Page 1

MARCH 2017

VOLUME 24 NO. 3

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

TAKING MANAGED IT SERVICES TO THE NEXT LEVEL: PLAN WELL AND HIRE FOR GROWTH

engage ‘n ‘n exchange engage exchange

Business Profile

Stargel Office Solutions: Taking Care of Customers Through the Storm Konica Minolta’s Kevin Kern: Dealer Channel Key to Success in MFPs and Beyond The End Justifies the Means, or Does It? A Quick Guide to Your Competition Successful Recruiting and Hiring

Office Technology Service Excellence Award

DIAMOND LEVEL

OEMS MAINTAIN THE PRESSURE TO KEEP INFRINGING CONSUMABLES OUT OF U.S. MARKETS ENX Magazine ENX Magazine PO Box 2240 Suite 729 PO Box 2240 Suite 729 Toluca Lake,CA CA 91610-0240 USA Toluca Lake, 91610-0240 USA tel: 818-505-0022 tel: 818-505-0022 / fax: 818-505-9972 fax: 818-505-9972 email: enx@pacbell.net www.enxmag.com email: enx@pacbell.net

www.enxmag.com

We would like to thank those of you who have sent us address change information. HELP US CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES To correct or delete your address from our subscription list, please call, fax or email us.


Chad Greenlee (left), GreatAmerica Financial Services and Greg Jacobs, Infomax Office Systems, Inc.

BUILD FOR TOMORROW “GreatAmerica has been a trusted Infomax partner for many years. They provide us with services and value way beyond leasing, helping us build for tomorrow.” Greg Jacobs Infomax Office Systems, Inc. Des Moines, IA

®

HELPING YOU GET THERE.

www.greatamerica.com | 800.234.8787


In This Issue

16

STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

Taking Managed IT Services to the Next Level: Plan Well and Hire for Growth By Michael Nadeau

40

44

46 6

www.enxmag.com | March 2017

24

MARKET INTELLIGENCE OEMs Maintain the Pressure to Keep Infringing Consumables Out of U.S. Markets By Charles Brewer

30

DEALER SPOTLIGHT Stargel Office Solutions: Taking Care of Customers Through the Storm By Christina Kim

34 40 44 46

CHANNEL INSIGHT Konica Minolta’s Kevin Kern: Dealer Channel Key to Success in MFPs and Beyond

50 54 56 58

SALES & MARKETING A Quick Guide to Your Competition By Brad Roderick

60

DISPLAY ADVERTISERS INDEX

LEADERSHIP The End Justifies the Means, or Does It? By Charles Lamb BUSINESS PROFILE Chipjet Leads Consumables Integrated Circuit Industry by Staying Ahead of Change SERVICE EXCELLENCE DIAMOND AWARD WINNER For South Texas’ Copy Graphics, It Has Always Been Service First By Michael Nadeau

SERVICE MANAGEMENT Successful Recruiting and Hiring By Ken Edmonds PRINTER TECH TIP Print Quality Problems due to Toner Contact By LaserPros TECHNICAL TIP Xerox DocuColor 250 (DC250 style) Fuser Rebuilding Part 1 of 2 By Britt Horvat

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


2017 National dealer meeting March 27th & 28th

Mobile ready Workow ready

Business Ready

Back End ready To learn about joining the winning team of Samsung Authorized Dealers Call: 1-866-SAM4BIZ Take a virtual tour today at samsung.com/b2bprinters


Contributors

Staff

CHARLES BREWER is the founder and president of Actionable Intelligence, the digital imaging industry’s leading market research firm. He was an editor for Inc. magazine and ComputerWorld during the 1990s, and more recently, the managing editor of The Hard Copy Supplies Journal. Mr. Brewer’s analysis is currently featured at his firm’s website, www.Action-Intell.com.

Susan Neimes Publisher & Managing Editor

KEN EDMONDS is currently employed as a District Service Manager for a major copier manufacturer. He has an extensive background in the imaging business, having owned a successful dealership, serving as service manager for multiple dealerships, and as a Document Solutions Specialist for Sharp Electronics. He has more than 40 years of experience in the electronics and computer fields. For further information email him at Ken.Edmonds@CKE-Enterprises.biz. CHARLES LAMB is the President and CEO of Mps&it Sales Consulting. His firm delivers proven methodologies and processes that assist dealer principals seeking a successful transformation into the managed services space. He’s created complementary solutions including Funnelmaker, Gatekeeper, and Shield IT services. For more info, call 888.823.0006, e-mail him at clamb@mpsandit.com, or visit www.mpsandit.com.

Michael Nadeau Editorial Director

BRAD RODERICK As Executive Vice President, Brad Roderick sets Sales and Marketing strategy for InkCycle across all channels and is responsible for the entire “Customer Experience” from products to partnerships. You can reach him at broderick@inkcycle.com or find him on Twitter @ BradRoderick.

Ronelle Ingram Contributing Editor

TECHNICAL ARTICLE CONTRIBUTOR 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.

Christina Kim

Nominate Your Candidates for the INDUSTRY’S DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Editor

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Who are the individuals making the key contributions to the industry or to your organizations?

8

www.enxmag.com | March 2017

La Revista del Distribuidor Dealer Source

Corporate Office

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

Email your recommendations along with a couple of sentences as to why and how they are making a difference. Submit Your Nomination at www.enxmag.com or email to susan@enxmag.com Today!

México & Latin America

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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 ©2017 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

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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

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

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

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

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

• 23ppm BW/Color • 250-Sheet Tray • 512MB Memory • Hard Disk Drive (Option)

• 37ppm • 250-Sheet Tray

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300

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SALE!

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P5026CDW

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$

200

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AFTER REBATE

37 PPM

149

P2035D

$

209

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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 ma i l : i n f o @ n u w o rl d i n c . c o m

Or der Online! www. nuworl di nc. com

Blind Drop Shipping

Copiers, Faxes, MFPs, Printers, Scanners

FACTORY REFURB SALE! MFC-7860DW • 27pages per minute (Copy/Print) • 32MB Memory

$149

MONOCHROME & COLOR

32PPM COLOR PRINTER • DUPLEX • NETWORK...

MFC-L8600CDW

30PPM COLOR MFP • DUPLEX • NETWORK.........

MFC-L8850CDW

32PPM COLOR MFP • DUPLEX • W-NETWORK.....

BIG SALE! BIG SALE! BIG SALE!

FAX-2840

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

$177

FAX-4100e

BIG SALE!

PPF-4750e

BIG SALE!

MFC-8220

BIG SALE!

MFC-L2740DW

BIG SALE!

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

High Performance Laser Fax | 33.6Kbps | Ntwrk...

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

B&W AIO | 32ppm | Duplex | Wireless Network.....

MFC-L5700DW

SCX-5935NX

CLX-9251NA

35ppm B&W MFP

$305 BIG

REBATE SALE!

25ppm Color MFP

$2453

BEST

BUY!

$100

REBATE

SPIFF

SL-X3280NR

SL-K3300NR

LASERJET PRO

LASERJET PRO

LASERJET PRO

NEW INTRO

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52ppm B&W Duplex, Network-Ready Printers

58ppm B&W Duplex, Network-Ready Printers

65ppm B&W Duplex, Network-Ready Printers

SL-M4580FX

SL-M5370LX

30ppm B&W MFP

47ppm B&W MFP

$200

REBATE

$200 BIG

$100 SPIFF

$500

SPIFF

27ppm Clr MFP

SL-M3370FD 35ppm B&W MFP

SPIFF

SL-M3870FW 40ppm B&W MFP

BIG

$75

40ppm B&W MFP

$100

REBATE

REBATE

SL-M4070FR

SPIFF

51ppm Color MFP

$100

SL-C2670FW

M604N

CLX-8650ND

40ppm Color MFP REBATE

REBATE SALE!

$100

REBATE SALE!

$100

REBATE

SALE! SALE!

SL-M4080FX 42ppm B&W MFP

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

BIG SALE!

MFPs MX-M266N MX-M316N MX-M354N • 26ppm BW (M266N) • 31ppm BW (M316N) • 35ppm BW (M354N) • 2 x 500-Sheet Paper Drawers, 100-Sheet MPT

MX-2616N MX-3116N • 26ppm BW/Color (2616N) • 31ppm BW/Color (3116N) • 600 x 600 dpi Resolution • 600-Sheet Paper Capacity • 100-Sheet RSPF • 3GB Memory + 320GB HDD

DOCUMENT SCANNER Fi-7160

60ppm Color Scanner for PC & MAC

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• 30 pages per minute

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MX-C250

i2420 SCANNER 40ppm Desktop Scanner

$

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DEAL!

DR-C225

GREAT

MX-B402

899

INCREDIBLE

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

Image shown: SD375

REBATE AFTER REBATE

1279

$

MP201SPF...............................$1079 MP2501SP...............................$1869 MP2554SP...............................$2855

MPC306SPF............................$1975 MPC2004.................................$2649 MPC2504.................................$3845

$40 REBATE! 3600SF............................................... $50 REBATE! 3610SF............................................... $40 REBATE! 4510DN.............................................. $150 REBATE! 4510SF............................................... $100 REBATE! 5200DN.............................................. $200 REBATE! 5210SR.............................................. $100 REBATE! 5300DN.............................................. $150 REBATE! 5310DN..............................................

$75 REBATE! SP C250DN.............................................. $30 REBATE! SP C340DN.............................................. $40 REBATE! SP C342DN.............................................. $100 REBATE! SP C440DN.............................................. $180 REBATE! SP 5200S................................................. $200 REBATE! SP 5210SF............................................... $125 REBATE! SP C250SF............................................... $80 REBATE! SP C252SF...............................................

SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP

CS410DN

BIG SALE!

CT-S601

PLEASE CALL FOR REBATE INFORMATION!

• 1GB RAM Memory • 50-Sheet Auto Reverse • 250 Sheets Tray Document Feeder (Input Capacity) • 600 x 600 dpi Resolution • 100 Sheets (Bypass)

Printers & MFPs

SD375......80-100-130 sheets per minute SD440..............60-130 sheets per minute SD710..............60-135 sheets per minute

CT-S801

$

CALL FOR PRICING!

31 page per minute B&W Copier

CS410DTN

CS410N

32PPM COLOR LASER PRINTER 32PPM COLOR LASER PRINTER 32PPM COLOR LASER PRINTER

110

160

100

$

$

$

REBATE

REBATE

REBATE

CS510DE

CS510DTE

MX511DE

32PPM COLOR LASER PRINTER 32PPM COLOR LASER PRINTER 45PPM MONO LASER MFP

185

235

500

$

$

$

REBATE

REBATE

REBATE

MX310DN | 35PPM MONO LASER MFP....................$100 REBATE

• 30 pages per minute

899

Multifunctions

INCREDIBLE

DEAL!

300mm/s / 256K Mem.

150

$

SALE! SALE!

ALL REBATES ARE VALID THROUGH February 28, 2017

MX-C301W

• 25/25 pages per minute (BW/Color)

BIG

REBATE SALE!

M605DN

MP301SPF

695

Digital Duplicators BEST BUY

M605N

$450

DOCUMENT SCANNERS

DR-C240

REBATE SALE!

REBATE

ALL REBATES & SPIFFS ARE VALID THRU MARCH 31, 2017

BIG SALE!

REBATE SALE!

M604DN

ALL REBATES ARE VALID WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

47ppm B&W MFP

SALE! SALE!

M606DN/X

LASERJET M506N......................................................$150 REBATE LASERJET M506DN...................................................$180 REBATE LASERJET M506X......................................................$230 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M477FNW....................................$150 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M477FDW....................................$200 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M570DN......................................$250 REBATE LASERJET M225DN..........................................................BIG SALE! LASERJET M402N.............................................................BIG SALE! COLOR LASERJET M553N.........................................$120 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M553DN.......................................$160 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M553X.........................................$240 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M452NW......................................$150 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M452DN......................................$180 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M277DW........................................$80 REBATE

SL-M4583FX

BIG

$100

REBATE

M605N/DN

$80 $180 BIG BIG $130 BIG $300 BIG

55ppm B&W MFP

CLX-8640ND $300

M604N/DN

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

MFC-9330CDW

LASERJET PRINTERS & MFPS

AUTHORIZED PRINTER PARTNER PROGRAM

28ppm Color MFP

HL-L8250CDN

Same Day Shipping

Image shown: CT-S801

200mm/s / 384K Mem.

CT-S310II

MX410DE | 40PPM MONO LASER MFP....................$150 REBATE

BIG

SALE!

160mm/s / 384K Mem.

MS315DN | 37PPM MONO LASER PRINTER...............$30 REBATE PLEASE CALL FOR MARCH REBATES INFORMATION!

MS415DN | 40PPM MONO LASER PRINTER.............$100 REBATE ALL REBATES ARE VALID THROUGH February 28, 2017

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 | March 2017


Since 1985

Your Prime Source T E L : 800. 729. 8320

FA X : 800. 829. 0292

INSTANT REBATE SALE! ALL INSTANT REBATE PROMOS ARE VALID THROUGH MARCH 31, 2017 TO CANON PREMIER PARTNERS OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

D1520 / D1550

MF419DW / MF515DW

MF810CDN / MF820CDN

Digital Copier/Printer/ Fax/Scanner MFPs with Duplex & Network

Digital Copier/Printer/ Fax/Scanner MFPs with Duplex & W-Network

Color Digital Copier/ Printer/Fax/Scanner MFPs with Duplex & Network

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

• 35 pages per minute (MF419DW) • 42 pages per minute (MF515DW) • 500 Sheets + 100-Sheet Multipurpose Tray • Duplex Versatility • 1GB Memory (Print)

• 26 pages per minute Color/BW (MF810Cdn) • 36 pages per minute Color/BW (MF820Cdn) • 550 Sheets + 1-Sheet Multipurpose Tray • Duplex Versatility

200 150 $REBATE

$

REBATE D1520

Both models can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

D1550

125 75 $REBATE

$

REBATE

MF419DW

MF515DW

375 200 $REBATE

$

MF820CDN can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

REBATE 810CDN

820CDN

MF236N / 247DW/ 249DW MF414DW / MF416DW MF624CW / MF628CW MF726CDW / 729CDW Color Copy/Print/Fax/ Scan MFPs w/ Duplex & Network

Digital Copy/Print/ Fax/Scan MFPs w/ Duplex & W-Ntwrk

Color Digital Copy/Print/ Fax/Scan MFPs w/ W-Network

Color Digital Copy/Print/ Fax/Scan MFPs w/ Duplex & W-Ntwrk

• 24ppm (MF236N) • 28ppm (MF247DW, MF249DW)

• Up to 35ppm • 250 Shts, 50-Sht MPT • 33.6 Kbps Fax Super G3 • PS (MF416DW)

• 14/14ppm (BW/Color) • 33.6 Kbps Fax Modem Speed (MF628CW only)

• 21/21ppm (BW/Color)

65

85

$

$

135 125 $REBATE

135

$

REBATE

REBATE

REBATE

MF236N

MF249DW

MF414DW

$

MF416DW

MF729CDW can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

175 $105

$

REBATE

REBATE REBATE

MF628CW

MF726CDW MF729CDW

LBP251DW / 253DW LBP351DN / 352DN

LBP6780DN

B&W Laser Duplex Printers w/ W-Network

B&W Laser Duplex Printers w/ Network

B&W Laser Printer with Duplex and Network

Color Laser Duplex Printers with Network

• 30ppm (LBP251DW) • 35ppm (LBP253DW) • 64MB Memory

• 58ppm (LBP351DN) • 65ppm (LBP352DN) • 1GB Memory

• 42ppm • 500-Sheets + 100-Sheet MPT • 768MB Memory • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, Ethernet

• 21/10ppm Color/B&W (LBP7660CDN) • 40/40ppm Color/B&W (LBP712CDN)

LBP253DW can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

75

$

REBATE

$

60

REBATE

LBP251DW LBP253DW

Both models can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

175 $210

$

REBATE

REBATE

351DN

352DN

350

$

REBATE

LBP7660CDN / 712CDN

80

$

REBATE 712CDN

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 ma i l : i n f o @ n u w o rl d i n c . c o m

Or der Online! www. nuworl di nc. com

Blind Drop Shipping

Same Day Shipping

BIG SALE! FAXES

PRINTERS

UF-4500

MFPs

PANABOARDS

UF-5500

Laser Fax w/ PC Print, Color Scan

UF-6200

Laser Fax w/ PC Print, Color Scan

319

30

$

REBATE

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS • 33.6Kbps Fax • 24ppm B&W • 4MB Memory • 250 Sheets

BIG

$

SALE!

AFTER REBATE

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS • PC Fax, Network Print/Clr Scan • 33.6Kbps Fax • 24ppm B&W

DP-MB350

Multifunction Business Fax w/ Network Print

BIG

645

$

SALE!

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS • 33.6Kbps Fax • 6.5ppm B&W • 8MB Memory • 250 Sheets

DP-MC210P / D / S1

B&W Duplex Multifunction Copier, Printer, Color Scanner, Fax Machine w/ Network

UF-7200

Laser Fax w/ Print, Scan, Internet Fax, Email

399

$

ALL REBATE PROMOS ARE VALID WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS • 33.6Kbps Fax • 19ppm B&W • 3MB Memory • 550 Sheets

KX-CL400

Desktop Color Copiers, Printers, Color Scanners, Fax Machines w/ Network

Digital Color Laser Printer with Network, One-Pass Print Technology

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

• 35ppm B&W • 520-Sheet Tray • 50-Sheet RADF • Hi Speed USB 2.0 Interface • Network Scan/ to-Email • 33.6Kbps Fax Modem

• 21ppm B&W/Color • 250-Sheets/50-Sheet ADF • Network Scan/to-Email • 33.6Kbps Fax Modem • Duplex Unit (MC210D/ MC210S1) • 2nd 520-Sheet Tray (MC210S1)

• 18ppm BW/Color • 1200 x 1200 dpi Res. • 530-Sheet Cap. • 128MB Memory • Ethernet / USB 2.0 • Auto Interface Switching

GREAT BUY!

535

$

BLOWOUT

459

SALE!

UB-5335 / 5835

2-Panel Electronic White Boards with Integrated Printer

499

599

$

$

$

MC210P

MC210D

MC210S1

UB-7325

Interactive Electronic White Board with Integrated Printer

FREE DUPLEX

359

$

UB-T880 / T880W Interactive Elite Electronic White Boards

WITH 40GB HDD,

CMY Color Toner Set

UB-5338C / 5838C 2-Panel Electronic Color White Boards

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

• 50” Diagonal (UB-5335) • 62.1” Diagonal (UB-5835) • CIS (Contact Image Sensor

• 62.1” Diagonal • 4-Panel Electronic Board • USB 1.1, 2.0, PC Interface • 256MB Memory or More (Windows XP)

• 77” Diagonal (UB-T880) • 82” Diagonal (UB-T880W) • 46.26”H x 63.07”W (UB-T880) • 46.26”H x 72.64”W (UB-T880W)

• 63” Diagonal (UB-5338C) • 76” Diagonal (UB-5838C) • 1.8” Color LCD • USB 2.0 Full Speed • SD Memory Card

949

$

UB-5335

1159

$

UB-5835

BLOWOUT

SALE!

BLOWOUT

SALE!

BLOWOUT

SALE!

BLOWOUT

SALE!

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 | March 2017


Since 1985

SPRING

SAVE BIG! MAXIMIZE PROFIT

LE WHPI LIES

SALE

SUP

T!

LAS

Authorized Distributor ALL REBATE PROMOS & DEALER SPIFFS ARE VALID WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Direct OKI Tech Support Access

ES8473 MFP

Comprehensive up to 3-Year Warranty

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Michael Nadeau

State of the Industry News Briefing

Taking Managed IT Services to the Next Level: Plan Well and Hire for Growth

M

anaged IT services is proving to be a profitable addition to many office equipment dealers’ offerings. Done right, they allow dealers to leverage their existing relationships to realize more revenue from their customer bases, and managed IT services often provide an opening into accounts dealers otherwise wouldn’t have been able to penetrate. The range of managed IT services a dealer might provide is very wide, and this is both an opportunity and a problem. The opportunity is the ability to keep adding new services to help ensure continued growth. The problem is identifying which new services are right for your customer base and capabilities. Choose wrong, and you risk your reputation as a service provider. Another option to expand your managed IT services is to increase your capabilities to sell and support what you already offer. Dealers often take a cautious approach at first with managed IT services, and understandably so. Go too fast, and you may outrun your ability to provide the quality service your customers expect. That jeopardizes your core business with those customers and erodes confidence among your sales team. We spoke with dealers and managed IT outsourcing services to learn what they are doing to grow their businesses. Dealers not yet offering managed IT services, but considering it, should read “Managed Services Do’s and Don’ts: Lessons to Learn Before You Jump In” from the July 2015 issue of ENX magazine.

Why Expand?

The simple answer to the question “Why expand?” is the size of the opportunity. Michael Amiri, director of dealer services at Continuum, an IT management platform provider, believes that the dealer community is well positioned to grow its IT services business. “With their geography, their brand name, their customer base, dealers’ IT services business should be doubling every year just because of their footprint,” he said. “We’re only in the first or second inning of what’s possible in the office equipment industry.” Greg VanDeWalker, senior vice president of IT channel and services at outsourced IT services pro-

vider Collabrance, is also bullish on the managed IT services market. “If you look at Gartner and IDC numbers, on a global scale [growth is] deep double-digits,” he said, adding that Collabrance could see high double-digit growth in 2017, possibly tri- Greg VanDeWalker, Collabrance ple-digits. “We’re really seeing things ramp [up] quickly now.” Most dealers say they got into managed IT because they saw a customer need. “I call it a customer-driven initiative. Customers would call us and say, ‘I can’t scan. I can’t print,’” said Dean Swenson, president of The Swenson Group in Livermore, California. “We were in that unenviable position of saying you need to talk to your IT group, when all that person wanted was help at that moment. That got us saying, ‘How can we structure a program that makes financial sense for us and the client?’” That led to Swenson’s first IT services offerings, which were mainly remote dial-ins where they could check settings or perhaps fix an IP address. Soon, Swenson got requests for work that required on-site attention. To help meet the growing demand, Swenson looked for a partner and eventually settled on Konica Minolta’s All Covered, in part because The Swenson Group are a Konica Minolta dealer. “All Dean Swenson, Covered’s national presence The Swenson Group allows us to bring more experience, expertise and a greater breadth of services to our clients more cost effectively, and probably with more experience than we could as a local company,” said Swenson. Andreas Krebs, head of marketing at All Covered, sees project work as a common entry point for dealers. “Dealers usually have limited IT resources when they first start out and therefore they can only offer a few project type services. There usually is no infrastructure, process or applications in place to offer higher level services or even ongoing support.” continued on page 18

16

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Taking Managed IT Services to the Next Level: Plan Well and Hire for Growth He sees that ongoing support in the form of help desk, network support and security as the next logical step because it offers the highest value to the client and the largest revenue stream for the dealer. Most dealers offering managed IT services still see a lot of untapped business within their core copier customer base. “We have about 7,000 customers and we have around 70 managed services customers. We’re at 1 percent, and we think there is significant room to grow,” said TJ DeBello, vice president of sales and marketing at Stargel Office Solutions in Houston, Texas. “Within the next three to five years we think we can make that a $3 million to $5 million business.” Midwest-based Impact Networking has offered IT services since its beginning in 1999, but until about two-and-a-half years ago, it was only a break/fix, remote help operation. Today, the company offers true managed IT services. “Clients are paying for results and not time,” said Patrick Layton, vice president of managed IT ser- Patrick Layton, vices at Impact Networking. That’s made Impact Networking a big difference in growth and profitability. “We’re usually negative for the first six months to a year on a deal, as we get everything set up. Once it’s set up, it’s in maintenance mode and help desk handles 90 percent of everything for the client. At that point it becomes very profitable,” he said. Unlike Swenson Group, Impact Networking offers its IT services directly. It has an in-house team of engineers, a virtual CIO (VCIO) and its own help desk. Perhaps the best reason to grow a successful IT services business is its high-margin recurring revenue and ability to lock-in clients. “They are purchasing their entire IT infrastructure from the dealer for a monthly payment,” said Amiri. “[Dealers] want client stickiness, and that’s the stickiest relationship possible, if they have to come to you to turn on their IT every morning at 8 AM.” The idea of high-margin recurring revenue might be tempting, but Amiri cautions dealers to make sure they are ready before expanding their IT services business. “If they don’t have many IT relationships, I would suggest they stick to the core, at least in their infancy, and get up a nice book of business and a lot of relationships,” he said. “If you’ve got a mature book of IT business, by all means [look to expand]. Just make sure you evaluate your talent. Make sure the VCIO is competent in the new lines of business and make sure you have the right capacity and resources.” Krebs sees some dealers getting into trouble by going it alone when expanding. “Beyond very basic services it becomes very difficult for any dealer to provide the type of technology services that customers are looking for without the support of an established and trusted partner,” he said. 18

www.enxmag.com | March 2017

Growing Size and Scope

Dealers typically start with one or more of three core areas: help desk, servers/networking and backup. The best clues to expansion opportunities might come from the data the dealer collects from its current managed services customers around those areas. “The conversation of expansion starts with the premise of great reporting, which provides a foundation for the dealer to pivot and truly evolve how they can be a technology solutions advisor,” said Amiri. The client relationship and reporting from the core IT services areas build a foundation for future recommendations, according to Amiri. “It gets you into conversations around cloud, around hardware as a rental, around security. Those are likely not leading questions initially,” he said. “Clients will say, ‘I want to see you support my network, clean it up today, and Michael Amiri, Continuum then I’ll be so much more open to you taking me to the cloud or refreshing my hardware stack.” Moving customers to the cloud and owning the hardware stack are where the money is. “Do you transition resources that are at end-of-life into traditional hardware again, or do you transition them into the cloud where it makes sense to host some of that IT infrastructure? This is at the heart of what a dealer does best: make hardware recommendations and wrap those recommendations up into a nice neat bow of a lease arrangement,” said Amiri. “SMBs like that better, because cash is king and they don’t want to outlay $10,000 to $20,000 every few years to refresh their stack.” Amiri added that Continuum expects about 30 percent of all hardware devices at its partners’ client sites to be rented. “Some of our more successful dealers are closer to 40 or 50 percent of all their devices.” What Swenson looks for in new IT services opportunities are recurring revenue and relationships. “One-time projects are not really our focus unless they are going to lead to an opportunity for recurring revenue, help us penetrate a competitive account or bring more value to an existing customer,” said Swenson. Using All Covered, The Swenson Group can take on spot projects with future potential without affecting their ability to serve ongoing contracts. Identifying those projects is part of the sales process. “We teach our reps to go into an account with a lot of open-ended business questions. One of those questions is, ‘What are your IT initiatives in the next 12 to 18 months,’’” said Swenson. “Sometimes we’ll uncover something like an application development solution. All Covered can perform that remotely so we’re not restricted to resource availability. It’s usually a one-time deal, so it’s not a huge financial windfall. But if I walk into a Canon account, prove ourselves with that solution and bring value, the chances of us getting a seat at the table when the Canon leases come due are much higher.” continued on page 20 We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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Taking Managed IT Services to the Next Level: Plan Well and Hire for Growth VanDeWalker believes one-off projects with your existing IT services customers are important for growing your business. “When projects come along, you have the ability to make significantly more margin, because it’s not so much a question on price anymore or who they are going to go with. They are going with you as the provider to fix the problem. You are becoming a more valuable asset to that company,” he said. Using a managed service partner with national reach allows dealers to pursue business they would otherwise have difficulty landing. Swenson cites the example of a local law practice with an office in Boston and Dallas. “The unique offering that we have [by using All Covered] is that we have one service-level agreement, one pricing structure, one network operations center and one help desk for all three offices, versus each office having its own MSP with their own skill sets, cost structures and such.” Swenson recently implemented Office 365 with All Covered for a client in 22 states. “We brought more value to that client and we proved ourselves. If we can transition this successful project experience to a recurring IT support program it would translate to approximately $20,000 a month in recurring services revenue.” A constant concern for dealers is maintaining a balance in terms of their ability to support what they currently sell and being prepared to take on new clients or offer new services. “You don’t want to over-commit. You can’t be all things to all people,” said Swenson. “Sometimes the sales reps don’t want to hear that. If we bring IT services to a current long-term Swenson Group MFP account and we don’t do a great job, we have vulnerability to actually lose the copier piece even though they’ve been delighted for 10 years.” To minimize the risks associated with expansion, many dealers opt to use outsourced service providers. These companies typically have programs in place to help dealers enter new areas like cloud services or security. They will provide tools, remote personnel, collateral and other resources that the dealer’s internal technical, sales and marketing teams can use to more quickly gain momentum in a new area. For example, Continuum offers white-labeled white papers around compliance topics such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA that the dealer can brand and present to customers. “There needs to be vision and dedication to expand the managed services portfolio. Then there needs to be a strategy in place on how the dealer will sell and deliver the managed service,” said Krebs, adding that All Covered provides help in this area. Using an outsourced service provider also minimizes the investment needed for a dealer to offer new services. Dealers would Andreas Krebs, likely not have to add staff or develop new All Covered tools as they would be provided by the outsourced service provider. An outsourced provider can help a dealer prepare from both the technical and business perspectives. Collabrance, for

example, provides sales training, a virtual sales manager, hiring services and an evaluation of the technology stack. “People don’t realize how much technology is out there, and you have to be on top of it every day to make sure you have the best products and services. That takes a lot of time and energy to vet, and sometimes copier dealers aren’t thinking through the investment of just technical expertise,” said VanDeWalker. Impact Networking chose to provide its own IT services, largely to have direct control over quality of service. “Impact has a very high value brand with a reputation for a high level of service on the copier and software side, and I have to live up to that,” said Layton. “The only way to control that quality is to implement your own best practices and to have your team buy into what you’re trying to do and to operate on that level.” That presented some challenges, however, especially since those services are offered from 12 different locations. “If I sell [a service] in Madison, Wisconsin, one in Duluth and one in Hammond, I can’t just have one engineer support them. If one engineer did take on every client, we can’t meet our service level agreements,” said Layton. Layton’s solution was to “hire and over hire” to prepare for what they expected to sell. “We’re still two to three engineers ahead of the game,” he said. “We’re a start-up within this $100 million organization. You [as an engineer] might be asked to go a little bit farther or asked to do something that’s not in your job description as we grow. It’s trial by fire, but now we have a good base with at least one engineer in every location and in most I have three or four.” Stargel Office Solutions also believes in staffing in anticipation of demand. “What we found is that once we put a good support team in place, even though the revenue wasn’t there to support that number of people, it actually was better to do it that way,” said DeBello. “Our reps had more confidence. If you don’t have a support team out there, [the sales reps] are going to have a hard time telling customers to come on board with our managed network services. My advice is to make sure you can go a year or two heavy on the service side. Your reps are going to buy more into it.” Stargel has always put a lot of pride in its service capability, which is why, like Impact Networking, it chose to build its own IT services capabilities rather than partner. “You do need to put a significant investment in the technical service side. That’s where our biggest change was over the last year-and-a-half that’s helped our business tremendously,” said DeBello.

Expanding by Acquisition

Pure MSPs tend to offer a wider range of IT services than dealers. VanDeWalker lists what the typical MSP provides: ● Hardware, hardware as a service (HaaS) and hardware as a rental (HaaR) ● Licensing ● Patch management ● Anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-virus continued on page 22

20

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Taking Managed IT Services to the Next Level: Plan Well and Hire for Growth ● Technology planning ● Remote and onsite support ● Virtual services and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) ● Remote backup and disaster recovery ● Desktop optimization ● Software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) “These are just table stakes, and I think it’s important for the copier channel to understand that this is the cost of entry,” said VanDeWalker. Most dealers start with a subset of these services and eventually build out to a full suite. VanDeWalker believes that dealers have two choices to reach those table stakes: buy an MSP or partner. “It would take too long and you would be further and further behind if you try to build it by yourself,” he said. VanDeWalker sees dealers having assets that give them an advantage over a pure MSP. “The copier channel is very sales driven with a sophisticated sales process. The IT channel, generally speaking, is not as sophisticated, not as robust, not as process driven.” Dealers can focus on having high-level sales reps selling complete packages. “The other advantage a print company has is its customer list.” An MSP might have 50 or 60 customers and be successful where a copier dealer might have thousands. VanDeWalker estimates that about 20 percent of a dealer’s customer base represents potential IT services business. Those dealer assets would deliver immediate value to any MSP acquisition as the dealer leverages its sales capability and existing customer relationships. It’s no wonder then that all the dealers we spoke with would consider an acquisition even though most are seeing good organic growth. The Swenson Group, for example, hopes to acquire a local MSP for both its talent and customer base. Stargel Office Solutions is looking to acquire for the same reasons, but also to expand a bit geographically.

Growth Areas

For 2017, the consensus is that security and cloud will be the two biggest growth areas for IT services. This is due in part to greater awareness of the benefits of both among customers. Even for those that don’t yet see the value in strong security and cloud-based infrastructure, it may be in dealers’ best interest to steer clients toward them. The two go hand-in-hand. Cloud infrastructure providers typically have state-of-the-art, multitiered security systems that are constantly maintained. It’s usually easy to educate customers on the benefits. For the dealer, moving a customer to the cloud means revenue from the initial data migration and then recurring revenue from monthly data storage fees. “Even if their data is not in the cloud today, we need to educate our clients on where things are going,” said Swenson. “The rip-and-replace strategies for on-site services and infrastructure will continue to dwindle due to the flexibility and stability of moving to a secure cloud. If we’re not talking about data migration, then someone else is. I envision [cloud] being a growth 22

www.enxmag.com | March 2017

segment for us and a conversion segment for us when their servers become out of warranty.” “Cloud is getting to the price point where small businesses really shouldn’t be putting a server in between things like Office 365, virtual desktop and hybrid cloud solutions for manufacturing firms that have equipment that needs to communicate quickly with some kind of database,” said Layton. DeBello said that Stargel is working with a local data center to develop a better plan to offer cloud services this year. Given that most of its customers are on monthly fees with remote monitoring, Stargel sees an opportunity to layer cloud services on top of that. All Covered, Collabrance, and Continuum have all made significant investments TJ DeBello, in their ability to provide security services, Stargel Office and it’s clear why. Companies big and Solutions small are more aware of their vulnerability to internal and external threats, and they are more willing to pay for peace of mind. “Security is on the minds of small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Amiri. “Those that are up to nefarious opportunities are looking for the most weak, and the SMBs can be the most weak.” Small companies that store sensitive data like social security numbers or credit card data are particularly vulnerable. Amiri suggests that the conversation can begin with some basic penetration testing on IP addresses and network compliance to identify possible security holes. VanDeWalker sees growing demand for managed security services. This might include attempting to hack into a client’s system to find security holes that can be addressed by layering on higher threat-management technology. It also involves behavior modification. “It’s going into a company and looking at the way they set up their desks, the kind of physical security it has. Companies need to be aware of these softer things, and these are great opportunities to add value,” he said. The ability to deliver managed security services would make the most difference with customers that already have good basic network security in place. In those circumstances, VanDeWalker sees an opportunity for IT service providers to offer additional value and set themselves apart from other providers. “For us, security has always been inherent, so it’s just a different angle for talking to the client,” said Layton. “All of the products we sell have a security focus. If they don’t have business grade equipment or it’s not sized appropriately, we put that in. Security must be done in layers, starting at the edge and working down to the desktop or end-user device level. Next generation firewalls and switching, anti-virus and anti-malware protection, spam filtering, and intelligent monitoring tools coupled with strategic user training all help to keep clients’ networks and data secure.” Part of Impact Networking’s security approach is end-user training. “It’s much more cost effective for me to go and stand in front of a conference room for four hours and talk about safe continued on page 23 We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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Words of Caution

By far, the ability to hire and train staff to support growth or new offerings is the number one issue for dealers. That’s especially true in areas where demand for technical help is the highest. The Swenson Group competes not only with other dealers and MSPs for talent, but also with all of Silicon Valley. “It’s hard to get quality people in the San Francisco Bay area marketplace. [All Covered] is growing, we’re growing. We both are working hard to bring in more talent and resources to support our growth.” All the dealers we spoke with place importance on training the people you already have. A copier service tech, for example, might show interest and aptitude in networks. That person would see the opportunity to gain training and certification in that area as a path upward career-wise. “Our investment in development helps with employee retention,” said Swenson. While hiring and training is top of mind for many managed IT service providers, it’s really part of a bigger issue: staying ahead of the curve when it comes to trends and technology. Dealers who offer IT services see their continued success dependent on

being prepared for the next new technology or client need. That’s why many of them are constantly hiring and training, seeking new partners or scouting the competition for acquisition targets. Knowing the available technology and what’s in demand is just step one. Choosing which technologies to support is step two. Selecting too broad or too narrow will limit your ability to grow. “You have to declare your major and say here are the technologies we’re going to support,” said VanDeWalker. “You pick a handful to go with and then thoughtfully layer in others as time goes on.” ♦

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23


Charles Brewer

Market Intelligence News Briefing

OEMs Maintain the Pressure to Keep Infringing Consumables Out of U.S. Markets

F

or most hardware manufacturers, over half the revenue generated by their printer or copier businesses comes from the sale of consumables. Consumables also offer the fat margins manufacturers have come to rely on to make their respective printer and copier businesses profitable. When vendors need to get aggressive with hardware pricing, they know the machines will deliver a lucrative aftermarket annuity that pays dividends for years and allows for the industry’s hallowed “razor-and-blade” business model. Because consumable sales are so critical to their overall success, hardware vendors are hyper-vigilant when it comes to protecting markets from supplies that infringe their intellectual property. Even back in the early days of analog machines, OEMs were filing suits against third-party firms, accusing them of marketing infringing consumables for light-lens copiers. These legal battles, of course, continued as the industry transitioned to digital technology. At first, infringing products were limited to a few ink tanks, which were easy to copy and targeted only certain inkjet devices. As third-party supply vendors became more technically savvy, however, their product catalogs grew to include toner cartridges. Today, the market is awash in a wide range of infringing ink- and toner-based products for use in many of the machines operating in the U.S.

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Actionable Intelligence follows markets for consumables closely and we post dozens of articles about legal battles each year on our website www.Action-Intell.com. Our coverage includes following U.S. lawsuits filed by many of the leading hardware vendors, including Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Ricoh, Xerox and others. In addition to covering the courtroom dramas surrounding these cases, we also have chronicled the enforcement efforts of various U.S. agencies over the past several years.

U.S. Customs’ Busy Year

Often (but not always), infringing products are manufactured overseas and imported and marketed in the U.S. For cases involving products originating outside the country, OEMs typically file complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), along with accompanying lawsuits in federal court. The commission’s website explains that the ITC is an “independent, quasi-judicial federal agency” responsible for investigating matters related to international trade. The ITC is charged with protecting U.S. markets from foreign products that compete unfairly with legitimate products. The commission is specifically empowered to adjudicate cases that its website says “involves imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights.” Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 allows the ITC to investiWe Saw It In ENX Magazine

gate allegations of IP violations. Hardware manufacturers often request these investigations when they file federal lawsuits because a 337 action moves much more quickly than cases filed in the federal courts. Most so-called 337 investigations involve claims that overseas firms have imported products into the U.S. that violate a patent or registered trademark. Most claims can be resolved in less than two years. Although only the federal courts can award damages, the ITC is charged with taking steps to prohibit the infringing products from entering the U.S. If the commission determines infringing products are being imported, it can issue cease-anddesist orders or limited exclusion orders (LEO), which restrict the importation of a certain product from a certain company or group of companies. If the ITC determines that there is a widespread practice by an industry to infringe an OEM’s IP, it may issue a general exclusion order (GEO) restricting the importation of an entire product category, regardless of the source. The commission tasks U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB)—a.k.a. “Customs”—with enforcing its orders. CPB monitors all U.S. points of entry to ensure no “excludable product” is imported. If an infraction is discovered, the ITC is notified along with the exporter. The company is given 30 days to take the shipment back or it is surrendered to CPB. If a second shipment of infringing product from the same company continued on page 26


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OEMs Maintain the Pressure to Keep Infringing Consumables Out of U.S. Markets is discovered, the ITC will issue seizure-and-forfeiture orders executed by CBP. CBP had a busy year in 2016, seizing the most shipments of ink and toner cartridges in its history. This increase in activities related to consumables followed a record number of similar seizures in 2015. Last year, the ITC issued 72 seizure-and-forfeiture orders that Customs agents executed against 50 companies and individuals. In 2015, 60 seizure-and-forfeiture orders were sent to 38 companies and individuals (see the complete list in the table below). Prior to 2015, only a handful of seizures were executed each year.

Why the Uptick?

There are several reasons for the increase in seizures over the past couple of years. First and foremost, OEMs have been increasingly successful in their attempts to have the ITC issue exclusion orders related to consumables. As I noted, the ITC moves much more quickly than the federal courts, so an ITC complaint is now commonly filed when federal lawsuits are brought involving imports. Today, more third-party supplies are excluded from entering the U.S. than ever before. In addition, CBP is better at finding and grabbing infringing products than it had been in the past. Several years ago, the agency was set up to handle more easily tracked products like shipments of steel coming into the U.S. but was not optimized to cope with the complexities of products like consumables. Now things have changed. The CBP has been reorganized and it put new support systems in place to help Customs agents identify infringing goods in more complex product categories like printer and copier supplies. In particular, CBP has established various Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), including the Electronics CEE, which is responsible for preventing the importation of banned consumables. The new centers gather multi-discipline teams together in one central location. The teams work with OEMs to identify and seize products that the ITC has excluded from the U.S. market. The CEEs also act as repositories of information: when Customs agents successfully enforce an ITC order, they collect the intelligence they gather in the field and can use it in future enforcements. It appears that all the seizures may be helping to stem the tide of infringing product that’s been pouring into the U.S. According to our research, the importation of infringing product is beginning to slow. While many off-shore third-party supply vendors continue to look to the U.S. for growth, I do not see the market for infringing products expanding in the U.S. as it was five years ago. All the ITC and CBP activity has helped to slow imports. But other market dynamics are also helping to quell demand for infringing consumables. Many who supply office and imaging equipment are no longer willing to risk the lawsuits, supply-chain headaches and inconsistent quality issues associated with infringing products. 26

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SEIZURE-AND-FORFEITURE ORDERS ISSUED IN 2015 INK AND TONER CARTRIDGE INVESTIGATIONS Company

Address

Investigation Number

Date Issued

337-TA-565 Investigation (GEO awarded to Epson in 2007) 1 2 3 4 5

Clear Imaging Inc. D&J Accessories Dram Tree Distributors Einktoner, LTD Environmental Office Solutions 6 E TOP LLC 7 Fulfillment by Amazon 8 Fulfillment by Amazon 9 GMC Online Trading LLC 10 Magna Ink Corp. 11 & McChain LLC 12 13 LST Products LLC 14 Nano Pacific Corp 15 Printer Cartridge Recycle 16 Soldcrazy USA LLC

Renton, WA Alhambra, CA Leland, NC San Jose, CA East Hartford, CT

337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565

7/28/2015 10/6/2015 5/1/2015 5/11/2015 8/27/2015

Hillsboro, OR Hebron, KY Hazleton, PA Sunny Isles, Florida Irwindale, CA Portland, OR

337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565

Lakewood, NJ South San Francisco, CA Auburn, WA Ontario, CA

337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565 337-TA-565

5/28/2015 5/28/2015 5/28/2015 12/18/2015 9/16/2015 8/21/2015, 7/28/16 5/1/2015 5/1/2015 11/13/2015 5/28/2015

337-TA-691 Investigation (GEO awarded to HP in 2011) 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Amazon.com, Inc. Einktoner, LTD Environmental Office Solutions Emerald Recycling LLC Fulfillment by Amazon GN Corporation Lasermasters LLC INKJET2U Nano Pacific Corp Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd. Printer Cartridge Recycle

Seattle, WA San Jose, CA East Hartford, CT

337-TA-691 337-TA-691 337-TA-691

10/1/2015 5/11/2015 8/27/2015

Chatsworth, CA Hazleton, PA City of Industry, CA Phoenix, AZ Fayetville, NC South San Francisco, CA Chino, CA,

337-TA-691 337-TA-691 337-TA-691 337-TA-691 337-TA-691 337-TA-691 337-TA-691

5/29/2015 10/6/2015 10/20/2015 5/28/2015 1/16/2015 5/1/2015 3/19/2015

Auburn, WA

337-TA-691

11/13/2015

337-TA-723 Investigation (GEO awarded to HP in 2011) 27 28 & 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

Billiontree Technology USA Easy Group, LLC

City of Industry, CA Irwindale, CA

337-TA-723 337-TA-723

E TOP LLC Hillsboro, OR 337-TA-723 GN USA Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-723 Lasermasters LLC Phoenix, AZ 337-TA-723 Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd. Chino, CA, 337-TA-723 337-TA-740 Investigation (GEO awarded to Lexmark in 2011) Clover Technologies Oakville, Ontario, Canada 337-TA-740 Environmental Office East Hartford, CT 337-TA-740 Solutions Lasermasters LLC Phoenix, AZ 337-TA-740 PRC Auburn, WA 337-TA-740 337-TA-829 Investigation (GEO awarded to Canon in 2013)* ACM Technologies Corona, CA 337-TA-829 Actionable Intelligence Franklin, MA 337-TA-829 Baiksan OPC Bell, CA 337-TA-829 Billiontree Technology USA City of Industry, CA 337-TA-829 Blue Planet Trading Irvine, CA 337-TA-829 Blue Trading LLC Medley, FL 337-TA-829 Clear Imaging Inc. Renton, WA 337-TA-829 Clover Technologies Oakville, Ontario, Canada 337-TA-829 Fulfillment by Amazon Hazleton, PA 337-TA-829 Fulfillment by Amazon Hebron, PA 337-TA-829 Grand Image Inc. Walnut, CA 337-TA-829 Inter Worldwide Trading Inc. Miami, FL 337-TA-829 ITC Supplies West Chester, PA 337-TA-829 Max Scrap Metals Inc. Canoga Park, CA 337-TA-565 N&L Global Baldwin Park, CA 337-TA-829 Printer Cartridge Recycle Auburn, WA 337-TA-829 Soldcrazy USA LLC Ontario, CA 337-TA-829 Techno Legend LLC Torrance, CA 337-TA-829 West Coast Ewaste Camarillo, CA 337-TA-829

8/21/2015 8/13/2015, 10/6/2015 5/29/2015 10/20/2015 5/28/2015 6/11/2015 10/6/2015 8/27/2015 5/28/2015 10/20/2015 11/13/2015 11/13/2015 10/20/2015 5/29/2015 6/9/2015 8/27/2015 9/16/2015 10/6/2015 5/29/2015 10/1/2015 7/28/2015 12/18/2015 12/18/2015 9/16/2015 5/1/2015 11/13/2015 5/28/2015 1/16/2015 10/20/2015

337-TA-918 Investigation (GEO awarded to Canon in 2015) 57 Amazon.com, Inc. Seattle, WA 337-TA-918 12/1/2015 58 ITC Supplies West Chester, PA 337-TA-918 12/18/2015 59 Lasermasters LLC Phoenix, AZ 337-TA-918 5/28/2015 60 Smart and Easy Corp. Chino, CA 337-TA-918 12/18/2015 *Note that this GEO is no longer enforced as the patents involved have expired Source: Actionable Intelligence

continued on page 28 We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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OEMs Maintain the Pressure to Keep Infringing Consumables Out of U.S. Markets Putting Pressure on Amazon

One place that continues to be plagued with infringing cartridges is the Internet. E-tailers now make up the largest channel for these products in the U.S. The Internet is rife with sites selling ink and toner supplies at a fraction of an OEM’s price. With a combined total of approximately 1 million ink and toner cartridges, Amazon.com has one of the broadest ranges of consumables available online. The site offers SKUs from OEMs, remanufacturers, and new-build compatible manufacturers. While many of the ink and toner cartridges selling on Amazon do not infringe any patents, some do. Therefore, ITC and CBP have taken steps to eliminate infringing consumables from Amazon.com. After the CBP discovered that Amazon was attempting to import ink and toner cartridges that were excluded by the commission from being sold in the U.S., the ITC issued several orders over the past couple of years to seize the shipments. As our table of 2015 and 2016 seizures shows, it is not uncommon for an individual importer to have multiple shipments seized, including Amazon. Importers identified as bringing in excluded goods are more closely monitored by Customs agents, and the Electronics CEE supports the increased scrutiny. The seizure orders targeting Amazon have been directed at the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, as well as certain U.S. fulfillment centers. It appears Amazon is addressing the problem. In 2015, five shipments heading to Amazon were seized by the authorities. Last year, however, that number dropped to one. In addition to increased CBP surveillance, OEMs have taken steps to stop individual companies from marketing infringing consumables on Amazon. Epson in particular has become increasingly aggressive. In November, Seiko Epson along with two of its U.S. subsidiaries, Epson America and Epson Portland, sued Nano Business and Technology for selling third-party inkjet cartridges that infringe two of Epson’s patents. A representative for Epson said that the suit was part of a crackdown on resellers on Amazon Marketplace. The Nano suit wasn’t Epson’s only attempt to get infringing products off of Amazon. In December, Epson filed three patent-infringement complaints against Amazon Marketplace sellers. The defendants included HT Tech and HT Imaging Inc. in one suit and InkJet2U LLC and Worf Corporation in the second filing. The third suit was filed against three West Palm Beach, Florida firms: Shoppers Smart LLC, Houses Investing LLLP and Houses Investing of Florida, Corp. The suits involved cartridges that violated GEOs issued by the ITC. For many of the defendants, it was not the first time they were sued for selling infringing products. In addition to the cases related to ink cartridges, Epson sued Century21 Electronics last September in a trademark-infringement suit that alleged the Amazon seller was falsely selling refurbished Epson projectors as new. After facing mounting pressure in recent years from manufacturers over infringing and counterfeit products being sold on Amazon.com, and after being criticized for inviting Chinese manufacturers to sell directly through its online site, Amazon 28

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SEIZURE-AND-FORFEITURE ORDERS ISSUED IN 2016 INK AND TONER CARTRIDGE INVESTIGATIONS Investigation Date Issued Address Number 337-TA-565 Investigation (GEO awarded to Epson in 2007) 1 Appearances International LLC Farmington Hills, MI 337-TA-565 1/13/2016 2 Audioland Electronic Corp. Hacienda Heights, CA 337-TA-565 9/16/2016 3 Compandsave.com Inc., Newark, CA 337-TA-565 4/5/2016 4 David & Yonathan Trade of FL Miami, FL 337-TA-565 3/30/2016 5 GMC Online Trading LLC Sunny Isles, FL 337-TA-565 4/5/2016 6 Green Project Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-565 11/30/2016 7 HT Tech Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-565 5/16/2016 8 Inscribe Inc. Woburn, MA 337-TA-565 7/11/2016 9 JD Johnson Deer Park, NY 337-TA-565 3/8/2016 Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada 337-TA-565 3/30/2016 10 Katech Imaging 11 LTS Consumables, Inc. Walnut, CA 337-TA-565 6/9/2016 12 Lucky Print LLC Reno, NV 337-TA-565 8/16/2016 13 MC Max, LLC Miami Beach, FL 337-TA-565 2/18/2016 14 Ovacor, Inc. Miami Beach, FL 337-TA-565 3/8/2016 15 OW Supplies Corp. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-565 2/18/2016 16 Prinko Image Co. (USA) Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-565 6/9/2016 17 Carla Seminario Bogota, NJ 337-TA-565 6/9/2016 18 June Shen Manchester, CT 337-TA-565 12/19/2016 19 Smart A Inc., Rosemead, CA 337-TA-565 1/13/2016 337-TA-691 Investigation (GEO awarded to HP in 2011) 20 99 Ink Inc. Walnut, CA 337-TA-691 10/6/2016 21 Audioland Electronic Corp. Hacienda Heights, CA 337-TA-691 9/16/2016 22 BCMY Corp. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-691 1/13/2016 23 Compandsave.com Inc., Newark, CA 337-TA-691 4/5/2016 24 David & Yonathan Trade of FL Miami, FL 337-TA-691 3/30/2016 25 Electric Zone Inc. Van Nuys, CA 337-TA-691 1/13/2016 26 Elmart Inc. Alhambra, CA 337-TA-691 5/16/2016 27 Green Project Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-691 11/30/2016 28 LTS Consumables, Inc. Walnut, CA 337-TA-691 6/9/2016 29 OW Supplies Corp. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-691 2/18/2016 30 Parcel Pack Express City of Industry, CA 337-TA-691 7/11/2016 337-TA-691 5/16/2016 31 PTS Portland Trade Services Inc. Eugene, OR 337-TA-691 5/16/2016 32 Quantum Tech International Inc. Rowland Heights, CA 33 Revol Trading Lake Forest, CA 337-TA-691 3/30/2016 34 Smart and Easy Corp. Chino, CA 337-TA-691 6/9/2016 35 Straightoutaink Sunnyvale, CA 337-TA-691 10/28/2016 36 United Toner LLC Lake Mary, FL 337-TA-691 3/30/2016 337-TA-723 Investigation (GEO awarded to HP in 2011) 37 99 Ink Inc. Walnut, CA 337-TA-723 10/6/2016 38 Appearances International LLC Farmington Hills, MI 337-TA-723 2/18/2016 39 Compandsave.com Inc., Newark, CA 337-TA-723 4/5/2016 40 Compu-Imaging, Inc. Miami, FL 337-TA-723 4/5/2016 41 Discount Ink Inc. Sunnyvale, CA 337-TA-723 11/30/2016 42 Electric Zone Inc. Van Nuys, CA 337-TA-723 1/13/2016 43 Elmart Inc. Alhambra, CA 337-TA-723 2/18/2016 44 Emerald Recycling LLC Chatsworth, CA 337-TA-723 7/11/2016 45 Golden State FC LLC Morena Valley, CA 337-TA-723 11/30/2016 46 Green Project Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-723 12/29/2016 47 Smart A Inc. Rosemead, CA 337-TA-723 1/13/2016 48 Smart and Easy Corp. Chino, CA 337-TA-723 1/13/2016 49 United Toner LLC Lake Mary, FL 337-TA-723 3/30/2016 50 US Inker Technology Duluth, GA 337-TA-723 2/18/2016 337-TA-740 Investigation (GEO awarded to Lexmark in 2011) 51 Amazon.com, Inc. Seattle, WA 337-TA-740 3/8/2016 52 Prime Depot Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada 337-TA-740 1/12/2016 53 Tech-Optics, Inc. Miami, FL 337-TA-740 5/16/2016 54 YMCK Systems Inc. Federal Way, Washington 337-TA-740 7/11/2016 337-TA-829 Investigation (GEO awarded to Canon in 2013)* 55 Electric Zone Inc. Van Nuys, CA 337-TA-829 1/12/2016 337-TA-918 Investigation (GEO awarded to Canon in 2015) 56 Blue Planet Trading Irvine, CA 337-TA-918 2/18/2016 57 EC Enterprise, Inc. Edmonds, WA 337-TA-918 5/16/2016 58 Emerald Recycling LLC Chatsworth, CA 337-TA-918 6/9/2016 59 Graphic Toners Inc. San Gabriel, CA 337-TA-918 3/30/2016 60 Laser Pros International Rhinelanderm, WI 337-TA-918 5/16/2016 61 Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd. Chino, CA 337-TA-918 1/12/2016 337-TA-918 4/5/2016 62 Quantum Tech International Inc. Rowland Heights, CA 63 SID Trading Inc. Hacienda Heights, CA 337-TA-918 5/16/2016 64 Smart A Inc. Rosemead, CA 337-TA-918 1/12/2016 65 Spectrum Imaging LLC Walnut, CA 337-TA-918 4/5/2016 66 Tech-Optics, Inc. Miami, FL 337-TA-918 5/16/2016 67 Topmay Inc. Rowland Heights, CA 337-TA-918 2/18/2016 68 Universal Ribbon Corp. Miami, FL 337-TA-918 3/8/2016 69 Widenrich Imaging City of Industry, CA 337-TA-918 5/16/2016 Technologies LLC 70 Xcess Technology, Inc. Santa Fe Springs, CA 337-TA-918 4/5/2016 337-TA-946 Investigation (GEO awarded to Epson in 2016) 71 Audioland Electronic Corp. Hacienda Heights, CA 337-TA-946 9/16/2016 72 Green Project Inc. City of Industry, CA 337-TA-946 11/30/2016 *Note that this GEO is no longer enforced as the patents involved have expired Source: Actionable Intelligence Company

continued on page 29 We Saw It In ENX Magazine


OEMs Maintain the Pressure to Keep Infringing Consumables Out of U.S. Markets took steps last year to address the problem. Last August, Amazon imposed a fee and new authentication requirements for certain brands in an apparent attempt to address the problems associated with infringing and counterfeit product. All new marketplace sellers who list certain brands must pay a fee of up to $1,500 per brand and provide documentation proving the products are legitimate. Hewlett-Packard and Samsung were among the brands to be protected by the new fees and more are expected. The move came after footwear giant Birkenstock announced that, commencing January 1, 2017, it would pull all sales of its products off Amazon because of concerns about counterfeiters.

What About this Year?

It is clear that the ITC and CBP will continue to apply pressure on firms attempting to import infringing consumables into the U.S. this year, but there are some indications that seizures may be slowing. In January, the ITC issued seizure-and-forfeiture orders on shipments of toner cartridges bound for the CBD Group Inc. of Walnut, California that violated a GEO issued to Canon in 2015. Clover Technologies and its Cartridges Are Us subsidiary also received a seizure-and-forfeiture order; however, it was quickly rescinded after the ITC discovered the inkjet cartridges in question did not violate a GEO awarded to HP. With only one seizure in January, the ITC and CBP is far off the pace it set last year, which saw a record number of seizure-and-forfeiture orders. During the same period in 2016, the ITC had issued 11 such orders. The slowing ITC and CBP activity follows a pattern that emerged in the second half of last year. Between July and December of 2016, the ITC issued 18 seizure-and-forfeiture orders compared to 54 during the first six months of the year. It will be interesting to see what impact—if any—a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court may have on ITC and CBP activity. In December, the high court announced it will hear Impression Products v. Lexmark International, a case that could significantly change U.S. patent law. If the court sides with Lexmark, patent law will remain as it has been for years. If, however, SCOTUS sides with the plaintiff, patent holder rights could be diminished, which will presumably reduce the number of seizure orders because certain patent rights would no longer be valid. A decision is expected in June. ♦

Nominate Your Candidates for the INDUSTRY’S DIFFERENCE MAKERS Who are the individuals making the key contributions to the industry or to your organizations? Email your recommendations along with a couple of sentences as to why and how they are making a difference. Submit Your Nomination at www.enxmag.com or email to susan@enxmag.com Today! We Saw It In ENX Magazine

March 2017 | www.enxmag.com

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Dealer Spotlight

Stargel Office Solutions: Taking Care of Customers Through the Storm

S

tarted in 1987 by President and owner Jack Stargel as a typewriter company, Stargel Office Solutions is now celebrating its 30th year in business as a complete office technology partner, servicing the Houston metro area with annual revenue around $21 million. Stargel Office Solutions’ primary hardware vendor is Toshiba, Lexmark and HP, and they partner with Collabrance and Continuum for their Managed Network Services. As a self-described “traditional” company, Stargel offers flexibility and attention to detail the way only an independent dealership can. They are a recipient of Toshiba’s coveted Dealer of the Year Award, are recognized by GreatAmerica as a Prestige Dealer and were one of ENX Magazine’s 2015 and 2016 Elite Dealers. Houston is known for its oil and gas industry, and with falling oil and gas prices and subsequent buying freezes, it hasn’t been easy staying even-keeled. But Stargel has focused on working closely with their customers as consultants, putting their needs first, and taking care of their own employees. With an average tenure of 9.5 years for sales reps, 10 years for over 40 technicians and almost 16 years for their manager base, they put honesty, integrity and passion first, whether serving their customers or their own people. We spoke further with T.J. DeBello, VP of Sales and Marketing, about T.J. DeBello, VP of Sales and core values, how to keep Marketing, 30

www.enxmag.com | March 2017

good employees and staying on course in uncertain times. How is business this year? Where do you see your greatest opportunities for growth? DeBELLO: The greatest opportunities are definitely on the MNS and MPS side. We’re hoping for the oil prices to go up in 2017 and hiring on that side of the house. We’re hoping for 15-20 percent growth [in MNS], and in MPS, because we have a solid base there already. We’re hoping 10 percent on that side, conservatively. On the MNS side we’re billing about $800K a year in recurring revenue now for two years, and we’re thinking we can get that over $1 million, $1.2 million this year. On the MPS side we bill about $2.8 million so incrementally that’s a little tougher to grow as fast. Our goal is to grow that to $3.1 million. How is the Managed Services segment of your business? Is it going the way you hoped? DeBELLO: Yes. Last year we were looking to grow MPS faster, and it grew 8 percent, but the MNS side grew 30-40 percent, because we hadn’t been around that long and made a significant jump. We added 26 clients, so we really geared up at the end of 2015 and made a big push. A lot of reps helped to buy in, generating leads, and we had a dedicated MNS rep, finally. Once we got ramped up we were probably selling two to three deals a month the last six or seven months. What was your dealership’s most significant accomplishment last year?

Jack Stargel, President and owner

DeBELLO: Surviving all the companies going out of business! [laugh]. Our biggest accomplishment was to stay even and improve profits by being creative. We tried to help organizations that were in buying freezes or trying to consolidate. We tried our best to be a consultant. A lot of these oil and gas companies affect the churches in the surrounding area that don’t get as many donations. One of the largest churches in the U.S. is one of our customers and they even put a buying freeze on because of the economy. We didn’t lose any sales reps—we added sales reps—and we increased our profit margins over 2015 even though our revenue was flat overall. Just being able to regroup, help our customers out, and make sure we were set up to grow in 2017 was our mission and we accomplished that. What was one of your biggest wins in 2016? DeBELLO: We had a couple. We had a sports team that we landed, that was $700K in revenue, and then we had a clinic that split off from another company. That was a $620K deal, and included $125K worth of digital continued on page 32

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Stargel Office Solutions: Taking Care of Customers Through the Storm signage which we hadn’t sold before, so that was good. What’s one of the biggest challenges lately? DeBELLO: Weathering the storm with the way the economy was at the end of 2015 and 2016. Two of our biggest customers merged and they were oil and gas companies. They put a buying freeze on. They were each buying $2 million a year from us, so that’s $4 million we were getting from both companies that went down to $1 million last year. That was something we had to weather through, and I think a lot of that is changing. Who do you see as your biggest competition, and how do you differentiate your company from the rest? DeBELLO: Houston’s a funny market. There are only a few of us that have been around for a long time. But it’s funny how every six months that changes. I would say in Houston it’s probably Ricoh, just because of they bought out everybody and flooded Houston with all the sales people they had. We probably run into them the most frequently. What differentiates us from them is that we’re independent and local. That’s how we won the sports team. They specifically told us that. And we have guarantees: one is a three-hour guarantee or we’re going to give you your service for free for the next invoice, or we do a 90 minute response time, where we give you money back every minute that we’re late. And we do different programs. If you buy a color copier from us, 30 ppm or faster, we provide you with free black and white copies. If you’re averaging 10K copies in black and white, we’ll give you 10K for free, etcetera. Is there a product or solution that you are looking to add in the near future? DeBELLO:This year our goal is putting an emphasis into our people and hiring more people. We’re giving people bigger raises. We’ve talked about voice-over IP phones and 3D printing, but I don’t think it’ll happen this year. Our investment is back into our employees this year. We’re not at profit sharing yet, but we’re trying to set that up, and are starting to give 32

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raises based on tenure. Of the 100 employees we have here, we’re averaging 9-10 years with 70 percent of the people. Our customers get consistency and stability and people that believe in what they’re doing and are passionate about it. Do you have any upcoming plans or events for this year? Any news to share? DeBELLO: Our two big events that we always do is at the Astros, our baseball team here, where we invite about 300400 people and put on a technology show for a couple hours. We have guest speakers. Last year we had Reid Ryan, Nolan Ryan’s son, and this year we’re trying to get Jim Crane, the owner of the Astros. They do a Q&A period. We invite our top 150 customers and our top 100 prospects. Last year we had about 450 people there, but normally we have around 300 people. We are also a big sponsor of Texas Children’s Hospital, and we work with them on the Bad Pants Open charity golf tournament in October. What is one business marketing innovation that you feel exemplifies your company culture and values? DeBELLO: We’re not a gimmicky company. Our core values are putting the customer first, honesty, integrity, passion and believing in our people, that kind of stuff. Any given time we have 45-50 technicians out in the field. The goal is to take care of the customer in a timely manner, and do it correctly and do it right. I don’t know if it’s innovative, but it’s definitely different from our competition. Each one of those technicians carries about $10K worth of car stock. Just in our warehouse alone there’s about $800K to $1 million worth of parts. I almost think that’s innovative in today’s market, especially in Houston, as everybody does real in-time parts shipping. They have guys go out, maybe they have the parts, maybe they don’t. They try to drop-ship it to the client and meet them there, and try to save money that way. We’re still old school in the sense that’s not how we take care of the customer. It’s important that our FCE is in the high 80s, and we see our competition at 50-60 percent. It’s just a different way of thinking about things.

What do you look for in your employees? How do you recruit and retain good ones? DeBELLO: Recruiting is always tough. Our best employees come by word of mouth, but we do use recruiters. You have to take care of your employees. Give them a voice and the ability to take care of customers in the right way. That’s just who we are. I think keeping them is a matter of being respectful. We train them, giving them the ability to make more money. You’ve got to pay people what they’re worth. How do you view the industry changing in the future and what are you doing to adapt? DeBELLO: We’re a service company, and our job is to serve our customers. The hardware may change, the on-ramps may change, but if your company’s built around a service model like our company is, then it doesn’t matter how the industry is changing — as long as we educate ourselves, train ourselves and keep our core competencies of taking care of our customer when it comes to information. I assume it’s going to be more app-based, which is intriguing. And it’s going to be about how you display the information digitally and more quickly to clients. What is your least favorite thing about your job? DeBELLO: Probably the interview process. We are always interviewing. It’s part of Jack’s policy. Even if we’re not hiring, we’re always interviewing. I probably do around 60-70 interviews a year, and hire five to seven. It’s more about building a network. If I find the right person, I’ve never told no. We find the budget to hire them. So probably the least favorite thing I do, but the most important thing I do. Outside of work, what do you do for fun? DeBELLO:I have a 16-year-old daughter that does competitive volleyball, so a lot of our fun is spent traveling with her. Other than that we do a lot of stuff outdoors. We like to water ski and camp. Being in Texas, we all hunt. ♦

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


Channel Insight News Briefing

Konica Minolta’s Kevin Kern: Dealer Channel Key to Success in MFPs and Beyond

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or Konica Minolta Business Solutions, 2016 is likely to go down as a milestone year. At its dealer meeting in August, the company made a big commitment to the production print market with the launch of its Accurio brand. Konica Minolta also announced it had taken a stake in MGI, a French manufacturer of decorative printing equipment. The company continued to grow its 3D printer business, based on its partnership with 3D Systems, reportedly scoring a couple of six-figure sales. And it expanded globally the bizhub Marketplace, an app store where customers can download software to extend the capabilities of its Konica Minolta MFPs. ENX magazine had an opportunity to speak with one of the Konica Minolta executives at the center of these initiatives: Kevin Kern, senior vice president, Business Intelligence Services and Product Planning.

Tell us about your career with Konica Minolta. KERN: I’ve been here 22 years, starting right out of school. I came on initially as director of product planning. I’ve had a wide variety of roles, from marketing to product planning, including areas as diverse as supply chain and corporate education. Now, I’m back to my roots in this role, where I have what’s called business intelligence services and product planning. It’s hardware planning, software planning and services planning. The ECM business rolls up to us, managed print 34

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rolls up to us, global major accounts, facilities management team, the franchise print team, and things like that. The big area for us now is graphic and industrial print. We have a whole new team really driving that business segment. What were some of the biggest highlights for you and Konica Minolta of the past year? KERN: The dealer meeting in Aspen was a highlight. Every dealer meeting we do is an enormous amount of work for the entire company. It takes up everybody’s life, but also it went really well, and it was a really cool place and a really cool message. It would be really hard to top that one. We’ve gotten our ECM business growing rapidly through both acquisitions and organically in the past year, and we’re pulling through our dealers in that area. We’re hiring additional engineering resources to help support the dealers as they build their business. We just launched the global bizhub MarketPlace. We took our original idea and expanded it into 35 countries. Many vendors will say, “We’re going to launch 1,000 new products next summer.” That is not what drives customers. What the customer cares about is what problems you can solve for them and whether you can meet their application requirements. The cool thing about bizhub MarketPlace is it’s a platform from which you download new apps and capabilities during the lifecycle of the install of the product. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Kevin Kern, senior vice president, Business Intelligence Services and Product Planning If you lease a product for 36 or 60 months, you’re not limited during that time if something new comes out that your current product can’t address. It’s not all about hardware anymore. It’s about providing, upgrading and giving the customer what they want during the lifecycle of the engagement. Then we launched the graphic communication and industrial print product lines. We’re off to a good start with our [AccurioJet] KM1 product in commercial printers. We’re working on our first dealerdeveloped KM1 sale as we speak, which is really exciting. Our graphic industrial print roll-to-roll business is starting to take off. We’ve got several dealers engaged in deals on the labeling side. We’re off to a fast start in the past couple months with the MGI products and our relationship with them. What were some of the things that surprised or challenged you in the last year? KERN: Every day is a surprise. Nothing really was a super surcontinued on page 36


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Konica Minolta’s Kevin Kern: Dealer Channel Key to Success in MFPs and Beyond prise. Some of the competitive acquisitions probably should have happened, but the acquiring partners were not what we expected. That doesn’t really challenge us directly. It just changed the competitive landscape. The print market in the office is not growing that much in terms of page volume, so that’s a challenge. The volume is shifting from locally attached single function and multifunction [devices], to [connected] A4, A3, MFP. While there’s a tough competitive pricing market out there, our A3 color is up substantially year over year in both dealer and direct channels. Interestingly enough, our A3 mono is flat to slightly up. That was a surprise we didn’t expect. From our standpoint, it’s a positive surprise, not a negative surprise. The economy is going pretty well. The exchange rate is quite frankly the biggest challenge for us all over the map, and everybody in the business is challenged by that right now. Konica Minolta is seeing some success now in production and with 3D printers as a 3D Systems partner. How important is it for Konica Minolta to leverage its resources to enter these new areas? KERN: Oh, very important. We’re realizing that to continue growth we need adjacent marketplaces. We got into IT services early because it’s a good adjacency. Now it’s a couple-hundredmilliondollar business for us. We pushed our dealers early, and some have gotten their own and are moving in that direction. The ones that can’t quite get there yet are using us in some cases to white box IT services. The second area is ECM. We see it as a very logical adjacency that’s really working well for us. We are working with our dealers to develop business in the ECM space because we’re following the document wherever it is. The services model is more aligned with IT services if you have that. I’m a big believer in 3D print, as is our company. 3D print went through a gold rush era, where people didn’t understand the actual application, so they hyped it up to be something it’s not going to be for a while. However, in 36

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automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare and universities, we see big markets. It’s just going to take time to develop. Like ECM and IT services, it’s an application sale. You’ve got to have the specialists to go in and identify the opportunities. We are investing in the specialists to do that. We have specialists in ECM to help support the dealers, we have specialists in IT services to help the dealers, we have specialists in graphic communication and industrial print, and we’re adding specialists in the superwideformat type of printing, as well as 3D printing. It’s a big investment for a dealer before the business is there. We’re investing in corporate resources and in our team here to help ease them in to those areas. What’s your methodology for assessing and entering adjacency markets? KERN: You have to look at where you want to be as a company, what your skill sets are and how you go to market. Our strategy has always been to look at adjacent areas that relate to what we’re doing. IT services is a very similar model in terms of service. ECM follows the document. Industrial print follows a similar marketplace, and we’ll get into labeling, and packaging and things like that. What we like about 3D print is that 80 percent of what we do there leverages the core infrastructure we already have or a dealer would already have. The 20 percent of valueadded expertise we have to develop. We invest again for both direct and dealer channels. We choose markets where we think there’s an opportunity to either aggregate or consolidate some of the little holes in the marketplace. In IT services, it was the average size of the vendor, and the mid- to lowermid segment was a couple million bucks a year. We did leverage and scale to a more national opportunity, and build the big cloud data centers. Same with 3D printers, it’s really an extension of industrial print. We think it’s going to be a manufacturing process type product. The third part is we have other technologies that may plug in. For example, Konica Minolta acquired Radiant Vision Systems a few years ago. It has technol-

ogy that can do surface anomaly detection: 3D printing with our healthcare division works with Radiant. We get these little synergies within the company and we can deliver more valueadded product to both our dealers and direct operations can sell. What makes Konica Minolta successful with the dealer channel? KERN: Number one, it comes from the top. I think every dealer knows that our CEO Rick Taylor insists upon a level playing field for our dealers. They have confidence we will treat them fairly. Number two, we have a lot of respect for what they do. Some companies resent the fact that dealers make money. We don’t. We want our dealers to be very successful, because if they’re successful, we’re successful. We’re not putting our personal capital or our house on the line when we run the business. But they are. Everybody has that understanding. Number three, we invest heavily in dealer channel people who can help them support their business growth. The fourth thing is any one of them can call any one of us, night or day, and we’re ready to talk. It’s not like a vertically stacked sales organization where you have to go through 27 levels to get to Rick Taylor, or myself, or Sam Errigo or Don Duvall. Finally, we believe very much in customer intimacy. You can ask anybody in our dealer community; we love to be in the middle of it with our dealers. What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for the dealer channel going forward in 2017? KERN: Industrial print will be a wideopen territory. Whether it’s labeling, rollto-roll, sheetfed or largeformat, there’s a 2 percent to 7 percent digital penetration rate. Which means the ability to flip it to alternate technology like inkjet is pretty large, because most people in industrial print know they need to go digital. People are constantly going to be changing their package designs or direct mail using valueadded print like the MGI Evo products…or the Meteor Unlimited Color for MGI.

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 38


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Konica Minolta’s Kevin Kern: Dealer Channel Key to Success in MFPs and Beyond All of these new opportunities change the conversation with the customer and build a parallel business that leverages your service strengths, but delivers the more high-value aftermarket to the dealer, and very high-value stuff to the printer. We think that’s a big opportunity. The challenges are longer sales cycles and more complex financing transactions. You’re selling a $1.5 million press, your average lending company’s not going to pick that up. You’ve got to do that. You’ve got to have the right specialists onhand. The challenges are getting to know the customer and having the right expertise for presale, postsale support to develop the application or the volume on those products. ECM and IT services are still big opportunities. A lot of dealers are getting into it, but again, that’s an investment scenario, and where we help, we can. We still think there’s plenty of life in 38

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office. It’s challenging from a pricing standpoint right now, but that’s what happens—you’ve got a lot of competitors and the market’s not growing fast enough. Our observation is that the predicted falloff in page volume is not really there. Do you have any big predictions for the coming year in the industry as a whole? KERN: I am optimistic about the new year. I think we will see growth opportunities in the industrial print and graphic communications market segments— which have a very low digital penetration rate—and increasing growth in print mediums like direct mail as a means to cut through the clutter of digital saturation. It is interesting to have gone to a very large mall near our office to see Amazon, the company who put bookstores out of business, building a brand new bookstore. I think 3D printing will return to a rational growth rate. There will be

increased opportunity in labeling and packaging as well as ECM and other services. Increased focus on infrastructure spending should positively impact the AEC wide-format business. Frankly, we are pretty optimistic about the core office MFP market as MFPs are becoming a part of the workflow environment beyond only print. And, of course, we see continued growth in Solutions, ECM and IT services. There’s tremendous opportunity for dealers now if they’re willing to spend time, understand themselves and make investments. We’re still very big on the dealer model, and very big on the opportunity for dealers. Dealers have a big advantage, being more local than direct organizations and being more closely connected to the community. This is still a human touch business. That connection the dealers have with the customers, just like we do with our dealers, is one of the most valuable assets we have. ♦

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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Charles Lamb

Leadership News Briefing

The End Justifies the Means, or Does It?

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wonder what it is in someone’s mind that makes them decide to be successful. Not just to survive in business, but to achieve greatness. What IS greatness? I’ve been in the industry for almost 33 years, most of that in a sales role, and finding people who really achieve greatness is rare. Possibly you know of someone who has. Maybe you are one of them. If you are, I’m here to tell you that you are unique. Over my career, I’ve noticed that those who seek the highest level of success seem to do so in every aspect of their life: in business, in their personal lives and in every relationship. They put themselves out there for all to see, and you seldom wonder who they really are or what they want. They’re not a puzzle that you

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have to piece together; they’re real and caring. They’re admirable and someone you might strive to be like. You’d think they’d have thousands of friends, but my observation has been that they have great family relationships and mostly a small circle of friends. These aren’t surface friends; these are deep-down friendships, friends that would do anything when called upon. The deeper you examine the “DNA of greatness” the more you may wonder why anyone would strive for less. People who’ve achieve greatness are honorable and trustworthy in everything they do and courageous as well. That term isn’t often used to describe people in today’s business world, but it takes courage to risk everything, everyday. Why do they do it? With the speed of business today and the risks attached to every decision one makes, why not just dance through life safe and secure like many others? I’m convinced that greatness is truly a pedigree, because you don’t find it in every person. Have you ever noticed that great leaders also pull the greatness out of the people they work with? In other words, it’s contagious. I remember when I first entered my career in sales. I needed help in choosing suitable business attire. I had learned of a clothier We Saw It In ENX Magazine

whom many had recommended and went in to discuss my requirements. There I met a man named David, and he began to help me as if I were the only person on earth. He listened and helped me understand what type of buyer I was, and you know what, when I tried on the suits he recommended, I felt like a million bucks. After we took care of the fitting and setting up my account, he said, “I’d like to introduce you to John, he is the person who will help you as you continue to build your wardrobe.” That experience was greatness! I really didn’t know much about clothes and was a bit worried about getting the right attire for business. They made it so easy. I continued to purchase clothing from them for many years, regardless of sales or discounts available elsewhere. I felt powerful when I wore the suits from that establishment. Clothed in their suits, each time I walked into any room, I was prepared in every way and was equal to the task that lay ahead. David was the owner of that clothing store. The fact is, he had just walked into his own store about five minutes before me and noticed that everyone was busy. Immediately, he turned around and began to help me as if it was his first day and he was at the beginning of his career and needed every sale. I felt important! John told me that David was a great leader and often jumped in to help clients when his team was busy. He said that most of his training came from just watching David, and he had decided early on to mirror continued on page 42


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The End Justifies the Means, or Does It? everything David did. David attracted high quality leaders because he was one. And they recognized his greatness, as he was a master at business, sales and relationships. David had figured out the formula. Within each of the resellers and dealerships I’ve engaged with through the years, I’ve found a zillion company cultures and climates. Some great, others not so great, some who bent to the pressures and competition and let stress take center stage. We all say “I sell quality” and yet few actually get past a “what’s your price” type of deal. It’s about where you want to end up in life and your career. Not only was David the owner of the clothier store, he was also its number one salesman at almost 70 years old. He enjoyed his life and helping others achieve greatness and success. It didn’t seem like work to him; it was evident that this was a joy to him. He was always improving the customer experience and his methods for helping his clients become more successful. How is that so different than the office technology world? His greatness was outflowing: it touched everyone he came in contact with. Few walked away without feeling it. Some might ask, what does this have to do with the office equipment industry? The actions taken by David are very connected to the “transformation” that most dealerships believe they must have. The transformation from mediocre to relevant, from selling widgets to selling solutions, and from transactional to contractual sales—they all start with intention. David’s success began when he made a DECISION to clearly define what he wanted out of his career. He developed his strategy and then executed it to perfection. David was focused, practiced and had perfected his delivery of value. By showing what success looked like, his entire team could emulate his behavior and process to achieve success for themselves. This is so opposite to what I find in our industry. Sales reps aren’t led to success: they’re pushed out the door. I’ve yet to see anyone do market research for 42

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anything or to develop a strategy that prepares their team for success. Transforming your company’s abilities should be tested and tweaked from the top. As success comes, lead your team to best practice, best results. Many so-called “sales leaders” don’t have the ability to lead anyone. And if you are the owner, you should be the best at articulating your values and the path to success. If you’re not, you should have someone in your employ who is. So successful transformation has to answer these questions: what do you want, when do you want it, how will you get it, what does success look like, who wants your deliverables and most importantly, why do they want them? The second great lesson to take from David was that he was in it for his client’s success. When he helped a client become successful, he benefited, so his motivation and values were all about the client. That seems to be missing in today’s world. In many cases it’s a rep’s quota that drives their month. The fact is that if you help your client be successful, it’s easier to secure deep, high value, loyal relationships. But if your comp plan pays a sales rep only to turn the next deal, you could fail. To reach true transformational success, you have to really understand what success is for your client. They define success. There are as many definitions of success as there are clients out there. Success is way more than getting their old MFPs out to get yours in. The phrase “trusted advisor” is way over used, very often by some who have no idea what it really means. A trusted advisor often shares value that they aren’t paid for. Is that you? Do people say you’re an expert? Are your sales reps reaching that level of expertise? Every month I hear from someone who wants the magic pill that creates superior sales results. It’s a little harder than that, but not much. If you train your sales team to identify success for the client and teach them how to articulate how you mitigate issues, you’ll create a significant advantage over your competitors. Every sale isn’t about saving

your client money. Decisions are mostly made around improving the value and performance of your client’s company. I’m often asked what is the secret in creating success in business. I think it’s pretty simple. It’s not a short-term play, but you do have to step on the field. Early in David’s career HE MADE A DECISION to succeed. Many business owners have yet to make any decision about their company’s success. Do YOU want to be successful? Is it evident? In most engagements, we start with that very question: “What do you want?” It’s amazing, but some people who seem to have “made it big” can’t answer that question. Inside the walls of their business it is a whirlwind of chaos, with a revolving door and constant cash-flow issues. Why? David’s secret isn’t that amazing; it started with a DECISION to be successful, and his commitment to follow through with that decision. Defining success isn’t a one-time process. Your definition of success will change as your career advances. Also, your company’s definition of success shouldn’t be defined by anyone else. It must come from a current-day, real-time review of your business and its future success objectives. The great news is that it’s never too late to set this in motion. Ask yourself, is my business as successful as my largest competitor? Don’t let pride get in the way of this review; give credit where credit is due. If a competitor is more successful and you would like to change your trajectory upward, then you must identify and repair those failure points, implement the changes that need to be made and saddle up. One final step: remember to take time to visit with your employees and ask them for their ideas for increasing success within your company. You might be pleasantly surprised by their input. Don’t let pride keep you from seeking outside help either; it often shortens your ramp-up timeframe. The good news is that once YOU MAKE THE DECISION to be great and successful, you’re halfway there! ♦

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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Business Profile News Briefing

Chipjet Leads Consumables Integrated Circuit (IC) Industry by Staying Ahead of Change

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he printing consumables industry changes every day, and in recent years its structure has altered dramatically. Chipjet believes that one thing will never change: a valuable enterprise always makes its partners more competitive. This is the basis for Chipjet’s firm standing in the industry and the reason why many partners choose Chipjet to work with them on microchips for consumables. Hade Wang, general manager of Chipjet, says “The ‘partner’ here doesn’t only refer to customers, but also includes suppliers and other players devoting themselves to our industry. We hope all of us work together to enhance the printing consumables industry. Hand in hand, we maximize our value in each individual link of the chain and drive the development of our industry, which is the only way to a promising future. Chipjet has been always a promoter and practitioner of this concept.”   Chipjet knows that to succeed it must lead the change in the IC industry, and it has the resources to do so. In 2016, the

Overview photo where Chipjet office is located 44

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company joined Hubei Dinglong Co., Ltd. The move combines the strong financial strength of Hubei Dinglong and the research and development capabilities of Chipjet to keep Chipjet competitive in the consumables industry supply chain, and it improves Chipset’s position in the integrated circuit industry as well. For example, Chipjet believes it’s important to focus on the recycling business, and it has made every project in its R&D pipeline oriented to remanufactured products. Sometimes, it’s difficult for remanufacturers to survive and compete with new-built businesses, but sustainable development has never been more important. Changes that are favorable to remanufacturers are happening overseas, and Chipjet believes those changes will eventually happen in China as well. The remanufacturing industry will become more and more important, and Chipjet is already prepared for all these changes.

Technology-Driven and Service-Oriented

As a technology-driven high-tech enterprise, Chipjet not only emphasizes the growth of research and development, but also devotes itself to improving quality of service for its customers. Chipjet has consistently increased its investment in R&D so that it can cover most of the global printing industry brands. In mainstream products, Chipjet is first among enterprises focused solely on producing chips for printing consumables. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Hade Wang, general manager of Chipjet On the service side, Chipjet provides customized R&D projects based on special requirements, helping customers create specialized solutions and open up new markets. Chipjet also provides custom research, joint development, and mass production services tailored to the needs of the individual customer, making it easy to implement new solutions and develop new markets. While working with its clients, Chipjet implements a one-to-one and beginning-to-end sales engineering system, which means its sales engineers will study its partners’ industry deeply; assist with developing product strategy; and provide technology, information and marketing support. Chipjet also combines R&D with market research to make great products. At Chipjet, marketing is a responsibility for everyone in the company. Chipjet takes a customer-focused approach to every aspect of the product life-cycle, including continued on page 45


Chipjet Leads Consumables Integrated Circuit (IC) Industry by Staying Ahead of Change R&D, procurement, manufacturing and marketing. This approach allows Chipjet to better help its partners meet their goals. “The ultimate target of R&D is to make a better experience for customers, which requires us to focus on customers’ demands. It is the demands and feedback of customers regarding the performance, quality and cost that directly drives R&D, which helps our products become highly competitive in the market,” said Wang.

Focus on Recycling

Many remanufacturers aim to minimize the environmental impact of the consumables industry. In the remanufacturing process of printing consumables, the chip plays a crucial role. With a breakthrough in chip technology, Chipjet provides better chip processing and supports recyclable solutions for more remanufacturers, which contributes to sustainable development and further enhances a positive image of the industry. For example, some OEM chips are very difficult to reset for some products. In most of the cases, it is much more difficult than making a compatible chip. To have a resetting technology, you need more details and understanding of the OEM chips, and this kind of technology is very important for remanufacturers and is also a challenge for chip solution suppliers. As early as 2007, when Chipjet was just founded and remanufactured products were still a niche market, Chipjet was already focused on the development

Chipjet annual party 2017 management people

of recyclable products and supporting solutions. Chipjet is one of the first businesses to promote chip remanufacturing solutions, and now provides products, services and solutions for many wellknown remanufacturers at home and abroad.

Intellectual Property Protection

As one of the leading companies in the industry, Chipjet has rigorous standards regarding intellectual- property-related work. The company has built a thorough intellectual property portfolio, including patents, trademark registration and certifications to protect the rights and interests of customers as well as Chipjet’s own intellectual property rights. Chipjet has earned more than 50 patents related to R&D to date. Chipjet also attaches great importance to co-operating with local patent lawyer teams around the world, by interpreting the local patents with local lawyers to ensure a professional patent-free solution. The company adheres to the strategy of implementing intellectual property rights

by relying on strong technology research and development, and by building technical barriers and competitive advantages supported by intellectual property rights. “Investment in R&D and innovation is tremendous. Without respect or protection for intellectual property, imitators can enjoy the fruit at a very low cost, which stops further investment in R&D and innovation. It results in similarity of product and quality and also holds back innovation. The development trend of our industry asks us to protect intellectual property rights, and we endorse the internationally recognized spirit of fair play,” says Wang.

Where Are We?

Chipjet participates in exhibitions every year in different countries and regions all over the world. Feel free to visit our company. Visit Chipjet’s official website or contact us for more information. Our sales engineers will be delighted to help you plan the trip. We will show you the different departments of Chipjet, including research and development, production, and services. We warmly welcome you to learn more about Chipjet with an open mind. ♦ Contact Info: Chipjet. 12/F Huachuang Building, No 511, Jianye Road, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, PRC Tel:+86-0571-87672898-631 Fax:+86-0571-87672890 P.C.310052 Email: sales@chipjet.com.cn Web:www.chipjet.com.cn

Production We Saw It In ENX Magazine

March 2017 | www.enxmag.com

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Service Excellence Diamond Award Winner News Briefing

Office Technology Service Excellence Award

For South Texas’ Copy Graphics, It Has Always Been Service First

DIAMOND LEVEL

C

opy Graphics recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary of serving its South Texas community just eight miles from the Mexican border. Owners David and Luis Valdez launched the company in 1986 after the company where they both worked as service technicians left the market. Copy Graphics has grown since then, thanks to both customer and employee loyalty. Five people hired during its early years are still with the company. “That’s how the company started, very small, but with a strong service orientation,” said Ana Escobar, who serves as its operations manager, “We’re very South Texas, very proud of our strong roots in this community. We service the four counties that are the southernmost tip of Texas.” “We offer personalized service. We still answer our phones in person” said Escobar. She added that management is accessible to anyone who calls with an issue. “We try to resolve issues quickly. What we hear from our customers is that they’re happy with the personal service

(from left) Luis Valdez, Ana Escobar, David Valdez 46

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we’re giving them. They feel like somebody is listening and is available to them.” Management encourages all 27 of its employees to take a customer-first mentality. Service has fueled Copy Graphics’ growth. “All equipment will eventually need service so we sell so we can service,” said Escobar. “Competition just keeps driving hardware prices lower and lower. We have to find a way to get people to pay a fair value for the service.” “That’s where the opportunity is,” said David Valdez, president. That focus on service has earned Copy Graphics this month’s BEI/ENX Service Excellence Diamond Award. “We do well because our focus is making sure that the customer is up and running, minimizing their downtime,” said Escobar. “All small businesses are feeling the pinch right now with so much consolidation in so many different industries, so we focus on making sure that we do everything that we can to honor the commitment that we’ve made to them.” Education, government and small business make up most of Copy Graphics’ customer base. The $5.2 million company is primarily a Canon dealer, but it also sells Kyocera printers and MBM paper handling equipment. The company saw 10 percent growth in 2016 and expects similar performance this year. Much of that growth came from strength in color and wide-format equipment sales. “This area tends to lag a little behind the rest of the country. A lot of people are just now convertWe Saw It In ENX Magazine

ing to color,” said Escobar. “As more and more people decide to do their own printing inhouse, they’re looking and finding ways in which they can use the wide format, the color printing. What we’re losing is the printer and the A4 market, because people go down to superstores and get 60pageperminute printers off the shelf.” South Texas might be a little behind adoption trends compared to the rest of the country, but pace of change is still a key challenge for Copy Graphics. “The products keep changing. They have a lot of features. Some of them are very complex. It’s hard to teach that to the end user. And with so much turnover, the end users—even ourselves—have difficulty keeping up with everything that’s available out there,” said Escobar.

Finding Sweet Spots with BEI

Copy Graphics implemented the BEI program in 2009 with the hope of making better matches between application and equipment. “We wanted to find the sweet spots for the models that we service—to see where it is that we should be targeting volumes,” said Escobar. “When you look at the reports that you get out of the BEI, you’re able to see where the machine is optimized.” “It’s really important to us to know which models to focus on and how to manage our service [in regard to volumes printed],” she added. “You don’t want to place the wrong machine into the wrong environment. That’s continued on page 48


For South Texas’ Copy Graphics, It Has Always Been Service First where you start to have problems and lose money.” Selling the right machine for the customer has allowed Copy Graphics to maintain profitability in a competitive environment and improve customer satisfaction. Just as BEI allows Copy Graphics to match machines with customers, it helps them identify their best service technicians for a given problem or model. “If we find that there’s a technician who is really strong on a specific model or a specific type of problem, we let that person take care of it,” said Escobar. “It helps us to target the service call to the technician. We don’t necessarily work to the territory. We work more to the problem.” The company is using the same data to improve the skills of its service techs. “We’re looking to see if there’s an individual technician who might be having a problem with a specific model or a specific type of problem within a model. It helps us to figure out who needs more training,” said Escobar. Proof of improved service comes in the form of customer feedback. “I get calls, emails, even letters from customers saying how happy they were with either a specific technician, or the quick resolution to their problem. Most are surprised that we handled their problem faster than they anticipated,” said Escobar. Copy Graphics does not currently use BEI when evaluating service tech compensation, but Escobar says they are considering it. They also want to combine data from BEI with data coming from other applications such as Canon’s ImageWARE Remote, which reports on specific machine problems such as toner levels, and apps that allow technicians to check inventory while in the field. Escobar reports that their 10 service techs have embraced the BEI program because they believe it helps them solve more problems the first time. “No one likes to stand before a customer and say he has to go back or that he couldn’t solve the problem,” said Escobar. “Having access to a resolution gives techs more confidence to be out in front of the customer, knowing that they’ve got the tools that they need to take care of the problem.” 48

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Challenges Ahead

Copy Graphics expects its current growth rate of 10 percent to continue this year. In addition to benefiting from improved service efficiency, the company sees greater opportunity in software sales. “We’d like to expand into some of the newer Canon products, and into Canon’s software solutions like uniFLOW,” said David Valdez. Although the company competes with other dealers, it sees its biggest competition coming from the OEM branches. “Because they are OEMs, they tend to have more layers between them and the customer,” said Escobar. “That’s where we have an advantage that they don’t. If our customer wants to walk in here for a part or a toner, they can do so.” Escobar sees the competition as both a challenge and an opportunity. “No matter where somebody acquires their equipment, they’re still going to need service for it. That’s an opportunity to expand our services even beyond maybe products that we sell,” she said. Another challenge for Copy Graphics as it grows is hiring and training service techs. “Part of the issue is that a lot of the young people don’t seem to be very interested in working with their hands anymore,” said Escobar. “They want to be doing it from a computer. This job is becoming more and more computeroriented and softwaredriven. Many problems are addressed with a firmware update, but at some point you still need to be able to have that mechanical inclination and problemsolving skills.” Escobar says she hires techs who are computer oriented. “We let them work their way into the other part of it. Once they’ve started, they do like it, but a lot of times when you tell them that at the outset, they’re not interested,” she said. Fortunately, most of Copy Graphics’ service team has been with the company for a long time, with most having been with them for at least 10 years, some more than 20. That takes some pressure off onboarding new techs too quickly. Consolidation of the industry is perhaps the biggest concern for Copy Graphics. “I think decision making is

Diamond award winners score in the top 5 percent of all dealers evaluated. The evaluations are based on call back percentage, hold for parts percentage, MCV (Mean Copies between Visits) and technician grading. Tech grading encompasses time accountability and time management, along with individual HP, CB and MCBV rates. It also includes parts expense as it relates to parts CPC compared to world stats. becoming more centralized, where more and more customers want to have one office equipment vendor or one specific product line in an account,” said Escobar. “If you lose one of those accounts, you’re losing every opportunity in that account.” “Whereas before, maybe at a school district or a government office, there was an opportunity for many vendors,” said Escobar. “When they want to stick to one vendor, it’s good if you get it, but it’s bad if you don’t.” Strong service can be a powerful means of overcoming any challenge, whether it’s competition, hiring or consolidation. Copy Graphics figured that out at the beginning, and as a result it is continuing to grow. ♦

About the Dealership: 1. President/Owner: David Valdez 2. VP of Service/Owner: Luis Valdez 3. Operation Manager: Ana Escobar 4. Number of Techs: 10 5. Number of Devices Serviced: 2150 Why They’re a Diamond Award Winner First-Call Effectiveness: 67% Call Back Rate: 25% Hold for Parts Rate: 8% Ranking: 4th overall of the 170+ dealers

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Brad Roderick

Sales Briefing & Marketing News

A Quick Guide to Your Competition

N

ot for the first time, I was recently asked to name my strongest competitor. I imagine the inquirer expected me to share a company name and then offer some “salesy” explanation of why I was the better choice. My answer was definitely NOT what they were expecting. My biggest competitor? I’m keeping that to myself for now. But let’s look at the competition we all face at one time or another. DIRECT COMPETITORS. Companies/people that offer something similar. These are the competitive choices a buyer has when considering your proposal. The MPS provider down the street. The local supply company. The contract stationer. The “expense recovery” company that brings in the lowest “price points” but rarely the lowest true cost. You get the picture. When we think about competition, direct competitors are often what come to mind first. ATTENTION AND FOCUS. In most selling situations, there will be many things competing for the buyer’s attention. Your contact on the big bank deal is finally realizing how mega the megabucks are that your nifty MPS program can deliver. They see the need. They believe you can deliver. Your contact even has the authority to sign an agreement… BUT they are also deeply involved in new regulation issues and undergoing a massive software conversion. You, the new regulation issues and the software conversion are all in a competition for the attention and focus of your buyer. SKEPTICISM. Chances are high that you have received an email offering to cut you in on millions of dollars IF you quickly send your bank information. You aren’t buying into any of these scams. You know better. And friends, prospects are skeptical. Even when it comes to dealing with such a fine company as yours. They have learned to be. Promises were made, and promises were broken. Most fiveyear-olds know the difference between good and too good, and your buyer is probably shrewder than the average toddler. This is a tough area, because the buyer rarely comes right out and says, “Hey, nice story there, Scooter, but the bottom line is, I don’t believe you.” And if they don’t believe you, if they don’t believe you can do what you say you can do, or deliver the results you’ve promised, they aren’t going to risk their job on bringing you in. You wouldn’t either. GROUP DECISION-MAKING DYNAMICS. There are all sorts of writings, trainings and insights 50

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into how complex B2B buying decisions are today. The common thread through all of them is that there are more and more people involved in getting the buy-button pressed. The decision makers and influencers are harder to reach, harder to gain consensus from and harder to get to make a commitment to move forward. Each of the stakeholders has competing things vying for their attention (see above). All of this is a major cause, not of a “no sale,” but a “no decision.” SELF. Before you dismiss this one too quickly, consider a few of the reasons that you may be your own biggest competitor. Your head may tell you that you can’t really win. Your body may be worn past its ability to compete strongly. Your skill sets may not be at the level you need to compete at the top of the game. And even if you have those skills today, you better be building them all the time. Your other competitors certainly are. That’s a LOT of competition! So how do you beat every one of them every time? Check back next installment as we look at each. Ok, just kidding. There is no way I could cover everything in every one of those areas, even in a series of monthly installments delivered over years. Therefore, let’s look at the best way to improve your odds. SELF: You as your own competitor can be broken down into three components: 1. Mental: Do you really believe that you can win in general? What about the specific deal you are working on? Are there some beliefs holding you back? What do you need to believe to succeed? 2. Physical: Like it or not, the state of your body and physical health absolutely will have an influence on your ability to put in the effort, the activities and the hours necessary to be victorious. What needs to change? What’s your outcome and how will you get there? 3. Skills: The biggest games aren’t won by rookies. Sure, there is the occasional and exciting underdog victory that everybody talks about. But they talk about it because it’s rare! Do you want to try to beat the odds (look at a casino, it isn’t built on the winnings of gamblers) or do you want the odds stacked in your favor? What is your learning and training regimen? What does it look like now? What should it look like? ATTENTION AND FOCUS: Even the best ideas aren’t implemented if something else is more important or urgent for the prospect. Do you know

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A Quick Guide to Your Competition what else is on your buyer’s plate? Do you know what other initiatives are competing for their attention? Do you know what their real constraints on implementation are? Have you asked? SKEPTICISM: If they don’t trust you, your idea, your solution or your proposal, are they really going to buy? Are they even going to truly consider buying? Do you have evidence that you can strategically use to back your claims? Do you have people who will speak on your behalf? When people are faced with making a decision in an area where they haven’t made decisions before, they look to other people with experience (whether they know them or not). When people venture out from their comfort zone, they look to the advice of just about anyone… anyone EXCEPT the salesperson (I know, YOU always sell as a “consultant”… but unless they have experience with you, they don’t know that – they are skeptical). GROUP DECISION-MAKING DYNAMICS: Say there is an average of five or more people involved in the decision process (or “no decision” process). How many of them are you engaged with? How many of them do you even know? For any product or service, there are certain roles within an organization that are likely to have some interest in the outcome. Do you have a list of the typical decision makers, influencers and other stakeholders? Do you create a list of the actual people during each sales opportunity? DIRECT COMPETITORS: I know, I know, you are entirely differentiated and the biggest, baddest mammer-jammer in the market (your marketing material says so!). But just for a moment, let’s pretend that maybe you do have at least one worthy direct competitor. Who are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How have you fared against them in the past? In each specific deal, do you know who you are competing with? Why not? Do you have a game plan to separate yourself from the rest of the pack? In an informal poll, here is how salespeople rank the “competition”: 1. Direct competitors 2. Group Dynamics 3. Attention and Focus 4. Skepticism 5. Self

Per another informal poll, here are the ranking results of many post-mortem lost deal assessments: 1. Self. Never believed they were truly going to win. Maybe made a big noise about how sure they were, but in the end they lacked the emotional game or the skill sets needed to compete. 2. Skepticism. While the rep believed that they were getting traction and moving forward, the prospect never believed them enough to do more than pay lip service to the deal. The rep made big, sweeping claims, but none of them had the teeth to move the prospect from “skeptical” to “convinced and trusting.” 3. Attention and Focus. The buyer was just too busy on more urgent (though not necessarily more important) initiatives and was not invested in the journey to completion. 4. Group Buying Dynamics. The rep was relying on the “internal champion” to explain and sell the solution to the rest of the phantom stakeholders. 5. Others Like Themselves (direct competitors). Generally, the first to be named as the reason for the loss, but this is rarely the case. Disclaimer: If you would like the actual stats of both informal polls, they aren’t available because I made them up – based on three decades of competing, coaching, managing and hanging out on the field of battle. Oh, my strongest competitor? A guy named… ♦

Nominate Your Candidates for the INDUSTRY’S DIFFERENCE MAKERS Who are the individuals making the key contributions to the industry or to your organizations? Email your recommendations along with a couple of sentences as to why and how they are making a difference. Submit Your Nomination at www.enxmag.com or email to susan@enxmag.com Today! 52

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Ken Edmonds

Service Management News Briefing

Successful Recruiting and Hiring

I

n the last article, we discussed the cost of replacing technicians. Part of the cost we included was the cost of “bad hires.” The term bad hire would apply to any technicians that leave the company for any reason before they have generated enough profit to pay for the cost of hiring them. In the last article, we estimated it costs $40,900 to hire and train a technician. Let us discuss ways to improve the quality and probability of success in your hiring process.

Pre-Recruiting Process

One of the first questions to ask is, what kind of candidate are you looking for? Do you want to hire someone experienced? Or do you want to start from scratch? Another option is to promote from within. Each of these strategies has advantages and disadvantages. Depending on how urgently you need to fill the vacancy, the type of candidate you want will vary.

Starting from Scratch

The advantage of starting from scratch is that you can train the new technician to do the job according to your standards. You will not have to break old habits that do not meet your standards or fit your culture. The disadvantage is that more training will be required. This increases the cost of hiring and training. Since the new technician will need extra training, he or she will be unproductive for a longer period.

Experienced Tech

An experienced technician will typically start to make an impact much sooner. If the technician has training on the products you offer, he or she may be able to start handling calls within a week or two.

A trained technician will usually have ingrained processes from his last employer. This is one disadvantage. The new hire’s work habits may not fit with your service department’s philosophy. For example, he or she may value the number of calls per day, while you may care about first call efficiency. Ingrained habits can be difficult to change and frustrating to deal with. Experienced technicians will typically fall into two categories, employed and unemployed. When talking to employed technicians, you need to resolve the question of why they want to change. If they are relocating, their company has new owners or they need more money, they may be a good candidate. If the technician is unemployed you must find out why, and not just the applicant’s version of the story. Most unemployed technicians are unemployed for a reason that makes them a high-risk hire. The exception is a technician that has relocated for a reason other than a job.

Promoting from Within

Promoting from within can be the easiest and safest way to acquire a new technician. If the individual has worked for the company for a period of time, you will know what kind of worker he or she is. I would encourage every company to develop a career path in the company that leads to working as a field technician. For example, a new employee could start working in the warehouse. The next step might be helping with deliveries. The next logical step would be helping set up equipment. If the employee has done well in these positions, you might have a good potential technician.

Recruiting Process

As a service manager, recruiting should be an ongoing process. This means that you should always be looking for suitable talent. Even when you do not have an open position, you can be looking for the next person you might want on your team. I worked with a dealer that knew who his next service manager would be if the current service manager left. He had not offered him a job, but he had taken him to lunch, gotten to know him and knew that he would be a good fit for his company. Social media can play a part in your recruiting process. Your company should have a strong presence on social media, and that presence should make your company attractive to potential candidates. Younger people entering the workforce will look at your company’s social media as part of their job search. When I was a service manager, I was always looking for talent that I could poach. If a technician was servicing a vending or a mailing machine, I would look at them and decide if they had qualities I wanted on my team. If they did, I would start to cultivate a relationship so that I could approach them when I had an opening.

Screening Process

When you bring candidates in from outside your company, you will want to be thorough in your screening process. This can help prevent hiring mistakes and the associated costs. Screening starts with reviewing the resume or job application. When you are looking at the resume, look for missing time periods and check if the applicant has often changed jobs. Both of these can be signs of a problem continued on page 55

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Successful Recruiting and Hiring employee. You will also want to contact previous employers and references. Understand that most employers will be reticent about providing information: they will only want to confirm pay and dates of employment. One question an employer may answer is whether the applicant was eligible for re-employment. A no to that question should be a big red flag. The second phase of the screening is the interview. You will want to ask questions that are open, requiring a detailed answer. Try to develop a list of standard questions that you can use with all candidates. You need to know whether a person fits with your department’s culture. You will also want to ask specific questions to probe any questionable areas on the person’s resume. I recommend developing a written list of questions to ask during the interview. In doing a little research online, I found numerous websites with lists of questions available. I recommend creating a form with the questions that fit your needs. Use the form on each interview and make notes about the answers you receive. This will make it easier to compare multiple candidates. The third phase I would recommend is an aptitude test. I use an old class entrance exam from one of the manufacturers. This test has pictures of gears and question about what the result would be when a gear rotates in a specific direction. The test also asks questions about the use of a meter and about how to measure current, resistance and voltage. A test like this helps you understand the applicant’s aptitude and knowledge level.

The last phase of screening should be a standardized psychological test. Most of these tests will provide you information on the employee’s reliability, honesty, customer service potential and other valuable insights. You will typically pay for this service, but by identifying potential issues with a candidate, you can avoid bad hires and the associated costs.

Probationary Period

The last part of the hiring process is the probationary period. In many companies, this period is 90 days. In most cases, employees terminated during this time have a minimal impact on your company’s unemployment insurance rate. These employees typically do not receive benefits. During this period, you will want to pay close attention to performance. If an employee fails to report for work on time, or requests time off for non-emergency reasons, termination might be the best choice. A new employee should be on their best behavior during this period. If they show signs of unacceptable behavior during this time, the problems will normally get worse rather than better.

Better Hires

The result of a good recruiting and screening process will be better hires. Remember that recruiting is an ongoing activity. It lets you develop a pool of potential candidates that may be available when you have an opening. If you can hire from within, developing a career path that leads to a field technician career, you will reap the benefits of hiring a known quantity. ♦ We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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Printer Tech Tip Print Quality Problems due to Toner Contact HP LaserJet P4015 series and M600 series

T

here has been in increase in cases where the above listed printer series having print quality issues due to a bent or stuck toner drum contact within the inner left side of the printer. The most common defect is usually referred as “circle” or “bubble print” with varying severities from a thin row down the side(s) of the page (shown below) or mostly

full page, depending on how far out of position the contact is. The main culprit for this is a drum ground contact either bent out of position or pressed in and caught on the printer frame – shown in correct position from inside toner cavity and outside left, with fan removed. Most often times can be manually adjusted back into place. ♦

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Britt Horvat

Technical Tips

Xerox DocuColor 250 (DC250 style) Fuser Rebuilding - Part 1 of 2 Xerox Docucolor 240, 250, 242, 252, 260, WorkCentre 7655, 7665, 7675, 7655, 7665, 7675, Xerox Color 550/560/570, C60/ C70, DCP-700/700i/770, Color Press C75/J75 The first time we looked at one of these fusers was in an ENX article in early 2009. I found the procedure to be relatively involved and time consuming, but still well worth the effort. Recently a technician who I know and respect mentioned that this fuser was “easy” to rebuild. He told me he has gotten so good at these, that he can rebuild one in ten minutes flat. That was amazing to hear! I thought maybe he was getting it confused with some other fuser. He explained that he opens the fuser like a clamshell. I missed that back in 2009, so I think it’s time to revisit the rebuild procedure on this extremely popular series of fusers. Let’s have another look, this time with an easier way to approach it. We’ll get about half way through the procedure this month and come back to finish the story next month, since the article runs a bit long.

the fuser heat lamp circuits. The fuser reset fuse is a standard bullet-shaped thermal fuse. When replaced, if you run 50 copies or more, the fuse gets hot enough to blow, at which point the machine will reset the fuser life to 100%. 2. Remove the front end cover (2 screws from the front), which exposes the pressure gear / cam

FUSER REBUILD PROCEDURE (part 1):

1. Start with the top cover (there are 2 screws on top from above, and 2 screws near the right side, also from above. These are 3mm short screws: 5.5mm hex, or #2 Philips driver). This gives you easy access to both the thermostat and the fuser reset fuse as well as the thermistors (see photo 1). The thermostat is can-shaped and in-line with

Photo 2: Front End Cover

Photo #1: Top Cover off… Thermistors, Thermostat & Fuser Reset Fuse 58

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continued on page 59


Xerox DocuColor 250 (DC250 style) Fuser Rebuilding - Part 1 of 2 to the ruler and the pressure screw shown in photo 7). 11. Now raise the upper half of the fuser. It will pivot on the two shoulder screws and open like a clamshell (see photo 8).

upper right corner as that is the pivot point for opening the clamshell later. 6. Disconnect the 3 rear heat lamp terminals and remove the rear heat lamp holder bracket (1 screw, see photo 6). Note: don’t remove the shoulder screw at the upper left corner.

Photo 3: Front End Exposed

mechanism and its home sensor (see photos 2 and 3). 3. Remove the rear end cover (2 screws from rear, see photos 4 and 5).

Photo 8: The Fuser with the Clamshell Open Photo 6: Disconnect Lamp Rear Terminals

12. Loosen the screws for the heat roll bearing retainers (these are little metal angled pieces which hold the bearings in place). Pivot the bearing retainers away from the heat roll bearings (see photo 9).

7. Carefully slide each of the heat lamps out one at a time. Be very gentle. 8. Disconnect the blue connector for the exit switch at the back end (3 yellow wires). 9. Measure the height of the pressure screws so you can return the pressure to the same position later (see photo 7). Then back out both pressure screws.

Photo 4: Rear End Cover

Photo 9: Pivot the Bearing Retainers Away.

Photo 5: Rear End Exposed

4. Remove the lower fee-in baffle (metal baffle, refer back to photo 1). 5. Disconnect the 3 front heat lamp terminals and remove the front heat lamp holder bracket (1 screw). Note: do not remove the shoulder screw at the

Photo 7: Measuring the Pressure Tower Screws

10. Next remove the two screws which secure the top clamshell closed to the bottom frame (see the screw next

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Ahh! The perfect place for a cliff hanger! Next month we’ll go through the other half of the procedure. We’ll cover the removal of the heat roll while protecting it from the stripper plate. Then we’ll install a new heat roll and adjust the height of the stripper plate. Finally, we’ll also deal with the pressure sleeve assembly, before reassembling everything. ♦

March 2017 | www.enxmag.com

59


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ENX Magazine March 2017 Issue  

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

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