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Contents Volume 19 • No. 12
Feature Articles 10
Remanufactured Cartridges Have you stopped to take a closer look?
Selling solutions Sales Contests Providing good will, motivation & positive morale
by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine
by Luis Gonzalez SalesScoreKeeper.com
It is clear that the remanufactured toner cartridge industry has made strides since it first emerged. Some may recall bad experiences with early, poor-quality products. Today, however, most of the surviving companies are focused on quality and, in some cases, have become suppliers to some of the OEMs.
3-D Printing What is it and why should you care about it? by Scott Dunham Photizo Group
No matter the size of your company, sales contests are a great tool to keep your team motivated. Awards are earned by those individuals who have exceeded company expectations. Here are some tips and ideas that could improve the effectiveness of your company’s next contest.
p r i n c i pa l i s s u e s Committed to Success DocuWare hosts annual partner meeting May 8-10
by Brent Hoskins Office Technology Magazine
By now, if you have not heard of 3-D printing, you are probably in the minority. 3-D printing is making Internet news headlines daily and has everyone talking (and speculating) about how 3-D printing technology has the ability to change our lives in ways we never thought possible.
Social Media Essentials Harness these three simple principles by Bob Abbott
Emphasizing that its Authorized DocuWare Partners (ADPs) will soon be presented with “the chance of a lifetime” selling document management systems, DocuWare Corp. hosted its annual DocuWorld meeting May 8-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas.
Negative Online Reviews They could be hurting your dealership
Are you tired of hearing all the buzz and hype about social media? I am. Honestly, ignoring and avoiding it was exactly what I felt like doing. But I am so glad I did not ignore it. To do anything less than learn the basic strategies and practices of social media is to choose to be increasingly irrelevant to your customers.
courts & capitols 25
Policies & Procedures An update on some of the current requirements by Robert C. Goldberg BTA General Counsel
You created and implemented an employee and procedure manual, checked it off your to-do list and have not looked at it again. The document that was created to protect you in employment matters can become a liability if not regularly reviewed and updated. Let’s consider some of these policies and current requirements.
by Darrell Amy Dealer Marketing Systems
I can only imagine what kind of impression a negative online review of a dealership would leave on a potential customer searching for a copier/MFP on Google. Negative reviews on Google can hurt your company’s search engine placement, which could lead to even more lost leads.
D e pa r t m e n t s Business Technology Association
• BTA Education Calendar • BTA Highlights
Executive Director’s Page
BTA President’s Message
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All document management vendors are not created equal At DocuWare, we know that many office equipment dealers have tried selling Document Management solutions in the past with little success. We believe with the right partners and support structure you can grow your solutions division. DocuWare is committed to making our resellers successful by providing
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Executive Leadership Council
a proven business plan, outstanding sales tools, training and field support.
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Executive Director’s Page
2013 Finance Report Ready for Download
ooking to compare your dealership’s finances to those of your competitors? BTA has made it easy. Visit the BTA website to download the 2013 BTA Finance Report, the final report in BTA’s current series of benchmarking reports. This report, as well as the 2012 BTA Service and Compensation Reports, are available to BTA members free of charge. Visit www.bta.org/Benchmarking Reports to download your copies. The 2013 BTA Finance Report compares key income statements and balance sheet indicators of BTA members to the benchmarks recommended by John Hanson and John Hey of Strategic Business Associates and taught in BTA’s ProFinance 2.0 workshop. Employee productivity, profitability, expense and asset management performance benchmarks are provided and compared to the recommended benchmarks. Each of these categories is further divided into specific ratios. For example, the asset management category is broken down into several ratios, such as: inventory to net sales; inventory to net equipment sales; inventory to total assets; accounts receivable as a percentage of total assets; and accounts receivable over 60 days as a percentage of total assets. Benchmarking results are provided by size of business (annual revenue) and geographic area. The report also includes several years of data (2005, 2008, 2010 and 2013) for your comparison. Prepared for BTA by Survey Advantage, the results of the 2013 BTA Finance Report are based on data provided to BTA in early 2013 through a survey of current and former members. The 2013 report compiles the results of 202 surveys, a significant increase from 2010’s survey, which had 53 responses.
Here is a sampling of the type of data you will find in the report (reported as medians; the report lists the states included in the geographic regions): n Supplies gross profit increased from 37 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2013. n The annual sales per employee for the Midwest dealer is $156,544. n Copier/MFPs claim 86 percent of sales for the Southeast dealer. n Service gross profit for the East dealer is 61 percent. n Twenty-seven percent of the West dealer’s employees are in service. n The percentage of employees in administration for a dealership with $3 million or less in annual revenues is 32 percent. n The operating income for the $3 million to $5 million dealership is 13 percent. n The annual service sales per service employee in the $5 million to $10 million dealership is $158,558. n Administration expense as a percentage of total sales for a $10 million-plus dealership is 20 percent. If you are ready to see how your dealership stacks up to the competition, download the 2013 BTA Finance Report today. If you find your dealership is not meeting the recommended benchmarks, consider attending BTA’s ProFinance 2.0 workshop. The next workshop is scheduled for Nov. 6-7, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nev. This hands-on training will provide you with practical ideas that can be put into action immediately. It will give your company the competitive edge that is vital in today’s marketplace. You will learn proven sales and service plans, effective management bonus programs and critical organizational strategies. Visit www.bta.org/ProFinance to learn more and get your dealership on the road to financial success. n — Brent Hoskins
Executive Director/BTA Editor/Office Technology Brent Hoskins email@example.com (816) 303-4040 Associate Editor Elizabeth Marvel firstname.lastname@example.org (816) 303-4060 Contributing Writers Robert Abbott email@example.com Darrell Amy, Dealer Marketing Systems www.dealermarketingsystems.com Scott Dunham, Photizo Group www.photizogroup.com Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel Business Technology Association Luis Gonzalez, SalesScoreKeeper.com www.salesscorekeeper.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: iStockphoto, Wavebreak Media. Cover photo: LMI. 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 2012-2013 Board of Directors
2013 BTA BEQI Now Available to Dealers
am pleased to announce that the 2013 BTA Business Equipment Quota Index (BEQI) is now available. The BEQI provides market potential (product demand) indices for monochrome and color MFPs, monochrome and color single-function laser printers and large-format printers. The BEQI is commonly used to measure market potential, evaluate and assign territories, set sales quotas, measure sales performance, allocate advertising dollars and select test markets. Based on the results of a comprehensive survey of end users conducted on behalf of BTA by Crain Associates Research LLC in partnership with MarketResearch. com, the BEQI provides market potential indices for all U.S. sales territories including states, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), counties and ZIP codes. The BEQI includes index numbers, by geography, corresponding to 17 categories of multifunction devices, printers and large-format printers, based on speed ranges and color versus monochrome. In the monochrome category: 1-20 page per minute (ppm) MFPs; 21-30 ppm MFPs; 31-69 ppm MFPs; 70-plus ppm MFPs; all monochrome MFPs combined; and all single-function monochrome laser printers. In the color category: 1-20 ppm MFPs; 21-30 ppm MFPs; 31-69 ppm MFPs; 70-plus ppm MFPs; all color MFPs combined; 1-20 ppm (single-function) laser printers; 21-30 ppm laser printers; 31-69 ppm laser printers; 70plus ppm laser printers; and all color laser printers combined. In addition, the BEQI provides indices for all monochrome and color MFPs combined and large-format (inkjet and laser) printers. The BEQI index numbers are based on
two data sources: Census Bureau data and the responses to a survey of 1,200 decisionmakers across 13 industry groups regarding the amount of equipment purchased in 2012 (actual purchases), and purchases planned for 2013 and 2014. To derive the BEQI indices, ratios of equipment purchases per employee were computed at the industry level and then applied to the distribution of employment by industry at each geographic level. A BEQI user can compute a particular geography’s market potential for any of the product categories listed in the BEQI using the forecasted unit placements from market research firm IDC, which are included in the User’s Guide. IDC has provided actual unit placements for 2012 and forecasted unit placements for 2013 and 2014. Here is one example of how you can use the BEQI: Say your dealership’s service area includes the 19030 ZIP code in Bucks County, Pa., and you wish to determine the ZIP code’s market potential in 2013 for monochrome 70-plus ppm MFPs. The BEQI number for this ZIP code for 70-plus ppm MFPs is .00735 percent. When, as the BEQI User’s Guide directs, you convert that to the decimal equivalent, dividing by 100, you get an index of .0000735. IDC forecasts that 39,701 monochrome 70-plus ppm MFPs will be placed in the U.S. market in 2013. By using the index, you can compute that your market potential for the product category is 2.9 units for 2013 (.0000725 multiplied by 39,701 is 2.9180235) for the 19030 ZIP code. My example is just one of thousands of market potential numbers that can be derived by the BEQI. Remember, the BEQI provides indices for every U.S. ZIP code for each of the product categories included. Place your order for your state or MSA today by visiting www.bta.org/2013BEQI. n — Terry Chapman
President Terry Chapman Business Electronics Corp. 219 Oxmoor Circle, P.O. Box 531066 Birmingham, AL 35253 firstname.lastname@example.org President-Elect Todd J. Fitzsimons Network Imaging LLC 122 Spring St., Ste. B3 Southington, CT 06489 email@example.com Vice President Ron Hulett U.S. Business Systems Inc. 3221 Southview Drive Elkhart, IN 46514 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 Dave Quint Advanced Systems Inc. 2945 Airport Blvd., P.O. Box 57 Waterloo, IA 50704 firstname.lastname@example.org BTA Southeast Debra Dennis CopyPro Inc. 3103 Landmark St. Greenville, NC 27834 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 Tom Ouellette Budget Document Technology 251 Goddard Road, P.O. Box 2322 Lewiston, ME 04240 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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Remanufactured Cartridges Have you stopped to take a closer look? by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
o any observer, it is clear that the remanufactured toner cartridge industry has made significant strides since it first emerged. Some may recall bad experiences with early, poor-quality products. Today, however, most of the surviving companies in the industry are focused on quality and, in some cases, have even become suppliers to some of the OEMs. Are you aware of today’s current remanufactured cartridge offerings? Have you stopped to take a closer look? Upon examination, you will see that there are various categories of products, including monochrome and color, remanufactured and new-build compatible. Collectively, they compose a sizeable market. Currently, the office (production excluded) aftermarket industry’s monochrome cartridges for laser printers represent a $1.6 billion market in the United States, says John Shane, director of the Communication Supplies Consulting Service of market research firm InfoTrends, noting that the total market, including OEM cartridges, is $6.5 billion. The much smaller color laser cartridge portion of the U.S. remanufactured and compatible printer cartridge industry, Shane reports, claims $310 million of the $4.9 billion color cartridge market. “Right now, monochrome is basically flat,” he says of the market’s growth rate. “However, color is growing slowly, but steadily.” For the most part, dealers who are looking to the industry are looking at remanufactured cartridges produced from reclaimed OEM cores. In contrast, new-build compatible — referred to by some as “clones” — are made from all new materials and are largely, if not exclusively, imported from China. Many may agree that the jury is still out in terms of the future of the new-build compatible market in the United States, despite the retail price of a compatible cartridge at only around 30 percent of an OEM cartridge. Shane notes that the “prevailing situation with clones” is that both remanufacturers and OEMs contend that the cartridges “have patent issues” and, so, “ultimately will be illegal.”
Leaving any debate regarding new-build compatible cartridges for another day and looking to the remanufactured cartridge industry in particular, one can see that it is a changing market. What is especially noteworthy is the emergence of color cartridges and reports of increasing sales. “Our percentage of color products overall continues to go up every year,” says Gary Willert, president and CEO of remanufacturer LMI Solutions. “Right now, we are at about 35 percent color.” Willert acknowledges that the color road has not been an easy one to travel, but it has proven worthwhile. “Color is certainly more challenging than monochrome, partly because you have four cartridges in the machine versus one; they all have to perform,” he says. “However, the quality of color has really improved dramatically over the last few years and continues to improve. We can only do so much workmanship-wise, but the toner manufacturers themselves have really improved upon the toner quality as well.” Rick Krska, president of toner and inkjet cartridge remanufacturer TonerCycle InkCycle, offers a similar perspective, noting that only five or so years ago, the industry did not have the necessary raw materials to “really make a big dent” in the OEM color cartridge business. Today, he says, those materials are readily available. “We have made tremendous progress over the last five years,” he says, estimating that about 30 to 40 percent of his company’s laser cartridge business is now color. “That is where a lot of the growth is in the aftermarket right now — penetrating into that color world.” As toner cartridge remanufacturers broaden their reach into the color world and otherwise, more dealers may want to consider the savings the industry offers. Willert, for example, reports a savings of “anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent” as compared to OEM cartridges, depending on the cartridge. Similarly, Dan Casey, director of sales and business development at remanufacturer Densi, says his company’s product offerings include remanufactured cartridges that provide a
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Cover Story June 13.indd 1
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BTA Officetech June 2013.pdf
QUALITY MADE IN THE USA SINCE 1994 MSE is the largest toner cartridge remanufacturer with 100% of its production facilities in the USA! ✔MSE employs approximately 1000 people ✔MSE products are 100% remanufactured ✔MSE innovation and engineering has led to 20 patents, in-house machine shops, robotics and automation
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“30- to 40-percent savings.” we help them out with the Whatever the actual ultiopportunity, helping them “We look at LMI as a mate savings, Casey emphato understand how to put value-added solution sizes the need for dealers to together a program that provider ... We do whatever take note. “With declining makes sense — one that is we can to help ease their meter clicks and equipment profitable and manageable. sales, there has never been a We think we have been a [dealers] pain, from better time to consider all of good partner in that regard.” providing technology that your options,” he says. “DealLMI now offers an extendintegrates with their ERP ers are getting squeezed ed-yield remanufactured carsystems to training their sales reps ... ” with OEM pressures and are tridge as well. The company’s — Gary Willert now even competing against website promotes that the their manufacturers. So, for cartridges are “designed to LMI Solutions dealers, one of the few areas meet OEM specifications that they have left where they can positively impact their and exceed OEM performance.” Willert says the company profitability lies in considering aftermarket products.” remains focused on ensuring the quality of its extendedCarl Little’s past experience serves to illustrate Casey’s yield cartridges. “We make sure the quality level is equal point. Little, vice president of dealer sales at TonerCycle to a normal-yield cartridge, which is kind of a balancing InkCycle, previously owned an office technology dealership act,” he says. “It takes a lot of time and effort to develop with locations in Kansas City, Mo., and Lincoln and Omaha, these products.” Neb. “I had a very tough time as a dealer buying product Beyond utilizing their extended-yield cartridges, dealers from the OEM and making money for my company,” he says. are also taking advantage of other forms of support from “So, I bought remanufactured product; it made sense to me. remanufacturers to advance their MPS programs. LMI, for I have never been afraid of selling it and I have never been example, offers resources such as an MPS opportunity calafraid of using it.” culator, a proposal generator and MPS business execution With the rise of managed print services (MPS) programs consulting. In addition, LMI offers PageTrack print manwithin dealerships, the use of remanufactured cartridges agement software through its alliance with PrintFleet, as only makes sense, Little says. In fact, he contends, an MPS well as MPS training for sales reps, marketing videos and program “cannot even be close to profitable” without the prospecting brochures. use of remanufactured cartridges. The use of remanufac“We look at LMI as a value-added solution provider, so we tured cartridges becomes even more important when the try to help our dealers grow their businesses,” Willert says. dealer is competing for new business where a direct OEM “We do whatever we can to help ease their pain, from probranch is the incumbent, he says. “Sometimes, I could not viding technology that integrates with their ERP systems to compete on the per-page cost charged by the OEM in town training their sales reps on how to sell MPS.” and would walk away from that as an independent dealer,” LMI’s MPS resources are reflective of the level of focus on Little explains. “However, I had a far better chance to win customer service that dealers will find among many of tothose deals with a remanufactured product.” day’s remanufacturers. “We try to be a company that is easy In his position at TonerCycle InkCycle, Little has seen to do business with; we will do cartwheels for our dealer custhe role that remanufactured cartridges play in the success tomers if we need to,” Willert says. “We spend a ton of money of dealers’ MPS programs. “It has definitely impacted our to help their businesses. So, obviously, we are investing in our business in a positive manner because dealers are embrac- future, but we are also investing in the dealer’s future.” ing the idea of managed print,” he says. “Managed print has Krska expresses a similar level of focus on customer sernot only helped us grow our business, but it has also helped vice. “We believe in servant leadership,” he says. “We try to us to understand that we need to build product that has hire leaders and people who are driven. If you were to walk extended yield. This is pretty important because end users around at TonerCycle InkCycle, you would find engaging don’t want to have to change cartridges often; they want to people who will look you in the eye; they care about you and get as much yield as they possibly can.” your order. That’s where our strength lies. We are only as Little does not expect the demand for extended yield to strong as our weakest link.” slow down. “Not everyone is on a managed print program,” Despite strides in product quality, the addition of rehe says. “There is still a lot of opportunity out there. We hear sources to help dealers grow their businesses and the focus about opportunities every day with our dealers. Certainly, on customer service, the cartridge remanufacturing industry 12 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno log y m a g.c om | June 2 0 1 3
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are afraid to use remanuis not without its adversarfactured cartridges because ies. While some OEMs may “I would ask where the an OEM or big-box store rep be working more with the product is being built, has said something about industry to provide dealwhether all of the empties the hardware warranty.” ers with a remanufactured are from U.S. brokers and Any industry challenges cartridge alternative, OEM for proof that those empties aside, dealers can ensure patent challenges continue. they are selecting the right “In the last couple of years,” are clear of any potential remanufactured cartridge Krska says, “I would say that lawsuit. Today’s dealer supplier by asking the right we have actually seen more needs a partner, not just a provider.” questions, Little says. “I activity from OEMs sur— Carl Little would ask where the prodrounding laser cartridges.” TonerCycle InkCycle uct is being built, whether all There are also continued of the empties are from U.S. challenges in educating end users about remanufactured cartridges. For example, Little brokers and for proof that those empties are says, OEM direct reps and others continue to suggest that clear of any potential lawsuit,” he says. “Today’s the use of a remanufactured cartridge can void a product dealer needs a partner, not just a provider.” n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the warranty. “We hear that from dealers and end users daily,” Business Technology Association, is editor he says, noting that he regularly sends dealers details on the of Office Technology magazine. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act to refute the He can be reached at email@example.com. claim. “However, it is still out there and a lot of end users
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Cover Story June 13.indd 3
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3-D Printing What is it and why should you care about it? by: Scott Dunham, Photizo Group
y now, if you have not heard of 3-D printing, you are probably in the minority. 3-D printing is making Internet news headlines daily and has everyone talking (and speculating) about how 3-D printing technology has the ability to change our lives in ways we never thought possible. But if you are a little confused about exactly what a 3-D printer is, well, I cannot blame you. How can the same technology play a role in everything from building future space stations to producing medical miracles? Therein lies part of the answer. 3-D printing actually refers to many technologies, not just one, that follow a similar process to create something from the ground up. In fact, various sources use many names to describe what is generally the same thing. For the purposes of the average tech guy reading his favorite blog, “3-D printing” is a broad, catch-all term. You also may have heard about something called “additive manufacturing” used to describe similar technology or processes. Then there is “rapid prototyping,” which is the oldest of several terms that mean essentially the same thing. I say “essentially” because there are subtle differences. But “3-D printing” has become the most popular term, probably because it begs questions such as: “How can something print in three dimensions?” A lot of people reading this probably already have some idea of what a 3-D printer is. For those who do not, in a nutshell, a 3-D printer is a computer-controlled device intended to build an object from the ground up by depositing ultrathin layers of material on top of one another until the object is complete. The object being created can be anything that can be designed using 3-D design software such as AutoCAD. That is the conceptual definition. In reality, 3-D printers
are manifested in numerous forms and use varying technologies to deposit the material from which your object is made. There are very expensive machines that can take up the better part of a large room and can fabricate objects out of metal. There are machines that are about the size and cost of a fancy multifunction printer that use ultraviolet light and resin. And there are machines that can sit on your desktop and use an extruding head to deposit quick-cooling plastic. Countless other designs and price points exist. Of course, I could spend a lot more time explaining the variables and the details of each type of system, but I am getting ahead of myself. At this point, you probably are not wondering what the difference is between an industrial electron-beam-melting 3-D printer and a consumer-oriented plastic-extrusion printer. More likely, you are probably asking yourself: “Why should I care about 3-D printers at all?”
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2012-11-28 3:16 PM PM 11/28/12 4:28
While that is a question you will ultimately have to answer yourself, I will attempt to make the case that you should care about 3-D printing, even if you (or your business) have no practical use for a 3-D printer of your own.
standpoint, there are numerous benefits to making our own products, in3-D printing is a cluding a reduction of shipping and technology that is more packaging requirements and intangithan 20 years old and ble bonuses such as fostering creativity has been slow to realize and problem solving. its theoretical potential, Is upside potential alone enough for The Next Big Thing? the average person to take an interest but it is starting to There are plenty of people out there in 3-D printing? Probably not. pick up steam. who enthusiastically describe a radical So let’s put it in more worldly terms: future for the world of 3-D printers. Some 3-D printing is at a point where enough of you reading this probably have heard analysts and hobby- businesses are starting to see the benefits of its applications ists herald 3-D printing as the “next industrial revolution.” and investment in the technology has reached a critical tipI am more cautiously optimistic. ping point. 3-D technologies are going to get better and betFor example, there are many who believe that, in the not- ter at a faster rate. Consumers are not quite there yet, but too-distant future, a 3-D printer will be able to make any- they are approaching that point of investment as well. thing that users can dream up, and this will cause manuRegardless of whether you think the technology will burfacturing to shift to an on-demand model. This, of course, geon into mainstream adoption and the next industrial would completely alter distribution channels as we know revolution, 3-D printing can no longer be ignored. If I had to them, because instead of ordering a new gizmo, people will pick one reason to care about 3-D printing, this is it: It has be able to download plans and print one, paying only for the reached that critical velocity that guarantees it is not going materials and, perhaps, a fee for the digital design file. to just fizzle out. Even moderate familiarity with the practical applications and capabilities of current 3-D printers reveals that the idea Where Does It Go From Here? of such a manufacturing utopia is hyperbole — at least for If you are in the office technology business, you need to the foreseeable future. In actual use, 3-D printers continue pay attention to 3-D printers. You will be hearing a lot more to be subject to several limitations, such as slow printing about them in the near future. I have long suspected that speeds, restricted print size and cheap printing materials, copier/MFP dealerships and 3-D printers represent a great all of which currently make it much more sensible to buy potential partnership (a topic I will be exploring in the near most of what we need instead of making it ourselves. future; stay tuned). But this brings me to a point that I think is very relevant Microbusinesses that are considering designing objects to consider before completely writing off 3-D printing as a and fabricating them in 3-D, or businesses that make physipipe dream. As a society fully entrenched in technology and cal products, will be eager to adopt 3-D printing. There are its benefits, we have seen many concepts surpass our wild- real benefits to the technology and the cost of investment est expectations. The cellphone, the Internet, the personal continues to fall. computer and even traditional 2-D printing were at one Even if a business runs an efficient design and manufactime so primitive and unrefined that the idea of everyone turing process, there is a good chance that a 3-D printer having access to them seemed absurd. could make it even better. I cannot promise it will solve all This is, in my opinion, part of the reason for much of the fabrication problems or even that it will fit all businesses’ hype associated with 3-D printing. We have a better under- needs, but 3-D printing has already helped many compastanding of just how disruptive new technologies might be nies, large and small, to do some amazing things. n in the future because we have witnessed the rapid developScott Dunham is a research manager for research and ment of many of them over the past 30 years. 3-D printing consulting firm Photizo Group, and is leading Photizo’s is a technology that is more than 20 years old and has been expansion into the world of 3-D with market analysis and slow to realize its theoretical potential, but it is starting to research. Dunham has been with Photizo pick up steam. Group for two years researching managed print That is the thing about 3-D printing: Even with its current services and the imaging industry, and is now limitations, it has massive upside potential. From a busilooking to provide insight into new ness perspective, there are efficiency benefits associated opportunities. He can be reached at for anyone who wants to design a product, including design email@example.com. cost savings and reduced time to market. From a personal Visit www.photizogroup.com. 18 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno lo gy m a g.c om | June 2 0 1 3
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BRINGING THE DEALER’S WORLD
Digital Gateway never set out to make e-automate into just another dealer management system. When a dealer installs e-automate, they are plugging into something that is far more than just a piece of software.
They are connecting to a vast technological ecosystem with... • Over 20,000 users harnessing e-automate for their critical business processes and driving e-automate’s continuous improvement
• Tens of millions of data transactions per year coursing through e-automate’s partner integration network so dealers can achieve new levels of efficiency
• Over 35 seamless integrations to e-automate by manufacturers, wholesalers, leasing companies and 3rd party technology companies committed to the importance of supporting the dealer community
• A constantly evolving product suite ensuring dealers have bridges to new business opportunities like Managed Network Services
• The people of DGI -- a dedicated team that has grown up with and stood alongside independent dealers for close to two decades.
e-automate is not just another dealer management system, the sum of its parts make it the comprehensive infrastructure for supporting the growth and success of independent dealers today and in the future.
Contact us to learn how we can connect you to the ecosystem that will bring your world together
Digital Gateway ad June 13.indd 1
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Social Media Essentials Harness these three simple principles by: Robert Abbott
re you tired of hearing all the buzz and hype about social media? I am. Honestly, ignoring and avoiding it was exactly what I felt like doing. But I am so glad I did not ignore it. To do anything less than learn the basic strategies and practices of social media is to choose to be increasingly irrelevant to your customers. The facts are sobering: Worldwide, 86 percent of companies have a social media presence. Forrester Research performed a groundbreaking study in which it clearly identifies what it calls “The Mobile MindShift.” This MindShift is defined by the mindset and behavior of smartphone users. Most interestingly, the “shifted,” according to Forrester, are defined and recognizable by their expectation and demand that information from and conversations with a company they want to do business with be easily available via their personal smartphones. You may have heard of this phenomenon being called “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD). The mobility MindShift and BYOD phenomenon are rapidly changing the way business is done. It is nothing short of a game changer. Facebook has more than 1 billion users, Google+ tops 500,000 users, and LinkedIn and Twitter each have more than 200 million users. Social media is where your customers are. According to Mind Jumper Social Media Group, blogs and social media reach an astounding 80 percent of Internet users. And social media is here to stay. Forrester, Urban Airship and Gartner all confirm the same phenomenal growth of the smartphone-based use of social media; particularly the explosive growth of email opens on smartphones — a whopping 78 percent. The stampede away from desktops and laptops to smartphones is reaching epic proportions. The BYOD phenomenon is literally changing the way business is conducted, how people work together on projects and how services are delivered in B2B, including the services traditional copier/ MFP dealers and VARs offer. The home screen of your customer’s smartphone is now the most valuable piece of real estate on the planet.
And that is the reason I took the time to do the research, learn about social media and perform a deep dive into its strategies, tactics and best practices. I wanted to discover for myself the how and why as it applied to B2B and, finally, to discover for myself how I could leverage this social and technical phenomenon for profit. After all, I am a marketer and businessman. So, here I am confessing that I am a reformed social media Luddite in hopes that sharing my social media pilgrimage will inspire you to “come over to the dark side,” develop your social media chops and grow your digital footprint. You will win big by boosting your relevance and by owning and starting conversations your customers and end users will value, which will ultimately build the value of your dealership’s brand. Of even greater interest is this: Although 86 percent of companies have a social media presence, just 25 percent of them “feel effective” in using social media and a low 20 percent are actively integrating social media into their broader marketing and promotional plans. Let me ask you two questions: How are your social media efforts working for you? And what would it mean to your dealership if your efforts resulted in more sales? So, how do you get started with this social media thing? Ignore it? Dabble in it? Hire one of those Mac-toting Apple
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Abbott June 13.indd 1
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Upsize Your Business While Maintaining Downsized Costs One of the hottest topics in the office technology environment today is how resellers, VARS and MSPs can capitalize on the rapidly growing managed IT services market opportunity â€” estimated at $118 billion in IT spend among small to medium-sized businesses. This is where choosing the right technology partner can mean the difference between success and survival. A partner like Continuum, working closely with Growth Achievement Partners (GAP), co-authored an industry-first managed services business model that shows you how to scale your business without adding staff. Upsize your business. Learn more about our fully integrated managed services platform and see why office product resellers are turning to Continuum for unprecedented levels of automation and efficiency that are not possible with master managed services providers. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (724) 720-9000.
724.720.9000 â€˘ email@example.com
Continuum ad May 13.indd 1
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evangelists to convert you into a social you cover the three C’s. You started the media hipster? Actually, none of those conversation, the entire interaction is a I believe the place to options will help you successfully use collaboration with your customers and start with your social social media to build your relevance and the end result delivers relevant content media strategy is with value among your customers and prosto them. The bottom line is you nail the your customers. This pects, or turn your social media efforts three essentials. strategy lowers your into more sales. We do not have the space or time in You can have the winning approach this article to go through many other risk, giving you a more by focusing on a realistic B2B strategy examples, but here are a few for you to gentle learning curve. that harnesses the three most powerful consider: a post-service survey; a blog principles of social media success. Unpost advocating a great cause or a comderstanding the three principles enables you to create and munity event that is dominant in the current “awareness deliver an experience for your customers. level” among your customers; and delivering a link to a simFirst, let me establish a narrow focus for you to consider ple 45-second YouTube video to a customer who wants help in this article. I am referring to social media as it relates to with some feature or problem on his (or her) copier/MFP. a B2B relationship. There is an entire social media universe In the end, your customer has an experience. That is what that will drain you of focus and profits if you do not under- he wants. The experience delivers some fascination, somestand what your customers want from their social media thing helpful and something that makes his relationship interactions with you. with you a more valuable one. You started the conversation (however brief), you created the opportunity to collaborate Three Essential C’s of Social Media with him about something he cares about and content was In this article, I have decided to focus your attention on delivered. Even if it was a simple tip or bit of advice, a video the three essential “C’s” of success in social media interac- was created to help him solve a problem. tion: conversation, collaboration and content, as well as By simply engaging your customer or prospect with some the one big deliverable — the customer experience. Build- item or story of interest, you connect and you gain relevance ing a simple social media strategy and implementing that in the prospect’s mind. You appear more real and credible. strategy in your dealership guarantees you will profit from My favorite big outcome from engaging with clients and your investment. prospects in social media is where you, as a dealer, stand to The three C’s are the essential ingredients to focus on and gain the most in the short term and long term. manage in order to boost your relevance when engaging Above all else, you will show up in your marketplace like with your target audience. As a dealer, your target audience no other company. Even if you do 20 percent of what can be can be customers, end users and/or prospects. I believe the done, you will be seen as different, present and more credplace to start with your social media strategy is with your ible. In our heavily commoditized BTA and VAR world, difcustomers. This strategy lowers your risk, giving you a more ferentiation is pure gold. gentle learning curve. You will leverage a relationship that In the next article in this series, I will expand on my earlier already has context and history. questions to you. I will outline an effective strategy for making A warning, however: Placing Facebook, Twitter and sure your social media efforts are working for you and show LinkedIn widgets on your website is not a social media you how to sell more through your efforts in social media. strategy. Inviting your website’s visitors to “Like us on FaceI wish you success in your social media efforts and more book” is not a strategy. In fact, it dilutes your relevance and profitable sales as a result. n brand value unless you are running a gourmet coffee shop Robert Abbott is a sales and marketing writer for the out of your showroom. Why? Because it is missing all of the business technology, software and application development three C’s I mentioned above, has no context, and is asking communities. He combines 30 years of copier, MPS and your customer or prospect to start the conversation, which professional services experience with his passion for is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. integrating new technology to grow You are responsible for starting the conversation, and managed services revenue and profits you do this by engaging your customers with something relfor the 21st-century services dealership. evant to them. This can be as simple as a survey. Ask your Abbott previously worked at Panasonic, customers what they think. Ask them to weigh in on a news IKON and The Pater Group. item affecting local businesses, such as the increasing deHe can be reached at robertabbottonline@ mand for information security. This simple step can help gmail.com or (864) 313-0164. 22 | w w w. o f f ic et ec hno lo gy m a g.c om | June 2 0 1 3
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Education Calendar July 17
FIX: Cost Management for Service Cerritos, Calif. FIX, BTAâ€™s popular service workshop, 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.
BTA Field Service Foundations Workshop Las Vegas, Nev. 30Aug.1 The BTA Field Service Foundations Workshop provides the foundation of skills needed to successfully manage a field service operation. Field service managers must have a high quotient of skills and insights into the specific demands of their customers, team members and the service business environment. The course includes topics covering leadership, coaching and facilitating the activities of a field service team toward the accomplishment of the evolving technical services mission. Workshop attendees receive free registration to Capture the Magic. Visit www.bta. org/FieldServiceFoundations to register.
Capture the Magic - A BTA district event hosted by BTA West Las Vegas, Nev. BTA West will host its annual district event, open to BTA members and non-members, on Aug. 1-2, 2013, at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Kurt Schmelz, president of North American Resellers (NARS) of the Channel Partner Organization at Xerox Corp., and five additional educational sessions presented by industry leaders. There will also be time to visit with 30-plus exhibiting sponsors. To wrap up the event, attendees will enjoy Cirque du Soleilâ€™s O performance at the Bellagio. Visit www.bta.org/BTAWestEvent to register.
How to Sell Document Management Solutions Las Vegas, Nev. This AIIM workshop, taught by Bob Larrivee, director of the AIIM Learning Center, teaches sales professionals and channel partners how to: engage document management solution prospects before the requirements have been set; educate customers about their needs; tailor their messages; and take control of the buying cycle. Attendees will learn how to identify opportunities, engage customers, demonstrate importance, educate customers and propose solutions. Workshop attendees receive free registration to Capture the Magic. Visit www.bta.org/AIIMDMS to register. For more information, visit www.bta.org/Education or call (800) 843-5059.
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BTA Highlights BTA would like to welcome the following new members to the association:
Dealer Members Barlop Inc., Miami, FL Capital Business Systems, Ft. Collins, CO Denver Copier, Lakewood, CO Digicomm Document Solutions, Shelton, CT FlexPrint, Tempe, AZ Hughes Xerographics, Bellaire, OH JQ Office Equipment of Omaha, Omaha, NE Laser Resources, Urbandale, IA Smile Business Products, Sacramento, CA The Lioce Group, Huntsville, AL Zeno Imaging, Houston, TX Service Associate Member Insights53, Wildwood, MO Publishing Associate Member Recycling Times Media Corp., Zhuhai, Guangdong, China 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. Imagine laser technology that uses light instead of toner or ink to cut, mark, image and engrave on hundreds of materials. BTA Vendor Associate Member Universal Laser Systems has been manufacturing lasers in the United States for more than 25 years. The company’s modular platforms are easily configured with interchangeable laser sources and fieldupgradable options, giving customers flexibility and investment protection to optimize their systems. The ULS Channel Partner program offers exciting technology that can open doors to new accounts, with high margins on sales and service, no stocking inventory requirement and unlimited potential for market development. www.ulsinc.com
The 2012 BTA Service Report tabulates and compares median industry performance by size of business and core product line; the 2012 BTA Compensation Report gives detailed salary information on a variety of dealer and reseller positions; and the 2013 BTA Finance Report compares key income statements and balance sheet indicators. Free to BTA members, the reports are a $650 value. All three are now available to download from the BTA website at www.bta.org/BenchmarkingReports.
With more than 26 years of experience, BTA Service Associate Member Caley Enterprises is a nationwide executive search firm that specializes in circumventing the time factor when hiring for executive sales and management-level positions in the office technology industry. It recruits passive candidates — people who are happy, appreciated and making good money at their current positions. Caley Enterprises works specifically with companies that have an urgent need and want the best talent. www.caleyenterprises.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.
BTA Benchmarking Reports
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COURTS & CAPITOLS
Policies & Procedures An update on some of the current requirements by: Robert C. Goldberg, General Counsel for the Business Technology Association
ou created and implemented an employee and procedure manual, checked it off your to-do list and have not looked at it again. The very document that was created to protect you in employment matters can quickly become a liability if not regularly reviewed and updated. Let’s consider some of these policies and current requirements. Several jurisdictions now require that sick leave be paid sick leave (Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.). If this has occurred in your area, your manual should be revised to reflect this requirement. If you have multiple locations, then your manual should make the sick-leave policy subject to applicable regulations, as the requirements may differ. Regardless, it is often best to have uniform policies throughout the organization and make the company policy equal to the most stringent requirement within the states or jurisdictions in which you operate. Many companies have policies that establish a maximum amount of time one can be on leave. The limitation makes sense, as it is often difficult to keep a position open for an extended period of time or have others cover for the employee during his (or her) absence. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken a dim view of maximum leave policies, feeling that they may not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Given the EEOC’s zeal for challenging employers’ maximum leave policies (e.g., those stating that employees will be terminated after six months on leave), it is wise to eliminate such policies or to revise them to add language inviting employees on leave to request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act or applicable state laws. Moreover, an employer that maintains a maximum leave policy should invite an employee nearing the end of his allowable leave to submit a request for an accommodation. Your manual should provide information about an employee’s right to request an accommodation for a religious belief or practice. It should ensure that employees are advised they can request accommodations for religious purposes. Courts and regulators have greatly expanded the concept of recognized religious beliefs and the need to accommodate those beliefs. Consistency is important. Use of sick days or unpaid leave may be possible, but denying the right to take leave may be actionable. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been examining non-fraternization policies. Dealers with such policies should make sure they clearly define the term “fraternize.”
While the word “fraternize” is commonly used in employee handbooks to refer to dating, the NLRB may interpret the term as potentially misleading employees to believe they are prevented from discussing terms and conditions of employment among one another. To avoid a legal land mine, such policies should clearly define “fraternize” to mean dating or otherwise engaging in romantic relationships. Alternatively, you might consider eliminating the term and instead calling the policy a “policy against dating.” Both state and federal regulations have been imposed in regard to social media sites. One is not permitted to request passwords to social media sites in conjunction with an application for employment or in an employment relationship itself. It is prudent to establish a company policy for the use of the company’s name or company information on social media sites. Balancing the right of free speech and employee conduct is a narrow line that requires constant examination. Many manuals do not have a social media policy and this is an area that should be added. Check the BTA website for an appropriate template. n Robert C. Goldberg is general counsel for the Business Technology Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.offi cetechnol ogym a g. c om | J u n e 2013 | 25
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Sales Contests Providing good will, motivation & positive morale by: Luis Gonzalez, SalesScoreKeeper.com
o matter the size of your company, sales contests are a great tool to keep your team motivated. Awards are earned by those individuals who have exceeded company expectations. Contests may also include support or administrative staff who have assisted in the growth and/ or well-being of the company. Here are some tips and ideas that could help improve the effectiveness of your company’s next contest. Have a Target When planning your contest, first determine what financial outcome or target you are trying to achieve. The bottom line of any contest is to motivate your staff members so that they reach a certain goal in sales, customer loyalty or even processing efficiency. At the end of the day, you are ultimately looking to improve the company’s bottom line and having a financial target will ensure that your contests are self-funded. Doing this will help make contests a part of your company culture and add to employee satisfaction. Here are some fairly common types of contests that you may want to consider: n Increase units in field; set a target for units above a normal run rate n Increase the overall margin target for equipment sales for a period n Simple gross revenue (i.e., equipment sales) n New business growth targets (i.e., managed print services, managed network services and solution sales) The most important thing when creating a contest is to establish a target for all parties involved, so employees know exactly what has to be done to win. It is also important that targets be realistic and attainable, or you take the chance of losing your team’s interest. A contest should never result in company expense. Always
make sure that reaching the target of your contest will deliver a financial gain, offsetting the costs of said contest. The contest should be looked at as a profit center for the business. Involve Others There is no better way to motivate a sales representative than to have his (or her) significant other support him in the quest for a win. A good way to involve people back at home is to send contest launch notices or invitations to the employee’s home. It is also helpful to provide status updates along with prize information. For example, when launching a contest that awards a trip to Cancun, Mexico, management may want to accompany the contest invitation with a big sombrero. Expand on this gesture: When updating the contest standings, send a company beach towel and some sunscreen to keep targeted employees and families intrigued. The investment in getting the homefront behind your staff member will pay huge dividends not only in the motivation of that person, but also in developing a culture that shows you care about your employee and his family. This will also show that your company is a great place to work and play. Keep Reminding Them An integral part of organizing your contest should be a plan to keep score. How and when updates will be provided to your team is important for contest success. Everyone competing
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should have knowledge of relative current by a contest can quickly be squashed by standings, contest goals and the remaining not delivering contest rewards quickly Launching a successful contest time. Keeping contest results a seand completely. If your sales contest was sales contest takes cret or making them difficult to review will for the Brand S TV, then you should have preparation and should not help your efforts. it available immediately when the results be viewed as a sales Besides providing your team with statisare in and winners are announced. If your pitch, detailing the tical analysis, constantly remind employcontest includes a trip in its incentives, be ees of the benefits associated with achievsure the winners are immediately given advantages ... with ing the contest’s goals. Using our Cancun booking details and time for the actual reaching the ... target. trip as an example, make an effort to decotrip so it may be executed shortly after the rate the office with some Mexican-themed contest period. props. A simple lounge chair and umbrella, Rewarding quickly has two main benplaced in the middle of your sales area, is a constant contest efits. First, sales reps will be excited and you may be able to reminder to the sales team. extend the sales momentum associated with the contest. SecAnother low-cost way to motivate is to have a microsite ond, it allows businesses to start new contests, parlaying exbuilt where team members can check achievement statuses citement from the results of the previous contest to the new and receive trip information, like a schedule of events for the contest. A delay of prize allotment or ignoring the fact that a trip, dinner menus or even activity choices. A nicely formatted sales representative has won will make for an unmotivated, email blasted to all participants with pictures, contest infor- unproductive sales team. mation and standings is a great way to keep the contest on Most sales representatives are looking for instant satisfacyour employees’ minds. tion, which is often a trait of a good sales employee. Sales repSales contest results should be a part of your sales man- resentatives may be adversely affected when not given what ager’s monthly review process. Sales professionals, as well as they have earned in a timely manner. Always be ready to make sales managers, should be constantly aware of where their a big production about the presentation of the prizes, which team members stand, what they need to earn to achieve per- will allow for a culture of competitiveness and sales representsonal goals and how they are going to maintain the company’s ative appreciation. target balance. From the prize you select, to the way you communicate contest details, through the way management decides to award Provide Details prizes, sales contest success is in the details. Contests should Describing a sales contest prize as “a TV” will never yield have a positive financial impact for both the company and the same results as “a Brand S 60-inch smart TV with luxury sales reps. Contest goals should reward as many representafeatures,” describing all the bells and whistles. A trip to Cabo tives as possible. A well-thought-out contest provides a finanSan Lucas, Mexico, with a detailed itinerary and noting that cial windfall for the company, while simultaneously exciting the winner will be staying at the “world-renowned luxurious as many sales representatives as possible and rewarding them Brand R Hotel,” creates more enthusiasm than a simple “trip for a job well done. In turn, this will stimulate good will and to Mexico” would. positive morale in your sales department. Launching a successful sales contest takes preparation and Good luck and good selling! n should be viewed as a sales pitch, detailing the advantages asLuis Gonzalez founded Miami Office Supplies (MOS) in south sociated with reaching the contest’s target. The more informaFlorida in 1986. MOS specialized in the office equipment space tion you provide, the more enthusiasm you will create, leading for 25 years as an independent dealership. It was acquired by to the best contest outcome possible. Destination brochures, Sharp Electronics in 2007. From 2007 to 2011, Gonzalez was item specification sheets, product reviews and any other item branch president and director of sales and marketing for Sharp details will improve the results of your contest. In some cases, Business Systems. He was most recently senior vice president for you can even display prizes in the sales area. For example, you Sharp’s Business Solutions Group. In 2011, he founded may want to bring in the 60-inch TV or, if an iPad is your conSalesScoreKeeper, a software design and test prize, have it on display. development company specializing in automation of the commission process for Reward Quickly business-to-business sales companies. Gonzalez There is not a more de-motivating factor to a sales rep than can be reached at (888) 786-7270 or to have to wait on, or worse — to have to ask for — a sales email@example.com. contest prize. Any sales or morale momentum generated Visit www.salesscorekeeper.com. www.offi cetechnol ogyma g. c om | J u n e 2013 | 27
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Committed to Success DocuWare hosts annual partner meeting May 8-10 by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
mphasizing that its Authorized DocuWare Partners (ADPs) will soon be presented with “the chance of a lifetime” selling document management systems, DocuWare Corp. hosted its annual DocuWorld meeting May 8-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Themed “Committed to Success,” the meeting drew 333 individuals from ADP companies. In the opening general session, Thomas Thomas Schneck Schneck, co-founder and co-president for Munich, Germany-based DocuWare AG, the parent company of Newburgh, N.Y.-based DocuWare Corp., said the approaching “chance of a lifetime” is the result of several key factors that are collectively boosting demand for document management. “The next couple of years will provide a tremendous opportunity for all of us when it comes to document management,” he said. “This is the result of an almost ‘perfect storm’ of factors that are now in play.” Schneck began by noting the current low document management penetration in the markets served by DocuWare. “How many companies are currently using document management?” he asked. “When you look at smaller companies, those with between five and 50 employees, on a good day, only 10 percent of them use document management. If you move up a little bit, to the mid-size market, those companies with between 50 to 500 employees, it is a little higher, at 30 percent.” Collectively, in the U.S. market alone, the small to mid-size (SMB) market claims about 2.3 million companies, Schneck said. “We don’t see a lot of other markets where there is such room for growth,” he said, pointing to the high percentage of the U.S. SMB market still not using document management and the expectation of explosive market growth. “There are market factors now at work that will totally change the dynamics of the market. We foresee that within the next four to six years, in small and mid-size companies, there will be across-the-board usage of document management.” Schneck cited several key factors that are contributing to the approaching market growth. Among them: the consumerization of IT through the use of Dropbox, Google Docs, etc.; the worldwide rise in usage of e-invoicing, etc., often now required or encouraged by government agencies; and the use of mobile devices, including smartphones, iPads, etc., on a daily basis. “We know from market research and from our own
surveys that people want to have access to any type of information from their mobile devices,” he said. “‘Any type of information’ includes, obviously, documents. And they want to be able to access this information in a structured and secured way.” There are two other important factors contributing to the “perfect storm,” Schneck said. The first is the reality that today’s technology is intuitive, efficient and satisfying, which provides a comfortable level of usability. The second is the constant pressure in companies to reduce costs. All five of the factors together, he said, “will create market demand for document management that is much greater than what we’ve seen the last 20 years.” Looking forward, Schneck said, there is one clear goal at DocuWare. “We want to become the undisputed global ECM leader for the SMB market,” he said. “And we have a tremendous opportunity to achieve that, especially with our 500 partners worldwide. There is no other vendor that has the footprint that we do. Plus, we have an unparalleled portfolio of sales and marketing tools that we can provide you. That combination is unique in the market and, therefore, we absolutely have the pole position to reach our goal.” Schneck emphasized that the goal is not simply “something that sounds good to us,” but is a “clear necessity to survive in the IT market.” He pointed to the history of other industries. “What happens is, the market application area reaches a certain maturity and then, very quickly, the market consolidates to around two or three dominant players,” he said. “A lot of companies that have been around a long time — good companies — just vanish. At some point they lost their momentum; they lost their aggressiveness.” Among the once-strong companies that ultimately “vanished,” noted by Schneck: Ashton-Tate, Borland, Compaq, Digital, Wang and WordPerfect. “For us,” he said, “this is a very powerful reminder to say, ‘Yes, things are good today, but we have to move forward very aggressively.’” DocuWare has made strides with its DocuWare 6.0 product, Schneck said, including its new intelligent indexing and a graphical workflow designer, both of which will better position ADPs and DocuWare in pursuing the goal of leading the market. “We don’t want to leave anybody behind,” he said. “As long as you are committed to DocuWare, three or four years from now you won’t be saying, ‘We just missed a huge opportunity.’” n Brent Hoskins, executive director of the Business Technology Association, is editor of Office Technology magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Negative Online Reviews They could be hurting your dealership by: Darrell Amy, Dealer Marketing Systems
ecently, I was doing a Web marketing review for one of our dealership clients. When I was looking at the company’s placement on Google, I noticed it had one review. I thought to myself: “Great, they are getting some positive feedback from their clients.” But when I clicked on the review, I realized that it was anything but positive. Instead, it was an unhappy customer who was complaining about the dealership’s slow service. The customer went on to explain that the service tech was insulting to him. I can only imagine what kind of impression this would leave on a potential customer searching for a copier/MFP on Google. I wonder how many thousands of dollars this one comment has cost the dealership. But the damage can go even further. Negative reviews on Google can hurt your company’s search engine placement, which could lead to even more lost leads. Finding Negative Reviews The first thing you need to do is find out if your dealership has any negative reviews. First, search for your dealership on Google+. Go to www.plus.google.com/local and enter your dealership’s name and the city. This will pull up your Google Places page. Look to see if you have any reviews. While you are on your Google+ page, you will also notice that you can customize your page with information about your company. You can add graphics to brand the page. You can also include links to your website, along with photos and videos. To modify your Google+ page, you need to confirm that you are the owner of the company. You can do this by clicking on the “Manage This Page” link. This will walk you through the process of claiming your place on Google. You should go through this process for each of your geographic locations. If you have a bad review, there is not a lot you can do about it. This is the online world we live in. The best thing you can do is get a lot of good reviews to offset the bad review. A smart dealership will be proactive about this and get good reviews. Getting Good Reviews To get good reviews, ask some of your best clients to review you. To make it easy, send them the link to your Google+ page. They can click on the “Write a Review” link. They will need to log in with their Google account or create a free account, and then they will see a pop-up window asking them to write a review. Another way to make reviews easy for clients is to link to
your Google+ page from your website. You can add this to your menu of social icons for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. When you accumulate good reviews, it helps you present a positive impression online. Google is very guarded about what criteria it uses for search engine rankings. However, many people-search experts believe that good reviews will help boost your placement in the search engine. Getting reviews just takes a little effort. At your next sales meeting, show your sales reps your Google+ page. Give them the link and have them ask five of their best clients to give a reference. Offer a Starbucks gift card to the reps for each review they get posted. This will pay big dividends for your dealership and offset the potential damage from a negative review. n Darrell Amy is the president of Dealer Marketing Systems, providing managed marketing services to office technology dealers in the United States and Australia. He helps dealers develop and implement strategies to convert copier/MFP customers to managed services clients, maximize competitive advantage against OEM direct locations and create sales leads. He brings 20 years of industry experience in marketing and selling copier/MFPs, document solutions and managed services. Amy can be reached at damy@dealermarketing systems.com or (214) 224-0050, ext. 101. Visit www.dealermarketingsystems.com. www.offi cetechnol ogym a g. c om | J u n e 2013 | 29
Amy June 13.indd 1
6/5/13 11:27 AM
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Advertiser Index 2-3 • BTA West District Event
5 • DocuWare
32 • How to Sell Document Management
(800) 843-5059 / www.bta.org/BTAWestEvent
(888) 565-5907 / www.docuware.com
(800) 843-5059 / www.bta.org/AIIMDMS
31 • Business Imaging Expo
15 • ECi - FMAudit
17 • Miracle Service/Nexent Innovations
(573) 632-2461 / www.ecisolutions.com/MPS
(866) 639-3681 / www.miracleservice.com
9 • Clover Technologies Group
30 • ENX Magazine
11 • MSE
(818) 505-0022 / www.enxmag.com
(800) 673-4968 / www.mse.com
21 • Continuum
31 • FIX: Cost Management for Service
13 • Samsung
(724) 720-9000 / www.continuum.net
(800) 843-5059 / www.bta.org/FIX
(866) 726-4249 / www.samsung.com/printersolutions
19 • Digital Gateway
14 • Frontier Imaging
7 • West Point Products
(866) 342-8392 / www.digitalgateway.com
(888) 530-8811 / www.frontierimaging.com
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Ad Index June 13.indd 1
6/3/13 9:44 AM
New Technologies. New Applications. New Show.
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Service & Repair
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Imaging Channel-FIX ads June 13.indd 1
6/5/13 11:29 AM
Office Technology Magazine Business Technology Association 12411 Wornall Road Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 941-3100 www.officetechnologymag.com www.bta.org
AIIMDMS ad June 13.indd 1
PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Paid Fulton, MO 65251 Permit #38
6/5/13 2:45 PM