ENX Magazine January 2019 Issue

Page 1

JANUARY 2019

VOLUME 26 NO. 1

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

engage ‘n exchange 2018’S PATH LED TO CROSSROADS: CHARTING THE FUTURE VIA LESSONS OF THE PAST

The 2019 Forecast:

M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year

FROM WIDE-FORMAT TO A WIDENING FLORIDA FAMILY,

AXSA IMAGING SOLUTIONS MAKING ITS NAME KNOWN

COME TOGETHER: CAROLINA WHOLESALE GROUP (CWG) REBRANDS AS ARLINGTON FILL THE SALES FUNNEL: CAPITALIZING ON SALES AND MARKETING TRENDS IN 2019 FORECASTING THE FUTURE OF SERVICE: LOOKING AT CHANGES NEEDED FOR SUCCESS

Bob and Sue Christensen, AXSA Imaging Solutions

ENX Magazine

PO Box 2240 Suite 729 Toluca Lake, CA 91610-0240 USA

tel: 818-505-0022 fax: 818-505-9972 email: enx@pacbell.net www.enxmag.com

HELP US CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES

To remove or change your address from our mailing list, please call, fax or email to: enx@pacbell.net



With fewer parts for less maintenance1 and predictive service that keeps your business up and running, HP A3 MFPs are an upgrade from traditional copiers.

Š Copyright 2018 HP Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. 1Fewer service parts claim based on HP analysis of leading in-class A3 color laser printers and MFPs as of February 2018; calculations use publicly available and/or published manufacturer rated yields for long-life consumables and assume 600,000 pages printed (using a 60% black/40% color ration). Learn more at hp.com/go/pagewideclaims.


HAVE YOU EVER

come back from a trade show excited to implement critical business improvement initiatives, but found your efforts end up costing you more with little or no success?

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According to the Harvard Business Review, about 70% of all change initiatives fail. BEI Services wants to help change that. New Process Launch BEI Services is launching a new project task

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Contact us today to learn more, and for a no-cost comprehensive insight evaluation.

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service organization for the project • Establish accountability for project success • Measure, record, and track improvement for long-term HR personnel management • Train, empower, and develop employees

BEI Services, Inc. | www.beiservices.com | sales@beiservices.com | 307.587.8446


EMPLOYEES WE ARE NOT WE DO NOT WE DO NOT NO LOSE THEIR JOBS A PRIVATE EQUITY

CHANGE YOUR CHANGE YOUR AS A RESULT OF THE GROUP NOR ARE WE MARQUEE... MANUFACTURER(S)... ACQUISITION... OWNED BY ONE... Visual Edge Technology incorporates a strategy of operating through established successful companies across the U.S., focused on providing a broad line of client solutions, including managed IT services, office automation solutions, multifunction products for print, wide-format solutions, managed print services and document management software. Visual Edge Technology companies represent brands Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Ricoh, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and Xerox. Visual Edge is continually focused on identifying successful companies to join our strategy.

Michael Brigner

• A B Dick Office Solutions, MI • A-COPI Office Solutions, ME • American Copy Service Center, CT • Axion Business Technologies, RI, MA • AXSA Imaging Solutions, Inc. FL, GA • Benchmark Business Solutions, TX & NM • Brady Business Systems, MI • Business Technology Partners, FL • Commonwealth Technology, Inc., KY, IN • Copeco, Inc., OH • Copier Source, Inc. d/b/a Image Source, CA • Counsel Technology, IA • Dunn’s Business Solutions, MI • FastForward Digital Solutions, FL • Graphic Enterprises Office Solutions, OH • Graphic Enterprises, OH • Janco Office Systems, CT • Kenmark Office Systems • MCM Business Systems, WV • Mercury Document Imaging Co., Inc • Midwest Automation, NE • N2N Technologies Inc. IN • Netwise Resources, Inc., IN • Office Systems, VT • Premier Business Products, MI • Technocom • TLC Office Systems, TX • United Business Machines, NH • WBS Technologies, FL • XMC, Inc. TN, AL, GA, AR, MS • Zymphony, FL

Senior Vice President

Vice President of Business Development

Michael Cozzens

David Ramos

mbrigner@visualedge.com

mcozzens@visualedge.com

dramos@visualedge.com

Chief Strategy Officer

GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE WITH YOU WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT AND WHY OVER 30 COMPANIES HAVE JOINED OUR STRATEGY!


JANUARY 2019

VOLUME 26 NO. 1

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

engage ‘n exchange 2018’S PATH LED TO CROSSROADS: CHARTING THE FUTURE VIA LESSONS OF THE PAST

The 2019 Forecast:

M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year

FROM WIDE-FORMAT TO A WIDENING FLORIDA FAMILY,

COME TOGETHER: CAROLINA WHOLESALE GROUP (CWG) REBRANDS AS ARLINGTON

AXSA IMAGING SOLUTIONS MAKING ITS NAME KNOWN

FILL THE SALES FUNNEL: CAPITALIZING ON SALES AND MARKETING TRENDS IN 2019 FORECASTING THE FUTURE OF SERVICE: LOOKING AT CHANGES NEEDED FOR SUCCESS

Bob and Sue Christensen, AXSA Imaging Solutions

In This Issue

24

DEALER SPOTLIGHT

From Wide-Format to a Widening Florida Family, AXSA Imaging Solutions Making its Name Known By Erik Cagle

16 STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

The 2019 Forecast: M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year By Erik Cagle

30 BUSINESS PROFILE

Come Together: Carolina Wholesale Group (CWG) Rebrands as ARLINGTON By Erik Cagle

34 TRENDS ROUNDTABLE

30

2018’s Path Led to Crossroads: Charting the Future Via Lessons of the Past By Erik Cagle

42 SALES & MARKETING

Fill the Sales Funnel: Capitalizing on Sales and Marketing Trends in 2019 By Darrell Amy

46 SERVICE MANAGEMENT

Forecasting the Future of Service: Looking at Changes Needed for Success By Ken Edmonds

42

48 TECHNICAL TIPS

Solving Communication & Memory Corruption Problems By Britt Horvat

51 PRINTER TECH TIP

HP LJ M604, LJ M605 and LJ M606 Failure: No Power—Won’t Turn On

52 DISPLAY ADVERTISERS INDEX 48 6

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

We Saw It In ENX Magazine



Contributors

Staff

DARRELL AMY is the founder of Convergo (formerly Dealer Marketing) a team of industry experts providing sales and marketing services to help dealers get found, get leads and get appointments. Learn more at www.convergomarketing.com.

KEN EDMONDS served at Sharp Electronics and then at Konica Minolta Business Solutions as a problem solver in both technical and service management issues for nearly 16 years. He retired from Konica Minolta as a District Service Manager in 2018. He has over 40 years of experience in the imaging business, having owned a successful dealership and served as service manager for multiple dealerships. He is currently consulting with dealers on strategies to improve profitability. View his blogs at www.kedmonds.biz and/or email at ken@kedmonds.biz.

Susan Neimes Publisher & Managing Editor

TECHNICAL ARTICLE CONTRIBUTOR

Erik Cagle Editorial Director

BRITT HORVAT works for The Parts Drop, a company whose primary business is providing parts, supplies and information 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.

Ronelle Ingram Contributing Editor

Christina Kim Editor

engage ‘n ex engage ‘n exchange

To Our Subscribers and Supporters

engage ‘n exchange

We sincerely T hank You

México & Latin America

La Revista del Distribuidor Dealer Source

engage ‘n exchange

Corporate Office

Susan Neimes - susan@enxmag.com Erik Cagle - erik@enxmag.com 10153 1/2 Riverside Drive, Suite 729 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 tel. 818-505-0022 • fax. 818-505-9972

Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year! From All of Us at ENX Magazine/ENX The Week in Imaging

ENX Magazine is published monthly by Affinity Business Communications, Inc. Any inquiries should be sent to: enx@pacbell.net or mailed to the corporate office. Copyright ©2019 by ENX Magazine printed in the U.S.A. All reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. Cover photo from depositphotos.com

8

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


PARTNERS

ONLY.

Whether you’re new to Brother or a veteran, you must obtain a new partner authorization by Feb. 1, 2019, to keep selling. We’re introducing a NEW Brother Authorized Partner Program. Only authorized partners are permitted to purchase Brother product from approved distributors effective Feb. 1, 2019. Brother is known for quality and reliability of its technology, and we’re excited to extend this relationship to you. Partner with us to sell Brother better.

Join us and receive unrivaled partnership and business growth. Let’s keep a good thing going.

Visit brother-usa.com/partners

to get authorized by Feb. 1, 2019, to keep selling.

© 2018 Brother International Corporation


Since 1985

Your Prime Source T EL: 800.729.8320

FAX: 800.829.0292

NEW YEAR SALE! ALL PROMOS VALID TILL 12/31/18 OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTOR

M2040DN M2540DW

M2635DW M2640IDW

B&W Copy, Print, Color Scan, w/ Network, Duplex, Fax (Opt on M2040dn)

B&W Copy, Print, Color Scan, with Network, Duplex, Fax

• 42 ppm (M2040DN) • 37 ppm (M2540DW) • 350-Sheet Paper Capacity • 50-Sheet DSDP

• 37ppm (M2635DW) • 42ppm (M2640IDW) • 512MB Memory

M2040DN

M2540DW

206 $210

$

Rebate

M2635DW

$

Rebate

M4125idn M4132idn

M2640IDW

150 $290

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P5021CDW P5026CDW

Color Copy, Print, Scan w/ Network, Duplex, Fax (Opt)

Color Printer with Wireless Network, Duplex

• 22 pages per minute (BW/Color) (5521CDW) • 27ppm (BW/Color) (5526CDW)

• 22ppm (BW/Clr) (P5021CDW) • 27ppm (BW/Clr) (P5026CDW) • 512MB Memory • 250-Sheet Paper Drawer • 50 Sheet MPT

l Specia ! e l Sa M5521CDW

M5526CDW

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250 $350

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P5021CDW

P5026CDW

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120 $290

25/32ppm B&W MFPs

24/30ppm Color MFPs

• 600 x 600 dpi Res. • 20 Secs or Less (Warm Up Time) • 600 Sheets Std. Capacity • 1GB Memory

• 600 x 600 dpi Res. • 30 Secs or Less (Warm Up Time) • 600 Sheets Std. Capacity • 1.5GB Memory

M4125IDN

M4132IDN

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850 $1270

$

CS-307ci CS-356ci CS-406ci

M8124CIDN

M8130CIDN

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COPY PRINT SCAN FAX*

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AirPrint

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• 32ppm BW/Clr (306ci) • 37ppm BW/Clr (356ci) • 42ppm BW/Clr (406ci) • 600-Sheet Capacity • Wireless Print/Scan

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with Network, Duplex, Fax (M3645/3655/3660idn only)

• 47 pages per minute • 600-Sheet Capacity

• 57ppm (M3655idn) • 62ppm (M3660idn)

• 20ppm BW/Color (C8520MFP) • 25ppm BW/Color (C8525MFP)

• 25ppm BW/Color • Dual 500 Sheets • 150-Sheet MPT • 33.6 Kbps Fax (Option)

• 32 pages per minute • Dual 500 Sheets • 33.6 Kbps Fax (Option)

AirPrint

AirPrint

7” LED

7” LED

Touch Panel

Touch Panel

M3145IDN

M3645IDN

Rebate

Rebate

200 $230

$

CS-356ci

1950

l Specia ! Sale

$

870

Rebate

Rebate

• 62ppm • 75-Sheet Document Processor

AirPrint

300

520

$

$

CS-406ci

Rebate

Rebate

2050

M6235CIDN M6630CIDN M6635CIDN B&W Copy, Print, Scan w/ Duplex & Network, Fax (M6630/6635CIDN only)

300

Rebate

Touch Panel

P2040DW B&W Printer with Network and Duplex • 42 pages per minute • 250-Sheet Drawer, 100-Sheet MPT

60

$

Rebate

P2235DW

Touch Panel

$

7” LED

BLOWOUT SALE!

7” LED

l Specia ! Sale

Rebate

Rebate

FREE! DP-7100

M3660IDN

280 $400

M3560IDN

• 32/32ppm (BW/Color) • 250-Sheet Tray • 50-Sheet MPT • 75-Sht RADF • Wireless Printing • 33.6 Kbps Fax

• Up to 37ppm (BW/Color) • 250 Sheets, 100-Sheet MPT

FREE!

M3655IDN

$

Color Copy, Print, Scan, Fax, B&W Copy, Print, Color Scan with Network, Network, Duplex, Duplex, Fax

Rebate

B&W Copy, Print, Scan with Printer Network, Fax (Option)

Rebate

CS-307ci

1000

$

CS-3212i

600

SPECIAL!

CS-356ci/406ci only

Color MFP Systems

Color Copy, Print, Scan with Network, Duplex, Fax (Option)

$

PACKAGE

(PKG 1)

DP-5110 (PKG 2)

CS-2552ci

l 1750 Spelec!ia Sa Rebate

with Network, Duplex, Fax (M3645/3655/3660idn only)

M6530CDN

FREE! DP-5100

Color Copy, Print, Scan with Network, Fax (Option)

$

M3655IDN

1250 $1550

FS-C8525MFP

DP-7100

M3145IDN

M8124cidn M3645IDN M3660IDN M8130cidn B&W Copy, Print, Color Scan B&W Copy, Print, Color Scan

l Specia ! Sale

35 B&W Printer with Duplex and Wireless Network

l

Specia Sale!

$

50

Rebate

All supplies & Parts available for prompt delivery! ENX Magazine | www.enxmag.com

All prices, rebates, and availability are subject to change without notice. Please call us to confirm.

Nuworld is not responsible for typographical errors or inaccurate specifications. Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.


Copiers • Printers • MFPs • Faxes • Scanners E m a il: info @ n u w o rld in c.co m

Order Online! www.nuworldinc.com

Blind Drop Shipping

Copiers, Faxes, MFPs, Printers, Scanners

FAX-275

MFC-J485DWRFD

Personal Fax Machine

Color InkJet AIO MFP

$89

$49

FAX-2840

COPYBOARDS N-32 Series Network Electronic Copyboards

EMAIL D! ENABLE

• Up to 4 x 61.6” Diagonal Panels

BIG SALE!

High Speed Laser Fax | 33.6Kbps Super G3.........................

Same Day Shipping

WRITE, PRINT, SAVE, & NOW EMAIL!

BIG

SALE!

CAPTURE PROJECTED IMAGES & YOUR NOTES!

M-17W

PPF-4750e

BIG SALE!

• Up to 2 x 78.5” Diagonal Panels

• Up to 2 x 78.5” Diagonal Panel

MFC-8220

BIG SALE!

B&W Laser All-In-One | 21ppm | 32MB Memory.................

BIG

BIG SALE!

MFC-L2740DW

BIG SALE! MP-301SPF 31ppm B&W MFP

B&W All-In-One | 32ppm | Duplex | Wireless Network........

MFC-L5700DW

BIG SALE!

MFC-L8610CDW

BIG SALE!

B&W Laser Printer | 42ppm | Duplex | Wireless Network...

33ppm Color MFP • Duplex • Wireless Network...................

MFC-L8900CDW

BIG SALE!

40ppm B&W Duplex, Network Ready Printer

BIG

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• 1GB RAM Memory • 250-Sheet Input • 100-Sheet Bypass

31ppm Color MFP • 2GB RAM Memory • 250 Sheets Input • 100-Sheet Bypass

BIG SALE!

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DOCUMENT SCANNERS

MFPs

PLEASE CALL FOR REBATE INFORMATION!

MX-M3050 MX-M3550

• 30 pages per minute (M3050) • 35 pages per minute (M3550) • 550-Sheet Paper Trays

MX-2630N MX-3050V

899

REBATE AFTER REBATE

LJ M130FW...............$50 REBATE CLJ M254DW..............$50 REBATE LJ M227FDN.............$40 REBATE CLJ M452DN............$130 REBATE LJ M227FDW............$60 REBATE CLJ M477FNW.........$160 REBATE LJ M402DW..............$80 REBATE CLJ M553N...............$120 REBATE LJ M426FDW..........$150 REBATE CLJ M553DN............$160 REBATE

PRINTERS & MFPS

30ppm B&W/ Grayscale/ Color (Simplex)

899

$

65ppm / 130ipm (Up to 300 dpi Color/Binary) Scanner

875

$

B2338dw

B2442dw

MB2338adw

$70 REBATE MB2442adwe

$100 REBATE C2425dw

$105 REBATE MC2425adw

$150 REBATE

$90 REBATE

$175 REBATE

38ppm BW Laser Printer INCREDIBLE

DEAL!

BIG SALE!

WIDE FORMAT PRINTERS ALL REBATES ARE VALID TILL DECEMBER 31, 2018

IPF TX-3000 IPF PRO4000/MFP IPF PRO4000S/MFP IPF TX-3000/MFP

IPF TM-305 IPF TX-305/MFP

24-inch Large Format Printers 36-inch Large Format Printers

36-inch Large Format Printers

3999

$

$

1126 $800 Rebate

CT-S310II

160mm/s/384K Mem.

PRINTERS & SCANNERS

WF-C5710

BIG SALE!

CT-S601

200mm/s/384K Mem. DS-860

Image shown: CT-S310II

CT-S801

25ppm Color Laser MFP

IMAGEPROGRAF

INCREDIBLE

SD622

36ppm BW Laser MFP

25ppm Color Laser Printer

DEAL!

BLOWOUT SPECIAL!

CALL FOR SPECIAL PRICING

42ppm BW Laser Printer

42ppm BW Laser MFP

KV-S1057C

• 80-100-130 sheets per minute • 600 x 600 dpi Scan Resolution • 1,000-Sheet Tray

• 30 pages per minute

150

DR-C240

60ppm Color Scanner for PC & MAC

SD375

MX-C300W MX-C301W

• 25/25 pages per minute (BW/Color)

BIG

SALE!

LJ M130FN................$50 REBATE LJ M521DN.............$200 REBATE

Digital Duplicators

BUY

MX-C250 $

Fi-7160

25ppm B&W/ Grayscale/ Color (Simplex)

GREAT

BUY

$

DR-C225

$70 REBATE

GREAT

65ppm B&W Duplex, Network Ready Printer

ALL REBATES ARE VALID TILL DECEMBER 31, 2018!

$30 REBATE

• 26ppm BW/Color (2630N) • 30ppm BW/Color (3050V) • 2 x 500-Sheet Paper Drawers (2630N), • 550-Sheet Paper Drawer (3050V)

55ppm B&W Duplex, Network Ready Printer

LJ M102W.................$20 REBATE LJ M501DN.............$150 REBATE

INSTANT REBATE PROMOTIONS

BIG SALE!

32ppm Color Printer • Duplex • Network..............................

LASERJET M607DN LASERJET M608X

BIG

HL-L8350CDW

32ppm Color Printer • Duplex • Network.............................

BIG SALE!

BIG

SALE!

SALE!

BIG SALE!

40ppm Color Printer • Duplex • Network..............................

65ppm B&W Network-Ready Printer

SALE!

HL-L8250CDN

HL-L5100DN

BIG

SALE!

LASERJET M402DNE LASERJET M608N

MP 501SPF..$200 REBATE SP 5310DN....$150 REBATE SP 3610SF.....$50 REBATE SP262SFNW....$50 REBATE SP 4510DN.....$40 REBATE SP C440DN....$100 REBATE SP 4510SF....$100 REBATE SP C261SFNW..$75 REBATE SP 5300DN....$100 REBATE Valid till December 31, 2018

33ppm Color MFP • Duplex • Wireless Network...................

BIG

BIG

MFC-J5720DW

55ppm B&W Network-Ready Printer

SALE!

SALE!

BIG SALE!

Color InkJet AIO | 35/27ppm (BW/Color)...........................

BIG

LASERJET M607N

40ppm B&W Duplex, Network-Ready Printer

SALE!

Electronic Copyboard

SALE!

MFC-9330CDW

Color Digital MFC | 23ppm | Duplex | W-Network...............

LASERJET M402N

• Up to 2 x 78.5” Diagonal Panels

M-18 Series

Electronic Copyboards

ALL REBATES ARE VALID WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Capture Boards

BIG SALE!

High Perf. Laser Fax | 33.6Kbps | Network.........................

LASERJET PRINTERS & MFPS

C-20 Series

FAX-4100e

High Speed Laser Fax | 33.6Kbps Super G3......................

MONOCHROME & COLOR

BIG

SALE!

300mm/s/384K Mem.

865 $1300 $700 $1000

$

Rebate

(IPF PRO4000) (PRO4000SMFP)

Rebate

(TX-3000)

Rebate

(TX-3000MFP)

Rebate (TM-305)

Rebate

(TM-305MFP)

IPF680/685 24-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTERS...............$360/$400R IPF770/780/785 36-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTERS.....up to $1100R IPF PRO2000/MFP 24-INCH LF PRINTERS.........$400/$600 REBATE IPF PRO6000S 60-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTER.......$1300 REBATE IPF TX-4000/MFP 44-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTERS...up to 1375R IPF TM-200/300/MFP 24/36-INCH LF PRINTERS..........up to $900 R

Parts Order Hotline: 562.977.4949

All prices, rebates, and availability are subject to change without notice. Please call us to confirm.

Nuworld is not responsible for typographical errors or inaccurate specifications. Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

NBS / ENX | January 2019


Since 1985

Your Prime Source T EL: 800.729.8320

FAX: 800.829.0292

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ALL INSTANT REBATE PROMOS ARE VALID THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2018 TO CANON PREMIER PARTNERS OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

D1520 D1550

MF236N MF247DW MF249DW

Digital Copy, Print, Fax, Scan MFPs with Duplex & Network

Color Copy, Print, Fax, Scan MFPs with Duplex & Network • 24ppm (MF236N) • 28ppm (MF247DW, MF249DW) • Duplex, Wireless Network (MF247DW, MF249DW)

$

80

85

$

REBATE

REBATE

MF236N

MF249DW

LBP162DW LBP214DW

LBP6030W LBP6230DW

with Duplex, W-Network

with Duplex, W-Network

• 30ppm (LBP162DW) • 40ppm (LBP214DW) • 250-Sheet Paper Cassette

• 19ppm (LBP6030W) • 26ppm (LBP6230DW) • PRINT • 2400 x 600 dpi Res.

• PRINT

70 $100

$

REBATE

REBATE

LBP162DW LBP214DW

MF424DW MF426DW

w/ Duplex, W-Network • 40 pages per minute • 350-Sheet Paper Capacity • 33.6 Kbps Fax Super G3 • Post Script 3 (MF426DW)

$

135 $105

REBATE

REBATE

MF424DW

MF426DW

MF264DW MF267DW MF269DW

60

$

REBATE

$

55

REBATE

LBP6030W LBP6230DW

LBP312DN

B&W Laser Duplex Printer w/ Wireless Network • 45 pages per minute • 550-Sheet Cassette + 100-Sheet MPT

• Up to 35 pages per minute • 256MB Memory • 500 Sheets + 50-Sheet MPT • Duplex Versatility • 33.6 Kbps Fax Super G3 (D1550)

Exclusive!

$

95

REBATE

180 $200

$

REBATE

REBATE

D1520

D1550

Exclusive!

375 200 $REBATE

$

REBATE 810CDN

820CDN

(MF735CDW)

75

$

REBATE MF269DW

FAXPHONE L100 FAXPHONE L190 Laser Fax-Based MFPs with Duplex (L190 only) • 33.6 Kbps Super G3 Fax Modem • 19ppm Print (L100) • 26ppm Print (L190)

$

70

75

$

REBATE

REBATE

REBATE

REBATE

634CDW

731CDW

L100

L190

LBP712CDN

• 19ppm (BW/Color) (612CDW) dpi Res. • 28ppm (BW/Color) (654CDW) • 550 Sheet Cassette

110 $90

$

REBATE

60

Color Laser Duplex Printer with Network Color Laser Duplex Printers • 40 pages per minute with Wireless Network • up to 9600 x 600

Color Copy, Print, Fax, Scan MFPs with Duplex & Network

3P

100 $135

$

LBP612CDW LBP654CDW

MF733CDW MF735CDW

Exclusive!

• PRINT • COPY • SCAN • FAX

• 19ppm (BW/Color) (MF419DW) • 28ppm (BW/Color) (MF515DW)

• 26ppm Color/BW (MF810Cdn) • 36ppm Color/BW (MF820Cdn) • 550 Sheets + 1-Sheet MPT • Duplex Versatility

(MF820CDN)

55

with Duplex, W-Network

Color Digital Copy, Print, Fax, Scan MFPs with Duplex & Network

3P

• 30ppm • 50-Sheet DADF • 250 Sheets, (MF269DW) 1-Sheet MPT • 35-Sheet $ $ Simplex ADF (MF264DW, REBATE REBATE MF267DW) MF264DW MF267DW

MF634CDW MF731CDW

MF810CDN MF820CDN

• 28ppm (BW/Color) • 1GB Memory (Shared) • 33.6 Kbps Super G3 Fax

3P

B&W Copy, Print, Fax, Scan, Duplex, Wireless Network

REBATE

MF733CDW MF735CDW

3P

Exclusive!

(LBP654CDW)

85

$

70

$

REBATE

REBATE

612CDW

654CDW

3P

Exclusive!

60

$

REBATE

All supplies & Parts available for prompt delivery! ENX Magazine | www.enxmag.com

All prices, rebates, and availability are subject to change without notice. Please call us to confirm.

Nuworld is not responsible for typographical errors or inaccurate specifications. Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.


Copiers • Printers • MFPs • Faxes • Scanners E m a il: info @ n u w o rld in c.co m

Order Online! www.nuworldinc.com

Blind Drop Shipping

Same Day Shipping

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ALL INSTANT REBATE PROMOS ARE VALID THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2018 OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

CLX-8640ND / CLX-8650ND

Color Duplex Copy, Print, Color Scan, Fax, Network

B&W Copy, Print, Color Scan, Fax, Network

• 40 pages per minute (BW/Color) (CLX-8640ND) • 51 pages per minute (BW/Color) (CLX-8650ND) • 520-Sheet Cassette + 100-Sheet Multipurpose Tray CLX-8640ND

• 35 pages per minute • 500 Sheets $ Input, 50 AFTER Sheets $ MPT

CLX-8650ND

$300 $500 REBATE

REBATE

SL-C1860FW SL-C2670FW

Color Duplex, Copy, Print, Scan, Fax, Wireless Network • Up to 27/27ppm (BW/Color)

SL-C2670FW

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Erik Cagle

State of the Industry

The 2019 Forecast: M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year

N

ow that the last crumbs of fruitcake have been devoured and there isn’t a trace of egg nog to be found in the cafeteria refrigerator, it’s time to dust off the old crystal ball and take a look at what 2019 has to offer. It’s safe to say that M&A left a significant handprint on the previous year, and that consolidation will once again cause the market of independent dealers to shrink. And there is ample evidence to suggest that manufacturers, suppliers and other players within our little world will find there is strength in uniting under one flag. Most folks have returned from vacation and are ready to begin conquering whatever challenges 2019 has in store for them. To get your year off to an informative start, we’ve collected a rather large sampling of industry heavyweights throughout the office technology and imaging universe to share their views on what we can expect from the New Year. Not all of the following opinions are bright and cheery, but like a traffic report, hopefully these pundits can help you steer clear of potential jams while providing a quicker access route to your destination—the ongoing road to success. May your 2019 journey be a safe and profitable one. Ondrej Krajicek, chief technology strategist for Y Soft, believes artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in increased productivity and security for print management. He feels AI will deliver significant boosts in user productivity by increasing the level of Ondrej Krajicek, Y Soft process automation, including the discovery of new business processes or the optimization of current ones. “Process discovery is kind of a holy grail of AI in business process and enterprise office workflows applications, because it will solve the ultimate challenge of automating business processes—someone has to realize that there is a process to automate and create that automation,” he said. “Today, workflows are manually created and are a one-size-fits-all ap16

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

proach. With AI, the user data will suggest an optimized workflow or suggest a new workflow. And, those suggestions may be less structured, more ad hoc and take into account individual user’s preferences fulfilling the purpose of the workflow at the same time. AI might also anticipate the needs of users, matching the right user experience at the right moment or dynamically change depending on the circumstances.”

The M&A Mystique

It comes as no surprise that the continued onslaught of M&A continues to dominate mindshare among industry professionals. Stiff competition from manufacturer branches, the demands of new technology and diversifying a dealer’s product and service portfolio are Nick Capparelli, LEAF many of the key triggers that Commercial Capital are driving the movement, notes Nick Capparelli, managing director for LEAF Commercial Capital. “We’re seeing a trend toward increased demand for capital to support M&A and post-acquisition integration, facility updates, hiring, marketing, inventory management and so on,” Capparelli observed. “Increased M&A presents a number of challenges, including maintaining staff morale, changing capital structuring and managing customer sentiment in the face of shake-ups to relationships that have often spanned decades,” he added. “Larger dealers also have more leverage with manufacturers, increasing competitive pressure for them. Allied providers, such as equipment leasing and finance companies, will need not only to keep up with the needs of businesses as they Joseph Dellaposta, consolidate, but to also an- Doing Better Business

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 18



The 2019 Forecast: M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year ticipate and address the challenges these businesses will face as they diversify their offerings.” Joseph Dellaposta, owner and COO of Doing Better Business in Altoona, PA, predicts increased M&A movement from both the dealer and manufacturer standpoints. This will result in fewer players, with the remaining dealers getting larger. “This could result in a more competitive market, or it could eliminate the low-cost provider mentality, since everyone will have overhead and shareholder/investor profit expectations,” he said. “I think dealers should solidify their base as best as they can and keep their eyes and ears open for potential acquisitions and mergers.” As organizations continue to change hands at the dealer level, what impact will it produce on the entire dealer ecosystem? Bill Melo, chief marketing executive for Toshiba, feels the aim of the acquisitions is to create a new type of reseller that can provide a variety of services for SMB clients. “Will this new model succeed? If so, can it move downstream from the Bill Melo, Toshiba well-capitalized, tier-one dealers that are blazing the trail to the majority of document solutions resellers that don’t have the wealth of resources from which to draw?” Melo posed. One of the key players in the M&A space is Nashville, TN-based Novatech. Darren Metz, CEO, believes its incumbent upon dealers to take a hard look in the mirror and decide whether they have the resources and firepower to compete, particularly in metro markets where consolidators and OEMs have a considerable presence. Darren Metz, Novatech “The big thing is for the dealers to figure out how they’re going to participate in this; are they going to be the last independent guy standing, or are they going to be a regional player consolidated themselves?” he mused. “Are they going to be a consolidator themselves? I think it’s decision time for the dealer channel. I don’t think that business as usual is going to be an option. The smaller dealer choosing the business-as-usual option is likely to find itself muscled out if it’s in any sizeable market at all.” Along the same vein is the growth of venture capital investment in the industry. John Lowery, president of Applied Imaging in Grand Rapids, MI, notes the trend is to buy dealers, fuel growth and John Lowery, then flip the business. Applied Imaging 18

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

“For the independent dealers, this adds opportunity and potentially more competition, but long-term, more opportunity for growth,” Lowery said. “The impact to the industry will be the loss for some manufacturers’ distribution. So, for the dealer, there could be an opportunity to go after the base they are trying to convert to another manufacturer. The focus for dealers should be to take advantage of strategic acquisitions to fuel growth and build necessary resources dealers need to compete.” Lowery adds that as a Ricoh dealer, the ability to buy the OEM’s MIF and eliminate competitors has been good for both parties. “Ricoh is clearly out front on this trend, and we believe others will follow.”

Value-Added Solutions

One of the most prevalent trends sees dealers educating themselves to create value-added “beyond-the-box” solutions in the print space, according to Sammy Kinlaw, vice president, worldwide channel and OEM sales for Lexmark. “This could include serviceability, adding value such as cloud management for fleets and/or continued emphasis on security in the print space,” he said. “We will see Sammy Kinlaw, Lexmark new players selling print in 2019, and we will also see remaining players continue to become smarter. Smaller partners will begin to offer MPS.” Diversification is certainly a hot-button issue moving forward, notes Andy Slawetsky, president and owner of Industry Analysts. He points out that many dealers are evolving beyond the traditional copier/MFP model into managed service providers. The key here is offering a product or service that carries post-sale opportunities. “Dealers need to continue to look to Andy Slawetsky, Industry Analysts add products and services that fit within their customer base,” Slawetsky said. “Simply put, what else can they sell to their customers that they can support?” Fred Carollo, vice president of Originations, Office Products for TIAA Bank, Vendor Equipment Finance, feels one area of particular interest lies in the continued movement toward selling Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), along with the desire to have all-inclusive agreements to document these solutions (hardware, licenses, services and consumables). “Dealers will need to address their capabilities and offerings to compete in the ever-evolving market and stay relevant,” Fred Carollo, Carollo said. TIAA Bank continued on page 20

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The 2019 Forecast: M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year Indeed, many long-term changes to the industry will be driven by technology and client usage requirements, notes Ray Fuentes, president of Edwards Business Systems in Bethlehem, PA. Evidence of this can be found in industrial printing, with many manufacturers either making an initial foray or additional investments in their existing technologies. “In addition, label-making equipment Ray Fuentes, Edwards and wide-format are going to become Business Systems additional areas of opportunity for our industry, along with color production,” Fuentes remarked. “We also see greater interest and growth in MPS as well as various software solutions. IT services, security and VoIP are additional areas of opportunity for recurring revenue. I believe AI will have a place for opportunity in our industry as well, and some of the companies being purchased by the manufacturers, or who they have partnered with, will bring that technology to our industry.”

Security Concerns

Digital security continues to move up the hierarchy chart of concerns for dealers and end users, according to Hiro Imamura, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. He points out there is a strong market for MFPs and other equipment that incorporates digital security protocols due to the high volume of sensitive information that is Hiro Imamura, Canon shared on—and processed through—office devices. “Features like user authentication and user tracking are critical to keeping business information secure, especially in the current workflow process that often spans multiple connected devices,” he said. “These modern security needs help inform features and optimizations for Canon’s leading imageRUNNER ADVANCE system and supporting uniFLOW device management platform, and will continue to be a priority for future editions of office solutions.” Tracey Mustacchio, vice president of product and marketing at Nuance Document Imaging, notes that given the inevitability of security breaches, there is now a focus beyond preventing breaches to addressing content after they occur. The key is understanding exactly when and what content may have been exposed, and following up with a swift and Tracey Mustacchio, Nuance appropriate response. “(The) spend on securing data will continue to increase, but will expand from securing data in repositories (at rest) to include

documents moving to and from those sources (in motion),” she said. “Print and capture are examples of unprotected vulnerabilities today in many organizations.”

SMB Versus Enterprise

The doom and gloom associated with dwindling page volumes is a well-documented trend, but this isn’t a cloud that can be found in all skies. Kevin Morris, president and CEO of OneDOC MPS of Oklahoma City, continues to see a veritable green field of opportunities for MPS growth. Morris’ sales force continues to reach out to businesses in the SMB sec- Kevin Morris, OneDOC tor that have not been queried, though he has little doubt the declining volume phenomenon is prevalent with enterprise accounts, a field in which OneDOC is not a player. “Companies that we contact who have been through this before were really only sold service and supply rates to include with their printers and copiers,” he said. “There was no managed print going on in those accounts, anyway. So we still see a lot of opportunity in that space. That being said, we’re not silly enough to think it will be that way forever. We, like a lot of other companies, have looked at things to add onto our business. Also, for the first time ever, we have the opportunity to do a seat-based billing program and it is finally starting to come to fruition.” On the subject of MSPs, Michael George—CEO of managed IT services platform provider Continuum—adheres to the Pareto Principle that suggests 80 percent of the wealth is dominated by 20 percent of the market. He further believes market forces have created the perfect storm for this imbalance to take hold in the managed services marketplace, and by 2020, 8,000 of 40,000 Michael George, Continuum MSPs in the nation will dominate most of the available revenue. Citing CompTIA reporting, one of the market forces is a reduction in the workforce of up to 40 percent due to retirement, which could impact business leadership scenarios where there are no successors in place, thus stifling growth. The second is mass-market consolidation via M&A, with industry consolidators and private equity firms snapping up MSPs. George believes this will result in smaller players, facing increasingly challenging environments, who are unable to exist as their competition grows in size and strength. “To prepare for these first two market forces, providers must reduce their reliance on increasingly scarce labor and focus instead on delivering valuable services to clients, efficiently,” George said. “And, to compete in a consolidating marketplace, continued on page 22

20

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

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The 2019 Forecast: M&A, Structural Changes and Product Evolution to Dominate the Year business owners should be taking a close and urgent look at their exit plan, whether through merger, acquisition or scale. “Finally, the dominance of large-scale MSPs in the major metropolitan areas across five key verticals will make it difficult for smaller providers to compete. Unless they are established dominant players, providers should look at focusing on geographies outside the 107 metropolitan areas in the United States or the five verticals (financial services, health care, construction, non-profit and legal) to stand a chance of succeeding.”

Dealer-OEM Relationships

Mike Marusic, president and CEO of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, maintains that customers will continue to ask their suppliers to provide more services and support, expanding past traditional relationships. “Companies will not only be looking at ways to leverage the data they have Mike Marusic, Sharp in institutional knowledge, but also how they can use the data on their technology use to better service their customers and be more efficient and productive,” he said. “End users will be looking for deeper relationships with their suppliers to expand past their normal goods and services in order to leverage this data in new ways. Copier dealers are perfectly positioned at the intersection of managing costs, information sharing and onsite support to expand how they provide value to their customers.”

Alternative Billing

While the concept of a seat-based billing model has a burgeoning following, buoyed by BEI Services, the SBB Roadshow and other proponents (including Konica Minolta’s One Rate MPS program for directs), some are skeptical of its widespread adoption. Christian Pepper, president of LD Products’ Channel Part- Christian Pepper, ner Division, fancies himself as an agent LD Products of change, but questions whether a majority of dealers would convert existing per-page billing fleets to a fixed-income model. Pepper added that given it took sales reps a decade to learn and develop the “muscle memory” for selling MPS, and have amassed large volumes of customers under these programs, converting to alternative billing could be problematic. “Konica Minolta can offer it because they started from zero in MPS less than two years ago and needed something that was easy for their reps to sell, and a major differentiator,” he said. “The independent dealers I know who have experimented with it have not been able to sell many, if any, contracts, and few like the idea of putting a cap on revenue and leaving costs variable. I am going to watch more closely, but my prediction is it isn’t going to go mainstream and take over from MPS anytime soon.” 22

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

Production Print

Of the many areas for dealers to diversify, one sector that has had a polarizing impact on attitudes is production printing devices. Pete Peterson, president of Xerox Channels, is seeing more resellers expand into the production print market to sell higher-end devices. “The great news is that selling these devices doesn’t have to be complex,” he said. “With the right tools and ven- Pete Peterson, Xerox dor support/training, resellers can adapt their selling techniques to become successful in this space. Expanding technology offerings allows resellers to make a greater per-sale profit while helping clients successfully address their business requirements.”

The A4 Migration

With continuing technological improvement and dwindling print volumes, Ray Belanger—president of Bay Copy in Rockland, MA—sees a continued movement toward A4 printer-centric devices. Belanger maintains that it will be increasingly difficult to support a sales force on a commission model that emphasizes hardware sales and equipment. “There just won’t be enough margin Ray Belanger, Bay Copy to keep high achievers interested,” he noted. “I believe more organizations will be moving to models that incent aftermarket profit growth, penetration of larger customers and retention of profitable customers. Driving business towards MPS and managed services models helps clients manage resources. This means selling equipment bundled with software tools and services together in a simplified program.”

Chinese Tariffs

The raging tariff war between the Trump Administration and the Chinese government saw something of a cease-fire in late November with a 90-day moratorium on planned increases. As the two governments continue to negotiate, it does little to mitigate the concerns that tariffs could have on the prices for Chinese-imported supplies critical to our industry. Tyson Stargel, vice president of Houston-based Stargel Office Solutions, fears the tariffs could cause back orders and price increases on copier-related products manufactured in China. “I think it’s too early to understand the impact, but asking your OEMs what they know is a Tyson Stargel, Stargel good idea,” he said. ♦ Office Systems We Saw It In ENX Magazine



Erik Cagle

DealerBriefing Spotlight News

From Wide-Format to a Widening Florida Family, AXSA Imaging Solutions Making its Name Known

B

ob Christensen isn’t quite ready to spend lazy days with his wife Sue, boating on the Atlantic Ocean while sipping margaritas under bright and sunny skies. But when the day comes that the president of AXSA Imaging Solutions of Longwood, FL, has finally had his fill of the office technology life, Christensen will know his company is in strong, capable hands, for he will have handpicked his successor. Christensen boasts an impressive resume that includes 32 years with the former IKON Office Solutions, and after a brief stint outside the industry,

AXSA Imaging Solutions owners Bob and Sue Christensen are avid boaters 24

www.enxmag.com | January 2019

he (and Sue) acquired AXSA, a dealership that specializes in wide-format machines. Four years ago, he pivoted and added copiers and MFPs to the arsenal, and now serves the needs of clients in Florida and parts of Georgia. To this day, AXSA remains one of the leading wideformat device providers in the Sunshine State, and is one of the nation’s top three sellers of the HP PageWide XL platform. At the end of 2017, the Christensens sold into the Visual Edge Technology (VET) platform. But instead of picking out retirement clothes, Christensen is ramping back up into familiar territory. He is one of VET’s core presidents, and much like his IKON days— where he was a regional vice president of sales for seven Midwestern states—he now has oversight responsibilities for a trio of Visual Edge holdings in Florida: WBS Technologies, FastForward Digital Solutions and Zymphony Technology Solutions. And last summer, Business Technology Partners of Orlando, FL, was acquired by VET and folded into AXSA. Some things never change. Christensen is still a salesman at heart (with several accounts still under his management) while Sue focuses on the backroom operations and finances. We caught up with Christensen around the holidays to see the impact VET has had on his business and the new, evergrowing family that surrounds AXSA Imaging Solutions. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

How was business in 2018? CHRISTENSEN: It’s been a good year in which we’ve seen revenue growth. Our profits continue to be strong and we’ve expanded our product line and offerings. This is the year when we really started to get recognized by competitors. We’d been this quiet little company, but now we’re on people’s radars. The HP PageWide XL product has been a real facilitator. We’ve had the line for three years, and every year we’ve been one of the top three dealers in the country. What helps is that we came out of the gate truly understanding how to sell a cost-per-square-foot model, all inclusive. We know how to sell color, so we’ve helped the architecture, engineering and construction market appreciate the value of color in what has traditionally been a black-andwhite industry. That has provided tremendous growth, plus the A3A4 side has grown nicely as well. After years of providing wideformat solutions for the AEC space, AXSA Imaging Solutions somewhat recently moved into the copier market. How would you characterize this process and experience? CHRISTENSEN: About four years ago, we recognized that every time we went into a customer that had wide format, they generally had about three copiers somewhere in their building. So we sourced the Samsung product line initially and started marketing that to our


current customers. We told them, “you’re happy with our wide-format, why not give us a shot for copiers?” Surprisingly, they were very open to it. It was a struggle at first, because the decision maker for the wide-format machines and copiers were two different people. Decisions were already being made on the copiers, unbeknownst to the people we dealt with. So we quickly learned that we needed to go deeper and wider into the accounts, and it’s been working for us. Plus, acquiring A3 dealers and getting that base built into AXSA has been helpful. When you’re selling in the wideformat environment, customers are more methodical in their approach. With copiers, there are so many competitors out there that you have to move quickly or someone will eat your lunch. My wide-format salespeople now understand they have to be quicker at closing with copiers. What does AXSA Imaging Solutions pride itself on? CHRISTENSEN: We’ve done great job of bringing in and retaining good talent. We’re real proud of the way we empower people; we encourage them to look for ways to grow. They, in turn, treat their customers in the same manner. We live by the adage of treating everyone the same way we want to be treated. We have a great reputation in the market and we’re known as the premier wide-format supplier in the Florida market. When we were in the process of acquiring AXSA six years ago, people were asking me

Members of the extended AXSA family, representing WBS Technologies (from left): Mike Abes (KYOCERA), Sarais Castillo, Elke Friedman (seated), David Keller, Debbie Cummings and Peter King

why I would buy into a wide-format company, because that business is going away. It couldn’t be farther from the truth and we’re capitalizing on that mistaken belief. It’s true that many others have tried wide-format and have fallen by the wayside, but we’re doing quite well. In late 2017, your dealership joined the Visual Edge Technology platform of companies. What attracted you to the VET value proposition as opposed to the other industry consolidators? CHRISTENSEN: We really weren’t in the market to sell. What attracted me was the premise of coming into a growth company with a model that would bring us aboard and let us stay independent, while allowing us to continue what we do well. As Sue and I are getting along in our time on this earth, we really felt like

AXSA employee Carlos Rivera and a canine “assistant,” Gracie Christensen We Saw It In ENX Magazine

we wanted to have more control over what happened to the company, where it went and more importantly, where our people would be if we weren’t here. Visual Edge has an aggressive growth plan and they’re looking for talent and leadership, so it definitely opened up a lot of doors for our employees. More importantly, it would allow us to stay as long as we wanted, and over time we’d be able to choose our own successor without having to sell it to the highest bidder. This allowed for a more thoughtout succession plan. What do you feel VET brings to the table that is going to enable your firm to continue enjoying growth? CHRISTENSEN: We value their encouragement of sharing ideas and best practices. As an entrepreneur, you don’t get a lot of opportunities to share ideas or pain points, or ask questions about what other dealers would do in certain situations. Visual Edge provides a fantastic team environment. Prior to being acquired, they encouraged us to talk to others and check out their experiences. I have known (Commonwealth Technology President) Troy Turner and his team, as well as others who have been acquired, so I already knew how user-friendly they were and how open they were to sharing ideas. That’s been extremely helpful. I’ve transitioned into a core president’s role. There’s 11 of us who meet and share thoughts, and we have a dealer council that talks regular-

continued on page 26

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From Wide-Format to a Widening Florida Family, AXSA Imaging Solutions Making its Name Known ly with Austin (Vanchieri, Visual Edge CEO). We get to be a part of that growth and along the way pick up a lot of ideas we can bring home. In July, VET acquired Business Technology Partners (BTP), which was integrated into AXSA. How has the process of merging employees and customers fared so far? Were there any challenges? CHRISTENSEN: The people side has gone really well. We were able to assimilate and assign people into various positions. The challenge, as always, is merging the database, and in this case, we had a short timeframe to take BTP out of a 10,000-square-foot facility and move them into ours. That required a lot of real estate moves on my part. Of course, you can’t make real estate decisions prior to a deal’s closing—you have to do that after the fact. Miraculously, it all came through and we’re under one roof now. What’s been fun is seeing the sales force have a new group of customers to take care of. Everybody’s wrapped their arms around that customer base, and we’ve done well with it. In addition to BTP, you have oversight responsibilities for WBS Technologies, FastForward Digital Solutions and Zymphony Technology Solutions. How would you describe your role within the VET organization? CHRISTENSEN: My role has been more of a facilitator of talent. We have four great companies here in Florida, with more to come, so the real challenge is to put all the pieces together and have the right talent in the right seats.

Gracie Christensen and the AXSA fleet 26

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Zymphony came on board in January, and I facilitated that integration. We’ve been putting the pieces together to where we’ve become one. We still allow and want to continue the local presence leadership, but we’ve built a nice team behind the scenes to handle aftermarket, service, operations and logistics. They don’t have to worry about the next inventory buy or other challenges. We’ve taken that off the plates of the presidents and sales leadership, which allows them to focus on what they really enjoy, which is growing the business. Given all the vast additions you’ve experienced in the past year alone, what has been the key to harmonizing change management? CHRISTENSEN: It’s all about persistence and patience. You really have to be persistent when you’re making or suggesting changes. By nature, people aren’t excited about change, so you have to give it a chance to sink in. Often it doesn’t happen the first time around, or even the second or third time. You have to be persistent with it while being patient in allowing people’s minds to wrap around the concept. What was your dealership’s biggest win last year? CHRISTENSEN: I really feel like we’ve solidified the players within the teams. We’ve got great presidents or general managers in place and we’ve got a strong Florida core. Everyone is working together in harmony. It doesn’t mean we’re all dancing to the same tune, but there’s a desire to attain the same goal. Some days I didn’t think we

Bob Christensen, president of AXSA Imaging Solutions

were going to get there, but we pulled it off. The next step is engaging and capitalizing on that successful team. What was your biggest challenge in the past year? CHRISTENSEN: It’s been tough getting through some of the strong personalities. In any strong organization, you want strong personalities, and the challenge is to pull it all together and come out with the right team. If you have strong personalities in place already, then their ideas are automatically the best in the room. That may not always match up with what’s needed. Moving that needle a little bit and changing that direction is challenging. Who do you see as your biggest competition, and how do you differentiate your company from them? CHRISTENSEN: Florida’s got some pretty big competition. This has been a 35-year venture for me in the copier industry, and it’s funny how one company may be your biggest competitor today, yet you don’t hear anything from them a week or a month from now. It’s as if the competition constantly changes. With our under-the-radar approach, we try not to make a lot of waves. We don’t advertise a lot or make ourselves known on a billboard. But we quietly go about acquiring customers, one company at a time. We’re just going about our business. In that regard, the biggest competitor is the one I’m facing today. continued on page 28

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From Wide-Format to a Widening Florida Family, AXSA Imaging Solutions Making its Name Known

AXSA Imaging Solutions employees enjoy their annual holiday party that capped off a successful 2018

What are your goals for the next 12-18 months? CHRISTENSEN: The plan is to now take that great team and get everybody looking for synergies and efficiencies. We’ve capitalized on those savings and put them into sales, so that we can have great feet on the street creating more business. We’ve grown in some of our markets while some have shrunk, but as a whole, we’re steady. We’ve built our structure around growth. How do you view the industry changing in the future, and what are you doing to adapt? CHRISTENSEN: I see the industry being challenged to grow from a revenue perspective. The prints will continue to be made, just not in the same quantity. Prices continue to drop, as does the cost of the equipment. So I think margin percentage-wise, we’ll continue to do 28

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OK, but it won’t be on the same revenue. We need ways to grow revenue, and the only way to do that is to take other people’s accounts. Also, we need to look for other ways to address the needs of our customers. The acquisition of Zymphony, a prominent managed IT services company, means that WBS, FastForward and AXSA don’t have to worry about the talent, labor and expense necessary to build out that competency. We can flip the switch and offer that to our current customers, and that differentiates us from a lot of our competitors. We’ve taken on telephony, and that matches nicely with managed IT services. If you think about wide-format and the copier businesses as the mainstay of the tree trunk, we’re looking to branch out to help our customers. But we don’t want to go out so far on the branch that it breaks. We’re looking for products and offerings that match up closely to what

we already offer. We depend on that for growth. What do you enjoy most about your job? CHRISTENSEN: I get a kick out of working with the employees and seeing them succeed. We’ve got a new general manager we just promoted at WBS. John has been with the company for 16 years and has worked hard daily to be successful. He’s excited, eager to grow and eager to learn. It’s a lot of fun for me to mentor somebody like that. I just love it. Outside of work, what do you do for fun? CHRISTENSEN: Sue and I are big boaters and we love to get out on the Atlantic Ocean whenever we can. We also love to travel, get out to every state and see what’s out there in those little towns. I don’t mind being home, either. We live in Edgewater, FL, right on the intercostal, so we bike down to our boat and hop on. I don’t think it gets any better than that. ♦

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Business Profile

Come Together: Carolina Wholesale Group (CWG) Rebrands as ARLINGTON

T

he November announcement that Carolina Wholesale Group (CWG) was combining its distribution brands Carolina Wholesale, Arlington and Digitek under one name, ARLINGTON, might have come as a surprise to many of its dealer and vendor partners. But for Brent Martin, director of marketing for the Charlotte, NC-based distributor, this was a move nearly 15 years in the making. But Martin wants the office technology dealership space to know that while the CWG and Digitek brands may have been retired, there will be no change to the high-quality level of product and service that customers have come to expect from the organization. In fact, many of the internal changes associated with the reLarry Huneycutt, owner branding, which became effective and president Jan. 1, will be opaque to dealers. The benefits, however, will become immediately apparent. “It was a difficult decision,” Martin said of selecting the name. “There’s a loyal following for both Digitek and Carolina Wholesale Office Machines. The onus is on me and our sales department to continue to let our customers know that we’re still here, but we’re just wearing a different patch on our shirts.” The original patch on the shirt of Owner and President Larry Huneycutt read Hank Welfare

Company, which specialized in typewriters and office products. It was rechristened Carolina Wholesale Office Machines in 1979 before Huneycutt purchased a 50 percent share of the firm in the early 1980s. He became the sole owner in 2000.

M&A Origins

Carolina Wholesale kickstarted its M&A engine with the 1997 acquisition of Arrowhead Distributors of Kansas City, MO. The portfolio quickly grew with Monroe Systems for Business and Raymond Packer Company in 2001, but the crowning jewel came in 2003, when it added Arlington Industries of Waukegan, IL. That prompted the formation of Carolina Wholesale Group as a parent company for the subsidiaries. New England Adding Machine Company was onboarded in 2004, and following a 10-year lull in deals, CWG added a trio of firms in 2015: Central Office Products, Smoltz Distributing and United Export Services. A year later, the third major leg of the CWG stool came in the form of Digitek Computer Products. Today, ARLINGTON boasts six distribution centers located in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. The organization has four sales offic-

THERE’S A LOYAL FOLLOWING FOR BOTH DIGITEK AND CAROLINA WHOLESALE OFFICE MACHINES. THE ONUS IS ON ME AND OUR SALES DEPARTMENT TO CONTINUE TO LET OUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THAT WE’RE STILL HERE, BUT WE’RE JUST WEARING A DIFFERENT PATCH ON OUR SHIRTS.

Brent Martin, director of marketing

es based in California, Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina, with an overall employee force of just under 200. According to Scott Lewis, vice president of sales for ARLINGTON, one of the organization’s primary points of differentiation is its ability to provide a true one-stop solution. The distributor offers a full range of OEM supplies, imaging equipment and office machines, along with remanufactured and new-build cartridges to satisfy the wide-ranging needs of its resellers. “We feel like we’re one of the only distributors that has an inhouse technical support department for machines as well as for supplies,” Lewis said. “Since we acquired Digitek, we’ve integrated their Partner Pro solution that has digital marketing solutions as well as sales and management-training services.”

Consolidating Brands

Following the formation of CWG, each of the three brands—Carolina Wholesale, Arlington Industries and Digitek Computer Products (shortened to Digitek)—maintained separate branding, marketing and individual sales teams. Internally, it had combined its product selection, distribution centers and various back-office operations. According to Martin, the increase in inbound marketing, and the need to draw customers to one primary distribution website, was one of the drivers behind the brand combination, which started in earnest at the beginning of 2018. The distributor entertained the idea of a completely new name, and solicited the advice continued on page 32

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THREE DISTRIBUTORS. ONE NEW BRAND. YOUR BEST SOURCE. The best of the strengths and traditions of

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Come Together: Carolina Wholesale Group (CWG) Rebrands as ARLINGTON of partners to determine whether a new go-to-market brand would be appropriate. ARLINGTON was chosen because it represented the company’s largest portion of revenue and overall sales. Carolina Wholesale also carried a regional connotation, and the distributor wanted the name to convey a national presence. Perhaps the sales approach was the most fundamental of the changes. Having them all focus on the same accounts enables the reps to continue providing the best of all three brands while removing customer overlapping scenarios. “In the past, it was possible for three reps to call on the same customer, thus throwing three different value propositions at them,” Lewis said. “It was confusing for the dealers at times, and we’ve cut through that confusion by consolidating the sales department and providing the best of all three brands in one, from the rewards program to technical support. We think that it’s a win-win for the dealers.”

Brent Martin, director of marketing and Scott Lewis, vice president of sales

the knowledge sets across all three platforms, which required cross-training.

Integration Challenges

One of the more daunting aspects of the integration was bringing all three companies under the same business soft-

WE’VE CUT THROUGH THAT CONFUSION BY CONSOLIDATING THE SALES DEPARTMENT AND PROVIDING THE BEST OF ALL THREE BRANDS IN ONE, FROM THE REWARDS PROGRAM TO TECHNICAL SUPPORT. WE THINK THAT IT’S A WIN-WIN FOR THE DEALERS. Scott Lewis, vice president of sales But this integration came with its own set of challenges. Arlington sales reps were well versed in supplies and the Digitek salespeople had experience in media, while the Carolina account executives were fluent with the machines. The key was integrating

ARLINGTON’s Illinois sales office 32

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ware, Martin notes. Carolina Wholesale and Arlington had long been integrated, but converting Digitek to its ERP system was a process that took the better part of two years. Electronic data interchange (EDI) customization was the primary culprit behind the laborious process.

While ARLINGTON may have been taxed internally to bring the entirety of its offerings into a neat, tidy package that represented the best of all three worlds, the customer-facing element did not include any scaffolding. Lewis points out that Martin’s marketing department did a yeoman’s job of “blowing the trumpet” from a high-level perspective. The deftly coordinated rebrand was rolled out within a four-day window to customers, vendors and the trade press. Account executives called on their accounts to keep them informed of the change. “The message we want to share with the customers is that they’re going to get the same service, support and pricing that they’re accustomed to. There will just be a different name on their invoice,” Lewis said. “The website they visit may have a different name on it. But what we’re known for in the industry is the way we treat people, and that’s not going to change. It’s been a real smooth transition and Brent has done a great job of spreading the word.” While the integration of all three companies is firmly established, the company felt it was important to tie all the elements together with a mission statement and corporate vision statement. Introduced to employees last October, the statements speak to what the company represents, its goals and values, and underscores what is expected of those who represent ARLINGTON to customers, vendors and various partners. Now that the ARLINGTON brand consists of all the unified CWG proper-

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ties, could the distributor be looking to build its base via further acquisitions? Lewis notes the organization’s balance sheet has it in a prime position to entertain talks with prospects that could improve its business and customer offerings. While not actively engaged in negotiations or scouting out possible candidates, ARLINGTON is nonetheless open to any overtures that would make sense for the company.

Customer Focus

Martin notes the distribution landscape has changed, given the technology changes and the move toward digital transactions and digital fulfillment. “At the end of the day, it’s about providing a solution for our customer,” he said. “We’re mindful of the competition in the industry and what they’re doing. But at the same time, I don’t look at what the competition is doing as much as focusing on our customers’ needs in bringing the best solution for them, whether it’s in the programs and how we’re providing products and shipping to them, or marketing and sales solutions to help them compete.”

The future is a bright one for ARLINGTON, which is focused on ensuring that the same quality customer experience enjoyed by the clients of all three entities is maintained under the new banner. As an example of its commitment to offering the best of each brand, ARLINGTON is unveiling a rewards program this month that wasn’t previously available to customers of Carolina and Arlington. More information is available by visiting ARLIAdvantage.com.

“We believe that successful business is rooted in providing solutions to our customers,” Martin remarked. “We’re going to maintain the traditions that we’ve had, but we’re also looking for opportunities, whether it’s adding new product lines or developing other solutions and services for the small-business owner. We’re continuing to work in partnership with them to help their businesses grow, so that we can grow together. That’s been the key for Carolina Wholesale for almost 50 years, and that’s going to continue as we move forward.” ♦

The Waukegan, IL, parts and supplies warehouse for ARLINGTON

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January 2019 | www.enxmag.com

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Erik Cagle

Trends Roundtable

2018’s Path Led to Crossroads: Charting the Future Via Lessons of the Past

A

s part of our state of the industry look at the trends and issues that shape the way we do business in the office technology sector, we’ve gathered a cast of major industry figures to interpret the events of 2018 and the lessons that can be applied moving forward. Our roundtable panel is quite an esteemed cast: Luke Goldberg, executive vice president global sales and marketing at Clover Imaging Group; Kay Du Fernandez, senior vice president of marketing for Konica Minolta; Wes McArtor, president of BEI Services; John Whidden, vice president, HP U.S. Print Services Channels Sales; and Jennie Fisher, senior vice president and general manager, Office Equipment Group, GreatAmerica Financial Services. In considering the office technology dealership space and its providers, what lessons should we take away from 2018? GOLDBERG: Dealers need to figure out ways to be more important to their customers in an era when their core business is in decline. They need to be more creative in the way they’re delivering their core services, which is print and hardware. And they need to think about how to have stickier relationships with

those customers that they’re eventually able to monetize on as hardware and print becomes a smaller part of their business. The most successful dealers, either via acquisition or organically, are the ones in a gradual process of expanding their portfolio to be able to encompass more aspects of a customer’s business beyond print and print hardware. FERNANDEZ: For Konica Minolta, our dealer solutions business is up 11 percent year over year. We’re seeing more dealers offering solutions to their customers and bundling software with their hardware. Bundling not only helps them differentiate from their competitors, it also helps them maintain and grow their hardware margin. Since the overall unit placements aren’t growing, finding net-new opportunity from a competitive knockout and preserving growth margin in any opportunity is important. We’ve really been focused on helping our dealers diversify their product portfolio—solutions, managed voice, managed IT services, security assessments—and we see the value of a more integrated hardware, software and services approach. McARTOR: Print is a declining commodity, so diversification is critical to a dealer’s long-

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL DEALERS, EITHER VIA ACQUISITION OR ORGANICALLY, ARE THE ONES IN A GRADUAL PROCESS OF EXPANDING THEIR PORTFOLIO TO BE ABLE TO ENCOMPASS MORE ASPECTS OF A CUSTOMER’S BUSINESS BEYOND PRINT AND PRINT HARDWARE.

Luke Goldberg, Clover Imaging Group

Luke Goldberg, Clover Imaging Group

term success. IT and IT security are going to continue to grow. Customers are looking for a vendor that can handle the mission-critical components of their business. Being an expert in security will become a significant part of the decision process. IT VARs will begin to erode print revenue at the low end, while alternate channels of distribution move up segment with cheaper, more reliable A4s. Diversification in customer solutions will need to continue. WHIDDEN: A good economy drives tight labor markets, pushing businesses to prioritize worker productivity over cost. While cost is never irrelevant, during strong economies customers are more open to spending money on new innovations and technologies that improve the efficiency of their businesses. Dealers can help their customers differentiate by offering workflow solutions to improve the speed and efficiency of paper-based processes. MFPs are often the center of that workflow improvement. Color printing is also a powerful tool. Many HP dealers used PageWide technology to shift customers from continued on page 36

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2018’s Path Led to Crossroads: Charting the Future Via Lessons of the Past we saw this begin a few years back, and dealer consolidation remains ongoing. Some of the OEMs participate in acquisitions in an effort to retain market share in a particular territory, and I think that will continue to be a strategy for all OEMs in the market.

Kay Du Fernandez, Konica Minolta

older mono devices and pages to color in 2018, helping their customers produce more valuable communications. FISHER: Efficiency is more important than ever. The large and mega dealers realize this, and with the increased

FISHER: With the sheer number of acquisitions and changes in our space this past year, there have been a great deal of adjustments for the independent dealers to make and unknowns to navigate. What is not surprising is the resiliency our dealers have. They continue to impress us with their entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and ability to pivot and succeed. WHIDDEN: Canon’s announced entry into page-width inkjet printing for the office, joining HP’s entry in 2012, shows that ink will continue to gain on laser in the office, as it has in other segments of digital printing, from

SOME OF THE OEMS PARTICIPATE IN ACQUISITIONS IN AN EFFORT TO RETAIN MARKET SHARE IN A PARTICULAR TERRITORY, AND I THINK THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE A STRATEGY FOR ALL OEMS IN THE MARKET.

Kay Du Fernandez, Konica Minolta

competition, the savvy smaller dealers are understanding this, too. We all are asked to do more with the same amount of resources. The good news is that we’ve seen our dealers scaling without adding as much headcount due to the numerous technology integrations we have in place, and continue to add, with leading software suppliers. The benefits of these integrations include reducing or even eliminating manual steps traditionally required, which reduces overall administrative expense. Choosing the right partnerships can make all the difference when it comes to “getting there” and doing so profitably. Did 2018 produce any surprises, in your opinion? FERNANDEZ: Maybe not quite a surprise, but I think the rate at which dealer acquisitions are still continuing seems to be growing stronger. I think 36

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postage stamps to building wraps. HP proved customers will accept ink in the office with its highly successful A4 and A3 PageWide and OfficeJet devices. Ink printing systems offer lower total costs to manufacture and maintain, while printing on a wider range of supported media. This has driven ink’s success in the home, office, wide-format, commercial printing/production and specialized large-format applications. The high initial cost of capital to build pagewide printheads has been the barrier to entry for ink in the office. But with two leading vendors, HP and Canon, having made that investment now, I’d expect other OEMs will be forced to follow, driving a relatively rapid shift to ink as the technology of choice in office color printing in the next five years. McARTOR: The speed in which Device-as-a-Service, seat-based billing,

Wes McArtor, BEI Services

etc., has picked up momentum. As manufacturers start to promote their own flavor of this billing method, dealers will have to get on board with how this works and make the necessary adjustments. The key to success with this model is knowing and controlling your costs. The fact remains that this will be the billing method of choice for at least 80 percent of placements in the very near future. Again, it’s about the customer experience, and most customers hate meter billing. GOLDBERG: Although consolidation is something that’s been taking place for a number of years now, the speed of that consolidation is ratcheting up to a level that’s a bit surprising. I don’t think any of us quite expected consolidation in the channel would be as rapid as it’s been. One surprise is the HP acquisition of Apogee in the UK. I think what that portends is interesting, in terms of what their strategy is going forward versus their direct business and the channel business, and how they’ll manage those two different things. As the New Year gets under way, what trend do you think merits following and why? MCARTOR: I believe there are two trends; no-meter billing and A4 will be hot in 2019. As a result, dealers must be much more focused on cost awareness. The differences we see from dealer to dealer indicate exceptional opportunities for dealers to improve their margins

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 38


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2018’s Path Led to Crossroads: Charting the Future Via Lessons of the Past to make them more competitive and valuable. I would caution dealers to not get into any flat-rate model without first carefully analyzing your opportunities to improve your cost awareness. As volumes decline, feature functions of A4 continue to improve, and alternate channels begin to focus on our customers, we’ll have little choice to elevate our A4 offerings. WHIDDEN: MPS is prevalent now in every customer segment—SMB, public sector and even at home in metered solutions. As all customers move to a services model for all of their output solutions, the differentiation of the vendor and the dealer delivering the solutions will be crucial to winning across all customers. GOLDBERG: HP’s long-term strategy in the U.S. market as it relates to their direct business. Are they looking to make any acquisitions in the U.S. in a similar vein to the Apogee acquisition, and what will that do and mean for the channel?

John Whidden, HP

accordingly. Those in acquisition mode are finding the more secure the contracts, the more they are willing to pay to acquire a dealership. They appreciate the certainty of future revenue streams. As acquirers pay more attention to the nature of contracts, dealers are evolving

THE DIFFERENCES WE SEE FROM DEALER TO DEALER INDICATE EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEALERS TO IMPROVE THEIR MARGINS TO MAKE THEM MORE COMPETITIVE AND VALUABLE.

Wes McArtor, BEI Services

That’s something we’ll all be looking at. Another thing people are starting to talk about, and it’s something we’re going to follow closely, is the device-as-a-service model. It’s about delivering prints more in line with the way that other business services are delivered. Obviously, Konica Minolta is a big believer in that, and BEI Services has been talking about it. Is the status going to change the way that print and that service is delivered to the consumer? What is Clover’s role in that, and how can we be a driver of that trend, if that’s the trend that indeed makes sense for the channel? FISHER: Increased dealer focus on recurring revenue. We have seen more dealers paying attention to their enterprise value and the way they approach their contracts with customers, 38

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and adopting a bundling philosophy. This creates better outcomes for those being acquired, too, i.e. higher multiples and better earn-out performance, when applicable. FERNANDEZ: On the technology front, we will probably see more IoT-connected devices and more integrated devices on the network that are able to interact and exchange data. Along with that, I think a lot of products will perhaps be AI-enabled platforms. We’re starting to see that a lot, and there will be more launches in the coming year. Also, we’ve been talking about millennials for a while now. They represent more than one-third of the American workforce, and in 2020, they will be half of the workforce. They’re becoming a bigger part of the vendor

selection process, so they’re being asked to help shortlist vendors and invite them to the final stages of the selection process. From a dealer perspective, investing in digital marketing and showing that you have optimized your website and are very visible and accessible online is important. The millennials are driving some of this digital transformation in the workplace, wanting to have the most up-to-date devices and technology to do their jobs. It’s about creating this Workplace of the Future and dealers being able to support it. We’ve come full circle as more of these IoT devices and AI-enabled platforms come into the workforce. As a dealer, being able to support that technology, as well as offering different types of models for acquisitions, is vital. Consolidation/M&A seems to be touching every aspect of the industry. What are the ramifications for the various industry segments, and what does it mean for the smaller, independent dealership? WHIDDEN: Yes, even we at HP got into consolidation with our acquisition of Apogee in Europe. High service margins will continue to attract privateequity funding looking for good returns. Printing device OEMs are looking to capture a piece of the service profit pool while securing hardware share via acquisitions. Smaller dealers will have to differentiate on things other than cost and hardware offerings. Closer customer relationships, better service experience and customized solutions that are more available today than previously will allow the smaller partner to continue to deliver value at a high level if they embrace real fleet- and output-management tools available from vendors and in the marketplace. GOLDBERG: A lot of the rollups taking place are with the mega dealers, whether it’s Marco, DEX, Flex Technology Group or Visual Edge. A lot of these roll-ups are to expand regional strength or to expand nationally. But there are a lot of small dealers in smaller cities or rural areas, where they can have a very nice business that isn’t necessarily

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continued on page 40


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2018’s Path Led to Crossroads: Charting the Future Via Lessons of the Past impacted by these roll-ups. In fact, some of these small dealers are in areas that are under-represented and can even be targets to roll-ups. I talked to a lot of dealers at an industry event on the East Coast, and some of the acquisitions that they’re looking at are sub-$3 million dealers in smaller regions without much competition. I think even small dealers have an opportunity with this roll-up strategy. I think the next phase after dealers in the larger metros have been acquired is to target smaller metro dealers.

declining. They’ll either have to segment themselves into different areas or there will inevitably be some more consolidation. FISHER: The big just seem to get bigger and it’s putting smaller dealers under more pressure to compete. As dealers become larger, they have more buying power with the manufacturers, and are able to leverage their economies of scale in service and other aspects of their business. Consequently, it’s even more imperative for smaller, independent

WHILE COST IS NEVER IRRELEVANT, DURING STRONG ECONOMIES CUSTOMERS ARE MORE OPEN TO SPENDING MONEY ON NEW INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES THAT IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF THEIR BUSINESSES.

John Whidden, HP

If, however, you’re a small dealer in a major metro where these mega dealers exist, then yes, it’s going to be difficult. They’re only going to succeed—and ultimately compete—by essentially being the small guy that’s more flexible and can provide a high level of service, along with the personal touch that you can only get from a small dealer. In a lot of cases, mega dealers concentrate on larger SMBs in terms of end-user size. There’s an opportunity for smaller dealers to make a nice living off the minnows… they don’t need the whales. There will be a lot more acquisitions because there are too many dealers. Are there too many manufacturers? That’s a question we’ve all been asking. We’ve seen some consolidation in that vein with Konica Minolta adding Muratec and HP getting Samsung. I think some of the manufacturers are feeling like the traditional A3/A4 office space has become commoditized and they are looking at different technologies. You see ink technology and hardware manufacturers upping the ante in terms of speeds, feeds and operating costs, and they are getting more into a lightproduction and production realm. I do think there are too many manufacturers selling A3 and A4 technology into the office, and the demand’s been 40

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dealers to focus intensely on the level of service they are providing. Unless smaller dealers have a strong niche segment they serve well or operate in a small geographic market, their MIF will likely be vulnerable to the competition. No matter how the competitive landscape evolves, those smaller dealers who learn to evolve their customer-centric approach will still win their fair share of accounts. FERNANDEZ: For the smaller, independent dealership, I think they need to be a little introspective and ask themselves if they’re positioned to transform their business as our industry moves into managed services. If the answer is yes, then they should be going to their manufacturer and asking them for help and programs to

Jennie Fisher, GreatAmerica Financial Services

buyers value that local presence, the people who really know the business. The model isn’t going away, but I think dealerships should really decide if they want to grow in a certain direction. Business as usual isn’t a wise tactic, and dealers really need to work with manufacturers to plan out their next step. MCARTOR: Having been in the business longer than I care to admit, I’ve seen this cycle a few times. History indicates that most consolidators start with the mindset of leaving what’s good about an acquisition alone, but eventually start moving redundant functions to central locations for cost control. Inevitably, that moves decisions further from the customer, opening the door to the more responsive, experienced and focused small, local dealer. We’re an industry in transition, and that creates

EFFICIENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. THE LARGE AND MEGA DEALERS REALIZE THIS, AND WITH THE INCREASED COMPETITION, THE SAVVY SMALLER DEALERS ARE UNDERSTANDING THIS, TOO.

Jennie Fisher, GreatAmerica Financial Services

transform their business and grow into these new markets. If the answer is no, then consolidation may be the answer. I think there will always be a need for the smaller, independent dealership. Some

opportunity for increased M&A activity. Whether your company is in it for the long haul or working toward an exit strategy, cost control should be very much top of mind. ♦

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Darrell Amy

Sales & Marketing

Fill the Sales Funnel: Capitalizing on Sales and Marketing Trends in 2019

T

here are only two types of prospects: those who are looking for your products and services, and those who aren’t. If you want to grow sales in 2019, you’ll need to find ways to connect with both groups: • Prospects who are actively looking for solutions to their problems need to be able to find your dealership online. • Prospects who aren’t actively looking for a solution need to be strategically interrupted by your sales team. This is where a sales funnel can be an effective method for increasing business. With that in mind, let’s look at how the latest buying trends and sales technologies can make prospecting more effective.

Sales: Prospecting Effectively In 2019

Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, says the numberone reason for empty pipelines is failure to prospect. I couldn’t agree more. The more we can do to make prospecting efficient, effective and measurable, the

healthier our sales funnels will be.

Multiple Touches

Salesforce.com research tells us that it takes six to eight touches with a prospect to get a meeting. It’s no wonder that random phone blitzes and field cold calls yield such low results. Smart sales teams leverage easily automated sequences of emails, phone calls and social touches that are dripped out to high-value prospects. Instead of placing one call, the prospect gets a sequence of touches, increasing the chance they’ll be willing to make an appointment.

Meaningful Content

Salespeople are paid to interrupt prospects. And if you want to interrupt a decision maker, you’d better have something meaningful to say. We all know that conversations around lease payments and costper-copy are door-slammers. Instead, sales teams need to bring valuable insights—by understanding the business goals and challenges of various horizontal positions (CFO, CIO,

owner) and vertical markets, reps can dramatically raise their chances of getting an appointment. This fall, I started updating our research in key horizontal and vertical markets. Here’s what’s exciting: many of the key business issues most of these markets face can be addressed by print, workflow and managed services offerings. Approaching prospects through the challenges they face in their market has dramatically increased reps’ success rate in getting appointments.

Mastery of Prospecting Skills

When you enhance your sales team’s phone prospecting skills, you begin to see instant returns. In addition, today’s evolving market makes it imperative that your reps learn to integrate email and social into their prospecting. As we train dealer sales reps to prospect, not only do we notice an immediate increase in close rates for appointments, we also see an increase in the confidence of the sales team.

Measurable Results

The number-one driver of a dealership’s success is sales. The number-one driver of sales is prospecting. Yet, most sales teams do not have an accurate way to measure prospecting activity. Asking a sales rep, “How many calls did you make” rarely yields an accurate result. Smart dealers implement prospecting systems that are fully measurable—instead of asking continued on page 44

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Fill the Sales Funnel: Capitalizing on Sales and Marketing Trends in 2019 a rep how many calls they made, sales managers should be able to see this data in real time and coach appropriately.

Marketing: Focus On Conversion in 2019 While the sales department works to engage prospects who are not yet looking for solution, your marketing engine needs to engage with buyers who are actively looking. Fortunately, virtually all of today’s buyers go to either search engines or social media when they need answers to their questions. Smart dealers in 2019 will continue to capitalize on this, adjusting their strategy for conversions. For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them according to Econsultancy research. We notice this trend with dealers. Much effort is spent on driving visibility and traffic through Search 44

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Engine Optimization and paid Search Engine Marketing (pay-per-click ads). But little budget is dedicated to making the website more useful to buyers. In 2019, marketing’s focus needs to shift to making the dealership website more effective.

Don’t Build a New Website This Year

Most dealers build a website and then leave it alone for three to four years, until it’s time to do it all again. When building a website, most of the attention goes to the design of the site and the home page. Internal page content ends up being somewhat thin. More-and-more dealers now look at their website as a continuous improvement project. Rather than rebuild the site, why not renovate one section at a time? This allows you to give focused attention to the content supporting core parts of your business.

Pillar pages are a new way to enhance your website. These pages include rich content on a specific topic such as managed network services or production print. The pages link to other articles on the website that are helpful to the buyer. They also include calls-to-action with links to rich content like e-books. Pillar pages not only provide information that helps keep buyers on your site, they also build authority with Google, fueling search engine placement.

Clarify Your Message

In his best-selling book, “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen,” Donald Miller makes the case that most companies present a very unclear message. The more you can clarify your message, the more prospects will understand what you do and how they can benefit. The best way to do this is to begin with your ideal prospect. Who are they?

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What are their problems? How can you help? How do they take the next step? Miller explains the buyer’s journey this way: a hero (the buyer) has a problem and meets a guide (your dealership) who has a plan and calls the hero to action that ends in success, helping them avoid failure. This simple template for content helps dealers focus their message to resonate with clients while calling them to take action.

Add Calls to Action

If you have a sales rep who doesn’t close, you’re probably going to fire them. What about your website? Does it close? Other than a “Contact Us” page, most dealer websites don’t close for the next step. It’s no wonder dealers are disillusioned with the internet—you’d be just as disillusioned with your sales force if they didn’t close. Closes on websites are known as calls to action, or CTAs in the marketing world. Much like a sales rep uses different types of closes depending

on whether they are asking for an appointment, a demo, or the order, your website CTAs need to do the same thing. • Early in the buying cycle, the buyer is researching. We call this the Awareness stage. An appropriate CTA would be special report on how other companies are leveraging technology to solve a specific problem. • In the middle of the buying cycle, the buyer is considering their options. Buyer’s guides that compare the options are an example of a good CTA at this point. • Later in the buying cycle, the buyer is ready to engage. Offer them a logical next step with something like a meeting, an assessment or a network health review. As prospects fill out forms on your website, you need to respond quickly and appropriately. HBR research showed that an online request should be responded to within an hour. Even better, many dealer websites offer online chat as a We Saw It In ENX Magazine

convenient way for buyers to engage. To provide a fast response to online inquiries, many dealers are considering inside sales people who can respond to web leads while also doing outbound prospecting. Reps must also respond appropriately. When a buyer requests a special report, the sales rep needs to understand that they are early in the sales process. While the rep may think they’d prefer someone in the decision stage as a lead, the benefit of a lead at the top of the funnel is that the rep has the opportunity to guide the decision. As they told me when I started my career at Lanier in 1993, “First in wins.” Early stage leads are a great thing for sales reps!

Let’s Be Strategic In 2019

As the market becomes more competitive, we need to do everything we can to maximize sales prospecting and inbound leads. Implementing these strategies will help ensure 2019 is the best year ever. ♦

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Ken Edmonds

Service Management

Forecasting the Future of Service: Looking at Changes Needed for Success

O

ver the last couple of years, I’ve spent time with some of the bestknown consultants and analysts in our industry, both in person and through attending the training and webinars they produce. In off-the-record comments, the most-common fear about the industry and financial models we know today is that they have a limited lifetime left. On a webinar recently, I asked the presenter what the changes he described would do to the service model we use today, and he said that things would be okay for the next four to five years. There are several challenges facing service that are starting to impact our industry now, and they will continue to accelerate in the future. Let’s take a look at some of them and what we can do to protect our businesses.

Declining Print Volume

While there is generally fluctuation from year to year, the overall trend in printing is down in most segments of our industry. The only segment that shows real growth is in the high-volume and industrial print segments. This growth exists because the digital presses are taking output from the traditional offset market.

Billing Model Changes

The current cost-per-page contract is on its way out. Manufacturers and many dealers are switching to a flat monthly rate per machine, a concept known by several different names: Seat-Based Billing (SBB), One Rate, and Imaging Device as a Service (IDaaS). All 46

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of these are monthly flat-rate billing programs for devices and output, irrespective of volume.

Advent of Inkjet

In the November “Building My Business” webinar, hosted by the BTA and presented by Charles Brewer from Actionable Intelligence, he described the various vendors in our business and the mix of products they were selling. He noted that Canon, HP and Epson were all delivering high-speed, highvolume inkjet printers that target the mid-range color devices that are most dealers’ bread and butter. In his presentation, he showed the introduction rate of new devices this year, 28 percent of which were color ink-jet devices, compared to 21 percent for new A3 color and mono devices combined. I visited Print18 this year, and the one trend that stood out to me was that ink was omnipresent. Every major manufacturer had inkjet devices on display. These devices included very high-volume digital presses, wide-format devices and customembellishment devices. If they can make high-volume, highquality inkjet presses, they can do the same with business-class machines.

Move from A3 to A4

One other trend identified by Brewer is the manufacturers’ shift in focus from A3 to A4 devices. All of the major manufacturers are increasing the lineup of A4 devices they offer. In the presentation he made, We Saw It In ENX Magazine

the number of new A3 models, both color and monochrome introduced this year totaled 41 percent of the new models introduced.

Consolidation

Another challenge is the continued consolidation of dealers in our industry. Marco, Pacific Office Automation, DEX, Visual Edge and Novatech are a few of the companies that are aggressively purchasing dealers. While being acquired may not negatively affect your company, if one of your competitors is acquired it will be a challenge for your dealership.

Preparing to Face the Future

None of these challenges mean you should throw in the towel. For dealers who prepare well and adapt to the changing environment, success is still possible.

Look for Adjacent Opportunities

Many dealerships are expanding their product portfolios to offer their existing clients more than just an MFP. As the dealership expands the sales portfolio, it is important that the service team does the same thing. Look for areas where your technicians’ skill set can be applied to solve client needs. One area is network services and support. I worked with a dealer that is hugely successful, and while it’s a mid-sized dealer, the client is the largest cabling installer in its state. Installing those cables opened doors to


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Develop Team Skills

Start evaluating your team’s current skill set on an individual basis—what are the strengths and what are the challenges? What skills will they need if you expand your service portfolio? How can you help them develop the skills they need to expand their current capability? Answering those questions provides areas on which to work. Start developing their skills to meet future opportunities. Today is a good day to start!

Work on efficiency

Focusing on the team’s skill set will help improve your current efficiency. When I talk about efficiency, I’m referencing the ability to costeffectively provide the service

your clients need. This is not about more calls per day or fewer parts—make sure that the equipment in the field performs well and work on driving more copies between calls. You can also drive efficiency by ensuring that the right equipment is placed for the actual needs of the client. Too many times, dealers oversell equipment, which increases service costs.

Don’t Fear the Future

I don’t mean to sound negative when looking at the future of our industry, as that is not my intent. In our industry, we have great companies that will survive and thrive. I am concerned about the dealers that are clinging to old methods, metrics and models. The future is full of opportunities for those who are adaptable. ♦ We Saw It In ENX Magazine

January 2019 | www.enxmag.com

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Britt Horvat

Technical Tip

Solving Communication & Memory Corruption Problems

Demystifying the Magic of a Nifty Little Invention Known as Stabilant 22 Well known in the automobile, audio equipment and aerospace industries, Stabilant 22 remains relatively unknown among copier- and printer-repair technicians. So this month, we’ll look at why it’s so valuable in maintaining just about any piece of electronic equipment. I’d also like to share the story that gave me what I had long wished for—grounded personal testimony that this product performs as it claims. It turns out that hearing truly is believing.

S

tabilant 22 is a block-polymer, which is a macromolecule composed of a linear sequence of blocks. When applied in a thin film between metal contacts, it becomes conductive in the presence of an electrical field, while remaining nonconductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple-pin environment. Basically, it significantly improves connections by acting as a conductive material which fills in microscopic gaps in the metal and increases the electrically viable surface area between pins.

Pour half of the concentrate into the 15 ml mixing bottle and then fill to just below the bottle’s shoulder with 98% or purer isopropyl alcohol for the proper mix of Stabilant 22a 48

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Stabilant 22 concentrate is a viscous liquid, which when mixed with isopropyl alcohol forms “Stabilant 22a.” It’s then applied with a tiny brush to the pins and sockets of a connector and allowed time to dry before reseating the two-halves. The result is a significant increase in the passage of electrical signals across memory card, ribbon cable and other multi-pin connectors. The other advantage to having a film of Stabilant 22 present in connectors is that it coats the metal, preventing outside contaminants such as ozone or moisture from getting to the contacts. The isopropyl alcohol in Stabilant 22a has enough surfactant action to lift existing contaminants so they can be held harmlessly in suspension. For cases in which corrosion has begun setting in, Stabilant 22 penetrates the corrosion and protects the metal from further oxidation.

Stabilant 22a – 5 ml mixing kit

As I mentioned, the product is already prevalent in a number of other industries. Airplane mechanics often use Stabilant 22 in its concentrated form on Cannon plugs and similar critical communication connections. In the automobile repair industry, I’m told by mechanics that it’s particularly useful for repairing intermittent communication problems on some of the 40- to 60-pin connectors in the logic systems of diesel trucks and trailer hookups. So why is it that Stabilant is not well known yet in office-equipment-tech circles? I was talking with a copier technician a while back about Stabilant 22, and his question to me was, “tell me the truth, do you think this stuff is for real, or is it just snake-oil?” My answer

Copier Example #1: Memory cards and their connectors (i.e. WC-5790 family software /memory module) We Saw It In ENX Magazine


Copier Example #2: Ribbon cables / flat cables and their connectors [i.e., DC250 style ROS (laser unit) ribbon cable connections]

was that I had read the specifications and the theory behind the invention, and I believe it has tremendous value to offer in preventative copier maintenance. But while I could provide piles of literature and data from engineers showing that it works, I couldn’t offer any great examples of field data specifically from the copier field. At that time, I didn’t have any personal-experience stories to relate as testimony. Then I met Bill Fields, an engineer with the FAA, who told me how he realized that Stabilant 22 is for real. His story convinced me this product is worth talking about. His first time using Stabilant was not in his profession as an FAA Engineer, but instead for a different company to resolve a video issue. While the manufacturing engineers were testing the Stabilant 22a, he personally tried it in a

hobby he enjoys—he’s a self-professed audiophile who likes to play around with sound-reproduction equipment in his spare time. Bill decided to try it on a mid-fi system’s soundstage he was working on. He explained that when you have the system on and the volume at normal listening levels, you usually hear familiar background noise which is acceptable and normal. He decided to test the Stabilant 22a by selecting familiar material, identifying a low-level musical passage and exceeding normal listening level (those would be his words. I would say he cranked it to 11!). He turned off his system, removed all the signal-pathassociated connections and coated both sides (male/female) of all connections with the Stabilant 22a. Then he plugged everything back in. Without any changes to the system, other than the Stabilant 22a, he turned the system back on and replayed the previous low-level musical passage. He said he stood there a moment and realized the impossible had happened: he didn’t hear the usual background noise. Then he said the hair on the back of his neck started to rise as he realized the background noise was, in fact, still there, but it was significantly reduced. As the music played, he was amazed by the signal-to-noise improvement and the overall improvement to the musical sound stage. By his own words, it blew his mind. He moved on to advocating its use to improve and clarify communication on frequency channel connections where, due to oxidation, the signal strength can be notoriously low. Bill set about proving its worth. He told me that he’s extremely happy with his findings so far, and that in several test locations where Stabilant

Copier Example #3: Molex cables controller cables for EFI Fierys, etc. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

22 was applied to 66 pin bridge clips, it’s been well over two years without any signal problems. Overall, Bill has been using Stabilant 22 for over 20 years. In the office-equipment field, Stabilant 22a will likely be most valuable as a preventative solution, though that’s not easily measured. Data will need to be gathered on communication issues and memory failure rates before and after incorporating widespread use of Stabilant 22 on a fleet of copiers. Then we’ll have the irrefutable proof we crave from our own industry. Beyond the long-term wisdom of using Stabilant 22 as a valuable preventative maintenance tool, there are also many applications for which this product will help solve intermittent faults in copiers and printers on-the-spot. Reading a Xerox service manual about troubleshooting a communication problem recently, I ran across this statement: “Check the connections for broken, bent and dirty pins (oxidation buildup). Unplug and plug-in the connectors several times to remove contaminants due to oxidation. The resistance created by contamination will change the machine timing.” This change in timing can result in print jobs getting stuck in the queue, corruption of the Non-Volatile Memory or corruption of the printer’s firmware. When dealing with this, you should apply Stabilant 22a to any connectors involved and then restore the machine’s memory and firmware. Also, check for any batteries which are dying, as that may be causing the trouble. Replace any battery which measures too low; in most copiers it will be 3.0 vdc, so replace the battery if the voltage drops below 2.8vdc. Below are three examples of problems Stabilant 22 will likely solve in the field for Xerox equipment specifically. Other makes of copiers no doubt have similar issues to deal with, as well. DC240/242/250/252/260, 550/560/ 570, C60/C70—Intermittent faults codes, some unclearable: MCU PWB to IOT Driver PWB Flat Cable Connections. Problems with the 2 flat cable connections cause a huge number of possible fault codes: continued on page 50

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Solving Communication & Memory Corruption Problems Ribbon Cable Latched

Ribbon Cable Unlatching (gently flip latch up to open)

Ribbon Cable / Flat Cable latching

003-316, 007-534, 042-323, 042-324, 042-326, 042-327, 042-328, 045-314, 074-103, 074-104, 071-104, 072-105, 073-104, 074-103, 074-104, 075-100, 077-103, 077-104, 077-107, 077-120, 077-130, 077-909, 093-313, 093-314, 093-315, 093-316, 124-374. If you get a lot of miscellaneous codes or hard-to-solve errors, and you feel like you’re chasing your tail, refer to the list of faults above. They are all acknowledged in the OEM service manual as possible results of failures in the signals trying to pass through the flat cable connections between the MCU and IOT Driver Boards. The original versions of the flat cables and their sockets on the boards used tin pins and tin contact points. Eventually, Xerox decided the tin was causing too many problems and they introduced “Tag 014,” a field modification which replaced both boards and both ribbon cables. The new boards and flat cables have all gold contacts. The manual warns not to mix tin and gold components, as tin contacts are known to develop “tin whiskers” (little fibers which form as part of the oxidation process, and could potentially 50

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cause partial shorting between rows of pins). To restore functionality, try using a pencil eraser to gently brush off any tin whiskers which may have formed on the flat cable contacts, then apply Stabilant 22a. I believe you’ll likely find the problem can be solved without replacing the rather-expensive boards. The Tag 014 board kits are part numbers: 604K44700 (for DC240/250), 604K44750 (for DC242/252) or 604K44760 (for DC260). They sell for $500 or more. Note that Models 4110/4112/4127/ 4590 and 4595 also had similar problems with a pair of ribbon cables in and around the same area of the machines. Here they called the same upgrade to gold contacts “Tag P-018.” Oxidized Fiery Network Controller Cables and ESS connections can cause slow connection speeds and intermittent failures, or print jobs getting stuck in the queue. DC240/250/260, 550/560/570, DCP700/770, C75/J75—ROS (Laser Unit) Fault Codes: 061-310 thru 061338. Just about any of the Raster Output Scanner (ROS) fault codes can

result from poor connections at the ribbon cables which connect the ROS assemblies to the MCU PWB (Main Board). Any time you are going to remove the ROS assemblies or their ribbon cables, apply Stabilant 22a to assure a good connection. Also, check the little “latches” which hold the ribbon cables in place on their connectors. They are delicate, and if they aren’t pushing the cables firmly onto the row of contacts evenly and firmly, you’ll get errors. Well that was quite the technical romp, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I especially want to thank a few collaborators on this one: Bill Fields for sharing his delightful experiences with Stabilant 22, Betty from D.W. Electrochemical, and Ed Riess from LT3 for doing a remarkable job editing my first draft. Thanks all! I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2019. May the New Year be full of the glad tidings of successful repairs!

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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January 2019 | www.enxmag.com

51


JANUARY 2019

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To Our Subscribers and Supporters

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Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year! From All of Us at ENX Magazine/ENX The Week in Imaging

52

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www.enxmag.com | January 2019

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


JANUARY 2019

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January 2019 | www.enxmag.com

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