJS Enterprises, Metairie, La.  — Brent Hoskins

Executive Director/BTA Editor/Office Technology Brent Hoskins (816) 303-4040 Associate Editor Elizabeth Marvel (816) 303-4060 Contributing Writers Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel Business Technology Association Ken Staubitz, Strategy Development

Business Technology Association 12411 Wornall Road Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 941-3100 Member Services: (800) 505-2821 BTA Legal Hotline: (800) 869-6688 Valerie Briseno Membership & Marketing Manager Mary Hopkins Database Administrator Teresa Leerar Bookkeeper Brian Smith Membership Sales Representative ©2011 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 2011-2012 Board of Directors

I Hope to See You at Grand Slam 2011


hree years ago, in September 2008, the BTA East district hosted an education and networking event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in White Plains, N.Y. It was a successful event that was very well received by the dealer attendees. In fact, given the level of positive feedback we received from the attendees, the decision was made to host another event in the same venue in 2009 and then again in 2010. We will be back in White Plains on Sept. 22-23 of this year for Grand Slam 2011. If you have not attended Grand Slam in the past, allow me to give you a sense of what to expect, since the format is likely different than any other education event you have attended previously. In the comfort of the ballroom of this luxury hotel you will attend six education sessions — the keynote presentation on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 22, prior to a welcoming reception, and five education sessions throughout the day on Friday, Sept. 23. The table-top exhibits of our sponsors are in the same ballroom along all four walls. Prior to the keynote session, during the cocktail reception and during the break times between sessions, there will be ample time to visit with the exhibitors. Keeping everyone together in the same room throughout the event has worked well for the Grand Slam event. It provides plenty of opportunities to interact with both the exhibitors and your fellow dealers. Incidentally, this is a dealer-only event. That is, beyond the exhibiting sponsors, all registered attendees will be dealers. So, plan to interact with a number of dealers and learn from them. I never attend one of these events without gaining some useful

insight or practical business strategies that I can implement in my dealership. The speaker lineup for Grand Slam 2011 is very compelling. It starts with the keynote presentation by Rick Taylor, president and COO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. Have you heard him present? He’s excellent — high energy, down to earth and very knowledgeable about our industry. Rick’s session is titled “Five Keys to Success: A Proven Blueprint for Independent Dealers.” Without a doubt, his message will be of great interest to dealers. The sessions on the second day: “Building High Performance Sales Teams in a Transitioning Industry,” with Tom Cooke and Kim Ward, Learning Outsource Group; “The Rise of Social Media in Business,” with Martin Perry,; “State of the Office Document Technology Industry” and “Looking Beyond Print with Managed Services,” with Jon Reardon and Randy Dazo, InfoTrends; “Succession Planning for Your Dealership,” with Jim Kahrs, Prosperity Plus Management Consulting Inc.; and “MPS Problems Solved — Process, Product & Service,” with Frank Topinka, National Printer Repair Network and Page After Page. The event’s agenda concludes with an evening that will make Grand Slam 2011 particularly special for attendees. We will travel by motor coach to Yankee Stadium to see the Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees from the vantage point of the largest private suite in the stadium. It doesn’t get much better than that. For more information, including the list of exhibiting sponsors, as well as detailed education session overviews, take a look at the advertisement on pages 2 and 3 of this issue or visit I hope to see you at Grand Slam 2011.  — Tom Ouellette

President Tom Ouellette Budget Document Technology 251 Goddard Road Lewiston, ME 04240 President-Elect Terence Chapman Business Electronics Corp. 219 Oxmoor Circle Birmingham, AL 35209 Vice President Todd J. Fitzsimons Network Imaging LLC 122 Spring St. Southington, CT 06489 BTA East Rob Richardson Allied Document Solutions & Services Inc. 200 Church St. Swedesboro, NJ 08085 BTA Mid-America Ron Hulett U.S. Business Systems Inc. 3221 Southview Drive Elkhart, IN 46514 BTA Southeast Jerry Jackson All South Copiers Inc. 3610 Kennesaw N. Industrial Parkway., Ste. D Kennesaw, GA 30144 BTA West Ronelle Ingram Steven Enterprises Inc. 17952 Sky Park Circle, Ste. E Irvine, CA 92614 Ex-Officio/Immediate Past President Rock Janecek Burtronics Business Systems Inc. 216 S. Arrowhead Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92408 Ex-Officio/General Counsel Robert C. Goldberg Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg LLC 222 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 2100 Chicago, IL 60606

8 | w w w. o f f i c e t e c h n o l o g | July 2011

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Data Security Helping end users protect confidential information by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine


oday, we lock our doors, set alarms and otherwise guard our property in whatever way possible. For quite some time, we have been required to enter a user ID and password as we turn on our PCs. We now have to set up accounts and provide answers to security questions so often that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of it all. It is too bad, but because there are people in the world who seek to benefit from others’ property and confidential information, the safeguards are necessary. Of course, the MFP can be added to the list of items that are possible tools for unscrupulous individuals seeking personal gain. Like a PC, it, too, contains a potentially vulnerable hard drive where data may be stored (either random data from a variety of print, copy or scan jobs or full documents intentionally stored for regular retrieval by users). There is also the concern about unwanted eyes seeing confidential documents in the output tray. Similarly, there is the concern about someone with malicious plans using scan-to-e-mail functionality, etc., to anonymously transfer confidential information outside of the company. Fortunately, safeguards for MFPs such as data overwrite, encryption, print release and user authentication are available to today’s end users. The awareness of data security issues related to MFPs is nothing new. However, the level of awareness did get a substantial boost on April 19, 2010. That is the day that the CBS Evening News aired a report regarding the risks associated with MFP hard drives and their vulnerability. In some ways, the outcome of the report has been beneficial. “The CBS News report was certainly positive in terms of shedding light on an issue that a lot of customers didn’t seem to know about,” says Dennis Amorosano, senior director of solutions marketing and business support for the Imaging

Systems Group of Canon U.S.A. Inc. “One of the ancillary benefits for Canon was that the sale of our hardware overwrite and encryption kits went up dramatically as customers sought to minimize this element of risk.” However, there have been some negative outcomes of the CBS News report as well. “One of the things that the CBS story claimed was that any time you make a copy of a document on a copier, the machine is going to store a copy of that document on its hard drive,” says Chris Bilello, director of business solutions and market development for Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. “That is simply not true.” In reality, Bilello says of Konica Minolta MFPs, data from most print, copy and scan jobs is not stored on the hard drive. “Probably 90 to 95 percent of the time users are just doing the typical volume of jobs and the data is never touching the hard drive,” he says. “In the case of a really busy machine, with lots of people constantly sending documents to it at the same time, the machine could be buffering some of those documents or images on the hard drive. It is not buffering the entire job, but maybe some sporadic pages here and there. If there is no function on that machine to overwrite data, then someone with the know-how and malicious intent could potentially lift some of that data off of the hard drive.” The CBS News report’s erroneous assertion that MFPs are storing every print, copy or scan job on their hard drives was unnerving news for many. That included many state legislators. Since the report aired, Robert Goldberg, general counsel for the Business Technology Association, along with representative of various industry manufacturers and suppliers, have been busy educating legislators and their staff members about the realities of the technology in terms of data storage, in an effort to circumvent proposed legislation (intended

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to address MFP data secuscenario of an employee in a rity through governmental public company who wants “The conversation about regulations, fines, etc.) from to anonymously send (via security of the hard drive becoming law. The industry’s scan-to-e-mail) a copy of a is a relatively easy one for focus has been on promoting quarterly financial report most sales reps to have. It is end-user education rather that is set to be released not technically complicated than unnecessary legislathe following week. “If the tion. To date, no proposed employee wants to get that and most customers readily data security legislation has document out of the buildunderstand why you would been enacted into law. ing and 99 of 100 MFPs in want to take that action.” Amorosano sees another the company are secure, — Dennis Amorosano negative consequence to the he won’t go to those 99,” he Canon U.S.A. Inc. CBS News report. “One drawexplains. “He will go to the back associated with that one where he can scan-to-ereport is that there still seems to be the perception in the mail without being detected.” marketplace that if you secure the hard drive inside of the Melo emphasizes that the discussion about data security device, then you achieved everything you need to be con- is not just stating that a particular product function is availcerned with in terms of security,” he says. “Quite frankly able. “It should be about both the function of the machine that is not the case.” and the processes of the end user,” he explains. “So, it is a The breach of data security by way of an MFP’s hard combination of education, process and machine capability.” drive is less likely than through the MFP’s other access Dealership sales reps should be proactive in talking about points, such as the document output tray, Amorosano says. data security issues, Melo advises. “We encourage them to “I think some customers who employ hard-drive security have that conversation,” he says. “We don’t want customers technologies have a somewhat false sense of security,” he to ever have to say, ‘I didn’t know.’ They should understand, says. “They have only tackled one part of the problem and, for example, that data may be stored on the hard drive and in many cases, still haven’t provided a great deal of security that there are tools to help protect that data.” for their environments.” Amorosano offers the same advice, regarding the hard While important, users should look well beyond the re- drive in particular. “I think the sales rep certainly should be mote possibility of an outsider stealing data off of the un- proactive,” he says. “The conversation about security of the protected hard drive of a company’s MFP (onsite or even hard drive is a relatively easy one for most sales reps to have. after it comes off lease), Amorosano says. “In reality, most It is not technically complicated and most customers readily security breaches actually don’t happen from the outside; understand why you would want to take that action.” they typically are from the inside,” he says. “When we talk Actually, Amorosano says, increasingly, today’s customabout security with customers, we look at this in a holistic ers are requiring that data security be a part of the converway, starting with the basic step of locking down the device sation. “I can’t think of a bid that we’ve seen over the last 12 by requiring users to authenticate themselves [through a to 18 months that didn’t have a lot of detailed questions in password or, perhaps, an HID card] in order to gain access it regarding security,” he says. “That has become prevalent.” to the device. That allows the company to track every job As many end users have become more aware of data secuprocessed by a device so that breaches can be prevented rity related to MFPs, the industry itself has made continual and, if they do occur, audited so that the company can track strides with its product capabilities and commitment to down what happened and who was responsible.” serving the security needs of end users. Early on, for examOther manufacturers agree that while the use of hard- ple, only a handful of MFPs were Common Criteria certified. drive data encryption and data overwrite kits is unques- That is, the products had been tested under the rigorous, tionably important, one needs to look at the MFP as a whole government-sponsored certification process, also known as and its other vulnerabilities. “I use the analogy of security ISO 15408 and implemented in 2002, which requires certain being like a water balloon,” says Bill Melo, vice president of security features of networked devices to be validated. Tomarketing, services and solutions for Toshiba America Busi- day, Common Criteria certification is commonplace. Says ness Solutions Inc. “If you put the tiniest pinhole in that bal- Bilello: “Within Konica Minolta’s product line-up, from 20 loon, even though 99.99 percent of the surface is still secure, pages per minute to 120 pages per minute, they now all have all of the water rushes out the .01 percent that is insecure.” Common Criteria certification.” The same is true with MFPs, says Melo, describing the Meanwhile, some of the security capabilities that had 12 | ­w w w. o f f i c e t e c h n o l o | July 2011

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resulting from the CBS News been options in the past are “The other thing that is about report. They are expressing now included with MFPs. At concern and asking quesToshiba, for example “our to become available is what tions. Manufacturers are data overwrite kit is now we call a self-encrypting focused on addressing those standard,” Melo says. “You hard drive. This essentially concerns and questions, and don’t have to buy it separatemarries the hard drive to the advise that dealers should ly. It is included in the price of device. So, if ... you took the have the same focus. “Today, the machine at no additional hard drive out of the device, customers are starting to charge.” In addition, Toshiba drive this,” says Sam Errigo, is now shipping MFPs with it automatically encrypts the data.” senior vice president of busidata encryption in the default — Bill Melo ness intelligence services at on mode. “The other thing Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. Konica Minolta. “If you are that is about to become availnot bringing up security in able is what we call a self-encrypting hard drive,” Melo says. “This essentially marries the the conversation, then you are missing an ophard drive to the device. So, if, for whatever reason, you took portunity. Just know that your competitors the hard drive out of the device, it automatically encrypts the will bring it up.”  Brent Hoskins, executive director of the data. That will be standard with our devices later this year.” Business Technology Association, is editor Clearly, the office technology industry’s efforts to address of Office Technology magazine. data security issues are continuing to evolve. Awareness He can be reached at among end users is on the rise, boosted, in part, by the dialog

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Q&A: Tom Ouellette BTA’s new president assumes office July 1 by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine


n July 1, Tom Ouellette became the 77th national president of the Business Technology Association (BTA). He is president and owner of Budget Document Technology, a Konica Minolta, Kyocera Mita America and Samsung dealership headquartered in Lewiston, Maine, with two locations serving the state of Maine. After receiving his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, Ouellette went to work for an independent dealership as a service technician, working on typewriters and copiers. In 1989, he founded his current company in his garage as a single-man operation. Today, his dealership employs 21 people. Ouellette was elected to serve as president of the BTA East district for the 2007-08 fiscal year. He has since played a key role in organizing the district’s education and networking event in White Plains, N.Y. For the 2009-10 year he was elected national vice president and for 2010-11, president-elect. Recently, Office Technology magazine had the opportunity to visit with Ouellette, BTA’s 2010 Volunteer of the Year. He was asked about his role as a BTA volunteer, the association and the dealer channel. Following are his responses. OT: What led you to first join BTA? Ouellette: When I first got out of the Navy, I worked for another independent dealer. He was a member of BTA, then NOMDA. He took advantage of some of the association’s educational programs. In fact, I attended some of them as his employee. When I started my business in 1989, I realized that I, too, needed the resources that BTA had to offer. Why reinvent the wheel? I knew, for example, that BTA could provide me with sample maintenance agreements or the legal guidance through the BTA Legal Hotline and [BTA General Counsel] Bob Goldberg. Since I first joined, BTA has always proven to

be a good investment for only $430 a year. I have always found it to be an exceptional value for the money. OT: What led you to step forward as a volunteer in the association? Ouellette: I had attended a BTA event in the association’s Southeast district and met the volunteer leadership hosting that event. I have a passion for the industry and I decided to find out more about how to become involved. I felt it was time to give back not only to the association, but also to the industry that has been so good to me. OT: How has serving as a BTA volunteer benefited you? Ouellette: One of the biggest benefits has been the opportunity to work with the members of the BTA Board of Directors and with the staff in Kansas City. Quite frankly, I’ve benefited from some of the ideas shared in our monthly conference calls and in-person board meetings. For example, I’m no marketing expert, so I have always welcomed the marketing creativity shared by other members of the board. I have seen that they draw from one another’s strengths. That’s been one of the biggest things that I have benefited from as a volunteer with BTA. It has been enjoyable to work with a great group of people. I’m having fun at it. Also, in my role as a volunteer, as an added reward, I have met a lot of others in the industry who have shared information that has helped to make my dealership stronger and more profitable. OT: Looking to the year ahead, what are some areas you believe will be your primary areas of focus as BTA president? Ouellette: The district education and networking events have been very successful for the association in recent years. This is the first year in many years that all four districts are hosting an event. That will remain a primary area of focus for

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me — doing what I can to ensure the conOT: Why do you believe BTA “Another key role that tinued success of these events. is important to office technolIn addition, it has been amazing to ogy dealers and the industry as BTA plays is serving as see the continued growth of BTA’s mema whole? a source of education bership in recent years. In fact, we just Ouellette: There is no doubt that this and information that finished our third consecutive year with industry, and particularly its dealers, is independent of the a positive membership retention numneed an organization like BTA. The assobias of any specific ber. That has not always been the case. ciation’s efforts to address the proposal This is particularly impressive when you of state legislation designed to regulate manufacturer.“ consider that growth in this economy is MFP data security comes to mind as not easy for any organization and that the type of value that is more approprithere are far fewer independent dealers than in the past. So, ately served by a national organization. In recent months, as president, I will also be focused on working to help main- Bob [Goldberg] has been meeting with state legislators and tain this momentum through our ongoing efforts to find their staff members to explain the facts regarding data senew ways to add further value to membership. curity and demonstrating that the best answer is end-user Another area that is important to me is revisiting the education, not regulations, criminal penalties or fines. The possibility of adding a health insurance program to our industry would not be well served by any of the proposed member benefits. This has been investigated in the past. legislation. Individually, dealers could not address the probHowever, the Obama Administration’s health-care pro- lem alone. It would be too time consuming and expensive. gram understandably put our efforts on hold. There were Frankly, this has been an expensive effort by BTA and, so too many unanswered questions. I don’t know whether far, it has paid off very well for dealers and the industry. To we will find success with this, but with dealers some- me, this is a perfect example of the value of the association times facing 20-percent-plus increases in health insurance to the dealer channel and to the industry at large. premiums, I would like to take another look at this during Another key role that BTA plays is serving as a source of my presidency. education and information that is independent of the bias of

BTA 2011-12 President-Elect Terry Chapman Terry Chapman, BTA’s 2011-12 president-elect, has served as president of Business Electronics Corp., located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1988. The company, a Toshiba and Lanier dealership, employs 15 people. Chapman is a graduate of Birmingham Southern College and received his B.A. in 1984 and his master’s degree in 1989. He worked in the banking industry prior to his current role at Business Electronics Corp. Chapman, who has been involved with BTA for many years, was named BTA’s Volunteer of the Year in 2008 and also serves as immediate past president for the Southeast district. Chapman serves as chairman of the board for the American Cancer Society’s Jefferson-Shelby chapter and serves on the board of directors for Camp Smile-A-Mile, an oncology camp serving youth across Alabama. He also serves as president-elect on the board of directors of Episcopal Place, an independent living facility located in Birmingham. In his role as president-elect, Chapman says his goal is to support BTA’s president, Tom Ouellette. “I’m interested in supporting the president and his initiatives and continuing the success we’ve had with our district events and educational programs,” Chapman says. He also wants to encourage dealers to join BTA and take advantage of its numerous offerings. “I think BTA remains a great value and [a BTA membership] is one of the first things that deal-

ers should invest in because it pays such a great return,” he says. “Dealers new to the industry will benefit from Bob Goldberg’s legal advice and all of the documentation and resources that are immediately available through the BTA website. Established dealers will benefit from BTA’s education offerings, which seem to be lacking in the industry now, due to budget cutbacks. BTA is stepping up what it is doing with its education workshops to compensate for those cutbacks.” Chapman thinks BTA’s district events are some of the association’s most important offerings. He cited this spring’s BTA Mid-America event as the 2010-11 fiscal year’s greatest success. “I’ve been very excited and pleased about the development of the BTA Mid-America event this year. I enjoyed attending that event and I think it was very successful. It’s a new district event in a region that really needed more activity. We had a lot of people turn out and we had the president of one of the major manufacturers speak. We had a lot of successes during that event and I think that trend will continue.” Chapman sees success in BTA’s future, thanks to the benefits and programs the association offers its dealer members. “I think that the organization is going to continue to become more important to dealers,” he says. “We’re certainly offering more benefits to dealers and we’re doing a much better job of representing the dealer community. Not only are we offering more benefits, but we’re also doing more to advocate positions that the dealers want, which hasn’t really been done before.” — Elizabeth Marvel

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any specific manufacturer. Our members get vendor-agnostic education. I am a big believer in ensuring this remains a primary characteristic of the association. Again, this points to the value the association brings to this industry.

“ ... I have no doubt that BTA is going to continue to provide the tools dealers need to help them make the most important decisions within their businesses.“

OT: What do you believe are the greatest challenges dealers face in today’s market? How can BTA help its dealer members effectively address those challenges? Ouellette: I believe the greatest challenge right now is the continued decline in page revenues, especially on monochrome pages, due to the very low rates some in the industry are charging today. Coupled with that — at least in some parts of the country — is the challenge some dealers are having with getting financing for their customers, though this has improved some in the past year. How can BTA help? One way BTA can help is by providing opportunities through not only education, but the chance to meet one-on-one with vendors at the association’s district events. This can allow dealers to form partnerships that help them better address these challenges by, perhaps, learning about ways to boost revenues or finding a new

leasing company partner.

OT: What is your vision for BTA as you look to the years ahead? How do you expect dealers 10 years from now will describe BTA when looking back at the association’s recent history? Ouellette: My answer to the first question is simple — I have no doubt that BTA is going to continue to provide the tools dealers need to help them make the most important decisions within their businesses. Regarding the second question, I think 10 years from now, dealers are going to look back and say: “I thought NOMDA had died away. Then, after a period of non-growth, BTA transformed back into what its founders had envisioned — a dynamic organization created and governed by dealers to effectively serve the dealer channel as a whole by helping dealers achieve greater levels of profitability. Clearly, this is an association led by people who are passionate about this industry and the dealer channel.” n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the Business Technology Association, is editor of Office Technology magazine. He can be reached at

BTA 2011-12 Vice President Todd Fitzsimons BTA’s 2011-12 vice president, Todd J. Fitzsimons, is president of Network Imaging LLC, located in Southington, Conn. He began his 22-year career in the document solutions industry in 1989 when he went to work for a local Canon dealership. In 1991, he joined Hallet and Co. as sales manager and six years later he purchased the dealership. Shortly thereafter, Fitzsimons’ changed the dealership’s name to Network Imaging LLC. The 50-year-old dealership sells Sharp, Kyocera Mita America and Lexmark products and solutions to end users in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. The dealership employs 18 people and has annual revenues of $3.5 million. At the end of June 2011, Fitzsimons added to his business, acquiring Alpha Imaging of Newington, Conn. Fitzsimons gives back to his community as chairman of the board for the Southington Chamber of Commerce. He is also active in his church. This will be his third year serving on the BTA Board of Directors. During the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years, he served as BTA East’s president and he was awarded BTA’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2011. Fitzsimons decided to volunteer for BTA’s board in 2008 after attending the first BTA East district event. “Really, I have been involved with BTA only the last three years,” he says. “And my first exposure was going to that first BTA East event in New York. I got

so much out of it; it was great. At that point, I was hooked and Tom [Ouellette] sensed that and encouraged me to get on the board of directors. I’ve loved it. Even after I come off the board, I’ll probably take a year off to catch my breath and then I’ll probably be right back in it again.” In his new role as vice president, Fitzsimons is most enthusiastic about working to further strengthen and expand BTA’s district events. “I think there’s been more and more of a demand for BTA to step up and present educational workshops for the benefit of the dealers out there,” he says. “We’ve been very fortunate to have presidents of some of the manufacturers come to our district events and speak, and there’s no other organization that has the ability to do that. I expect the demand for these events is going to continue to grow. I think what people are gaining from coming to these events is fantastic and they’re seeing that this is a resource they want to take advantage of on a regular basis.” Fitzsimons encourages BTA members who haven’t taken advantage of the services the association offers to do so. “We need to get the word out to member dealers to take advantage of BTA’s resources on a regular basis,” he says. “You’re going to get out of it what you put into it. When you attend the events, listen to the webinars and take advantage of what BTA offers, you make the commitment to invest in your education — to invest in yourself. When you make that commitment, you’re going to get a tenfold return on your investment. I think that’s definitely worthwhile. BTA is growing; it’s back and it’s strong.” — Elizabeth Marvel

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Solutions Revolution Lexmark emphasizes commitment to BSD Program by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine


peaking to approximately 150 of the company’s Business Solutions Dealers (BSDs), executives at Lexmark International left no doubt that the printer and MFP manufacturer is dedicated to the success of its BSD Program. Focused, in part, on the company’s growth, traits and expectations for continued success, they addressed dealers who had gathered to attend the 2011 Lexmark Solutions Revolution Dealer Meeting in Lexington, Ky. “2010 was a good year for Lexmark,” said Paul Rooke, Lexmark’s chairman and CEO, on the opening day of the May 16-18 meeting. “We grew at a rate of two times the market average and faster than most all of our competitors. We are strong financially. Our balance sheet is solid. And, we have a long track record of cash generation with nine consecutive years of cash flow greater than $400 million and 18 consecutive years of positive cash flow.” Rooke shared the numbers after reminding dealers that Lexmark is only a 20-year-old company. “The reason I believe that we have stayed competitive for 20 years is our focus on the customer,” he explained. “Our vision at Lexmark is ‘customers for life.’ People ask me, ‘What does that mean?’ I tell them that, first and foremost, it is an attitude. If we approach our customers as lifelong customers, then it is a completely different conversation.” It is an attitude and conversation that applies not only to end users, but to Lexmark’s dealers as well, Rooke said. “I hope you see that in our approach,” he said. “I hope you see that in our people. It is what I believe makes the difference at Lexmark.” Many Lexmark dealers may experience the “difference” in the form of the company’s ongoing effort to garner guidance from its dealer channel. In his comments before the meeting’s attendees, Mike Johnson, vice president of North America Business Channels and SMB, cited some of the “investments” Lexmark has made for its dealers. “The investments we made were based on your feedback,” Johnson said. “You asked for more front-line sales resources to support your growth; we added more territory sales managers. You asked for a better ability to provide solutions to your

Clockwise from top: Dealers attend the meeting’s opening session; Todd Hamblin, vice president and general manager, Global Channel Sales & Marketing; Phil Boatman, manager, U.S. Channel Business Development; Mike Johnson, vice president, North America Business Channels & SMB; Paul Rooke, chairman and CEO. customers; we gave you the Virtual Solutions Center to help drive those solutions.” Johnson also cited the launch of training programs, the addition of a technical support hotline and the addition of field service techs as among those investments resulting from dealer feedback. “I can tell you that we are listening,” he said. “There are more things that we need to do, but we

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You’ve launched an MPS program, but are you achieving the profits you had hoped for? have made these investments.” “In 2011, we expect 100 Along with the percent growth again. increase in the numThat will drive the ber of investments significant growth we in the BSD program has come an inare looking for in crease in the number high-end A4 mono of Lexmark dealers. and color MFPs ... “ “We now have about 750 partners [dealers] globally,” said Todd Hamblin, vice president and general manager, Global Channel Sales and Marketing. “That’s about 250 here in North America, about 450 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and around 50, so far, in the new territories of Latin America and Asia Pacific. We plan to expand to roughly about 1,000 partners.” Hamblin emphasized that the addition of dealers will come primarily outside of the United States. “We don’t want more competition for you; that expansion is actually going to be coming overseas in these new markets,” he said. “Our goal is for you to lead and win in your market. We are more interested in quality than quantity.” The quality of Lexmark’s dealers is apparent, said Phil Boatman, manager of U.S. Channel Business Development. “This marks the start of our fifth year of our dealer program,” he told attendees. “It blows me away to see the quality of dealers that we have in this program in just five years.” Boatman and the other presenters spoke, in part, about the opportunities the market has presented to dealers, including the growing demand for color A4 MFPs, served by Lexmark with such products as the high-end, 50-pageper-minute XS796 workgroup MFP, launched in February of this year. Hamblin described high-end color A4s as the “sweet spot in the market.” Currently, Boatman said, the color A4 MFP market compound annual growth rate stands at 23 percent. “So, if you don’t have an A4 color strategy, you’re missing out on one of the fastest growing segments in our industry.” With Lexmark’s commitment to its dealer channel and expanding product line, company officials have high expectations, said Johnson, reporting 100-plus percent revenue growth through the BSD program in 2010. “In 2011, we expect 100 percent growth again,” he said. “That will drive the significant growth we are looking for in high-end A4 mono and color MFPs, which will, in turn, lead to the pages we are all seeking.”  Brent Hoskins, executive director of the Business Technology Association, is editor of Office Technology magazine. He can be reached at

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‘Fast Forward’ Toshiba hosts national dealer meeting in Las Vegas by: Elizabeth Marvel, Office Technology Magazine


n May 22-24, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) hosted 650 dealers and end users at its 2011 national dealer meeting and end-user conference. The meeting, themed “Fast Forward,” focused on new products, applications and services, including applications for cloud printing, MFP security solutions and 20 new MFPs. Mark Mathews, president and COO of TABS, welcomed the group and explained the “Fast Forward” theme. “Our ‘Fast Forward’ theme today has everything to do with the company and how we see ourselves — and you — growing in the upcoming year,” Mathews explained. “We’ve been leading innovation through equipment, solutions and professional services since day one. And today, we’re more committed than ever to leading innovation — not just keeping pace with technology, but fast forwarding that development, setting the pace for others and speeding ahead of the competition.” Mathews described the struggles dealers have had in the past couple of years, thanks to the economic downturn, and he explained how Toshiba is working to take advantage of the slowly recovering economy. “The economic slump that the U.S. is slowly emerging from had a significant impact on our business, as well as yours,” Mathews said. “And yet, the downturn also had a distinct upside for all of us. Because of the economic slowdown, companies were forced to do more with less. Helping companies save money and operate more efficiently is the bread and butter for our managed print services ... In fact, the services-led business model we’ve been developing over many years ... will take full advantage of this trend.” Following Mathews’ introduction, Matt Yamada, chairman and CEO of TABS, gave attendees an update on the effect of this spring’s earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, and how Toshiba was affected by the tragedy. “Among our 74,000 employees, we suffered only five minor injuries,” Yamada said. “One person still remains unaccounted for. In general, we are very fortunate. Only 23 of our production sites were damaged in the earthquake; all are back to normal operation.”

Clockwise from top left: Bill Melo, vice president of marketing, services and solutions, TABS; Mark Mathews, president and COO, TABS; Matt Yamada, chairman and CEO, TABS. He went on to say that 800 Toshiba employees volunteered at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the aftermath of the disaster. Toshiba Corp. not only helped with manpower, but donated more than $5 million in disaster relief. In the United States, Toshiba employees donated more than $1.5 million to the cause. Despite the tragedy, Yamada told dealers that Toshiba’s supply chain is still intact, and that “we found the disaster to have no impact on the availability of equipment, parts and supplies.” In fact, he said, Toshiba’s profits have rebounded to pre-recession levels, and the company is now direct in 23 countries. In China, Toshiba has retained its number-one market share for the 11th year in a row. Mathews returned to the stage to give attendees an overview of the 2010 fiscal year. He said that TABS’ managed print services revenues grew 78 percent year over year, growing to a conservative estimate of 12 percent of the company’s total revenue. He spoke of TABS’ expansion of its equipment offerings, and how it has partnered with Lexmark and Hewlett-Packard (HP) to offer customers products

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from those manufacturers — a move no that provides scanning integration with other manufacturer has made. Google Docs. “The first quarter of Mathews then briefly summarized “Through this integration, a user can fiscal year 2011 has the 2011 fiscal year so far. “We are conscan directly from the control panel of delivered 15 percent tinuing to invest heavily in our managed the MFP to the cloud and save docuyear-over-year unit document services (MDS) programs, ments to his Google site,” Contreras cloud printing and security software said. “What’s unique about the Toshibagrowth and 6.9 percent and products, with a services-led stratedeveloped application is that we’re usyear-over-year gy focused on selling business outcomes, ing our advanced scanning technology revenue growth.“ capturing pages and emphasizing color to OCR and process the document so it sales,” he said. “The first quarter of fiscan be stored in a modifiable format ... cal year 2011 has delivered 15 percent rather than just a static image.” year-over-year unit growth and 6.9 percent year-over-year Contreras announced 20 new MFP models, including revenue growth. In fact, March was our best sales month in the monochrome e-STUDIO™456 (20 to 45 pages per minute more than four years.” [ppm]) and 856 (55 to 85 ppm) Series models. All include Bill Melo, vice president of marketing, services and solu- color scanning, self-encrypting hard drives and the new etions for TABS, spoke in more detail about Toshiba’s newest BRIDGE™ controller that makes them solutions-ready. MDS and security solutions. On the color side, Contreras announced 11 new e-STUOn the MDS side, a new version of Encompass, Toshiba’s DIO™ MFPs: the e-STUDIO™4540C Series (five models that fleet optimization and managed print services program, is operate at 45 ppm in color and monochrome) and the scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter. The new ver- e-STUDIO™6550C Series (six models that operate from 55 to sion will include a mobile application that will allow dealers 65 ppm in color, and up to 75 ppm in monochrome). These to access the customer management tool from any mobile models also include the new e-BRIDGE™ controller, self-endevice, including smartphones and tablets. crypting hard drives and standard disc overwrite. Melo also announced Service eXCHANGE, a new part of Toshiba also announced its annual dealer awards at the Toshiba’s social business network. Service eXCHANGE is a meeting, with BTA member Zoom Imaging Solutions, Rosemobile application that connects to an online information ville, Calif., winning Toshiba’s 2010 Dealer of the Year Award. portal that allows service technicians to access technical After the General Session, dealers attended several breakand troubleshooting information and documentation from out sessions with topics ranging from mobility to security any mobile device. It also allows for collaboration between to MDS, and had the opportunity to see Toshiba’s new prodtechs in a social networking environment. ucts and solutions up close at the product and solutions In regard to mobile and cloud computing applications fair. There was also an opportunity to hear from Toshiba’s and services, Toshiba introduced several new options dur- newest partners, including Lexmark, Supplies Network, GE ing the meeting. The first, SecureSend™, is a service that Capital and MWA Intelligence. “combines the Toshiba MFP, document digital rights manThe meeting wasn’t all business, however. Keynote speakagement and a cloud infrastructure to make security easy.” er Frank Abignale, best known as the inspiration for the Using SecureSend™, users can scan documents, apply secu- main character in the 2002 film, “Catch Me if You Can,” spoke rity rules and send files to the cloud securely, all through the about his life and the consequences of his years of forgery MFP’s touchscreen, a smartphone or tablet. and fraud. That same evening, attendees had the opportuJoe Contreras, director of product and solutions marketing nity to see Cheap Trick in a private concert. for TABS, touched on several other new mobility and cloud At the conclusion of the dealer meeting, end users were computing solutions, which included HP ePrint Enterprise, invited to a special conference, which included an overview Drivve Print Mobility Manager, Capella Technologies’ Dynam- of the current business market, followed by presentations ic Print Routing and the Cortado Cloud Printing Alliance. on cloud computing, mobile printing and managed docuFinally, Contreras announced Toshiba’s newest hardware ment services from Toshiba partners. End offerings, beginning with an introduction of the new version users had the opportunity to hear Abignale of Toshiba’s e-BRIDGE™ Open Platform controller. The new e- speak at a luncheon and wrapped up the day BRIDGE™ platform “simplifies links between the e-STUDIO™ by attending a solutions fair. n device and third-party software solutions,” allowing users to Elizabeth Marvel is associate editor of add applications to their MFPs to customize them. This new Office Technology magazine. She can be controller has enabled Toshiba to develop an application reached at or (816) 303-4060. www.officetechnologym a g. c o m | J u l y 2 0 1 1 | 23

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Convergence 2011 Ricoh, Lanier & Savin dealers meet May 23-26 by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine


efore an audience of approximately 500 dealers attending Ricoh’s Convergence 2011 national dealer meeting, Ricoh senior executives and other members of the management team took the opportunity to reassure dealers that the company remains committed to them and their future success. They emphasized Ricoh’s increased efforts to support its dealers. They also shared a clear message that the company will assist dealers in targeting not only the burgeoning MPS opportunity, but the growing solutions and services opportunities within the office technology industry as well. Held May 23-26 at The Peabody Orlando in Orlando, Fla., the meeting, which drew Ricoh, Lanier and Savin dealers, was themed “Break on Through” — a reference, as the Show Guide explained, to the company’s goal of providing tools, training, products, services and strategies for “breaking through to new levels of sales and profit growth.” In addition to a Technology Expo featuring Ricoh’s products and services, as well as those of various third-party vendors, the meeting agenda included a variety of education seminars. Of particular note at Convergence 2011 was the announcement of the launch of ChaMPS, a Ricoh managed document services (MDS) program to help dealers transform their business models to services-led models to meet customers’ document management needs. The program is comprised of three components: methodology, providing dealers access to Ricoh and industry experts, as well as educational support; resources, including an MDS support desk staffed by Ricoh personnel, access to tools such as Ricoh’s @Remote USB device discovery tool and a Web portal that takes dealers through the steps of implementing MDS; and services, including the ability to outsource offsite monitoring services, access to onsite professional services and access to Ricoh’s commercial imaging, litigation support and IT services. “The ChaMPS program is a result of Ricoh’s accelerated shift to a services business model, building on our core hardware foundation,” said Jeffrey Hickling, president and CEO of Ricoh U.S. “We understand, first-hand, that delivering

Above: Dealer attendees view Ricoh’s line of A4 MFPs and printers in the Technology Expo. Right: Jeffrey Hickling, president and CEO of Ricoh U.S., addresses attendees during the opening General Session. Hickling is responsible for Ricoh’s U.S. direct sales and service organizations, and the dealer network. world-class document management services requires a change in business structure, which can be a challenging undertaking for some dealers. The ChaMPS program provides our dealers with the critical flexibility they need, backed by the MDS vision and the delivery capabilities of an industry-leading enterprise.” During the meeting’s opening General Session, Hickling spoke about the significance of MDS to Ricoh. While revenues from dealer sales overall increased less than 1 percent in 2010 over the previous year, “our managed services revenue, through our legacy IKON MS and legacy Ricoh RBS businesses, totaled almost $700 million in the United States, up 8 percent,” he said. “That is the platform for driving MDS growth in the Ricoh family group.” Hickling described the drivers that have led to the need

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What if you were able to accelerate equipment growth with the benefit of reduced sales turnover? for a transition to a services and solu“Our value proposition tions model. “Everyas we drive solutions body in our indusis unique. Of course, try continues to see we want to sell pressure on the aftermarket,” he exRicoh technology, plained. “We saw debut we’re changing clines in our CPC the dynamic. “ rates, as well as our revenue, particularly on the IKON side, and clearly we continue to see pressure on the A3 placements. They create the imperative to drive a solutions company.” Throughout 2011, Ricoh will continue “the evolution to a services company,” Hickling said. “Our value proposition as we drive solutions is unique. Of course, we want to sell Ricoh technology, but we’re changing the dynamic. We are not leading with Ricoh technology alone; we are leading with solutions that are optimizing image output and capable of managing multiple vendor devices. That is not something we see from our top competitors.” In his General Session presentation, Hickling also noted Ricoh’s increased effort to: facilitate collaboration between dealers and Ricoh direct sales offices; more aggressively pursue key verticals, such as the health care and legal industries; and ensure Ricoh and its dealers take full advantage of the opportunities served by such products as production print devices and A4 MFPs. In addition, he emphasized how Ricoh is working to better improve its support of dealers, noting that the relationship should be seen as a “partnership” rather than a “transaction.” “What did we do in 2010?” Hickling asked. “We had an over 50 percent increase in our support funds to the dealer channel. We radically simplified our DMAP [Dealer Major Accounts Program], provided access to Ricoh direct resources, developed financial packages as your customers struggled to get credit, made investments in our managed document services technologies and increased flexibility in our co-op funds.” Hickling concluded his comments by expressing his hope for an increased level of trust and collaboration between Ricoh and its dealers as the new opportunities in the market are pursued. “It will happen dealer by dealer, city by city,” he said. “I know if we can continue to drive this together, Ricoh can become not only the number one copier company in the United States, but the number one solutions company in the United States.”  Brent Hoskins, executive director of the Business Technology Association, is editor of Office Technology magazine. He can be reached at

It’s easier than you think.

BTA Sales Mgmt Workshop Developed and taught by Strategy Development consultants, this two-day educational workshop will give your sales managers the tools they need to increase sales and develop great sales people and sales teams.

What you will learn: • How to build effective sales teams • Recruiting, on-boarding and training • Designing individual development plans • Territory design and management, MPS and equipment • Account planning and penetration • Effective forecasting • MPS and equipment pipeline growth When: August 11-12, 2011 Minneapolis, MN Pricing: $1,995 for members $1,495 for a second member attendee $2,425 for non-members* (*Non-member price includes a one-year BTA dealer membership.)

For more information and to register, visit: or call 800.843.5059

Register today and get the tools you need to develop your sales teams, uncover new business, and expand your share of wallet.

www.officetechnologym a g. c o m | J u l y 2 0 1 1 | 25

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BTA HIGHLIGHTS BTA would like to welcome the following new members to the association:

Dealer Members Advanced Imaging Systems, Riverhead, NY DataWorks, Tucson, AZ Duplicating Products, Gainesville, GA SymQuest Group, South Burlington, VT TAP Business Systems of IL - Ricoh, Pana, IL Service Associate Members Melissa Whitaker Intl., Schaumburg, IL Offsite Office Equipment Storage, Tempe, AZ Vendor Associate Members Arlington Industries, Waukegan, IL FileBound, Lincoln, NE Katun Corp., Minneapolis, MN NA Trading Company, Bloomington, MN Nano Pacific, South San Francisco, CA

For the benefit of its dealer members, each month BTA features two of its Vendor or Service Associate members in this space.

For full contact information of these new members, visit

BTA Vendor Associate member Arlington Industries has been in business since 1972. The company carries more than 10,000 items and specializes in OEM, compatible and hard-tofind imaging supplies and office machines, including products from Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Xerox, Canon, Brother and Epson. Arlington is a wholesale distributor that sells only to resellers, never end users. Arlington’s mission is to build quality, long-lasting relationships with dealers and vendors with dedication to the highest ethical standards.

BTA District Events: Grand Slam 2011 In recent years, BTA’s districts have held education and networking events for dealers. The next event, BTA East’s Grand Slam 2011, will be held Sept. 22-23 in White Plains, N.Y. The event will feature a keynote by Rick Taylor, president and COO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions, five additional education sessions, networking events and a Red Sox vs. Yankees baseball game. BTA members receive a $50 discount on registration. Visit BTAEastEvent to register. Also, be sure to save the dates for the BTA Southeast (Oct. 21-22, Waynesville, N.C.) and BTA West (Nov. 17-18, Las Vegas) district events this fall.

BTA Service Associate member Offsite Equipment Storage provides office equipment storage and end-of-lease management solutions for your new customers. If you have replaced a competitive asset that still has time remaining on the lease, Offsite will work with your customer to explain the end-of-lease process, assist with the letter of intent and manage the return shipping. If your customer does not have room to store the equipment, Offsite has a national network of secure warehouses available and its inventory management system ensures the equipment will be tracked from the minute it hits the dock.

For information on BTA member benefits, visit

A full list of BTA Vendor and Service Associate members can be found online at

26 | w w w. o f f i c e t e c h n o l o | July 2011

Highlights July 11.indd 1

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Equipment Returns All parties should strive to ‘play fair’ by: Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel for the Business Technology Association


frequent call to the BTA Legal Hotline involves equipment coming off lease and being returned. The issues are many: (1) buyout calculations; (2) direct communication by the leasing company with the end user; (3) equipment removed from the end-user’s location; (4) equipment damaged in transit; (5) missing feeders, finishers and accessories; (6) missing parts or good parts switched with damaged or heavily used parts; and (7) missing manuals. Regardless of the issue, the equipment return system is broken and needs an industry solution. Dealerships, leasing companies, wholesalers and end users are all partners in the process and must cooperate in finding a solution. BTA has addressed several of these issues on behalf of its members. Entering a Master Lease Agreement can establish buyout terms, end-of-lease obligations, upgrades and communications with end users. Of course, if a competitive dealership is replacing your product placement, none of these terms are going to apply. Establish your relationship with your leasing company in writing at the beginning and avoid issues at the conclusion of the relationship. BTA has offered its members a document entitled “Leased Equipment Storage Agreement,” which can be found at www. in the Legal Documents section. This document creates an “agency” relationship where the dealer acts on behalf of the end user to store and return the equipment at the end of the lease. It is obvious that an end user is not as qualified as a dealership to prepare and return equipment as directed by the leasing company. The storage factor is required when leasing companies refuse to accept the early return of equipment, especially if there is not an upgrade involved. There really is no sound business decision for a leasing company not to accept an early return. If it is accepted, the equipment will not just sit in a warehouse waiting for the return date and, so, will not further depreciate. The leasing company can receive its payoff in one sum and avoid collection and billing issues. Leasing companies should seriously consider early acceptance of equipment on lease. Those companies that do should promote the fact, for it is clearly a sound business practice that benefits all.

Leasing companies should further recognize and approve of dealerships removing equipment from an end-user’s location and preparing it for shipment. This is a function best fulfilled by a dealership. However, dealerships have an obligation as well. Another company owns the equipment that is stored in a dealership’s warehouse. This equipment is not a portion of the dealership’s parts inventory. A drum with a lower number of impressions is not to be switched with one that has seen its day. Leasing companies will only be comfortable in allowing equipment removal if they are secure in knowing the equipment will not diminish in value once it leaves the end-user’s location. Claims for damages must be bona fide. In several situations, I have reviewed invoices for damages that appeared identical and unsupported. This occurs where multiple machines are returned and the same claim is made for each. Wholesalers must promptly inspect returned equipment and advise both the leasing company and the returning party of any damage found. There is another group of companies out there — trucking companies — that is avoiding liability through carefully drafted agreements and tight time periods. Through cooperation, the responsibility for damage can be properly assigned. Use recommended transportation companies. There are differences between them and the few dollars saved can be quickly lost when damage is incurred. Dealers are encouraged to video all four sides and the top of returned equipment and show the machine passing paper. This video can be excellent evidence when damage is found and responsibility can be assigned. The equipment leasing and return process is one that all facets of the industry depend upon. It is a process that should conclude a lease transaction and not present an opportunity to make up for an incorrectly calculated residual balance or cannibalization by the dealer community. There are problems in this portion of the industry, as everyone is not playing fairly. If everyone can treat each other in a fair, equitable and ethical manner, these problems can be eliminated. Do your part.  Robert C. Goldberg is general counsel for the Business Technology Association. He can be reached at www.officetechnologym a g. c o m | J u l y 2 0 1 1 | 27

Goldberg July 11.indd 1

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service connections

Service Team Evaluation Now is the time to get your house in order by: Ken Staubitz, Strategy Development


ummer is well under way, which means school is out, many of your customers are taking vacations and new products are being introduced from nearly every manufacturer. For many service organizations, call volume decreases during this time, especially if one’s base is in the education sector. So, it is time to soak up the sun and coast until the summer is over, right? Heck no! For those of you who are experiencing a spike in activity during this time, that is fantastic — buckle down and stay focused. For those who see a drop in service activity during this period, it is time to review the previous months, analyze trends impacting your service business and evaluate your current processes and procedures to prepare for the service department’s needs. Revisit Staffing Levels Has your workload demand (call time + travel time) changed? Are there upcoming events that could change your workload? If the sales team upgrades a major account with new equipment, staffing requirements may be reduced with the increased reliability of the new equipment. Conversely, you might have noticed a reduction in your base. Or you may find that your MPS strategy has provided you with additional business. Whichever is the case, it is important to the department’s profitability to periodically assess your staffing levels. Have your adjusted available hours in the day changed due to a customer demand for decreased response time? Most organizations’ average productive time available per tech is between 135 and 145 hours per month. Productive time can vary based on your current staff’s non-productive time factors (i.e., meeting times per month, vacation time, training time, etc.). Let’s assume your service base has 3,000 benchmark workload hours and your department averages 145 productive hours per technician per month. Given this example, your required staffing level would be 21 technicians (3,000/145). However, in order to achieve an average targeted response time consistently, you must adjust available hours for additional non-productive time. So, using the same figures as before, let’s assume you want to target a four-hour average response time. You must adjust your available hours accordingly. In this case, those adjusted available hours would be 119. Because of this desired response time, your staffing level would actually

be 25 technicians (3,000 benchmark workload hours/119 adjusted available hours). It is vital to review your base’s workload requirements throughout the year and adjust staffing levels appropriately. You may find that you can take on additional business with your current staffing levels. Train, Train, Train The summer is a perfect time to train your current staff on new or existing products. If your team needs manufacturer-specific classes, now is the time to get your staff trained. Make a detailed list of the courses needed by each individual and register these employees for the classes sooner rather than later. Many manufacturers’ summer training classes fill up quickly; however, there are also last-minute cancellations that can crop up, so you may be able to squeeze a team member into a once-full class. Aside from formal classes, have you evaluated your team’s troubleshooting needs? Do you have a less experienced person who could use a little technical help and coaching? Consider pairing this individual with a technical specialist or seasoned veteran. This on-the-job training is critical for developing a technician’s technical competency, confidence and customer service skills. I highly recommend implementing a ride-along schedule with a list of expected focus areas of improvement in addition to a daily debrief to ensure the focus of each employee. Process Review I know it seems boring and many service leaders would rather watch paint dry than review their processes and procedures. However, this is a very important best practice. Typically, most processes have evolved over time and have not been reviewed or altered, even when considering the investment in technology or the sales mix. Dust off your procedure manual, process maps or flowcharts to familiarize yourself with the procedures. If these documents do not exist, then there is no time like the present to develop a new process. Ask yourself: What client issues were escalated to me as a service leader? Were there staffing issues due to scheduling conflicts? Has the field staff experienced inventory issues? Did your team experience unexpected service situations in your MPS initiative? Do you find

28 | ­w w w. o f f i c e t e c h n o l o | July 2011

Staubitz July 11.indd 1

7/1/11 9:01 AM

your billing procedures are vague and that your operation or support staff memobscure. These areas provide the gift of bers are typically assigned to one task Assuming your feedback, but it is important to respond only, when they could multitask to reduce organization uses to the information to create a better client your need to hire? Is your operations staff various listening posts experience. Your findings might result in cross-trained? ... to gather feedback ... further process reviews or tweaks in proNext, compare your answers to your now may present an cedures. The result should be an improved current processes. Odds are the issues occustomer experience. ď Ž curred due to a breakdown in your current opportune time to Ken Staubitz is a service consultant with processes or someone circumvented a proreview this information ... Strategy Development with 14-plus years cedure. You may also find that your staff experience in all levels of service operations could take on additional responsibilities; and MPS service structure. Formerly with Cincinnati, Ohiotherefore, you may not have to increase your staffing levels. based Modern Office Methods (MOM) in various service and operational roles, Staubitz was MOM’s director of client services Customer Feedback where he oversaw all service operations and Assuming your organization uses various listening posts (customer surveys, post-installation follow-up, service man- managed a staff of 60-plus field service personnel. He served on the Lanier Dealer Advisory ager site visits and key account reviews) to gather feedback Council and was an e-automate Service from your clients, now may present an opportune time to reCommittee member. He can be reached at view this information and improve your client service levels. Are your survey results telling you that there is a perceived Visit response time issue? Perhaps the client feedback suggests

www.officetechnologym a g. c o m | J u l y 2 0 1 1 | 29

Staubitz July 11.indd 2

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ADVERTISER INDEX 30 • BTA District Events

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2-3 • BTA East’s Grand Slam 2011

5 • DocuWare

32 • Strategy Development

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21 • BTA MPS Sales Workshop

9 • FMAudit

29 • The Week in Imaging Top 40

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25 • BTA Sales Management Workshop

19 • Mars International

11 • Toshiba

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(949) 462-6201 /

15 • Color Imaging

13 • MSE

31 • World Expo 2011

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30 | w w w. o f f i c e t e c h n o l o | July 2011

Ad Index July 11.indd 1

7/1/11 11:56 AM

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Strategy Development ad July 11.indd 1

6/23/11 10:24 AM

July 2011 Office Technology  

This is the July issue of Office Technology magazine, the magazine of the Business Technology Association.

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