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Connecting People, Ideas and Products in the Document Imaging Industry since 1994

engage ‘n exchange August 2012 Volume 19 No. 8

2012 Service Manager Salary Survey Business Profile

A Conversation with Jeff Elkin Of Advance - The Document Specialists 7 Indicators Of Highly Effective MPS Providers Interview Questions To Ask When Hiring Field Technicians

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Ricoh Dealer Show Review

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e n x

IN THIS ISSUE

IN THIS ISSUE

ENX Staff

Contributors

• Business Profile: InkCycle

Page 26

• The Office Technology Industry Goes Mobile by Scott Cullen

Page 20

• Lexmark Demands Royalties from Infringing Third-Party Supplies Vendors --- or Else! by Charles Brewer Page 30 Scott Cullen

Susan Neimes Publisher & Editor

Ronelle Ingram Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor

• 7 Indicators of Highly Effective MPS Providers by Frank Topinka

Page 34

• Lexmark Threatens the Cartridge Remanufacturing Industry ... Again by Tricia Judge

Page 38

• A Conversation with Jeff Elkin of Advance The Document Specialists by Scott Cullen

Page 42 Charles Brewer

Actionable Intelligence

• Ricoh Dealer Show Review by Lou Slawetsky

Page 46

• 2012 Service Manager Salary Survey by Copier Careers

Page 50

• Interview Questions to Ask when Hiring Field Technicians by Ronelle Ingram Page 52

Julia Gonzales

• A Legal Comment on Lexmark’s Demand Letter by Ed O’Connor

Page 56

Christina Kim

Tricia Judge

Imaging Technology Council

Graphic Designer

• On Demand Expo / info360 ... For Dummies by Britt Horvat

Page 66

• Printer Tech Tip by Laser Pros

Page 69

• Free Tech Help by Smarka!

Page 70

• Display Advertisers Index

Page 60

• Calendar of Industry Events

Page 64

Lou Slawetsky Industry Analysts

Administration

engage ‘n exchange

ENX Magazine ENX Mexico & Latin America P.O. Box 2240 #729 Toluca Lake, CA 91610-0240 (tel] 818-505-0022 • 800-850-4949 (fax) 818-505-9972 • email: enx@pacbell.net Britt Horvat The Parts Drop

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e n x

By Scott Cullen

STATE OF BUSINESS

The Office Technology Industry Goes Mobile

M

obility continues to converge on corporate America, sweeping away the old notions of how and where people work. Indeed, this move towards mobility has resulted in increasing numbers of mobile workers looking to print documents or store information whenever they need to wherever they are at the moment. To meet the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce, device manufacturers and solutions providers are bursting at the seams to introduce new applications that enable printing from mobile devices. We’re going to take a look at how some OEMs and solutions providers are meeting this demand, keeping in mind that space considerations means this is by no means an all inclusive perspective on what everyone in the industry is doing on the mobile front. EFI is one of the many vendors on the leading edge of mobile printing with their PrintMe Mobile software. Originally released in 2011, the software is in its fourth iteration after the release of PrintMe Mobile 2.2 in June 2012. EFI describes PrintMe Mobile as the only enterprise software that enables direct Wi-Fi printing from iPads, iPhones and Android devices from within the application they are using to any existing network printer regardless of brand. The latest version allows IT departments to better control and manage printing from tablets and smartphones throughout the enterprise. With PrintMe Mobile 2.2, IT departments can account for printing originating from mobile devices and implement policies to control access to printers based on a user ID. EFI has added advanced user authentication to enable integration with a corporate LDAP server. Users must provide their network credentials before they print. “We’re building on top of the basic Apple print protocol but adapting it to a corporate environment,” notes Tom Offutt, director of business development for EFI. “This allows us to do a better job of tracking print jobs and allows us 20

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to integrate with on-the-job accounting software such as Equitrac and PaperCut.” Another example of the impact mobility has had on the industry comes from Ricoh Americas Corp. They recently released a new technology platform for their MFPs allowing them to interface with the Web, cloud services, and other applications. A built-in MFP Web browser on the new devices enables users to navigate and print from the Web and allows for access to cloud services, including applications for document capture, management, storage, processing (e.g., OCR), printing, sharing, customer relationship management and more. The platform includes wireless mobile printing capabilities for users of all standard smartphones and tablets. For device manufacturers like Ricoh there’s a pressing need to ensure that their output devices remain an important element of this mobile revolution. As Mike Dane, Vice President of marketing for Ricoh Americas Corporation, says, “The MFP has become a fullfledged, two-way engine of the corporate information ecosystem, providing a robust portal for users to input, process, and output information. Its new applications empower today’s workplace where, among other things, workers are increasingly mobile and bringing their own device into the work environment.” Konica Minolta’s recent introduction of the PageScope Mobile Android App version 1.0 connects the company’s bizhub MFPs with Android mobile devices. It’s a free download from the Google Play Store. With PageScope Mobile users can browse, read and instruct printing of select documents and images. It can be connected with external cloud services such as Evernote or Google Docs enabling download of stored data from cloud services directly to mobile devices and then to print by bizhub MFP. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

“PageScope Mobile allows you to print wirelessly on a Wi-Fi network and is available for most tablets,” says Dino Pagliarello, director of product marketing, Konica Minolta. The company plans to add more features to that app in the future along with additional wireless printing capabilities. Although Paliarello can’t offer specifics he can say that Konica Minolta is working on a more enterprise solution where a dealer will be able to go into a large corporation and provide them mobile printing throughout their organization via the cloud no matter what Wi-Fi they’re on. “That’s the direction we’re going,” reveals Pagliarello. “We obviously see a need for mobile printing in the future and we’re working with additional partners to make that happen.” Enterprise users have different expectations than SMB users when it comes to their mobile solutions. “No question the enterprise user is more in tune with security measures to ensure their mobile printing is in fact secure,” states Pagliarello. Although Konica Minolta hasn’t broken down the types of businesses and organizations that have downloaded the mobile software, Pagliarello says the traditional corporate environment is where they’re seeing the most use at this point because of the expansion of Wi-Fi networks into those environments. As far as he’s concerned mobile printing has no place to go but up. “We’re going to see an increase in printing, and from a convenience standpoint, if you have mobile workers or are in a hospitality environment there’s going to be more opportunities for people to print because the technology is making it that much easier for them to do.” In April Kyocera Document Solutions launched their mobile print app, Kyocera Mobile Print, and a couple of years ago continued on 22


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STATE OF BUSINESS

The Office Technology Industry Goes Mobile introduced Capture2go, a document-capture iPhone app that uses Kyocera’s HyPAS technology. The latter is available from the Apple AppStore on iTunes for the iPhone and iPod Touch. With Capture2go, users can scan documents on Kyocera’s TASKalfa 500ci series of MFPs for review and distribution on the iPhone. Once scanned into the iPhone users can print the document to any authorized Kyocera networked printer within the organization. Kyocera Mobile Print allows mobile users to print and send files, scans and images from their mobile devices to selected Kyocera devices on their network. The number of downloads to date, according to Bill Cassidy, Associate Director of Products and Solutions Marketing, has been impressive. At this point Kyocera’s mobile apps are free. “Down the road if different file types or other features are required there could be a small cost,” says Cassidy who acknowledges that Apple has pretty much conditioned users to the concept of ‘free’ apps. Although just introduced, apps as anyone who’s downloaded one knows are updated all the time. “You’re always looking to add as much as you possibly can and inevitably someone will have another request or feature,” notes Cassidy. “Better integration with the device I’m sure we can always look at that, not only account codes but authenticating and things like that in the future. And we can always look to expand what we do with file types in the future. (Mobile Print currently supports PDFs and JPEGs.)” Toshiba has been monitoring and responding to the mobile trend. “In the last couple of years we’ve been getting more requests and whenever we have major accounts coming into the office for presentations it tends to come up more often than it used to,” says Tony Venice, manager of strategic product manage22

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ment. “To varying degrees we have some larger accounts that are touching on the subject and trying to understand what’s available and how it can be integrated into their existing infrastructure.” The larger the account, the more the interest in security, contends Venice. Toshiba has been working with its existing solutions partners to bring to market a couple of interesting mobile printing solutions. Last year through the TBS channel the company in partnership with HP began offering HP ePrint Enterprise, a mobile printing solution. Another partner, Drivve, launched Drivve Print Mobility Manager, a driverless print solution for users of mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads, netbooks, and laptops. This application eliminates the need for print drivers, allowing users to send their documents by e-mail, by uploading them to the Web, or from their smartphone. Documents can then either be printed directly to a specific printer or MFP, or routed onto an existing print management or cost recovery solution with all the appropriate user credentials for secure release at any connected print device. “They both act similar in the way they’re utilized and are hardware agnostic and can print to any PCL printer,” explains Venice. Toshiba is currently exploring similar lower cost solutions. “AirPrint is big and customers are asking, ‘Do you support AirPrint?’ which is something we’re starting to build into our products,” reveals Venice. By integrating AirPrint capability into the device out of the box, users can print from their mobile device to a Toshiba MFP or printer. Expect to see announcements regarding AirPrint support from Toshiba in the near future. Users are obviously driving this trend We Saw It In ENX Magazine

and Venice says that Toshiba is seeing all sorts of requests from those looking for a simple application like AirPrint that allows them to print to a device where there’s not as much concern around authentication and security all the way up to an enterprise solution where there is that concern along with reporting and integration with third-party cost recovery solution s such as Pharos, PaperCut, and Ringdale. “We’re making sure we’re addressing all the requirements and various market needs through different partnerships and some homegrown solutions,” says Venice. NER is a provider of data center infrastructure optimization solutions and managed print services. Although they’ve primarily been focused on asset optimization and IT infrastructure—whether it’s printers, power distribution, power protection, service, and whatever else goes along with that— they’re taking mobility into consideration as they look at new ways of optimizing the environment for their customers. “How do you understand when you go up to that device and you see that device, that the right product, right time, right place is happening, using both mobile communication styles as well when you have to print someplace that’s mobile, how do you bring that in, how do you make sure you’re tracking it, how do you make sure your SLA’s are obtainable?” asks Scott Steele, senior Vice President with NER. “Those are things we’re looking at inside our business to make sure when a customer says, ‘I want you to manage my print,’ it’s all aspects of it.” Expect to see NER launch different applications and systems over the next three to nine months that address mobility. “That’s where you’ll see some acceleration in the platform,” reports Steele. “For us people can go with their mobile devices, up to their device, see the device they’re looking at, request services, and order supplies, with support of the differcontinued on 24


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STATE OF BUSINESS

continued from 22

The Office Technology Industry Goes Mobile ent mobile applications through our cloud-based system. All of those things can happen today. Integration with the devices and some of the other things is what you’re going to see an escalation of over the next three to nine months. If you look at the number of people no longer working in their cube anymore, and as it accelerates, you have to have a solution for that because otherwise you’re not going to be supporting your customer and losing revenue and your customer base.” The influx of new mobile applications begs the question what will users pay for this capability? “It depends how sophisticated their requirement,” responds Venice. “If someone is looking to do a true enter-

platen.com W EST C OAST P LATEN

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prise deployment and build that into an existing infrastructure and cost accounting system they already have in place, the expectation is that there will be a cost associated with that. If it’s a simple AirPrint or Cortado who has a free component where you can print to devices (Toshiba is a partner with Cortado’s mobile printing consortium), in those cases customers are expecting free solutions. As you get to more sophisticated requirements customers are expecting to pay but they’re expecting to get something more than what they’d get with a free AirPrint solution or Cortado in a solution.” “I think customers expect it to be free,” adds Konica Minolta’s Pagliarello. “At the end of the day if they’re printing and using our product we give them a platform to print on our devices whether it’s from a mobile tablet or from their desktop. I can’t tell you whether or not we’re going to a pay model in the future; it We Saw It In ENX Magazine

may depend on the type of app developed and what the feature set is.” No doubt office technology will continue to evolve to accommodate mobility. As Venice points out it’s going to get to the point where there’s some basic mobile printing capabilities built into the machine. “At some point it will be a check box on the standard check sheet that you have to support some of these mobile printing standards and will be built into the product and you won’t need any additional software,” predicts Venice. “HP has a number of devices that support ePrint out of the box and that will be more commonplace. Not just with a manufacturer’s own mobile printing solution, but it will become more mainstream with other solutions out there as well.” u Scott Cullen has been writing about the office technology industry since 1986.


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BUSINESS PROFILE

InkCycle Celebrates 20th Anniversary

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nkCycle is an industry leading remanufacturer of laser toner and inkjet print cartridge technology. Since the company’s creation in 1992, quality has always been their number one commitment. The overriding philosophy at InkCycle is that distributors, resellers, MPS users and consumers want two things from their aftermarket purchase: legitimate cost savings and cartridges that perform flawlessly. As InkCycle celebrates their 20th anniversary as a pioneer in the remanufacturing of laser toner and inkjet products, founder Rick Krska, who describes himself as InkCycles Chief Servant, reminisces about the circuitous route InkCycle has followed to be the employer of over 350 people who produces over 400 different models each month.

It all began in Rick’s farmhouse basement. As an engineer at Allied Signal, designing nuclear triggering devices, Rick understood the need for consistent perfection in every item designed, engineered, manufactured, tested, stored and shipped. As the Cold War began to thaw, Rick realized his prospects for lifetime employment, making nuclear war devices, was disappearing. Rick studied long and hard to find an occupation that could use his engineering background

and have a long term probability for growth. His love of tinkering, working with exacting precision and hiring great people such as John Hensel (now recognized as the Father of Inkjet Remanufacturing industry) ultimately led him to become a pioneer in the remanufacturing of inkjet cartridges.

Fast forward twenty years. Today 92% of all products sold in the Dealer Sales Channel by InkCycle involve Toner. Many of you reading this article have probably (perhaps unknowingly) purchased, sold and/or used products remanufactured by InkCycle. Their expansive sales channels include: • customized packaging brands to OEMs • wholesale distributors • mega-retail stores • BTA and VAR channel resellers • printer servicers • Big Box and Super Stores • large internet complexes • customized partners • MPS providers • government and municipal buyers • enterprise level buyers InkCycle currently employs over 350 people in Lenexa, a Kansas City suburb. Currently InkCycle has over 250,000 square feet of building space being used for remanufacturing, servicing/refurbishing work area, warehousing, distribution, empty cartridge processing and administrative offices. InkCycle has recently expanded their shipping complex to include a distribution center on the West Coast located in Ventura, California. InkCycle’s new West Coast Distribution Center in Southern

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California opened in January 2012. It is now possible to receive one or two day deliveries, of direct or blind drop shipping, in the western United States using economical standard ground rates. This new distribution center is another way InkCycle partners with their clients. As a steady stream of new clients requested the convenience of one and two day ground freight west of the Rocky Mountains, InkCycle expanded their business services to fulfill these customer requests. Now more than ever, InkCycle can Deliver!

InkCycle’s 20 year history of providing stability in an ever changing market, provides an enormous level of comfort to the buyers and users of their remanufactured laser toner and inkjet cartridges. One of Rick Krska’s original goals as he developed his business strategy was to provide safe, long term, steady employment opportunities for the people within his community. The reliability and work ethic of InkCycle’s middle-America labor force helps create the consistent quality of all the InkCycle products.

All InkCycle remanufactured cartridges undergo a comprehensive quality control process including documented disassembly, cleaning, filling, component replacecontinued on 28


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BUSINESS PROFILE

InkCycle Celebrates 20th Anniversary ment and quality testing. Each cartridge has been specifically designed and engineered to achieve optimum page count and print performance. Every user can feel confident with the quality and yield of each 100% post tested remanufactured cartridge. Each remanufactured cartridge helps extend the sustainability of the Earth by eliminating the need for thousands of empty cartridges to lay dormant in landfills for hundreds of years. No petroleum by-products are used in the making of a remanufactured cartridge. InkCycle’s 100% U.S. remanufactured toner and ink cartridges are a cost effective method to re-fill your imaging equipment. Additionally, every InkCycle remanufactured laser cartridge and inkjet that is purchased and used directly improves the economy of the United States. As part of their commitment to unwavering quality and precision execution, InkCycle has achieved the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications for Environmental Management System (14001), Quality Management System (9001), and Occupational Health & Safety Management System (18001), after extensive independent audits. In addition to InkCycle’s ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 Certifications, InkCycle also is one of fewer than 50 USA based remanufactures that has earned STMC Compliance through the International Imaging Technology Council. The Standardized Test Methods Committee provides specific test objectives that are used to evaluate toner printer cartridge performance. Standardized test methods make it possible to evaluate a cartridge anywhere and come up with the same test results, no matter who tests it. STMC certification ensures that InkCycle has had their employees successfully trained by an authorized STMC trainer in these test methods, agrees to use these test meth-

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ods, and is using approved STMC test equipment. President, CEO and Chief Servant Rick Krska explains, “Achieving all three of the major ISO certifications and STMC Compliance demonstrate InkCycle’s commitment to running a qualityfocused, environmentally friendly business. InkCycle has the strategic framework to continue to deliver safe, healthy, environmentally-friendly products that are being continuously improved through our quality systems.”

InkCycle also offers Webinars, enewsletter, educational training, empties return and purchasing programs (www.recovermyempties.com), nationwide service partnership, green initiatives and a 2 year product warranty. InkCycle has also been recognized by numerous organizations for business growth and the standards they set in manufacturing, personnel practices and partnership programs. Awards include numerous Recharger Magazine awards and nominations. InkCycle was awarded the 2011 Quality Leader: Inkjet. InkCycle was recognized by Ernst and Young’s as “Entrepreneur of The Year in Manufacturing.” Also earned was the “Private Label Partner of The Year” from a leading retailer. Members of the executive team are regular contributors to Recharger and Imaging Spectrum Magazine as well as sought after trainers and educators within the industry. Carl Little, InkCycles Vice-President of the Dealer Sales Channel extends his thanks to everyone who shared in InkCycles 20th Anniversary CELEBRATION at the Recharger’s World Expo. “We hope you enjoyed seeing our new products, longtime best sellers and the We Saw It In ENX Magazine

full range of products and services offered by InkCycle. We congratulate all those who won prizes and took advantage of our World Expo Promotions. The entire InkCycle staff thanks all of you who voted for InkCycle as your choice for Best Quality Inkjet, Best Quality Toner, Recharger Green Award and Best Article written by Brad Roderick, InkCycles Executive Vice President. Brad Roderick explains the InkCycle selling process. “It all begins with a conversation. We need to get to know one another and discover how InkCycle can fulfill the needs of our potential client. We do not have a one-product-fits-all mentality. InkCycle has the ability to establish a buying and distribution strategy that fits the buyer’s needs.” Now is the perfect time to help CELEBRATE InkCycle’s 20th year of creating innovative products and programs by becoming part of their ongoing history.

To learn more about how your company and InkCycle can partner together to improve your ease of doing business, increase your customer satisfaction, and improve your profitability, give InkCycle a call at 877.894.8387. u by Ronelle Ingram Contact InkCycle, Inc. 11100 W. 82nd Street • Lenexa, KS 66214 877-894-8387 info@inkcycle.com • www.inkcycle.com www.recovermyempties.com


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By Charles Brewer

NEWS BRIEFING

Lexmark Demands Royalties from Infringing Third-Party Supplies Vendors—Or Else!

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ttorneys for Lexmark recently sent out an undetermined number of letters to third-party supplies vendors in the United States saying they had violated patents on certain Lexmark toner cartridges. The OEM contends that the firms receiving the letter infringed its intellectual property by remanufacturing empty cartridges on which Lexmark retained the patent rights. Although I don’t know the actual total, multiple sources told me hundreds of U.S. vendors have received one of Lexmark’s unwelcomed missives. In addition to saying that the recipient had infringed the OEM’s IP, the letter also gave companies the opportunity to settle the matter by paying Lexmark royalties on all the infringing cartridges they had sold. If vendors declined Lexmark’s offer, they risk being hauled into U.S. district court as part of an ongoing patent infringement case initiated by Lexmark several years ago.

Lexmark’s Original Suit

ing a long list of patents related to toner cartridges and developer assemblies used in many monochrome laser printers and MFPs. Altogether, Lexmark asserts that 21 of its U.S. patents were violated. The machines included the T520, T610, T620, T630, T640, T650, E120, E220, E230, E232, E234, E238, E240, E250, E320, E321, E322, E323, E330, E332, E340, E342, E350, E352, and E450 monochrome laser printers and MFPs. The offending products included both “cloned”—or compatible toner cartridges—and remanufactured cartridges rebuilt using empty cores that were first sold outside the United States. Under U.S. patent law, most patent holder rights are exhausted when a product is first sold. An interesting little quirk in the law, however, stipulates that the first sale must occur within the U.S. for the patent rights to be exhausted. So, if a product is first sold outside of the U.S. and then brought back into the country, the patent holder may retain its right. Strange but true!

Lexmark’s letter is the most recent action in a case that started in August 2010. At that time, Lexmark filed complaints with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio alleging 25 named firms along with some unnamed “John Does” had violated its IP. The list of defendants included Ninestar and affiliated companies and distributors, PrintRite and various distributors, the so-called Jahwa group of companies from South Korea, and some additional distributors.

By early 2011, most defendants had settled with the OEM and signed consent judgments and permanent injunctions in the district court litigation and either defaulted or agreed not to further defend themselves in the ITC litigation. In September of last year, after completing its 337 investigation and reviewing the finding, the commission sided with Lexmark and issued a GEO barring the importation, regardless of the source, of the toner cartridges and components named in the case that infringed Lexmark’s patents.

In addition to seeking damages in the federal court, Lexmark requested the ITC conduct a so-called 337 investigation to determine if there was blatant and widespread disregard for the OEM’s intellectual property by third-party supplies vendors worldwide. If the ITC found that Lexmark’s IP was being violated by the global third-party supplies industry, the commission could issue a GEO, which would severely restrict the importation of the cartridges in question into the U.S. The defendants were accused of infring-

Despite the fact that the ITC complaint was decided last year and most of the defendants in the district court complaint signed consent judgments and permanent injunctions, the suit remained open, which was puzzling. It seemed the OEM had won all it sought from the commission and the court, so why wasn’t the case closed? Now, the reason is clear: Lexmark kept the matter open so it could add certain “John Doe” defendants to the district court complaint—namely, those companies that do not agree to the settle-

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ment terms in the May letter.

The Letter The letter informs recipients that Lexmark is currently involved in a patent-infringement suit related to toner cartridges and developer assembles used in the various machines listed earlier. It further explains that remanufacturers receiving the letter sourced empty cores from the Ontario-based empties collector and broker, Greentec International. It warns that importing empty cartridges first sold outside the United States and using these in remanufactured cartridges sold in the United States constitutes patent infringement. Apparently, Lexmark had been keeping a careful watch on the Greentec’s empties business for some time, after filing an intellectual property suit against Greentec in the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice back in 2006. On November 22, 2011, Lexmark asked for a so-called letter rogatory, or a formal request from a court to a foreign court for assistance. In this instance, Lexmark was looking for evidence relevant to its 2010 case. On March 22, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted this request and ordered Greentec to turn over its entire list of customers for empty Lexmark cartridges purchased between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011. The company was also required to turn over the volume of cartridges purchased by model and the approximate percentage of used Lexmark cartridges purchased by Greentec from suppliers outside the United States. Lexmark’s letter goes to make a one-time settlement offer under specific terms. The settlement requires the remanufacture to sign a permanent injunction to be entered before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and a promise—as well as documentation proving— that the remanufacturer will only remanufacture cartridges for which Lexmark has exhausted its patent rights. Thus, the continued on 32


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Lexmark Demands Royalties from InfringingThird-Party Supplies Vendors—Or Else! remanufacturer must document that Lexmark remanufactured cartridges use empty cores that were first sold in the United States. Lexmark reserves the right to audit the remanufacturer’s documentation relating to this issue.

add them as defendants in the district court patent-infringement suit, where there is the potential that the firms will have to pay treble damages as well as incur their own and potentially Lexmark’s attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Remanufacturers are also required to pay Lexmark a royalty fee on past sales of the allegedly infringing cartridges. This fee is based on a sliding scale that depends on how quickly the remanufacturer agrees to settle. This scale goes up from 20 percent of gross sales of accused cartridges to 40 percent between 60 and 90 days of receiving the letter. Thereafter, Lexmark says royalties will be based on its lost profits on the sale of the infringing cartridges.

“John Does” Start to Settle

It appears that Lexmark’s royalty fees are based on retail sales prices of the OEM cartridges, so, even if a remanufacturer settles quickly, the OEM is demanding 20 percent of the OEM retail sales price for each remanufactured cartridge sold. Given that remanufactured cartridges sell at steep discounts compared to OEM SKUs, royalties are hefty even for those firms that settle quickly. As for existing inventory, the remanufacturer has to promise to either destroy any infringing cartridges or pay a royalty on these SKUs as well. Lexmark’s threat for remanufacturers receiving the letter is that if they do not agree to these settlement terms, Lexmark will

Although, as of this writing, Lexmark’s letters had only been out for a little over a month, some companies had already opted to settled. On June 18, Lexmark filed a motion asking the court to enter a stipulated permanent injunction, consent judgment, and dismissal with prejudice for Tonercharge of St. Louis, the first of the John Doe defendants to be named. By the end of June, Lexmark had filed three additional separate motions, asking the court to enter consent judgments and permanent injunctions for Enhanced Laser Products of Houston, TX; K G Toner-Nu, Inc., of Mankato, MN; and Quality Printing of Sanford, NC. The proposed consent judgments and permanent injunctions before the court are similar and say the John Doe firms marketed toner cartridges in which Lexmark’s patent rights were not exhausted, and, in certain cases, infringing compatible versions of the toner cartridges for the monochrome laser printers listed above. The companies also acknowledged that Lexmark’s patents are valid and enforceable and that “the importation, use, remanufacture, manufacture, offer to sell or sale” by anyone other than Lexmark of any toner cartridge that was originally sold outside the United States or any toner cartridge in the United States under which Lexmark’s patent rights were not exhausted constitutes patent infringement. Because they settled within 30 days of receiving the warning letter, the four defendants above presumably must pay Lexmark a royalty of 20 percent on past gross sales of the accused cartridges. It is unclear, however, how many accused cartridges each of the defendants sold. I had heard that Lexmark targeted small remanufacturers who purchased only dozens of Greentec empty cartridges as well as larger purchasers so there is no way of knowing how much each firm had to shell out. Lexmark has until August 30 to identify and serve additional John Doe defendants. While the four companies may have be the first to settle, I expect to see more before the end of August deadline. Just how many more, there is no way to tell. It will be interesting to see what happens after Lexmark’s deadline passes. Will it look for more time to add more John Does? How many John Does will there be in the end? And will some of the John Does decide to contest Lexmark’s allegation in court? It is impossible to say but you can be sure you’ll be hearing more about this case as the summer turns to fall.u

Charles Brewer is the President and founder of Actionable Intelligence, the digital imaging industry's leading market research firm. He was an editor for Inc. magazine and ComputerWorld during the 1990s, and more recently, the managing editor of The Hard Copy Supplies Journal. Visit www.Action-Intell.com for more info. 32

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By Frank Topinka

MPS CORNER

7 Indicators of Highly Effective MPS Providers

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hat makes one MPS provider so much more successful than the next even if they offer similar MPS programs? The difference generally lies in how they deliver and then support their MPS solutions post-sale. I have found that the most effective MPS companies not only have a dedicated MPS sales team, but they also have key processes in place to support the customer after the initial install. By staying fully engaged with the MPS customer, you can uncover additional opportunities to streamline your customer’s printing and thereby, expand your share of wallet within the account. Below, I will review what I think to be the 7 best indicators of highly effective MPS providers. By adopting even just a few of the indicators below, you will definitely see an improvement in your customer retention and your MPS growth.

Crazy About Serving Customers “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.” - Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart “Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.” - Anonymous Customer service is a key differentiator in any business, and MPS is no different. All of your employees must always be focused on exceeding your customers’ expectations. This goal must be part of your company’s culture, and your compensation and your internal marketing programs need to be aligned to this objective as well. Not only should your employees be focused on providing excellent customer service, but all of your internal systems and processes must be aligned to the voice of your customer. For example, does your customer have one point of contact within your organization for all of their business needs? Are you able to seamlessly gather data regarding your customer’s print environment without inconveniencing the customer? Do you have processes in place to resolve issues 34

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quickly and effectively? If you answered no to any of these questions then you need to seriously re-think how you are delivering services to your customers. If your customers feel they are well treated and that all of their business needs are effectively met, they will view you as a trusted business consultant and will refer you to their friends and colleagues.

Professional, Certified Staff of Technicians “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” - Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways Your technicians are the people that “touch” your customer most often; therefore, it is imperative that they are well versed in what your company does and that they have a professional appearance and demeanor in front of the customer. In addition to conducting themselves professionally, your technicians need to be well trained and properly certified to diagnose issues and fix all equipment. Your customers will judge your service based on how well your technicians respond to their service issues. Was the issue resolved on the first call? Did someone from your company explain to the customer what is wrong and when it will be remedied? The more successful MPS companies have processes in place, such as customer surveys, to track these interactions and make sure that all customer issues are resolved in a timely manner. Moreover, if your technicians are unable to diagnose and fix a printer on their first call, you will not only have dissatisfied customers, you will also see increased service costs and reduced profits on your MPS contracts. Proper training and reinforcement can help prevent this.

Embraces Technology “You’ve got to look for a gap, where competitors in a market have grown lazy and lost contact with the readers or the viewers.” - Rupert urdoch

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If you are running an MPS business without utilizing the latest technologies, you are probably hampering your effectiveness and ability to offer new business solutions. The MPS world is evolving to include not only printer management, but also document management and workflow solutions. The more effective MPS providers are the ones who embrace new technology and incorporate it into their offerings to bring their customers the latest products and services to improve their businesses. The MPS providers who have recently embraced remote monitoring software technology currently have the edge. While this technology may be expensive to purchase and a little complex to use, it reaps huge benefits for your customers and ultimately you. Remote monitoring gives you the ability to collect and analyze data such as page counts, error codes, maintenance kit statuses, toner levels, automated call routing, total parts inventory, automated meter collections, call alerts and much more. With this full visibility into the account, you can resolve issues before your customer even knows a problem exists and truly give your customers peace of mind. The most successful MPS providers not only embrace technology, but they often have a dedicated staff to understand and utilize the technology efficiently. The data collected can not only help you to streamline your customer’s workflow, but it also gives you the ability to monitor your service delivery and cut down on your costs as well. In conclusion, embracing technology is well worth the investment as it will seriously impact your success.

OEM Relationships “The interesting thing is when we design and architect a server, we don’t design it for Windows or Linux, we design it for both. We don’t really care, as long as we’re selling the one the customer wants.” - Michael Dell A successful MPS provider delivers busicontinued on 36


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7 Indicators of Highly Effective MPS Providers ness solutions that successfully streamline printing and reduce costs for their customers. Lyra Research reported recently on the imaging channel that “major printing and imaging OEMs have been the primary source of MPS messaging over the past few years.” That means that your prospective customers are somewhat familiar with the MPS programs that are available in today’s market. Lyra also noted that “an increasing number of clients [have] already engaged in the MPS market in at least one form or another, [therefore], the greatest opportunity exists among customers who are looking to add or swap out pieces and parts rather than become involved for the first time in a full-scale MPS engagement.” Since customers are familiar with the large OEMs and the products and services they offer, it is crucial that you not only have a firm understanding of the OEM’s MPS strategies, but that you incorporate their offerings, products and programs into your MPS solutions. If you are an authorized dealer, customers will view you as a trusted consultant who will bring the latest technologies and hardware solutions to help streamline their printing and reduce their costs. The most effective MPS providers to date have long standing relationships with OEMs.

The most successful MPS providers are those who are able to lock in national accounts by providing top quality service nationwide. If you are unable to provide national coverage to your customers, you are seriously limiting your MPS growth potential. By joining a national service network, like NPRN (www.nprn.net), you gain the ability to provide quality customer service to your customers in all of their locations even if they are out of your local service area. A network like NPRN allows you to deliver world class printer repairs at a fair and predictable cost to your customers outside your service territory. It’s a win-win for everyone – your customers still have one number to call for all their service needs and you have reliable service partners outside of your territory so you can be assured your customers are being taken care of.

www.RemanCartridges.com & Parts and Supplies! CSI

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CRYSTAL TRADE 36

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The state of your website also plays a role in determining your effectiveness as an MPS provider. The more successful MPS providers overhauled their websites when they changed their business model to offer MPS. If the bulk of your website still contains endless pages showing the different hardware you offer, you are not instilling confidence in your visitors that you can effectively reduce printing expenses and eliminate unnecessary printing. Successful MPS providers have websites that contain content that clearly demonstrates their MPS expertise. I have also found that the more effective MPS companies frequently change the content on their website. If you never update your site or add new information, it becomes stale, and you don’t give anyone a compelling reason to visit again. Make use of videos, add your marketing specials and case studies to your website; be sure to add links to your website in your emails. The bottom-line is that your website needs to be engaging and provide information that encourages prospective customers to contact you.

Ability to Change

National Footprint

For Your

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“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” - Tom Peters One of the best indicators of a successful MPS provider, or any business for that matter, is the ability to change as new products and technologies are introduced into the market. The companies that are afraid of change will see stunted growth, but the companies that have leadership who can evolve with the changing business environment will continue to be successful. It is imperative that your company be agile enough to adapt your business model to offer new products and service opportunities that may benefit your customers and your success. Your leadership has to have vision and the courage to change. When MPS was introduced about ten years ago, the companies that embraced this new business model and adapted their businesses to provide MPS are the ones that are today’s MPS leaders. In conclusion, if you want to join the ranks of effective MPS providers, you need to incorporate the indicators discussed above into your company culture. Doing so will allow you to protect your base, grow your MPS revenue and be a trusted business consultant for your customers – in other words, be an effective MPS provider. u Frank Topinka has more than 20 years of hands-on experience in all phases of management, operations, production, sales, marketing, quality, profit and loss. Topinka also has 10 years experience in MPS. Currently, he serves as president of the National Printer Repair Network, a consortium of like businesses providing quality laser printer repairs across the country and Canada. He can be reached at frank.topinka@nprn.net.

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By Tricia Judge

ITC REPORT

Lexmark Threatens the Cartridge Remanufacturing Industry…Again

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exmark International has sent threatening letters to companies that bought cores from Canadianbased Greentec. Lexmark is trying to enforce its patent rights for cartridges and cores that were first sold outside the United States, and therefore perhaps outside the patent exhaustion doctrine. Lexmark is taking very aggressive action based on unsettled authority. The letters assume the recipient is liable for patent infringement. They then go on to measure damages far in excess than Lexmark is likely to receive if they sue the recipient. Moreover, the settlement letter includes provisions mandating future audits of the recipients’ core supplies. Such provisions make the settlement unconscionable. Lexmark has demonstrated anti-competitive behavior before. Almost 15 years ago to the day, Lexmark announced its prebate marketing program. The entire remanufacturing industry, its supporters and customers responded with incredulity and questioned how Lexmark could get away with such anti-competitive tactics. Yet through the prebate program, Lexmark instilled enough fear, uncertainty and doubt to arrest the remanufacturing of the prebate cartridges. Since then, Static Control Components successfully proved prebate illegal under patent law in 2009. Yet here we go again. Until recently, cores moved across borders readily, especially with trading partners like Canadian-based companies. Then the OEMs started securing limited and general exclusion orders, generally against the unwanted, patent-infringing clones out of Asia. Then Epson took it a little further and introduced restrictions on imports in its customs paperwork. Its basis for doing so is most likely based on a decision about five years ago in the appellate case of Jazz Photo v. Fuji Film. That decision supported the proposition that patent rights are exhausted on first sale if the item was first sold in the U.S. It did not extend patent exhaustion, however, to items first 38

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sold out of the United States. Now Lexmark has gone even further and employed that decision to threaten anyone that has Lexmark cartridges that they imported. The letter states that the recipient must pay 20 to 100 percent of Lexmark’s lost profits on the sale of “accused cartridges.” There are roughly 20 popular cartridge types listed as the “accused cartridges.” The proposed “settlement” would require the recipient to pay Lexmark for lost profits and be subjected to future audits as to Lexmark core sources. Settlement letters generally propose a negotiated middle ground, but Lexmark’s “settlement” asks for more than Lexmark would likely be entitled to if it actually brought a case against the recipients. Letter recipients that contacted Lexmark’s lawyers received little assistance in resolving the matter. As a matter of fact, they were further threatened. “Please note that—in addition to Lexmark cartridges— any Dell, IBM, Toshiba, Nashuatec, Unisys, or Source Technologies cartridges that your company imported and/or sold, irrespective of whether they were obtained from Greentec or someone else, are also “Accused Cartridges” unless you can provide documentary evidence that Lexmark’s patent rights in the cartridges were exhausted,” read one response that mirrored others. “This is because Lexmark performs private-label manufacturing for these companies and the cartridges are identical to the cartridges sold under Lexmark’s own label. In this regard, you will need to identify each company (or person), other than Greentec, from whom you acquired any Lexmark, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, Nashuatec, Unisys, and/or Source Technologies cartridges within the past 6 years, irrespective of whether the cartridges were procured in the United States or out of the country. Also, please identify the quantity and model number of the cartridges so that the Gross Sales for any such Accused Product can be determined in accordance with Lexmark’s settlement offer.”

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Jurisdiction Issues And even more intriguing, the letters state as follows: “Your company will consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and will waive service of process. The Court will retain jurisdiction over your company to the extent necessary to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement and permanent injunction.” For a small company that services customers locally outside of Ohio, this is a big commitment…and a big mistake to submit to. Lexmark has demonstrated that it will indeed haul a defendant into its home court in Southern Ohio to compel settlement agreements. In late June, Lexmark filed a motion for Ink Jet Superstore/ Tonerzone.com (IJSS) to be held in contempt for their failure to comply with the permanent injunction to which it had consented. IJSS must respond to the contempt motion regardless of where it sells its products or where its principle place of business is located. To be fair, Lexmark appears to be pursuing IJSS for selling patent-infringing clone cartridges as well as imported remanufactured cartridges that may violate the first-sale doctrine. And the aftermarket clearly wants patent-infringing clones out of the marketplace. IJSS told Int’l ITC it takes great pains to buy remanufactured cartridges that were first sold in the U.S. IJSS also appears to sell products nationwide, so they would be subject to the Ohio jurisdiction regardless. Lexmark’s actions are unsupported by law or public policy. The Int’l ITC is working to counter this major threat from Lexmark with a game plan. It must be properly responded to, and in unity. If you have received this letter, or otherwise want to become part of the fight, please contact the Int’l ITC at katie@i-itc.org, or by visiting our website at www.i-itc.org. u Tricia Judge serves as the Executive Director of Int'l Imaging Technology Council. Visit www.i-itc.org for more info.


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DEALER SPOTLIGHT

A Conversation with Jeff Elkin of Advance – The Document Specialists

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amily businesses within the office technology industry seem to be a dying breed. Not so in Cockeysville, MD where Advance – The Document Specialists can be found. This family owned business, founded in 1964 is going strong today with yearly revenues in the $38 million range.

Besides that our help desk services are increasing as well. Customers are so pleased with our implementations that they’re calling on us to perform other services as well.

This month we speak with Jeff Elkin, President of Advance, whose parents, Alan and Lois are still actively involved in the business they started nearly 50 years ago. Our discussion covered the current state of the business, where they’re growing, the company’s business strategies, and the dynamics of working in a family business.

Elkin: Change management. Looking out at the world ahead and making sure we are evolving as an organization to continue to prosper while still balancing the core business. It’s a delicate balance of investing in the future and changing processes while still being competitive and relevant in today’s marketplace.

brought in a sales process. In addition it’s Jeff Elkin President just ongoing reinforcement and education. It’s something that we talk about every single day, every single week. We interview other people about how they solve a problem and we let them share success stories with each other about how they were brought into a prospect to keep their current vendor honest and how through a process they were able to differentiate what they were doing and how they were approaching things to go from just price to becoming the leading contender.

What are you doing to overcome that challenge?

How soon after that initiative did you start seeing results?

Elkin: We’re investing in our sales department. We made a major investment a few years back of selling processes so that our sales people are focused on identifying pain and critical business issues in our customer’s and prospect’s businesses and creating solutions to address those versus selling a lower lease payment.

Elkin: Anecdotally we began to see results quickly. We saw specific situations where we knew had we gone the traditional way and taken the customer’s lead and just come in with a lease payment or cost per page we wouldn’t have had a shot. We were turning what were more perceived opportunities into real opportunities. We started to see that pretty quickly. That trend continues. Now day in and day out there are success stories where the sales process creates a truly value-added differentiator. And we measure it by new business and customer retention.

How’s business? Elkin: Generally good. We’re growing and moving in an upward direction and given the environment and market we’re in, we’re doing a pretty good job. What are you doing right these days? Elkin: We’re doing a better job than we’ve ever done before at identifying and solving our customer’s problems. We’re servicing our customers better and more intensely than ever before. It’s always been our emphasis. The more things change, old school things such as service never change, but become more important. What segments of your business are doing well and maybe even surprising you at how well they’re doing? Elkin: The ability to go in and holistically look at a customer’s total document process and implement a solution that covers all spectrums from MFPs to managed print to document management software and workflow process. When we have an opportunity where a customer is looking to solve a problem or find efficiencies and increase productivity, that’s an area we’re really selling.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Advance in 2012?

We’re also investing in our IT infrastructure. A few years ago it was, “How do we most efficiently connect an MFP to a network and do it better than anybody else?” Now, it’s about how we take that expertise we’ve built and leverage it to get a greater amount of the mindshare business of our customer’s outsourced IT. It’s all the things that require different processes, ongoing investment against a backdrop of the core business, and making sure our eye doesn’t go off the ball there either. You made a concentrated effort a year ago to transition your sales reps from acting more as consultants and less as sales reps. How did you make that happen—did you get outside help or did you do this internally? Elkin: A combination of all those things. We got some outside help so we had

Tell me about your managed print services division. How have you structured that (specialists/traditional sales reps, etc.) and where are you finding the most success for managed print? Elkin: We use traditional reps but have an analyst on staff to assist them as well as a manager that specializes in that. Again, because of the way our sales process is structured we view managed print as a piece of the puzzle to solving critical business issues. When we’re talking to a customer about what causes pain in their business, they’re not thinking our printers or our MFPs. That’s not how they work, continued on 44

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DEALER SPOTLIGHT

A Conversation with Jeff Elkin of Advance – The Document Specialists that’s how our industry works. We’re talking about what problems are in their business and how can we create a total program that creates greater efficiency and greater productivity. We see that as a piece of the puzzle not as a separate silo or entity upon itself. Are you finding opportunities with that approach across your customer base? Elkin: Absolutely. There are prospects within our customer base from small customers to the largest. It’s a great approach to new business and in certain cases it’s a differentiator from some of our competitors. What’s DocuLife Line all about? Elkin: It’s a term that encompasses everything from our analytical tool to go in and assess the current state to our approach for change management and the ongoing monitoring and dashboard. It describes a program that includes not only traditional tools but a way of managing them as well. You’re primarily a Ricoh/Savin dealer. Why is Ricoh/Savin a good fit for Advance? Elkin: Their products are excellent and as we look out to the future they’re on the short list of [companies] that have the market share and dollars to make the critical development investments. They don’t have their blinders on as a manufacturer; they realize they have to be more than just a manufacturer of devices and need to provide solutions as well. They’re going down a similar path as the dealer channel and in many cases assisting the dealers in getting there. I truly believe, and this may be contrary to some of the press, that they have a newfound focus on the dealer and recognize the dealer is an important part of the equation and we’re seeing evidence of that in our relationship.

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Tell me about your Onsite & Online program? Where did that concept come from? Elkin: That is one of our proudest and crowning differentiators. It is 100 percent developed internally through a lot of hard work and sweat and great people and good minds. As we looked at the process where our customers were acquiring connected devices, particularly where they were in their second or higher generation and were unplugging one device and implementing another device, we saw tremendous inefficiency there. In order to change out technology you were taking a customer’s printers, scanners, whatever the case, offline and the typical industry process where you deliver a piece of hardware, plug it in, then hours or days later a network technician comes and plugs it into the network and manually goes through the office and loads the drivers and all the other necessary things. From our perspective it was disruptive to the customer and very unAdvance like in terms of having a customer-oriented approach to the business. We said there’s got to be a better way and we created a process where we do all the heavy lifting with the customer before the new device ever rolls into their office. The idea is that it is true plug and play. Everything is preloaded and preprogrammed onto the new device so there is minimal to no disruption to the customer when they’re making a change in technology. As simple as that sounds it’s difficult to implement. You also do your own leasing. What inspired you to take that route?

because over the past several years not only has it been a differentiator it’s been one of those things that has been critical to our business. You’ve got a nice Website that doesn’t come across like a template. You’ve obviously made a strong effort to enhance that. What was the inspiration for doing that? Elkin: Thank you for the compliment. We’re in the technology business and everything we do in some way creates a perception and builds or detracts from the brand. We want to create a perception with our customers that we’re the best choice for technology and everything we do with technology has to reflect the commitment we’re making to that. We look at our Website and online presence as critical to our brand and overall marketing. Advance is a family business, what’s the best thing about being part of a family business? Elkin: I have my parents as trusted business advisors. There’s a wealth of experience, knowledge, and history and it’s great to have that as a sounding board. You can have the best of both a business and a family. We’re able to create an environment that at the end of the day it’s just a business, but the environment is more than just a business. What’s the most challenging thing about working in a family business? Elkin: Drawing the line between family and business. What’s next for Advance?

Elkin: We got into the leasing business many years ago and the primary catalyst was we wanted to have the ultimate control of our customer so that it was our relationship to serve them from the beginning to the end and that they’d only have to deal with Advance. We didn’t want any element of that relationship out of our control. Although I can’t take credit for that I’m awful glad we made that decision We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Elkin: Creating greater value and being a more important partner to our customers. I believe our future will have a managed services component to it and we’ll continue to differentiate so we will never be perceived as a commodity but a trusted business partner for our customers.u By Scott Cullen


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By Lou Slawetsky

FLASH REPORT

Ricoh Dealer Show Review

R

icoh executives gathered more than 700 people in perpetually sunny Las Vegas on June 10 - 13 to let them know that “The Time is Now.” At the outset, dealers indicated some skepticism - at least in conversations with yours truly. Essentially, they came with two searing questions: 1. Where is Ricoh going? 2. Does the dealer channel and (specifically) my dealership have a place in that plan? Ricoh did their best to soften up channel members with a Sunday evening reception at a level of “posh” only possible in Las Vegas. As if to prove that they’re better than a competitive vendor who, last year, featured a girl in a bubble, Ricoh presented their own girl in a bubble. A competitive shot across the bow? Possibly just the beginning. I was reminded at the outset of the general session on Monday morning of the socalled comedy acts in the Catskills. In the day, there were large hotels such as Grossingers, The Concord and The Neville, where they would feed you until you were ready to burst and then herd you into the showroom for “the act.” The best you could muster was to sit there with your arms crossed and stare blankly, thinking, “OK. Make me happy!” A look around the room showed that same expression on dealers’ faces, with an implied, “OK. Make me happy!” Given Ricoh’s trials with the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan along with the floods in Thailand this was not to be an easy task. Couple this with the need to absorb IKON into the Ricoh family and rationalize disparate ERP systems, which did not talk to one another, a difficult set of problems compounded into the “perfect storm.” And so, Jim Coriddi, VP of dealer sales was thrown into the breach. Jim has a long history with Ricoh, through times that were good, and some that were not so good. He has a reputation of intense dedication to the dealer channel and to Ricoh (not always the same set of goals). 46

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Jim stressed four objectives for the coming year: 1. Earn dealer trust (a word repeated many times during the session) and cooperation. The use of both phrases made this a two-way commitment. But, Jim was quick to admit that a large portion of trust had been sacrificed in an attempt to rationalize Ricoh’s distribution network. 2. Strengthen dealer/branch relationships – not an easy task, but nice to hear the admission of a problem/opportunity. 3. Simplify programs – dealers have indicated that Ricoh marketing programs (pricing, rebates, contests, etc.) are too difficult to understand. Jim stated that these would be simplified in an effort to make Ricoh “easier to do business with.” 4. Dealer process improvement – this included the aforementioned consolidation of ERP systems so that all parts of the company can “talk” to each other. Anyone with experience in this field with Oracle, PeopleSoft, etc. knows how daunting a task this can be.

who met with us in Orlando a few years ago when analysts left with more unanswered questions than they started with. The “new and improved” Brodigan appears to be more open and candid in his presentations and one-on-one conversations. Several senior staff members indicated that, with the new appointment, Ricoh was now “fully local” in terms of management. The expectation is for faster and more relevant decision making. We all hope that is the case.

Coriddi stated that the goal for Ricoh’s dealer channel is to capture 40% of Ricoh’s (including Savin and Lanier) unit placements. For FY 2011, that share was 32%. So, aggressive dealer growth is planned. We would have been more comfortable with a discussion of dealer revenue share, since Ricoh branches tend to sell more production equipment, skewing their revenue per unit averages toward the high end. These figures were not given.

Martin was followed by Dave Greene, SVP of Sales. Greene is the point on the organization chart at which both dealer and direct channels converge. Consequently, he has a vested interest in the success of both channels.

One of the highlights of the general session, at least in my view, was the presentation by Martin Brodigan, Chairman and CEO of Ricoh Corp. To be honest, when I saw the press release regarding Brodigan’s recent appointment, I was somewhat mystified. My initial thought was, “Did we do Martin already?” The answer is yes, but in name only. The executive I saw here was not the same one

laserprinterparts.com W EST C OAST P LATEN

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Brodigan was quite open in discussing Ricoh’s losses last year, although he did not dwell on them. The company was hit harder than most competitors by what has become known as the “Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.” Equipment deliveries were severely constrained for most of the year forcing Ricoh to ship whatever they had by air. That can’t help the bottom line. He stressed the fact that last year’s results in the U.S. were “unacceptable.” He sees the Ricoh dealer group as the fastest way out of this problem.

He was quick to admit that Ricoh’s extremely aggressive pricing strategies intended to convert the Canon installed base that came with the IKON acquisition was disruptive to many dealer territories. This conversion, according to Greene is just about complete. Dave stressed, as did others that Ricoh was attempting to become easier to do business with. He is driving his dealer and direct groups to achieve a better balance of revenue and unit sales. Unlike in the past when there were resources available only to the branches, all resources will now be available to both channels, although Greene stressed that this would be determined through a market by market continued on 48


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FLASH REPORT

Ricoh Dealer Show Review strategy. Some dealers were not quite certain what that meant to their own efforts. We heard from Terrie Campbell, VP of Strategic Marketing, regarding the status of ChaMPS. Campbell stated that the company “stepped back” from their concept of a one size fits all program presented last year and are now beta testing what she called “Phase 2.” The program is divided into three groups of offerings: 1. Commercial Imaging – an expansion of IKON’s Legal Services offering that sold back file conversions (scanning). 2. IT services including help desk support. MPS falls into this category. 3. Professional services – including output, security, capture and organizational change management consulting and project management services. The success of this program is dependent on a high degree of trust on the part of dealers, since they will be required to share account information. That has been a roadblock in the past. However, Campbell indicated that Ricoh is working on those issues. To date, the pilot has resulted in only slightly more than one ChaMPS engagement per month. Campbell’s group will be formulating a ChaMPS membership program that will include dealer certification for IT services (late summer availability) and professional services (fall availability). We heard from Steve Burger about new products. Well, not so much about products as a new platform designed to seamlessly interface with the Internet, cloud services and a wide range of apps. The visible part of the platform is a new UI featuring a larger, full color, customizable screen that includes shortcuts for various workflow settings and processes. A builtin browser enables users to navigate and print from the web, also allowing access to cloud services, including apps for document capture, management, storage,

seattleplaten.com

printing, sharing and CRM. The platform includes wireless mobile printing capabilities for users of all standard smart phones and tablets. Only Ricoh devices are supported. To date, the new platform is available only for: • Ricoh Aficio MP 4002/MP 5002 Series black and white devices • Ricoh Aficio MP C3002/MP C3502 Series color MFPs • Ricoh Aficio MP C4502/MP C5502 Series color MFPs This leads to some challenges as the old UI is phased out over the next few years. However, the new platform will be available going forward on all new product releases. A4 systems will have the same look and feel, albeit on a smaller screen. Continuing with software, Burger indicated that Ricoh would be streamlining their partnerships so as to eliminate some of the current confusion on the part of dealers. It is hoped that this consolidation could result in better pricing for dealers. Software partners will now fall into three categories: 1. Premier – sold by all Ricoh channels; included in general price list; eligible for promotion incentives. 2. Specialty – vertical market focus; enterprise solutions. 3. Development – requires pre-authorization to confirm support roles. New hardware included two A4 products – MPC 305 color and MP 301 monochrome, bringing Ricoh’s A4 models to 14, including both monochrome and color units. Production hardware was also stressed. I’m always surprised by the breadth of their production print offerings. Color production systems (8 in all) range from the C550 EX (55 PPM) to the InfoPrint 5000 roll fed system (3150 IPM). Monochrome production systems (8 in all) include the Pro 907 (90 PPM) through the InfoPrint 4100 TD6 (932 IPM).

W EST C OAST P LATEN

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Mike Dane, VP, Marketing, summarized Ricoh objectives stating that the company is building a stronger brand along with a stronger dealer channel. The product expo was expansive. But, perhaps because of its size, it never seemed crowded. Could have been a scheduling issue (dealers were interested in concurrent breakout sessions) or the fact that a crowd is hard to hold in Las Vegas. Ricoh staff indicated that breakout sessions were scheduled concurrently so that not all dealers tried to view the expo at the same time. So, the choice was – thin the crowd, or increase the lines. Although fewer people gave everyone a chance to get the information they needed, larger crowds tend to add to the excitement. What to do? What to do? Personally, I would like to have seen more vertical market orientation to make the applications more relevant, but that’s my own preference. The group of analysts in attendance noted two differences between this meeting and those past. First, Ricoh held an analyst meeting lasting more than two hours. There were in-depth presentations and time for Q & A. While some answers were not as detailed as we might have liked, the effort was there and appreciated by all in attendance. Second, and perhaps most important, all Ricoh executives—from Brodigan on down the organization chart—were visible and accessible for the entire meeting. Again, a big difference on the positive side from past analyst briefings. Dealers came to this meeting wondering about Ricoh’s direction and their place in those plans. Many with whom I spoke indicated a palpable feeling of excitement not present for the last few years. Questions were asked and answered. Concerns, for now, were diminished. I guess the proof is in the execution. But, from my perspective, Ricoh is off to a good start. u

Lou Slawetsky is the CEO of IA, Inc. Visit www.industryanalysts.com for more info.


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2012

®

Service Manager Salary Survey Shortage of hybrid techs leaves service managers scrambling for qualified staff

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hichever way you look at it, copier serership. Twenty-three percent of this year’s service vice managers were spared the worst managers work for a single-location independent of the recession. Making a comdealer, 37 percent work for a multi-location reTE NTH fortable income at a steady job in a gional dealer, and the remaining 40 percent are ANNIVERSARY EDITION stable industry, they had it better than many. But it employed by a national sales and service orgahasn’t been easy. Quite the opposite. Over the past nization or an OEM. They supervise anywhere five years, copier service managers have been forced from five to 500 employees. to embrace a new and technically demanding business The compenSaTion SiTuaTion model at a time when budgets for training and new hires The average base salary for a copier service manager has risen have been minimal at best. The result has been uncertainty $1,191 over the past year, from $77,237 in 2011 to $78,428 and stress. today. Salaries vary significantly depending on job title and responsibility level, with plain old Service Managers earning “Over the past few years, dealerships have stretched themthe lowest average base ($71,010) and Operations Managselves very thin, especially in the service department,” says ers earning the highest ($83,887). The middle ground comJessica Crowley, head of recruiting for Copier Careers. prises Regional Service Managers ($75,002), VPs of Service “Service managers and their staff have been working longer ($79,040), and General Managers ($83,201). hours just to keep up, and those heavy workloads have taken a toll. The good news is that dealerships are finally able to Since 2002, we’ve seen a constant upward trend in service hire again. The bad news is they’re finding it difficult to find manager base salaries, but we’ve also seen an upward trend MPS-ready staff.” in the overall number of hours service managers work each The 2012 Salary Survey week. In 2002, the average service manager worked 48 hours Over the past decade, Copier Careers—a nationwide reper week and earned a base salary of $69,025, which works cruiting firm dedicated exclusively to the document imaging out to an hourly wage of approximately $27.65. This year, industry—has published an annual salary survey for three with a base salary of $78,428 and 52.5 hours on the job, the categories of copier industry employees: service technicians, average service manager makes around $28.73 hourly, only sales managers, and service managers. Our survey tracks a $1.08 more per hour than he did a decade ago; adjusted for wide variety of metrics that reveal how well copier profesinflation, it’s six dollars less . Compound this with a decline sionals are compensated, how happy they are in their current in the quality of health benefits, a reduction in 401(k) match positions, and how well their employers are meeting their programs, and a loss of value in employer stock options, and expectations. it becomes clear that dealerships are not compensating their service managers the way they used to. This year’s Copier Careers Service Manager Salary Survey rean induSTry in flux flects the responses of 1,707 service managers who completed As a group, service managers are known for their loyalty, our online questionnaire between March 1, 2011 and March their stability, and the length of their tenure. This year’s av1, 2012. While all the respondents manage a team of service erage service manager has worked in the copier industry for professionals, the particularities of that team vary widely de23 years, and has spent 14 of those working for his or her pending on the size and organizational structure of the deal-

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It’s getting more difficult to find both service technicians and service managers who are qualified to work in an MPS environment. current employer. Through it all, the job has been shaped by the quickening pace of technological and organizational evolution. “Since we founded Copier Careers 25 years ago, a series of major changes have taken place in the industry,” says Paul Schwartz, president of Copier Careers. “There was the switch from analog to digital. There was the era of industry consolidation. There was the transition from black and white to color. These were all significant, but MPS is bigger because it affects every aspect of the dealership.” MPS is also bigger because, unlike the switch from analog to digital or from black and white to color, it requires technical staff to completely rethink their relationship to the hardware. For an otherwise egalitarian group of professionals, copier techs can be surprisingly elitist when it comes to the equipment they will and won’t work on. But the days of disrespecting desktop printers and other lesser devices are over: today’s tech has to be willing to troubleshoot any hardware that enters the managed network, regardless of pedigree. For service managers struggling to modernize their departments, this resistance to change is as much of a limitation as any technical deficiency, and in some cases it can be more difficult to overcome. “We’ve always said this is a very stable industry, and that’s still true,” says Schwartz. “But we’re at a point where technology has evolved so much and the model of a dealership has changed so much that we’re experiencing some turbulence. As a result of these changes, it’s getting more difficult to find both service technicians and service managers who are qualified to work in an MPS environment.” LAW oF SuPPLY AnD DeMAnD

While in 2002 nearly 50 percent of service managers said their companies did a good or excellent job of attracting new employees, this year that figure has fallen to 17 percent. This

change likely reflects less on employers’ recruiting efforts than it does on the availability of qualified staff. Ten years ago it was easy to find a qualified (if not OEM trained) technician because basic electromechanical skills have never been in short supply in this industry. Networking ability, however, is a rarer commodity, and to thrive in the networked environment a technician needs both break/fix and MPS skills. Unfortunately, now that dealerships are ready to start hiring technical staff again, they’re finding that the demand for MPS-ready techs is far outstripping the supply. The only solution appears to be training: service managers are going to have to invest heavily in recruiting and training fresh faces. “People ideally want to hire 3–5 year techs who are OEM and network trained, but they can’t find them,” Schwartz explains. “The supply of these new hybrid technicians is very small, so competition is stiff to get them on your team. Right now, we just need more people to come up through the ranks. Because the available supply is so limited, we’re probably going to see dealerships bringing in new people from outside the industry and training them in—there’s no other way to deal with this shortage.” When iS enough enough?

In the past few years, copier service managers have faced considerable organizational and technical challenges during one of the worst periods in recent economic history, and for the most part they’ve overcome those challenges with aplomb. The question is, how much more can they take? Building tomorrow’s service departments is going to take a fair amount of vision and a whole lot of work, and at this point the average service manager is beyond burned out. With 97 percent of service managers reporting that they’re either actively or passively searching for a new job, dealership principals would be well advised to find some room in their budgets for pay increases: it’s almost certain that their service managers are overdue for a raise. –CC

Copier Careers is a recruiting firm dedicated exclusively to helping independent copier dealers find MPS-ready service techs, copier sales reps, managers, controllers, and back office staff. Visit www.CopierCareers.com to read the expanded version of this salary survey featuring additional commentary and six pages of bonus graphics. Copyright 2012, Copier Careers. All rights reserved.

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By Ronelle Ingram

SERVICE MANAGEMENT

Interview Questions to Ask when Hiring Field Technicians

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received several comments from readers of my last month’s article, Interview Questions for a Service Management Position . Some requested interview questions for today’s solutions focused technician with answers. So here are more questions with possible answers. Your first introduction to a potential candidate will probably be an emailed resume. If you have an abundance of resumes to review, you can quickly weed out the majority of Looky-Lou applicants by emailing all appropriate responders a set of questions that are to be answered via email within 72 hours. These questions all require more than a simple yes or no. Questions suitable for a field technician applicant to email a written response (these can also be used in an in-person interview): 1. If your first assigned service call is 10 miles from the office and 20 miles from your home, what is an appropriate time to arrive at the customer’s office? An applicant can give the simple answer of: “When they open, at my regular starting time, it depends on traffic, do I have to come into the office first?, if my regular work day begins at 8am and the customer is open, I will be there at 8am.” Good answers will show you how the applicant will deal with a situation that requires more information and reveal their thought process. 2. What is a fair amount of mileage reimbursement for business use of your car? Current IRS allowable business mileage reimbursement is 55.5 cents per mile. 3. What CompTIA certifications have you earned? I am an adamant believer in the importance of having any new employee I am considering to hire to have current CompTIA Certifications proving they have some sort of verifiable industry knowledge. Additionally, it proves they can start and complete a project. They can make time for study outside of the paid work environment. They are not afraid of failure. They are trainable. They value education. If you are interviewing a person coming from an OEM, they may have an in-house offered certification that can be considered. 4. You are assisting with a customer demonstration with our company’s sales 52

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rep. In response to a customer’s question, the sales rep incorrectly tells the customer that the product can do a function that the customer requests. As the technical expert, you know the product is unable to do the requested function. You are not sure if the sales rep is lying in hopes of making the sale, or just is unaware of the product’s limitations. How do you react? 5. When you are in the field working on equipment and a customer approaches you to complain about an interaction with another employee from your company, how do you respond? 6. You have just driven 15 miles to your first call and you realize you have left your tool case at home. What do you do? If the job opening is for telephone support, or any position that will require telephone interaction, your first one-on-one contact with the applicant should be over the telephone. Interview the applicant in the same format as your customers or in-house staff will be interacting with your new hire. Once the candidate has passed the telephone voice and personality test, then you can set up the in-person interview. This same method can be extended to include an emailing or texting interview if the person will be doing tech or customer support via email, instant messaging or other written follow-up. Remote interviewing techniques can save time and quickly remove from consideration anyone who does not impress you using the skills they will need on the job. Hopefully your written and telephone interviews will allow you to better select quality candidates to interview in person. I begin all in-person interviews with nonverbal questions. Things I immediately look for are: is the applicant on time, are they appropriately dressed (with polished shoes, no offensive visible tattoos, clean hair, no unpleasant body odor), do they have something to write on, did they bring a pen and a copy of their resume including references and compensation history. They should also show energy of movement and ability to walk quickly to the interview area. I always make a point of quickly walking (upstairs is best) to the interview room. I want to see if the tech can keep up with me. Finally, I always ask my compaWe Saw It In ENX Magazine

ny’s receptionist to give me a subtle nod or shake of the head to rate how the applicant treated her upon arrival. I start each interview with a bit of small introductory talk to allow the applicant to get situated. My first official interview question is: 1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. There is a good chance the appropriateness of the answer is in direct ratio to what this person is going to talk about in your customer’s office. Immediate caution flags are raised if any mention of religion, politics, off color jokes, complaint about a former employer, a bad divorce, money problems, or anything else you do not want your customers to hear their service rep sharing with them. Comments I like to hear are positive talk about spending time with their family, athletic interest, and ongoing business related educational pursuits. 2. Why did you apply for this job? A true professional will talk about the strength of your company and the value they can add to your service department. The average person will talk about their own needs. 3. Under the current (or last) dispatch system you used as a field tech, what changes could add value to the company? 4. What relationship have you had with CompTIA, and what was the cost of your last CompTIA test?” This lets me know how they value money and who paid for the test. I have never met a tech who did not know exactly what their CompTIA test cost if they paid for it themselves. 5. If our company offered you a pre-paid home study course to help you prepare for a CompTIA certification, how much additional compensation would you require for time spent outside of work for studying? For me the appropriate answer is no additional compensation followed by, “I understand part of my job requirement is to be self educated and keep current on technology.” 6. Your CompTIA testing fees will only be reimbursed when you pass the certification test. Is this fair? Would you take advantage of this program? continued on 54


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SERVICE MANAGEMENT

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Interview Questions to Ask when Hiring Field Technicians 7. When contacting an OEM or other technical hotline, how long should you stay on hold before taking other actions? What do you do during this hold time? 8. If all the open calls in your territory are completed, what do you do? 9. Describe your idea of a worthwhile service meeting. 10. Ideally, what should be in your parts car stock? 11. What have you done to improve your effectiveness in the field in the past 3 months? 12. What percentage of your work week would you like to: drive, work on equipment, assist sales staff, train others, do PMs, do trouble shooting, deal with upset customers? 13. Have you ever recorded and been reimbursed for an inaccurate amount of miles driven and/or other travel expenses? 90% of all techs have done this. A ‘yes’ answer to this question shows me they are honest. 14. While working on a machine in a customer’s office, you realize you need to 54

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replace a part. The equipment has more than a dozen pieces removed. What should you do? 15. What service operating systems (eautomate, OMD, LaSalle, Service Magic, etc.) are you competent to use? 16. What is the role of the Service Department in attaining sellable equipment leads? 17. What is a fair way to handle a situation when a tech loses or breaks a part? 18. Using standard service department burden rate calculations, if you are being paid $20 per hour, how much revenue must you generate every hour you work for the company to pay for your direct cost to the company? 19. What is an appropriate way to approach you if you had a personal hygiene issue? 20. What is an acceptable first call completion rate? How can you improve that percentage? 21. Name 5 characteristics of a great field tech. If currently unemployed: We Saw It In ENX Magazine

1. In hindsight, what could you have done in the past to improve your personal opportunity to increase your ability to earn this job or to have kept your former job? Why did you not do this? 2. What have you learned about yourself during your time of unemployment? 3. What have you done to improve your work skills while unemployed? 4. How are you currently supporting yourself? All these questions deal with the day to day actualities of the job of a field service rep. Another way to figure out what the appropriate answers may be is to ask these questions of a couple of your current technicians. Select one of your best techs and one of your less talented techs; compare how each answers the questions. A great hiring decision can reap mental and monetary rewards for many years. A poor hiring decision will reap daily havoc and huge monetary losses. Greater hiring skills are rewarded by not having to use them. u


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LEGAL OPINION

A Legal Comment on Lexmark’s Demand Letter

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any of you are aware of the letter sent out by Lexmark to the companies who had bought cores from Canadian-based Greentec. Mr. Ed O'Connor had previously written an article in ENX's April 2011 issue titled "The Impact of U.S. Court Decisions On The Remanufactured Toner and Inkjet Cartridge Market" addressing the firstsale doctrine. (www.enxmag.com under Archived articles.) It seems that Lexmark's letter is based upon the "first sale" doctrine noted in that article. ENX has asked Mr. O'Connor for his comment on the letter. Below is his response and we hope this adds a bit more clarity to what is a very murky situation for the remanufacturing industry.

" I read with interest a copy of the letter which was sent from the law firm of Banner and Witcoff to various customers of Greentec on behalf of Lexmark. The letter cautions that those who have obtained empty cores from Greentec and use those cores to remanufacture cartridges are infringing Lexmark's patents. The basis for the assertion seems to be predicated upon 56

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the fact that Lexmark's patented cartridges were first sold overseas and that the cores were then imported into the United States to be used by remanufacturing companies. The letter states, correctly, that when the patented products are first sold overseas, it is an infringement to import those patented products into the United States. That is not, however, the applicable law regarding the fact situation set forth in the letter. The letter asserts that the infringing activity is the utilization of the core. It does not assert that those to whom the letter is directed are guilty of reselling the patented cartridges. If the cores are not independently patented, but are merely elements of the patented cartridges, then it may very well be that the use of those cores in a remanufacturing process, for the benefit of those who have purchased patented cartridges, may be perfectly legal. Before anyone assumes that their use of the cores for remanufacturing is an infringement, they should at least confer with a patent attorney to determine if the assertions in the letter are, in fact, valid."u Ed O’Connor serves as chair of The Eclipse Group’s litigation department. His career We Saw It In ENX Magazine

includes serving as a Public Defender in Palm Beach County, FL; serving with Air Force J.A.G., where he Ed O’Connor wrote patent applications in computer technology, space exploration and advanced weapons systems; a senior intellectual property and litigation attorney with Intel where he was responsible for managing the organization’s worldwide litigation. Ed has represented clients before the US Supreme Court and the ITC and has won patent infringement, antitrust, and other intellectual property cases throughout the USA. He has won cases before the US Courts of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, the Second Circuit, the Fourth Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, the Seventh Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, and the Eleventh Circuit. He has served as lead attorney in complex cases before the Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Among the clients he has represented in litigation are Kawasaki (antitrust, defense); Nike (patent, defense); and Thermos (trade dress, defense). He can be reached at

efc@eclipsegrp.com


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ENX Display Advertiser Index ACM 03 Authorized National Copystar, Konica Minolta & Toshiba Distributor for Copiers, Printers, Faxes, Supplies and Parts Phone: 800-722-7745 Fax: 800-767-9722 askacm@acmtech.com www.acmtech.com All Leasing Services 25 Repo/Offlease Copiers, Printers and Faxes Phone: 866-727-3750 Phone: 949-727-3750 Fax: 949-727-3850 bids@alscopiers.com www.alscopiers.com BEI Services Copier and Service Department Benchmarking, Technician Compensation and Territory Mapping Phone: 307-587-8446 sales@beiservices.com www.beiservices.com

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Collins Distributing 40-41 Authorized National Distributor of Sharp, Toshiba, Samsung and Konica Minolta Products Phone: 800-727-0884 Fax: 901-396-8614 sales@CollinsDistributing.com www.CollinsDistributing.com Copier Careers Copier Employment Placement Phone: 888-733-4868 Fax: 800-464-3434 mail@copiercareers.com www.CopierCareers.com

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Copier Clearance Center Buy & Sell New and Used Copiers Phone: 800-393-6355 Phone: 916-617-2738 Fax: 916-617-2742 copiers338@gmail.com

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Crystal Trade For your Canon & HP Parts & Supplies Phone: 888-889-9598 Fax:713-789-1832 anisark@csihouston.com www.RemanCartridges.com

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By Britt Horvat

TECHNICAL TIPS

ON DEMAND Expo / info360… For Dummies A quick look at emerging technologies and how they relate to field techs and service organizations.

I

had a rather interesting time attending the On Demand Expo / info360. I kind of wish I could have read one of those great “For Dummies” books on the subject before going because I could not have been less knowledgeable about what was happening in the world of information technology before attending. What is all this talk of “going to the Cloud” and what is with all the acronyms? Knowing full well that I would be out of my element, I attended hoping to find out how all of the new technologies of digital media, mobile devices, and information technologies might apply to copier technicians, service organizations, and of course parts distributors such as myself. Well, I learned enough to be curious to learn more. I’d like to share with you all a little of what I found out. The On Demand Expo and info360 were held together in the same hall in the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City this past June 13-14. Some of the key topics which I found intriguing were clouds, QR codes, PURLs, mobile device apps, social networking, and gamification (yep that’s a real word now). Let’s begin with a test of your knowledge of acronyms. I think I would’ve been 1 for 3 on the quiz questions below…before I started actually looking these things up. Grab a pen and circle whichever you think sounds right. The answers will be given at the end of the article. MINI-ACRONYM QUIZ ! 1.) IT A. Intelligence Technician B. Internet Technology C. Information Technology D. Integrated Technology E. In Town 2.) PURL A. Performance Under Regulatory Law B. Private Universal Resource Locator C. Personnel Universal Regulatory Law D. Personal Uniform Resource Locator E. Perfectly Understood, Reach (ya) Later

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3.) A. B. C. D. E.

BI Best Informer Business Intelligence Business Information Business Index Beaming Information

Did that work? Do you find yourself interested and engaged? If so, you’ve demonstrated the value of “gamification.” I’m not so sure that my little multiple-choice quiz is a great example, but it gives you the basic idea. Advertisers will be using this sort of technique in far more creative ways to get and hold the attention of customers. As you can imagine, a short video game which makes a point or tells about a product or company while entertaining someone is something a lot of young people can relate to. Gamification is also useful to help guide or educate people. One of the speakers at the convention gave an example of gamification. He told us about a car he and his wife had recently rented. It had a strip of lights along the dashboard which glow bluish-green if you are easy on the gas (showing that the car is being used in a fuel efficient way). The lights change to a reddish hue if you’re heavy on the gas. The speaker’s wife liked it and played a little game on the way home. She challenged herself to see if she could manage to keep the lights in the bluishgreen color the entire way home. Using entertainment as a way to engage people has led to more personalized modes of outreach. For example, when you think of mobile devices, do you think of business or pleasure? It seems that the use of mobile devices is on the rise and many believe their popularity will continue to rise until it surpasses PCs and laptops. Makes sense seeing as how the newer generation is using them as if they’re an extension of their body. This is partially because touchscreens are a more intuitive and easy way to interact. Also folks like being able to access the internet and their own files and information anywhere they go. It’s increasingly important to advertise in ways that cater towards these devices. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Naturally, there is a gradual but accelerating shift towards using mobile devices for business. At first business applications on mobile devices were more like a novelty—they started out as being more for fun more than as serious business tools. That’s changing because mobile devices are being made with increased security, better connection speeds, more robust memories, and a huge proliferation of mobile apps. It’s getting to the point where if you think of what you’d like to be able to do on your mobile device, there is probably an app already out there to do just that. But what supports all of these new tools on our mobile devices? That’s where the Cloud comes in. Most of us have heard of companies that are “going to the Cloud.” The main question in my mind was, “What’s the difference between keeping information in a Cloud and keeping it on a website?” What I found is there is little difference. The idea is that the website server does the work and the mobile device only asks the questions and displays the answers. Instead of trying to keep huge databases of information on your mobile device, you can go to “the Cloud” and access the information. The database query is done by the server’s programming apps and not by the device. Likewise, work done on a mobile device that is saved in a Cloud environment, is saved right to the server so there is no fear of the work being lost if something happens to the mobile device. It makes sense. The main limitation is that if you lose connectivity, you lose access to your files and data temporarily. Folks who run good Clouds have redundancy in place so that data will never get lost. A solution to speed up the process of browsing the Internet on your mobile device is the QR Code. One way advertisers are making it possible for customers to jump right into a particular webpage is that they use these codes in their printed ads. A QR Code is like a barcode but it adds a second graphic dimension which allows for a lot more continued on 68


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TECHNICAL TIPS

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ON DEMAND Expo / info360… For Dummies data. Someone with a mobile device with a QR Code Reader App can point their camera at a QR Code, “capture” it, and their device will browse to the designated website. It can also be used to relay an address or location and then the device can use its GPS capability to guide the person to that place. Try it! If you have a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android (or if your kid does), download an app from your App store for reading QR Codes. One example is called “Scanlife” although I’m sure there are many choices. Open the app and point your camera at the QR Code on the right and your smartphone will jump right to the website which the code points to! Very cool stuff. Now that brings us to another thing to think about. How does your website look on a customer’s smartphone? Is it legible or too tiny to read? Websites can be tailored to be MDF (mobiledevice-friendly). Alright, so I confess… I made that acronym up just now. A website with a mobile version will have a narrower viewport, larger font and less words. The final thing which was a big topic for discussion was using social networking to get your name out there and to help you get answers to problems. Nothing is much better than “word-ofmouth” and the social networks are like “word-of-mouth” on 68

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steroids. One business-oriented social network that I learned about at the convention is “Yammer” (www.yammer.com). Here you can set up either a private forum (company only or byinvite only), or a public forum. Yammer looks very friendly and easy to use. If you post a question, you can never tell who might come up with a solution for you. Several of the speakers mentioned how they had collaboration projects which went out to a large pool of people within their own companies. They said that often a great idea would come from an unexpected source…sometimes an idea or solution could come from someone who didn’t even work in the area the project was focused on. The power of putting questions out to a large audience yields great information and less duplication of efforts. The recommendation was to go as wide as you can whenever possible because you never know who will come up with the golden answer. Well that just about wraps it up… except I promised to fill you in on the answers to the quiz at the beginning of the article. First, “IT” stands for “Information Technology”. You probably got that one right. Second, what’s a “PURL?” I actually looked this one up before going to the convention. It stands for “Personal URL” (URL is a web address or “Uniform Resource

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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TECHNICAL TIPS

PARTS FOR COPIERS & PRINTERS

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We Also Carry l l l l l l l l l

Locator). PURLs are web pages that are set up specifically for a particular customer. So someone who gets an advertisement can enter the ad’s url into their browser and go straight to a customized page which may say, “Hi Susan, so glad you came to visit! I have a great sale for you today.” I found a company at the convention called Easypurl (www.easypurl.com) that specializes in implementing this sort of technology. Or what if the personalized URL comes up with a map? A company I found at the convention that specializes in this very thing is Maps 4 Mail (www.maps4mail.com). They personalize email ads and other ad forms by adding a map from the target customer’s location to the advertiser’s store. Finally, what is “BI?” I am embarrassed to say that I sat in on a lecture called “BI Hits the Road” and left the lecture still not knowing what BI stood for. I mean, I had a vague idea what it meant, but the exact acronym meaning escaped me until I Googled it when I got home. Apparently the correct acronym meaning is “Business Intelligence.” The lecture talked about how new programs and apps are making it possible for decision makers in large corporations to use mobile devices in the field to access their data and track sales trends, etc. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I’m going to go and get myself some apps to try out everything I learned. See you all next month! u Britt works for The Parts Drop, a company that provides parts, supplies and infor-

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PRINTER TECH TIPS HP P4x1x Series (P4014/P4015/P4515) Motor Errors As the manual lists 59.XY motor errors to check cables and enter the DIAGNOSTICS menu to find which motor is not functioning properly, will only work for motor "start up" errors not "rotation" errors. So a clear description of motor errors as follows: 59.00 - feed motor start up failure (connector J 91) RL1-1657 59.01 - feed motor rotation up failure (connector J 91) RL1-1657 59.02 - fuser motor start up failure (connector J 89) RM1-5051 59.03 - fuser motor rotation failure (connector J 89) RM1-5051 59.04 - drum motor start up failure (connector J87) RL1-1659 59.05 - drum motor rotation failure (connector J87) RL1-1659 u This Tech Tip is contributed by Laser Pros. Visit their website www.laserpros.com or email any question to marketing@laserpros.com.

mation for Xerox brand copiers, printers and fax machines. You can find more information, including many of Britt’s past ENX articles on their website, www.partsdrop.com . If you’d like to read more about Xerox brand office equipment, there’s also a listing of some of the past We Saw It In ENX Magazine

articles under contributing writers on the ENX website (www.ENXMAG.com).

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TECH HELP Subject: Toshiba 2500c Question: OK I’m stumped. Machine does not auto calibrate. 08-4546 set to 5. 559 up to 572 are set with defaults, mostly 2, 571=4, 572=5. On my normal running machines, display says performing self-check on power up. Then goes to auto cal. This machine just warms up and says ready. Am I missing the code to turn on self-check? I’ve read the book for hours and can’t find it. Thanks for your help. PS…Still having the dev depletion problem. Any more ideas there would be great. Answer: Make sure 08 556 and 557 are set to 1. Answer: I should explain that 08 4546 is for automatic position adjustment and that 08 556 and 557 is for automatic density calibration which someone probably turned off for troubleshooting and didn’t turn back on. Question: 556 557 were set to 1. The color seems fine for now. It doesn’t selfcheck on power up but maybe it’s calibrating when I’m not there. Not sure.

Subject: Samsung C8380ND Question: I have a thin red line about a quarter inch in on the non-op side of the copy, (very thin line) only on color, nothing on black and white. There was a corresponding line on the drum, which I cleaned off with alky; however I still have the thin red line. I don’t know where it projects the image from; I assume that there is something dirty there. Could I get a heads up from someone? Answer: Check your charge for that drum. The line on the drum was a symptom not a cause. Question: Thanks, that’s what I was thinking, because the line was built up, not scratched in. I’ll check the charge stuff.

Subject: Canon IC D320 Check Printer Question: I assume it’s got a bad LSU? Wondering if anybody knows what this crosses over to in the printer category. I’m sure I got a parts machine for whatever it is. Thanks! Answer: what’s the ## error in service mode? I would bet it’s a fuser Answer: Go to your PC and clear all print jobs from there first. Chances are the message clears up too. Question: Machine is not connected & used as just a copier. It comes ready and copies about an inch of the top or is completely blank as it says check printer. Will dissect today to see what LSU is in it. Answer: When RX copy prints out, about 1/3 of page comes out then stops and unit displays Check Printer. Replace The Fixing Assy... Question: Thanks. I’ll give that a try first. LSU is buried! Answer: Guys!!!! This unit was an abandoned unit. Canon dropped them like a hot potatoe (A tip of the hat to Dan Quayle) I can’t imagine ANYTHING on this copier that is deep down that would be worth working on. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Question: You are correct sir!!!! Throwing in the towel on this one. Off to the scrap yard. Not a very service friendly piece of equipment!!!!! Answer: Agreed. I’ve seen probably 50 of these. Fuser, laser and paper feed drive system are near-impossible. CCD, control panel and main board are pretty easy.

westcoastplaten.com W EST C OAST P LATEN 70

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Cartridge linkage has no spare parts available which is good because it all disintegrates when you touch it. However, a year ago you could get them in Staples for $99 with rebate. I did that once instead of a repair and gave customer a brand new machine and kept their old one for parts and made money at both ends. The fact is though that they run pretty good until they break and are nice neat little low volume machines but don’t get sucked in.

Subject: Sharp AR 155N error code E 7-01 Question: After I replace the ratchet gear in the Gear drive assembly, put everything in place, and turn machine on, it displays E7-01. Had no problem like this when I started. Could not get into simulation (Clear-exposure-clearexposure). I went over all connections and plugs but no use. Manual says to reset with Sim 26-39. But the problem is I cannot get simulation. If anyone faces this problem I appreciate your help. Thanks, Answer: Check the ribbon cable going into the main pwb. I have had to cut the end because the contacts bend over. Question: Thanks for the idea; I did try a different ribbon cable but still E7-01. Tony I will post the solution when it is fixed. Answer: E7-01 Duplex model memory setup error, memory not-detected error.u Tips appearing in this section are reprinted courtesy of Smarka! The Copier Tech’s Info Source. Tips are randomly selected from submissions emailed to Smarka! Smarka! and ENX Magazine make no guarantees as to the accuracy of tips presented here. Email your tips to Tips@smarka.com. All tips become public domain.

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