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engage ‘n exchange May 2013 Volume 20 No. 5

Success Secrets of the 21st Century Service Tech Business Profile

GE Capital Americas

Dealer Spotlight

A Conversation with Tarek Hafiz President of Cell Business Equipment (CBE) Tim Brien of Oki Data on the Future of MPS Smart Phones The Ultimate Data Capture Tool Crap! Customers Have Changed! Patent Trolls Unconscionable Shakedown As Court Date Nears Lexmark Puts More Pressure on Firms in Patent Suit

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www.enxmag.com l May 2013

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We Saw It In ENX Magazine

May 2013 l www.enxmag.com

l

11


e n x

IN THIS ISSUE

ENX Staff

Susan Neimes Publisher & Editor

Ronelle Ingram Contributing Editor

Julia Gonzales Graphic Designer

Christina Kim Associate Editor

IN THIS ISSUE

Business Profile GE Capital Americas

Page 26

• Success Secrets of the 21st Century Service Tech by Scott Cullen

Page 20

• Tim Brien of Oki Data on the Future of MPS by Christina Kim

Page 30

• As Court Date Nears, Lexmark Puts More Pressure on Firms in Patent Suit by Charles Brewer Page 34 • A Conversation with Tarek Hafiz, President of CBE by Scott Cullen

Page 38

• Crap! Customers Have Changed! by Frank Topinka & Amy Jaffe

Page 42

• Smart Phones: The Ultimate Data Capture Tool by Andy Slawetsky

Page 46

• Patent Trolls: An Unconscionable Shakedown by Robert Goldberg

Page 50

• Vive la Différence by Ronelle Ingram

Page 52

• Xerox 7425 Style Fuser Modules by Britt Horvat

Page 63

• Printer Tech Tip by Laser Pros

Page 65

• Tech Help by Smarka!

Page 66

• Display Advertisers Index

Page 58

• Calendar of Industry Events

Page 62

Contributors

Scott Cullen

Contributing Editor

Charles Brewer

Actionable Intelligence

Robert Goldberg BTA General Counsel

Andy Slawetsky Industry Analysts

engage ‘n exchange ENX Magazine ENX Mexico & Latin America

Britt Horvat The Parts Drop

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We Saw It In ENX Magazine

May 2013 l www.enxmag.com

l

19


e n x

By Scott Cullen

STATE OF INDUSTRY

T

Success Secrets of the 21st Century Service Tech

he old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” has never flown in the office technology business where service, support, and periodic maintenance are prime revenue generators. Even though digital technology has upped the ante on reliability and connectivity and software solutions have complicated matters to a certain degree, today’s service tech has a lot more on their plate than ever before. They’ve also got a lot more tools at their disposal to make their jobs easier. These new tools are changing the way service and support is managed and delivered.

While the proper tools are a plus, so too are the right skill sets. It’s not a break-fix world anymore and even though break-fix technicians still have their place, with the emergence of MPS and MNS, techs must have additional skills in order to be successful in the 21st century.

The evolution of MPS in the past four to five years meant technicians were no longer a traditional break-fix tech,” says Paul Schwartz, president of Copier Careers, a staffing agency for the office technology industry. “It’s what we’re calling a hybrid tech, which means they have the break-fix capability, the OEM certification, and equally as important, certification or knowledge for an MPS environment.”

Paul Schwartz Copier Careers

One barrier to success is the generational divide. “If you’ve been in the industry a certain period of time, your skill sets are break-fix and if you do not embrace networking technology or you just flat out refuse to be trained on enhancing those skill sets, or your employer does not want to send you, then it could be difficult finding a new opportunity for you.”

It may not be a huge revelation, but Copier Careers still has clients looking for break-fix techs. The hybrid techs, however, are a little more difficult to find for a couple of reasons.

“If [an organization] currently has one, they don’t want to lose them,” maintains Schwartz. “And when the economy did what it did in 2008, the industry didn’t do a great job of sending people who were new to the industry for OEM and networking training [for certifications] because no one knew what was going to happen. That stretched the rubber band tighter and tighter with the techs they had, inherently creating a shortage.” l

www.enxmag.com l May 2013

“It’s not easy to convince them to take a look at a new opportunity,” he adds. “This has always been the case, but especially now because there aren’t enough to go around. If magically tomorrow in our database there appeared 100 network-capable, OEM-certified techs, we could certainly find positions for them right away.” On the flip side, techs who have acquired these certifications aren’t clamoring to work for dealerships that have not evolved with the technology. After all, what’s the point of having these certifications if you’re going to move to a dealership where those skills aren’t important?

“If they’re looking at dealerships and see that they’re not embracing MPS and MNS, it’s difficult for us to get them to look at a serious opportunity with that dealership because they perceive the dealership as not having a future,” says Schwartz.

Schwartz acknowledges it’s not easy to find people with these skills whether you’re a placement firm like Copier Careers or a dealer looking to find this talent within his local job market.

20

Even though there isn’t a huge population of highly skilled techs in the pipeline, Schwartz says they’re easy for Copier Careers to find because they aggressively track them.

Of progressive dealerships who contact Copier Careers, not only are more looking for techs with some networking knowledge, more are looking for true IT networking technicians who will only focus on that end of the service spectrum.

“Many of our clients are either setting up true IT departments or morphing themselves into MNS providers because at some point they’re realizing they can deliver more than one commodity on a network,” states Schwartz. Does Schwartz have any suggestions for service techs thinking about leaving their current positions? “Get network certified.”

Network certification is a critical skill to have for the 21st century service tech. Equally important for the dealership and their techs are the latest tools of the trade.

D

an Fink, a performance analyst with BEI Services spent 22 years as a service manager before joining BEI Services. When it comes to tools that help service techs achieve success, BEI Services’ software was an essential tool for ensuring that Fink’s service techs were successful at the dealership he used to work for.

BEI Services offers a variety of software and specializes in digging deeply into each technician’s activity and their performance statistics, enabling service techs and service departments

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on 22


Thank you to the thousands of loyal customers around the world who have elevated KatunÂŽ and Media SciencesÂŽ color toners to an important industry milestone: producing more than 25 billion pages on copiers, printers, and MFPs. To our suppliers and vendors, thank you for consistently delivering against our exacting standards for over three decades. And most importantly, to our employees, thank you for delivering on the Katun mission to be the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best, most trusted OEM-alternative source for imaging supplies and parts. With your support, we continue to invest in the future, and we are excited about reaching two other important industry milestones this year: $3 billion in customer savings and 1 trillion combined color and monochrome pages produced.

Thank You. Todd Mavis, President

www.katun.com


e n x

STATE OF INDUSTRY

Success Secrets of the 21st Century Service Tech to boost inventory in certain areas and identify what parts should they be carrying so they can close that call on the first visit.

“We can also diagnose if they’re struggling with call backs and if they need more training and what they can do to improve first-call efficiency,” states Fink. “Our tool can identify who’s doing it right, who needs help in what area, and what models they’re struggling with.”

Many dealers or service managers contact BEI Services because they want to provide their technicians with a performance-based bonus program, which in the long run also helps the dealership improve too. The bonus program is based on how many clicks the tech manages, how long the machines run between calls, and the parts used to go along with those calls.

“Once starting the program technicians strive to do one, two, or three more calls a week,” explains Fink. “They’re looking at the parts they’re putting in the machine, making sure it’s the proper part, and [monitoring] the number of parts between service calls while making sure they’re not overusing parts or putting in parts the machine doesn’t need.”

Success in service these days also means embracing MPS, which also poses challenges and opportunities for the average service tech. “They’re now managing a much larger fleet of printers than ever before,” says Fink.

W

ith new technology and new tools come heightened customer expectations when it comes to service. One that techs go up against everyday is the expectation for the quick fix.

That’s the kind of thing that makes a tech’s job more intense. Again, that’s where having the right tools can help reduce the pressure and make a tech more successful by getting things right the first time. e-automate has some key tech-specific software partners such as TechAnywhere, a spinoff of Digital Gateway. Their product, Remote Tech, is software that runs on a mobile device and ties the tech back into the dealership’s ERP. l

www.enxmag.com l May 2013

Obviously, that information can help the tech accurately identify and resolve the problem. These are some of the things that tools from companies like e-automate allow through its integrations with partners like Remote Tech. “One of the key things is real-time inventory availability,” states Sorensen. “If the tech is going out on a call, he needs to know what the problem is and if he has the parts on his truck or not, because it does him no good to go out on that call and realize he doesn’t have the parts he needs to fix this issue.”

e-automate provides real-time inventory management as far as the stock the tech carries in his car so he knows whether or not he needs to pick up parts or if he can drive directly to the customer site because he has what he needs in his car. Being proactive is another quality of a successful 21st century service tech. That too takes the right tools. “Where things are going is dealers want to avoid that call and get into a proactive preventative maintenance mode where by using remote monitoring tools like FMAudit and other technologies that alert the dealer about problems before the customer even realizes they have a problem,” says Sorensen.

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oday’s successful service tech doesn’t always need to make a service call to fix a problem.

“We live in a world where immediacy is the normal expectation,” states Brad Sorensen, product manager at Brad Sorensen e-automate. “Customers expect e-automate when they place a call, the tech will fix that problem and they’re going to be up and running by the time he leaves, and that’s going to be in a quick turnaround time.”

22

“The fact that the tech has a device that he can access information on isn’t enough for the tech today to be successful,” explains Sorensen. “I’d be surprised if there were techs out there that didn’t have a smart phone, but what that smart phone has to do is give him the information that’s going to make him successful. Not just data, but information.”

According to Mike Stramaglio, CEO of MWAi, 50 percent of the things service techs can fix and repair today can be done remotely.

“That’s huge,” he says. “Five to ten years ago maybe 10 to 15 percent of machines were being serviced remotely.”

Mike Stramaglio MWAi

In his view, the methodology for servicing and devices being serviced has changed dramatically over the last 18 months.

“You have a cornucopia of opportunity,” states Stramaglio. “You have the break-fix people still requiring visitations and doing things on site for copiers and printers, then this migration where you are taking people who are technologically inclined

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STATE OF INDUSTRY

Success Secrets of the 21st Century Service Tech out of a service organization and giving them the tools to manage and do things remotely. So you’re seeing fewer trucks or cars being rolled, and if they are being rolled, the big data analytics or the capability to put actionable data in their hands is enormous, so now we’re moving that needle a little further and everyone is a little deeper into the whole networked services capability.”

C

We’re only scratching the surface on the tools that can help service techs be successful, but what about out in the field?

hip Miceli, president of DPOE in Des Plaines, IL has found that the ability to communicate with customers is one of those once overlooked skills that techs need today. He contends that his techs need some of the same communication skills that his sales people possess. “The customer today not only wants you to fix the machine, but acknowledge that they are a human being,” he says. “A lot of techs don’t have that capability.”

Chip Miceli DPOE

The ability to work on more than one brand of device is also essential, particularly in the MPS arena. “We’re a Sharp dealer, but with our MPS program we take on a lot of HP printers, Dell printers, and Brother printers,” says Miceli.

F

or Jim Oricchio, president of Coordinated Business Systems in Burnsville, MN, as long as his techs have a basic understanding of the network and scanning as well as PC communication skills, they’re well on their way to success. “They also need to be able to talk to our IT staff on issues that are beyond their skills,” emphasizes Oricchio.

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ick Bastinelli, president of Centric Business Systems in Owings Mills, MD, affirms the importance of technology in making today’s techs successful. “We combine MWAi with Microsoft Mapping, and GPS to track where our calls are, where our manpower is, the certifications the techs in that area possess, and the Rick Bastinelli most efficient and effective way to Centric Business dispatch our technician for the right Systems call in the right marketplace. The key today is to focus on manpower productivity and first-call effectiveness by using technology so that we’re better able to accomplish those objectives.”

As far as skills, Bastinelli says that when Centric hires a service tech they are first and foremost looking to hire the right people who care about the customer and who are focused on doing the right thing while also working hard and to the best of their ability.

“Obviously having someone with the technical background is important, the rest we accomplish through our own internal training programs and training programs from our vendors,” explains Bastinelli. “We’re more interested in hiring the right person and developing him or her than we are in looking for someone with the experience and skill set who can just walk in the door. Having said that, when hiring technicians for our Help Desk we look for someone with the network certifications so they can properly support our customers when they contact our Call Center.”

Ultimately, the success secrets for the 21st century service tech aren’t that big of a secret after all. It comes down to acquiring new skills and certifications, the ability to leverage the latest technology, and a skill that has always been essential—the ability to communicate. u 24

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e n x

BUSINESS PROFILE

GE Capital Americas

G

Off Lease Remarketing

E Capital Americas provides remarketing of a complete mix of copiers and office imaging equipment from all major equipment manufacturers. These assets are available for immediate purchase by domestic and export buyers. GEC can provide a single needed copier, a pallet full of MFPs, or a container load of a mixed variety of OEM equipment ready for export buyers to ship overseas.

GE Capital Americas, a recognized industry leader in equipment leasing, is also a direct reseller of off-lease and repossessed copiers and office imaging equipment. GEC is in the unique position to be able to offer an extensive array of every major make and model of equipment coming off lease or that has been repossessed. The GEC group of Remarketing Sales Specialists can connect you with an enormous variety of makes, models and configurations, with a variety of condition and meter count. Dealing directly with GEC streamlines the product selection and ordering process to ensure you get the exact equipment you need for your specific application.

Bright Days Ahead

GEC’s unique ‘Line of Sight’ into their portfolio allows the Remarketing Team to have knowledge of prime equipment that will be coming off lease in the near future. Buyers dealing directly with the GEC Remarketing Sales Group can have first choice on equipment that will come off lease. Buyers can plan for their future needs: establishing availability and pricing for future rentals, next month’s sales projections or needed MPS replacement equipment.

Knowledge of the soon-to-be available equipment is a great benefit for MPS dealers who need to consolidate similar makes and models within a client’s location to ease supply inventory and technical service needs. GEC can provide a wide range of many makes and models at pre-arranged pricing to enable the dealer to calculate realistic MPS pricing and acquire aftermarket replacement equipment.

ment. There is no additional cost for a middleman/broker. There is no need to waste time waiting for a decision on a price offering or time delay for approval of a multi-machine purchase. The GEC Remarketing Sales Reps are equipment matchmakers who understand how to fulfill the unique needs of each of their buyers. Your dedicated GEC Remarketing Sales Rep can handle the entire process. One call does it all.

GEC provides a 24/7 online catalog listing at www.GEasset.com/copiers of their off-lease copiers and office imaging equipment inventory and welcomes inquiries for equipment not listed. The list is segmented by geographical pick-up locations of the equipment. The online catalog provides real-time inventory arranged alphabetically by the manufacturer, make and model. Also included for each piece of equipment offered are the serial numbers, meter count, configuration, and internal and external equipment conditions. Local buyers are

Potential buyers can have access to immediate or future availability of competitively priced off-lease or repossessed equipment throughout the United States. This includes equipment that can be purchased individually, in palletized lots or a full container sized load for shipping internationally by export buyers. GEC has conveniently located regional warehousing facilities throughout the US, including south Florida and the East and West coasts, allowing for convenient and cost effective overseas shipping by export buyers.

Cut to the Chase

Buying directly from GEC enables the dealer, exporter, future user, or other buyer to deal directly with the owner of the equip26

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Inventory Sheet

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GE Capital

Buy direct from GE Capital Choose from off-lease and repossessed machines competitively priced to sell from manufacturers including: Canon, Ricoh, Toshiba, Sharp, Konica, Xerox, Kyocera and more! With a wide range of configurations and low-usage machines available, we provide Internal and External conditions on all copiers. We have inventory at various locations throughout the US, contact us now for all your used copier needs. For more information on availability of copiers, please contact: Ryan Ahearn 203-749-6011 ryan.ahearn@ge.com Or visit: www.geasset.com/copiers

Scan this code with your smart phone to visit our showcase now.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Nothing herein shall be construed as (i) an approval or commitment to sale by GE Capital to any person; and all transactions are subject to final investment/compliance approval by GE Capital and the execution of mutually satisfactory definitive documentation; or (ii) any guarantee or promise of pricing/financing terms or availability thereof which may fluctuate or cease to be available depending on any change in the relevant market. All sales of available equipment will be for commercial use only and not for any personal, family or household use, and will be “as is”, “where is”, with all faults, without recourse or warranty of any kind or nature, express or implied. Any available equipment warranty will be provided by third parties unrelated to GE Capital and neither GE Capital nor any of its affiliates has any responsibility with respect to such equipment warranty. NOTHING HEREIN CONSTITUTES A REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OF ANY KIND.


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BUSINESS PROFILE

GE Capital Americas

Off Lease Remarketing

welcome to inspect the serialized equipment prior to final purchase and pick-up.

GEC’s regional inventory warehouses are strategically located throughout the continental USA. This enables buyers to save time and freight cost as well as making it convenient for local buyers to be able to inspect their purchases before will-call pick-up or to arrange local freight or containerized shipping by export buyers. Being able to partner with a single contact, GEC - the legal owner of the equipment, eliminates the additional time and cost involved when dealing with a broker who only represents and warehouses a few manufacturers’ equipment. Purchasing directly from GEC eliminates the need to wait for the broker to contact and negotiate with the OEM’s representative to hopefully attain the buyer’s desired terms.

What Can GE Capital Do For You?

Chris Chirichella, GEC Senior Remarketing Manager for Office Imaging, explains “GE Capital Americas is an industry leader in providing off-lease and repossessed equipment in the secondary market. GEC has the longevity, commitment, and knowledge of the office imaging equipment industry. The GEC Remarketing Team has the unique ability to offer one-stop shopping to our buyers. We have access to a full line of equipment of every major OEM. GEC owns the leased assets from all segments of the office imaging equipment industry. No matter what make, model, configuration, condition, meter read, location, quantity or pick-up location is required, it’s likely that GEC can handle your needs.”

Chris Chirichella continues, “In addition to the GEC web-based off-lease copier and office imaging equipment inventory list-

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ings, our unique ‘Line of Sight’ ability enables us to anticipate our portfolio’s end-of-term equipment returns. This allows our Remarketing Sales Team to be able to work with our buyers, on a one-on-one basis, to confirm the future access to equipment that will be available for purchase.”

GEC also has an established Dealer Repurchase Program that allows the dealers who originated the lease with GEC the opportunity to purchase the offlease equipment prior to its return. The servicing dealer has the ability to pre-arrange the purchase of the equipment, enabling them to take immediate possession of the equipment at lease end. This provides the servicing dealer with additional incentive to invest in superior service and timely parts replacement because the equipment will be owned by them at the termination of the lease.

The GEC Remarketing Sales Team understands the necessity for reliable current information provided by industry experts who know and understand the buyer’s business needs. The ability to quickly and efficiently source the appropriate off-lease and repossessed equipment in a structured, easy-to-navigate purchasing procedure with GEC, a trusted icon of equipment leasing and financing, helps to maximize the recurring opportunities of purchasing used equipment. Additionally the reuse of off-lease and repossessed equipment is part of GEC’s commitment to imagine and build innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth. To explore the potential to create value and help reach your business objectives, contact your dedicated GEC Remarketing Sales Team today. u by Ronelle Ingram Contact Info GE Capital Americas Office Imaging Remarketing Team 10 Riverview Drive • Danbury, CT 06810 tel: 203-749-6011 Ryan Ahearn • email: ryan.ahearn@ge.com www.GEasset.com/copiers

CSI

Sister any Comp

We Also Sell Canon Used Parts & Assemblies

www.RemanCartridges.com 28

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STRAIGHT TALK

T

Tim Brien of Oki Data on the Future of MPS

his month at ENX, we get a chance to speak with OKI Data’s Tim Brien about MPS. We discuss practical tips on how to make MPS model work for your business, as well as tackle the larger issues of how MPS is changing with new technologies. Wherever you may be in the spectrum of MPS offerings, there is an abundance of ideas on how to elevate your MPS program to the next level.

1. What are the 3 most compelling reasons why dealers should offer MPS to their clients?

Brien: Dealers should consider offering managed print services (MPS) to their clients for the following reasons. First, it’s a great way for dealers to expand their business model from printer-only sales to an all-inclusive offering. Second, MPS allows for additional discussions into different technologies such as document storage, disaster recovery and security, which provide support for the complete document life-cycle. Finally, offering a complete structured MPS program mitigates the risk of clients seeking a competitor’s services because the dealer becomes a holistic, single-source provider.

2. What are some strategies to make the transition into MPS smoother?

Brien: A few strategies that will make the transition into MPS smoother include leveraging relationships, attending industry events, and establishing an effective sales model. As a dealer, it’s important to take advantage of the resources and relationships you have with large-scale partners — this will shorten your time to market. Industry events will help strengthen relationships with key stakeholders and are perfect venues for education and networking. Additionally, MPS consultants can assist with in-depth transition strategies as well as compensation plans and basic infrastructure. 30

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3. What kind of infrastructure is necessary for a company to be successful with MPS?

Brien: In order to become successful with MPS, a company will need a dedicated sales team focused on MPS because it is a longer sales cycle than that of traditional hardware or service sales. For example, once an account is “won”, sales will need to support remote monitoring, toner delivery, and supplier fulfillments on consumables and parts. Additionally, sales will be responsible for the ongoing communication of all MPS accounts, which involves quarterly or semi-annual reviews with each customer. Lastly, a company should equip the sales force with the proper tools to execute business, such as a proposal generation tools and data metrics. 4. In your opinion, what is the biggest game changer to come along in the MPS arena to date?

Brien: The biggest game changer for the MPS arena is the enhancement and sophistication of remote monitoring tools. Now more than ever before, dealers can easily check-on an account for support needs. 5. What are the effects of smartphones, tablets, and the cloud on an organization’s document management and output needs?

Brien: The full extent of smartphones and tablets has not yet been fully realized; companies are still determining whether they will embrace a “bring your own device” (BYOD) model or whether they will issue their own devices. That said, the BYOD trend will likely lead to increased sales opportunities and the extension of MPS into the complete document lifecycle which allows a dealer to incorporate mobile device management and cloud-based tools (i.e. SugarSync.com, Box.com, and Salesforce.com). Overall, mobile devices We Saw It In ENX Magazine

are a major part of an overall MPS strategy, and Tim Brien must remain so in order to maintain profitability on the account and allow access to documents from any device.

6. And how can these devices be incorporated into an MPS plan to turn a profit?

Brien: The incorporation of mobile devices into the workplace is both a positive and a negative – it’s a negative if an MPS provider does not give the tools that allow the end user to fully integrate mobile devices into the document access and print stream throughout the corporate network. If printing documents is not an easy and intuitive process the user will not print. That being said, enabling true mobile printing and cloud based document access for mobile devices should be an opportunity for additional software and service revenue. The current market is showing a reduction in print volume and revenue because of these devices but as with the introduction of any new technology, it also brings the potential of new revenue streams. Turn those unmanaged devices into a revenue stream and take your MPS program to new levels. 7. What are some of the best software solutions that can help take MPS to the next level?

Brien: Cloud based-document management solutions will certainly take MPS to the next level. They allow companies to easily access data and important documents anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

8. Where do you see the future of MPS going? How will it evolve, what will it encompass?

Brien: In the near future, MPS will become a subset of managed services, as continued on 32


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STRAIGHT TALK

continued from 30

Tim Brien of Oki Data on the Future of MPS

more solutions will be added, allowing dealers to go deeper and wider as a single-source provider to their clients. MPS will take over hardware, and BTA dealers will expand their footprint to manage the network and infrastructure. In most cases, effectively implemented MPS programs will reduce the number of hardware units within an office, assuming the company employs proper optimization practices. Finally, with the implementation of cloud-based solutions, more embedded solutions will be required and devices will have an improved user interface. This is why companies like OKI Data Americas are investing in new technologies to make the user experience easy and intuitive. 9. How do you predict the growth of MPS will impact technology in terms of hardware? Brien: The growth of MPS will require 32

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several updates to hardware devices. First and foremost, as the popularity of cloud-based solutions continues to grow so will the need to embed these solutions into hardware devices. Additionally, the interface will need to be easy-to-use and intuitive, while meeting industry standards.

10. Lastly, can you share any tips on how to differentiate your MPS offerings from the competition?

Brien: In order to stay ahead of the competition, clearly define your service level agreement to customers, explaining the extent of your MPS offerings as well as the ongoing level of support and strategy. Many MPS programs in the market are simplistic in nature and showing the true differences will allow your customer to make an informed decision. Remember that MPS is all about “Managing” your customer’s fleet. If We Saw It In ENX Magazine

you keep your customer informed with quarterly reviews and are continuing to introduce new technologies, they will see that you are offering more of a partnership that is focused on their long term productivity. u By Christina Kim Tim Brien is Director of Managed Print Services at OKI Data Americas, Inc., headquartered in Mount Laurel, NJ. In his position, Brien is responsible for building the MPS organization, plus the company’s global strategy and expansion of the OKI Total Managed Print™ business, supported by a dedicated MPS team. Since joining OKI in 2010, Brien has been instrumental in the growth of the organization’s MPS business, and serves as OKI’s face of MPS – frequently speaking at national trade conferences and key industry webinars, and contributing to trade media editorials and blogs. He resides in Ontario, Canada with his wife and son.


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e n x

NEWS BRIEFING

As Court Date Nears, Lexmark Puts More Pressure on Firms in Patent Suit

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ast summer, I wrote an article for ENX about Lexmark’s efforts to extract royalty fees from an undisclosed number of third-party supplies vendors. Alleging the firms had marketed remanufactured toner cartridge that violated its patents, Lexmark demanded the accused pay royalties or risk being hauled into court. This activity has continued. During the ensuing months, Lexmark has cast its net wide and is now threatening to sue a number of remanufacturers along with their channel partners. Although Lexmark has been remarkably quiet about its activities, I expect that we’ll be hearing a lot more about the case as the litigants prepare for trial, which is likely to begin in May.

A Little History

To better understand where things currently stand, a quick recap of Lexmark’s case would be in order. It all started in August 2010, when Lexmark accused 25 firms of infringing various patents on monochrome cartridges used in an assortment of machines. The firm filed complaints with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The defendants included Ninestar and affiliated companies and distributors; Print-Rite and various distributors; the so-called Jahwa group of companies from South Korea, and some additional distributors. Lexmark also took the unusual step of including in its complaints references so-called “John Does” defendants that would remain unnamed until some future date.

Most of the named defendants settled with the OEM by early 2011 and they took steps to resolve the matters pending before the district court and with the ITC. The suit remained open, however, which was puzzling in light of the fact that a general exclusion order barring the importation of infringing products had been issued by the ITC and many defendants settled the matter in federal court. Last year, when Lexmark began seeking its royalty checks, it became clear why the OEM had not closed the case. Lexmark indicated it would name those companies 34

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that did not agree to pay the royalties fee and fulfill the OEM’s other settlement terms as “John Doe” defendants and sue them as part of the 2010 case.

Lexmark has been able to implicate a number of firms in the case thanks to information it garnered from the Canadian empties brokers Greentec International. The OEM petitioned the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to compel Greentec to provide Lexmark with a list of its customers in the United States. Lexmark had previously filed an intellectual property complaint with the Canadian authorities against the Ontariobased broker and the OEM continued to monitor Greentec’s exports to the U.S. Because the Canadian empties broker supplied its U.S. customers with empty cores that were first sold outside of the U.S., Lexmark’s patent rights had been violated under U.S. patent law. A patent holder in the U.S. retains certain rights if its products are first sold outside of the country. The Canadian court found in favor of Lexmark and Greentec was ordered to provide the names of its U.S. customers that purchased Lexmark empties to the OEM.

Lexmark’s ongoing investigation, which is now approaching its third year, has involved some of the most well-known U.S. third-party supplies vendors as well as dozens—perhaps hundreds—of smaller firms. At the start of 2013, some 36 companies had settled the matter in federal court but Lexmark has kept up the pressure in the New Year and is looking into the possibility of naming other firms to the long-running infringement case. The impact of Lexmark’s action has the potential of being felt across the remanufacturing industry in the U.S. as well as in the channels.

The Current Situation

Lexmark has been back to court numerous times in 2013. Instead of concluding its ongoing discovery phase in February, the court has given Lexmark until May 6 to finish naming its John Doe defendants. The firm has subpoenaed a wide range of companies to get information to help it We Saw It In ENX Magazine

By Charles Brewer

identify more firms that may have remanufactured Lexmark cores sourced from Greentec. The OEM is also seeking several contempt rulings against firms it claims have violated earlier settlements.

Currently, Lexmark is pressing the federal court to compel Cartridge World North America to turn over certain sensitive materials regarding its franchisees. It appears that some Cartridge World stores were on the customer list that Greentec turned over to Lexmark. In addition to having the franchisor identify all its U.S. franchisees, Lexmark has requested the court to compel the franchisor to provide documentation pertaining to the franchisee’s purchase and sale of Lexmark cartridges. Lexmark is seeking supplier names, the types and quantities of cartridges purchased and sold, and any alleged patent exhaustion claims that Cartridge World may raise in defense. It is unclear how many of the 600+ Cartridge World franchise stores in North America Lexmark is actually gunning for, but as one of the region’s largest vendors of non-OEM supplies, the potential for hundreds of more John Does could be added from the Cartridge World ranks.

Lexmark is also attempting to get information from Cardinal Cartridge Inc. As a mid-sized player, the impact of a Cardinal subpoena may not appear to be very impactful in and of itself. The OEM, however, told the court that Cardinal is “affiliated with—if not one and the same as” several companies, including Cardinal LLC, Noops International, Imaging Resources, and Printer Essentials.com. While it has kept its focus on Cardinal, Lexmark says it served a subpoena on each of the other entities seeking to clarify their relationship as well as their acquisition and sale of Lexmark cartridges. Printer Essentials, of course, is one of the region’s leading distributors of non-OEM products and it supplies hundreds of dealers—if not more. Once again, Lexmark could net a significant number of additional defendants if Printer Essentials has been marketing infringing products. continued on 36


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NEWS BRIEFING

continued from 34

Lexmark Puts More Pressure on Firms in Patent Suit

The other big fish that Lexmark is now angling for is Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), one of the larger toner cartridge remanufacturers in the U.S. Lexmark is also seeking a contempt motion against a less well-known firm, IJSS, which settled with Lexmark after the original complaint was filed in 2010. The OEM asserts in court documents, however, that IJSS has continued to sell both clone and infringing remanufactured toner cartridges that are not “colorably different” from those IJSS was selling before it settled with Lexmark. The printer maker says that it is investigating IJSS’s suppliers to establish that the firm sold infringing Lexmark cartridges using cores imported from outside the United States. According to Lexmark, one of these suppliers is MSE.

In its court filing, Lexmark claims it has “evidence that MSE imports infringing Lexmark cartridges from outside of the United States.” It is asking for docu36

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ments and a deposition from MSE regarding its purchase and sale of infringing Lexmark cartridges. According to Lexmark, the document requests that MSE is disputing include: •

• •

Documentation relating to the types and quantities of empty cartridges MSE purchased from Greentec International from April 2011 to the present Documentation identifying MSE’s customers for Lexmark cartridges

MSE’s communications and correspondence to or from IJSS related to Lexmark cartridges, patents, agreements between the two parties related to the sale of Lexmark cartridges, and/or the contempt motion against IJSS All agreements between MSE and IJSS

All agreements between MSE and Greentec related to Lexmark cartridges We Saw It In ENX Magazine

With so many key players involved and the number of potential defendants growing all the time, Lexmark’s case is taking on mythic proportions. The possibilities, of course, are endless. The court may not side with Lexmark and decide not to compel the various firms to provide the OEM with the information it seeks. Or the currently warring parties may reach a settlement—separately or in various groups—outside of the courthouse. On the other hand, all of the firms may gird themselves for combat and battle it out in court. If that turns out to be the case, I would expect that you’ll be hearing a lot more about the matter next month. That is, unless Lexmark is granted yet another extension. Stand by!u

Charles Brewer is the President and founder of Actionable Intelligence. Visit www.Action-Intell.com for more info.


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e n x

DEALER SPOTLIGHT

A Conversation with Tarek Hafiz President of Cell Business Equipment

T

arek Hafiz, president of Cell Business Equipment (CBE) in Irvine, California, is one lucky guy. He’s got a thriving office technology dealership that sells Canon, Ricoh, and Sharp products, and this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of his company.

Through high times and lean times, CBE has persevered. Much of that credit goes to Hafiz who not only takes pride in his business, but in the team he’s assembled that continues to be instrumental in building CBE into a $20+ million dealership. I spoke recently with Hafiz about himself, his business, industry trends and opportunities, and the people who make up CBE. I’ve always been curious, where did the name Cell Business Equipment come from?

Hafiz: I started in the warehouse of my brother’s company. He owned a computer company called Cell Micro and I started selling copiers while working for him. Because I was a small company I knew other companies wouldn’t approve me to do business with them so I used the name Cell Business Equipment. After he sold the company I got stuck with the name. I started by selling used equipment, Konica and Mita, which is what I sold as a sales rep. In 1995 we became a CopyStar dealer and when Mita filed for bankruptcy around 1999 I became a Sharp dealer. In 2006 we became a Ricoh dealer and in 2010 we added the Canon line. How did you get into this business in the first place?

Hafiz: I worked as a sales rep for a copier company in Irvine. My father sold copiers back in Kuwait. He sold Canon, Xerox, and Sharp so I had toner in my blood while growing up. In 2010 you became a Canon dealer, today it makes up more than 50 percent 38

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www.enxmag.com l May 2013

of your total hardware sales. How did that happen?

Hafiz: The name recognition of Canon in the color arena is very strong and the Canon customer is loyal to the brand. None of the other manufacturers can compete with the programs that Canon has today. They provide rebates, incentives they give to our sales reps, and they give us [products] we can sell with their bundled pricing. Some manufacturers will give you stuff that you’ll never use and it gets stuck in your warehouse so you don’t buy that bundle. The Canon bundle is a bundle you can take and sell the same day. The way the rebate is set up is to reward you based on today’s deal not based on hitting quota at the end of the fiscal year. So when your sales rep walks into your office and says, ‘I have this deal, can I do it?’ you can. With other manufacturers the rebate is done at the end of the fiscal so sometimes you cannot hit that number. If you don’t hit that number you lose money. Sharp has been going through some tough times of late, is that affecting your Sharp placements?

Hafiz: Absolutely not. It only comes up if another sales rep mentions it, but overall we have no issues.

What kind of potential do you see in your market and with your customers for Sharp’s display products, an area they’re placing an increased focus on?

Hafiz: It’s absolutely huge and we have it in all three of our showrooms. It gives us an opportunity to take the focus away from the copier and show something else that’s exciting that people will love to see because it’s a new technology, and then we can say, ‘By the way we sell copiers too.’ Who do you have selling the display products? We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Hafiz: Everybody.

You also sell mailing equipment. Do you have specialists to sell into that market or do your general line sales people sell that equipment too?

Hafiz: Yes, everybody sells it, but it’s a struggle because copier people don’t understand the mailing equipment buying cycle and Pitney Bowes has control of that market. But you still think mailing equipment is worthwhile?

Hafiz: We try to give the customer a variety of options so they have one place where they can shop to get everything they need.

When did you first start offering MPS and how is that segment of your business doing?

Hafiz: This is our fourth year and we’re just starting to see a payoff. As of the end of last month we have close to 1,600 printers under print management. What was the biggest mistake you made when first offering MPS?

Hafiz: As a copier company you tend to take deals you sometimes shouldn’t take, and in print management you can get hurt pretty badly when you take a bad deal.

Do you see an opportunity to move into IT services?

Hafiz: One of the goals for 2013 is to expand IT services. We’re still having a tough time understanding that business so we’re looking into perhaps buying a small IT company to bring

continued on 40


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e n x

DEALER SPOTLIGHT

continued from 38

A Conversation with Tarek Hafiz President of CBE their experience in and have them teach us how to grow that segment of our business.

Let’s talk about the people at CBE, I know you’re proud of the way that CBE has successfully cross-trained five generations of workers (Silent, Boomers, Gen X, Y and Z) to create a positive workflow of emerging technologies. Why have you found that important to do and do you think you’re unique among your peers in focusing on that?

Hafiz: I think we are unique in that we don’t lose people. Some of my sales people have been here for 17-18 years and most have been with me at least 7 or 8 years. The reason for that is we’ve blended different levels of experience and we give an opportunity for all our sales people to go out and get the business.

For example, we have a person who has 40

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a niche in the hotel business. That’s all he does. We didn’t ask him to go out and do that, he found it himself and that’s what he enjoys so any hotel in Southern California is basically his. We don’t limit him to a territory. We have young guys who go out and do complete demos on their iPads. We have the older generation who still bring out the brochures and invite the customer to our showroom for a demo. That mix of experience has helped us to grow as a company and we’ve been growing at least 10 percent a year. I hear you have a great work environment and you truly make an effort to build camaraderie among your employees? Hafiz: We go out and do things together as a company—basketball games like the Clippers or Lakers, Angels’ baseball games…we’ll take 40 or 50 people and celebrate who we are. We have a nice We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Christmas party and in the summer we have a picnic for our employees. What is the biggest challenge facing CBE today?

Hafiz: The growing pains and being able to compete with the manufacturers. Every manufacturer has a location or two in L.A. and Orange County. How do you deal with that challenge?

Hafiz: I tell my guys we are better because we are a service provider and decisions are made here. I work 8-5, Monday-Friday, so we can make decisions on the spot. The manufacturer has to call back East to make a decision. We deliver faster than the manufacturer and we joke around and say we can deliver faster than they can deliver a pizza. continued on 57


e n x

By Frank Topinka & Amy Jaffe

SALES & MARKETING

Crap! Customers Have Changed!

I

nternet or inbound marketing… SEO…social media…relevant content… You have probably all heard these buzz words, but what do they mean and how important are they really to your marketing strategy? Do you need to jump on the bandwagon to get your customers’ attention? YES!

Today’s terminology for internet or online marketing is “inbound marketing.” Simply put, it is the idea or concept that ties together SEO, relevant content and social media. Before I define the concept, I want to discuss why it is vital for dealerships to embrace and implement an inbound marketing strategy. I believe if you don’t get it, you may not survive. In the business community it is often thought that if we just had better sales people or a better sales software system, we will be able to grow customers. When that doesn’t happen and we determine what the problem is, we discover we can’t get in front of prospects as we used to. That process is a definition of insanity: keep doing what you’ve been doing and expect a different result.

Ten years ago as an MPS dealer, my experience was that a sales representative could set up 4 visits to prospects a day. During those ten years I saw a precipitous drop in the number of appointments made by sales people. These were sales people good at getting appointments in the past, but now their cold call efforts were not generating the same results as before. So what the heck was happening?

What has happened is that our customers, driven by the relentless changes in technology, have changed how they make purchases. Consider this: Gartner says that over 70% of consumers search online for information before making a buying decision. If you consider the dealers’ target market as a subset of this 70%, I submit that our marker, the IT professional, researched 99% of the time. In fact, if you can make a cold call visit today, that is probably not going to be a customer you can convert. They are price shoppers for the most part. So what does our prospect look like?

They are an IT professional (not “C” level, as “C” level people have no pain)

They are demanding and knowledgeable

They validate services by reading blogs and using social media

• •

They have little or no time for sales people

They do extensive research on the internet before engaging with a vendor

First and foremost, our customer has changed

Declining copier margins and placements are the new norm

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MPS awareness and adoption is increasing

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High sales turnover is increasing

Commoditization has been caused by the big box stores

Wow, if this is really the new market landscape what does a marketer need to do in order to be successful? It seems that a strategy using the internet is not only necessary but required if you want to get in front of more prospects. So here is the definition of inbound marketing from an expert, Rick Burnes from HubSpot: “Inbound marketing is marketing focused on getting found on the internet by customers.” Traditional marketing or outbound marketing focus is on finding customers and then interrupting them with some message. Technology has made this technique less effective as consumers can block you from getting to them, and when and if you do, the prospect is often annoyed with the interruption. Inbound marketing turns this old model upside down. Inbound marketing done right will attract highly qualified customers to your business that can be measured by ROI. Inbound marketers create engaging content in blogs that prospects subscribe to and want to read. Instead of cold calling internet marketers create content that is meaningful to the target audience. So we need to educate and inform using the business’s internet tools. To enable your dealership to successfully move into this marketing avenue you will need to begin with a review of your website. According to Martin Perry at in2communications, an expert on using SEO and social media to attract prospects, there are six items website must have: •

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Google determines ranking (where you show up on a search) by two things – trust and content. Trust is determined by off page authority, on line content and how visitors use your site. 1

Is your website readable?

3

Offers and landing pages for lead capture

2

Is there an MPS focus ( get rid of hardware as a main theme)

4

Verticals served

6

eBooks and blogs

5

They are online all the time

The challenges facing the dealer community are many: •

7

Content that informs and educates, which builds trust and authority for your dealership Use of “key words,” meta tags and meta descriptions

Creating and publishing content on your site: you will need to be able to write or find someone or some company that can do this for you. It involves the creation of relative content that educates and informs your customer utilizing eBooks, articles, white papers and blogs. 1

Develop a message strategy

3

Use key words in your content

2

Focus on what your customer needs

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on 44


We Saw It In ENX Magazine

May 2013 l www.enxmag.com

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43


e n x

SALES & MARKETING

Crap! Customers Have Changed!

Calls to action (CTA): use buttons to get prospects to act on your offer (eBook, article, etc). 1

What your business is

3

Who is the offer for

2 •

Next steps

Landing pages: this is where you capture and measure activity from your CTA.

1

CTA leads prospects to the next steps, i.e.: get a free eBook on how to get rich tomorrow

2

CTA can be generated by email, social media, your website, and your blog

3

The landing page collects prospect information and should then move the contact into a nurturing place holder

4

The contacts attracted from this method are organic and more likely to let you in to see them (some day)

Company blog: blogging is an art and a science. Warningif you are subscribing to a blogging service you may be doing harm to your placement by search engines. The reason is the search engines are looking for a few items from your website and content than you probably know:

1

Blogs must be relevant to MPS or similar offerings – they must be from you

2

Blogs must be engaging and informative – news feeds are not good

3

Blogs must use key words that link back to content on your website

5

Blogs must be posted on a regular basis

4

Blogs must have key word(s) linking to an external site

6

Companies that blog get 55% more traffic than those that do not

All the social media options need to be explored but there are four you need to incorporate into your overall inbound strategy:

Social media: this includes but is not limited to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

1

2

3

44

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LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups – update your profile, use key words, create and post content to groups. Content can be an alert to your blog, using a catchy headline or better yet ask a question for comments. If this is confusing to you, you will need to get up to speed as the LinkedIn groups are a powerful messaging option Twitter: send out daily or weekly at least. Tweets should link back to a landing page for lead capture

4

Using an inbound marketing software platform is a great aid to facilitating social media, blogs, eBooks

The customer and ourselves have been moved by technology advances to behave differently than before. Yes, the customer has changed, and we need to change with them. It’s not too late as most dealers are only thinking about marketing. Your customer is not only thinking about it, they are using it and you need to get on board to be successful in the future. Let’s take the NPRN website as one example of how an inbound marketing strategy can help build your business. One year ago, the NPRN website was optimized for searches (SEO), and I began publishing eBooks, posting blogs, and employing social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. Here are some results from the first quarter of 2013: eBooks and Blogs

Top 10 Printer Problems and Solutions Visit 464 Submission 149 Conversion Rate 32%

NPRN Annual Meeting at ITEX 2013 Visit 130 Submission 42 Conversion Rate 32%

7 Indicators of the Successful MPS Dealer Visit 60 Submission 16 Conversion Rate 27% These results were generated organically and garnered 4 new customers so far for 2013. Yes, it takes 6 months to a year to build, but it’s so worth it. Stay tuned for my next article where I will define a dealer strategy and the steps necessary to build a strong inbound marketing plan. u Frank Topinka(Frank.topinka@nprn.net) serves as president of the NPRN and Amy Jaffe (ajaffe@jaffedesign.com) works independently to develop marketing strategies for MPS providers. You can contact Martin Perry at in2communications for an analysis of your web site and its current activity relative to your competitors. (This analysis is free if you are an NPRN member.)

YouTube: create a 30 second video inviting prospects to get to know you. Place button on website for video – adds to your digital footprint

www.enxmag.com l May 2013

Facebook: create a company Facebook page and place your blogs and other activities

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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e n x

By Andy Slawetsky

FLASH REPORT

T

Smart Phones: The Ultimate Data Capture Tool

echnology is moving fast. Advancements are coming from so many places it is difficult to keep up. The print industry is no different. However, it is not only advancements in our own industry that are moving things ahead, but also advancements in peripheral industries. Besides the Internet, I am starting to think the smart phone may go down in history as one of the greatest technological advancements to date. This goes way beyond simple apps that make my life easier, such as help finding the most affordable parking lot in NYC or accessing every file I own from a device in my pocket no matter where I am or even being able to watch the NCAA basketball tournament while I’m sitting in my car waiting to pick my kids up.

For the last several years we have watched as print manufacturers have looked at ways to integrate with smart phones. HP has probably done one of the best jobs so far, being among the first to allow smart phone users to easily find and print directly to their printers. Other brands have taken similar steps and even pushed farther ahead, integrating their scanning solutions with smart phones. Samsung has done a pretty good job of this and I’m sure there are others as well.

The next step may be the biggest. Smart phones are on the verge of becoming data capture devices or document scanners, both in the traditional and non-traditional sense. In many ways, they already are. By now you have probably seen people and companies use them with a credit card accessory that turns a smart phone into a credit card payment device. But we are now at the point where software and apps exist that allows the smart phone to be reliably used as a data capture device. What impact will this have on print? It has always been somewhat frightening to look at the digitization process and think about what might become of prints as documents stop being printed.

This all kind of hit me when I was at the HP analyst event in Boston in March. I spent some time with HP Flow CM, their cloud-based document management solution. The solution itself was very nice and was similar to solutions we have seen from other vendors such as Microsoft’s SharePoint, Xerox’s DocuShare and other content management and sharing solutions. What really blew me away with Flow CM was its integration with smartphones. Maybe this is common in content management solutions from SharePoint and DocuShare but I haven’t seen it yet so HP’s is the one I’m going to discuss.

Flow CM has an app for smartphones that brings up the device’s camera, which is then used to photograph the document (or even signage, posters, anything with text can be converted into a document). What is impressive is you don’t have to have the document lined up

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straight; you can photograph it at an angle and the phone still recognizes it as a document, adjusting the skew, etc. The user then hits an upload button in the app and that’s it; the document is now in the cloud and fully accessible. Once uploaded, users can then submit the PDF that was created to an OCR process, which in turn, pulls the data from that document. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. If you take a photograph of something with text (like a document for example) using your cell phone or a smartphone you will create a JPEG image – a photographic image. Even converting these JPEG images into PDF images does not typically allow a customer to grab the text from that PDF. Running an OCR process pulls that data from the image and makes the document much more useful (think searchable PDF). So where am I going with this? Scanning is our world. And as these phones become document scanners, we need to integrate our products with them. Over the next year or so I would expect most of the copier and printer manufacturers to integrate OCR solutions with smartphone apps, tying them into their printers. If your manufacturer does not have anything coming, then find one that does. Smartphones are going to become a major on-ramp to the network and cloud. Is there money to be made in this? For years we have written that customers should be charged for scans. Dealers, resellers and the MFP manufacturers would love to adopt this business model, but understandably, nobody wants to be the first.

As an industry we need to understand that when we provide a service customers should expect to pay for it. For some reason we have collectively decided that we should give scans away. Your manufacturers should be developing smart phone apps with a pricing model that will charge for each document scanned. Don’t think that customers will bite? The OCR scanning app that I am currently using does. ABBYY has an app (FineReader) that I had to pay for. It includes 100 document scans. I have used it quite a bit and for the most part it does work pretty well. It allows me to photograph a document, which is then converted through their OCR process into a Microsoft Word document. I can then send it via email, I can print it, or I can upload it to cloud services from Evernote and Yandex.disk. When I access the document on my laptop, it opens like any other Microsoft Word document.

And just how much is a scan worth? ABBYY’s pricing says it’s as much as about $.07/page. Are you kidding? And you’re giving it away for free! Beyond the document workflow aspect, let’s be realistic; anything that can be done to encourage printing is good for our industry. I may print less from my laptop than I used to, but I

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continued from 46

Smart Phones: The Ultimate Data Capture Tool

can tell you this, I print more from my phone than I did in the past and the easier it continues to become to print from my phone, the more I will do it. Outfitting smart phones as document scanners could create an unimaginable number of new documents, some of which will be printed. While traditional print volume is shrinking, smart phones may represent a significant opportunity for the print world.

What does it all mean to you? You are not only copier sales people or printer salespeople or MPS salespeople; you are technology experts. Brush up on smart phones. Get yourself one if you don’t have one yet, not for this fact that they are truly useful, but simply so you can stay on top of the technology and what you and more importantly, your customers, can do with it. Try this app from ABBYY and any others you might find. Think of the applications for your customers and how they could benefit

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from integrating smart phone scanners into their document mix. Don’t let them go to outside sources for this, because you know what? They will. Drive the process. Make sure your devices are connected to their smart phones (and tablets). And contact your manufacturer to find out what they have coming and how long it will be until they can help you with products and support for the integration of smart phones into document workflow processes.

PS…I wrote most of this using a free dictation app on my smart phone (Nuance’s Dragon Dictation). It was an interesting experience and the document needed a decent amount of editing (and probably still does), but I’d write this way again. u Andy Slawetsky, President, Industry Analysts, Inc. Visit www.industryanalysts.com for more info on the company

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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LEGAL ISSUES

PATENT TROLLS: AN UNCONSCIONABLE SHAKEDOWN

I

magine this, a phone call or email comes into your office from an end user that is being advised they are violating numerous patents by scanning a document, sending it over a network, and emailing to another. This is an operation my assistant and I perform numerous times everyday. The letter is from Project Paperless, HeaPle, LLC or any of a number of alphabet entities claiming rights under what are commonly known as the Laurence Klein patents. Upon receiving a copy of the first letter, I obtained copies of the patents in question and reviewed them. Each runs over seventy-five pages and they made absolutely no sense to me. I contacted an engineer and asked him to read them and help me understand the patents. He was unable to do so as well. Ditto for a Patent Attorney friend sought out for assistance.

Challenging a patent in Federal Court is a time consuming and expensive endeavor. Even actions taken in the Patent Office to challenge these patents is extremely technical and expensive. I have been quoted from five hundred thousand to a million dollars. For small businesses, the alternative of paying one thousand dollars per employee that scans over a network and emails is far more attractive than expensive litigation.

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By Robert Goldberg

By seeking license fees from small businesses, the trolls are shaking down entities that do not understand the patents, do not have the time or ability to decipher the patents, and cannot afford a lawsuit to challenge the claim. It is noteworthy that claims are not being sent to the manufacturers of the equipment or the entities selling them. As one moves up the supply chain, the financial pockets grow bigger and the likelihood of a challenge increases. But send out thousands of demand letters, and, even if only a small percentage pays off, it becomes a good business. Certain members of Congress have looked into these practices and have introduced legislation that will require a party bringing an unsuccessful suit for a patent violation to pay the other party’s attorney fees and costs. Unfortunately the business equipment and systems industry cannot wait for Congress in light of its inability to accomplish much other than political bickering. Although lawsuits are seldom filed, in one case one was and the result is enlightening.

The suit was brought by Project Paperless LLC against BlueWave Computing. BlueWave fought back and countersued. Project Paperless dismissed their claim, with prejudice, and walked away. This led to the end of demands from Project Paperless and the rise of numerous other entities asserting claims under the Klein patents. As of the date of writing this column I have yet to learn of a lawsuit against an end user in our industry. If you do become aware of one, please notify the Business Technology Association or myself immediately. BTA convened an Industry Summit on March 14, 2013 and the major manufacturers and interested parties came together to discuss how best to address these problems. BTA has prepared a pamphlet on the subject to answer many of the questions raised. The pamphlet is available at BTA.ORG and you should consider sending it to each of your end users.

In the meantime, if your end user receives a demand letter, give these options to the end user: 1 Ignore the initial letter from the licensing agent. 2 Ignore the follow-up letter from the Texas Law Firm. 3 Respond to the letter seeking specifics as to the equipment, software and applications in use that are believed to infringe. 4 Respond to the letter denying that there is any infringement and requesting details as to the infringement. 5 Respond that the patents appear to be invalid based upon prior art and prior patents by international companies. 6 Inquire if there are any judicial rulings upholding the patents. Engage legal counsel to review your situation and respond to the demands. 7 Or, pay the license fee. u By Robert Goldberg, BTA General Counsel

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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By Ronelle Ingram

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

D

Vive la Différence

uring my career in the office machine industry, I have had the good fortune to be able to meet and get to know hundreds of different office equipment dealers and OEM branches. As an active BTA member and instructor of the FIX Cost Management for Service Seminar, as well as a member of various Dealer Counsels, OEM and Show Advisory Boards, I have been able to teach, consult, and share work experiences with dealers spanning the USA, Canada, and Australia. The one constant I have found is that every independent dealer runs their business in a different way. Even branches within a large dealership or different branches within the OEM’s structure have their own idiosyncrasies.

Regardless of the size or structure of the company, success does not happen by accident. Profitability requires a hands-on owner, general manager, or other senior management that is committed to long term company growth, stability, profitability, and integrity. Dedication to community involvement, ongoing education, and treating the staff with respect is also vital in keeping company morale up. In today’s constantly changing technological environment, companies that encourage education and monetarily reward certification from internal and external providers are steps ahead of the competition.

Formal written business plans, attainable budgets, compensation plans, the owner’s vision, managers with energy and continuing education for all staff members adds to the individualized company structure and culture. The geographical area, size of the community being served, age and background of the owner (sales, service, financial managers, family members), number of partners, and goal of the company all have an enormous effect on the ultimate success and long term viability of the business.

companies can be very agile. Staff usually has the ability to make decisions. Changes can be made quickly. A career path is built on individual ability. Seniority, age, sex and race are not as important as ability and initiative. However, if a company is too small and operates on the concept of family first, emotional loyalty, and a perpetually limited staff, it could result in a stagnant career path. When dealing with privately owned businesses with partners, family, or a single proprietor, there is a wide variance in compensation, benefit packages and acceptable level of productivity. Much depends on the location of the business, company culture, current economy and overall business standards and profitability.

Most OEMs and larger dealers have a long term career path that can be navigated for those willing to take the initiative for upward movement. Corporate guidelines, structured wage categories, software generated bonus opportunities, and strict expense reimbursement policies are usually the norm. Employee benefit packages usually include paid vacation, medical insurance (including full family coverage with co-pay), pension or 401K with company sponsored matching funds, holiday pay, overtime, disability, life insurance, and a company car or mileage reimbursement.

The downside to the security-minded OEM employee is that their life revolves around the corporate structure. There is little interest or knowledge of industry organizations, publications, or

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The overseas corporate headquarters rarely rewards aggressive, forward thinking, upper management. A creative thinker who openly expresses out of the box ideas can be fired by their current employer or recruited by another OEM or large dealer. There is a fine line between being considered a rebel or a genius. Each upward (or lateral) change within the OEM structure may involve a (hiring) bonus, employment contract and the immediate recruitment of several of their former trusted co-workers.

On the other hand, smaller company managers are involved with understanding and developing their own department’s budget. If they want to increase staff compensation or hire more people, they will have to figure out how their department will generate greater profits. Creativity, knowledge, motivational techniques, ongoing education, great customer service, understanding the needs of their vendors, and focused initiative help to create loyal employees and additional profits. Larger company employees must be sensitive to protocol, adhere exactly to policy and procedures, and need to listen to corporate lawyers. Their responsibility is to implement the decisions of others. The service manager/director/VP is responsible for extracting the requested information that will enable the OEM to accurately anticipate the future need for parts, sup-

I’ve found small and large companies each have their pros and cons, and finding the right fit for you is crucial in furthering your career. For example, smaller 52

events. Their island of interest is only their OEM. There is little concern for viewing the bigger picture of the changes and future of our industry. Too often, their thought process is, ‘Don’t rock the boat. If the new manager does not know my name, I won’t be on the layoff list. Never volunteer. Don’t make mistakes. Just do what I am told.’ A mediocre employee can get by just staying under the radar. There is no need to try to be a superstar; just don’t do anything wrong and you can be employed until your social security takes over.

continued on 54

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

continued from 52

Vive la DiffĂŠrence

plies, accessories and technical support.

The OEM must plan for manufacturing schedules in Asia months in advance of expected delivery to dealers in North America. OEMs have a seemingly unquenchable need to identify and track their equipmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specific trends or challenges. These include excessive service needs, premature parts wear, usage life, software issues and needed upgrades. Working for an OEM often has the service department feeling like they are the beta testers for each new product release. Some OEMs and dealerships use field service compensation software programs to determine the pay rate of service techs. Extensive measurements, comparisons and evaluations; including first call completion, parts usage, recalls, incomplete calls, miles driven, mean calls between clicks, customer satisfaction and optimization of labor hours, are 54

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used to determine compensation and bonuses.

Privately owned business usually allow for more creative, spontaneous workers who are able to bend or make new rules when appropriate. If you are in sales or middle management there is a much better chance for large bonuses and pay increases than in an OEM or structured larger corporation. If you are a valuable member of the staff and on good terms with your superiors and you turn in your letter of resignation (especially if you have been offered a new job by a competitor), you will probably receive an attractive counter offer to stay.

Often owners of a well run, prosperous business will hold on to a long time employee that provides little value to the

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

company. Some owners are overly loyal to original staff members that helped the company get started, or to a relative that seems to be guaranteed lifetime employment. This is a double-edged sword. Effective managers often have to deal with the cost of an employee that is of little value to their department. These untouchable employees are often shuttled from department to department.

Large or small, rural or urban, family run or entrepreneurial driven, the extended office equipment, document management and IT business offers a wide range of company cultures to review. Selecting the right work atmosphere for you will increase your value as an employee and create an enjoyable work atmosphere. u Ronelle Ingram, author of Service With A Smile, also teaches service seminars. She can be reached at ronellei@msn.com.


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ENX Display Advertiser Index All Leasing Services 33 Repo/Offlease Copiers, Printers and Faxes Phone: 866-727-3750 Phone: 949-727-3750 Fax: 949-727-3850 bids@alscopiers.com www.alscopiers.com ARC Services Co 39 Specializes in Konica Minolta Original Parts Phone: 818-859-7459 Toll Free: 800-304-5933 Fax: 818-859-7465 info@arcservicesco.com www.arcservicesco.com Asset Recovery Specialist Phone: 866-757-4545 auctions@equipmentrecovery.com www.EquipmentRecovery.com

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Frontier Imaging 36 Distributor of Copier, Printer & Fax Supplies Phone: 888-530-8811 Fax: 310-898-2788 www.frontierimaging.com GE Capital Buy pre-owned copiers from GE Capital Phone: 203-749-6056 kristen.desrosiers@ge.com

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By Britt Horvat

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TECHNICAL TIPS

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Xerox 7425 Style Fuser Modules

Repairing and rebuilding the fusers for WC-7425, 7428, 7435 and Phaser 7500

he Xerox WorkCentre 7425, 7428, and 7435 are a very popular family of full color multi-function copiers. These machines have filled in where the WC-7328 family left off. The fusers on these machines are worthy of a good technician’s attention. A bit of a head start on the rebuild procedure on these fusers will probably be welcome since you have to dig pretty deep to get the heat roller out.

These fusers are wonder of mechanical ingenuity. That’s a compliment to the engineers but also a precaution to those who want to rebuild them… this type of fuser is not for the faint of heart. For one thing, you’ll likely find yourself wishing you had a Torx T-10 driver-bit.

On a side-note, the newest models in this “style” (WC-7525 through 7556) are even more complex. Those have some seriously deviant technologies going on—toner that melts at unusually low temperatures, and instant-on inversion heating. They don’t have a heat lamp or element inside the heater roll; actually they don’t even use a traditional heat roll but instead use a sleeve. On those the thermistors are inside that sleeve. Pretty unusual stuff.

Luckily the 7425/7428/7435 models do have a regular Fuser Heat Roll that is just starting to show up in a good generic form. The Pressure sleeve is also out there.

The Phaser 7500 is a printer that has a fuser that is similar to the 7425 fuser. Although the two are not interchangeable, they do share the same heat roller and pressure sleeve. The procedure that follows will apply to the Phaser 7500 and WC7425 fusers equally.

The fuser module for the 7425 is sold under the part number 8R13062. It has a stated yield of about 196,800 pages. At that point usually the Fuser Heat Roll is needed. The com-

Photo #3: Small Rear Outer Cover Removal

Photo #1: Fuser Orientation

Photo #2: Outer Face (remove 2 screw marked “1” and “2” on the photo)

plete fuser retails for around $600, so they are worth rebuilding if you can handle them.

Let’s get oriented (see Photo #1) and then jump right into the disassembly procedure. We’ll call the end with the drive gear and the fuser connector the Rear End. The Outer Face (outer cover) is the side that faces you if you go to a machine to remove the fuser. It has a label with removal instructions on it. The Inner Cover is on the opposite face. Finally, the yellow exit guide is on the Top. DISASSEMBLY PROCEDURE:

1. Remove the two Outer Covers: Remove 2 screws from the Outer Face, one at each end (see Photo #2). Then pull off the Small Outer Cover from near the rear end by pivoting it out of place (see Photo #3). Next unplug the connector from the Fuser Exit Sensor (see Photo #4) and remove another screw which retains the Long Outer Cover; that screw was hiding under the small Rear End Cover (see Photo #4). Now remove the Long Outer Cover by raising the yellow Exit guide and then lifting the Long Outer Cover’s front end up.

Photo #4: Long Outer Cover Removal We Saw It In ENX Magazine

2. Next comes the Inner Cover: Remove two Safety-Torx, T-10 screws.

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TECHNICAL TIPS

Xerox 7425 Style Fuser Modules

Heat Lamp wire plugs into the front Thermostat (see Photos #7 & 8).

Photo #5: Preparing the Inner Cover for removal.

Photo #6: Lift to release Inner Cover’s clip near the rear end.

4. Finally, remove the Pressure Sleeve Assembly: First take notes and either measure or mark on the threads how far down the Pressure Tower Screws protrude below the metal frame (see Photo #9). Then you can back out the two Pressure Tower Screws. Take care not to lose the springs or the washers, which are up on top of the springs close to the screw heads. Next pivot the Pressure Sleeve Assembly up until it unhinges so it can be removed (see Photo #10).

Photo #9: Take notice of how far down the Pressure Springs’ ends protrude below the frame.

OK, we are out of space for this month’s article. I leave you till next month’s ENX article with this image of the fuser partially disassembled: For those of you who are adventurous and impatient, and want to tackle one of

Photo #10: Remove the Pressure Sleeve Assembly (back out screws & pivot off)

Photo #7 & 8: Before and After releasing the Front Heat Lamp wiring.

If you do not have a Safety Torx T10 bit, you can use the blade of a tiny flat head screwdriver presented at an angle to gradually convince the screws to turn (awkward but doable). Then lift the Inner Cover off. It has a clip near the rear end that is hooked under a metal frame, so you will want to start on that end (see Photo #6). 3. Free up the Fuser Heat Lamp at the front end: Unroute from its channels the two white wires from the front end of the Heat Lamp and the single black wire which the two white wires are crimped to. Remove 2 screws from the front Thermostat to free it up and then disconnect the spade lug where the

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these fusers before the 2nd half of the article is released, the basics of it will be: removing the Fuser Exit Idler Gear Bracket, loosening up a bunch of stuff on the rear end to make enough room to sneak the front Heat Lamp wires out of the metal frame, releasing the Thermistor / Thermostat assembly, lifting the front end of the Heat Roll up so you can slide it out over the Heat Lamp, and of course reassembling everything! We’ll also take a closer look at the CRUM board with its picofuse for resetting the fuser counter. Have a great month everyone! u

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Photo #11: the Fuser with the Pressure Sleeve Assembly removed… half way there!

Britt 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 . If you’d like to read more about Xerox brand office equipment, there’s also a complete listing of past articles under contributing writers on the ENX website (www.ENXMAG.com )


PRINTER TECH TIPS

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HP Color LaserJet 4700, 4730 MFP, CP4005, and CM4730 MFP Series Yellow Color Partially Missing

Problem

Customers have reported the yellow cartridge not printing properly with a fade from right to left (seen below on the Yellow PQ Troubleshooting page) due to a problem with the yellow toner engaging or disengaging.

Solution

Check the paper feed assembly / Paper Input Unit (PIU) cable cover, being careful to route the cables properly. Cover must not sit on top of any cables; rather, it should be seated firmly at the bottom of the cartridge bay. This cover can interfere with the alienation of the left-side of the yellow cartridge.

This Tech Tip is contributed by Laser Pros (www.laserpros.com). Email any questions to marketing@laserpros.com. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

May 2013 l www.enxmag.com l

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TECHNICAL TIPS

TECH HELP

Subject: Ricoh 3045 Ghost Image

Question: The first 3 copies look good but then the copy starts getting extra images. It becomes increasingly worse from there. I changed out the drum blade and transfer blade, but I still have ghost images. I also cleaned the charge roller and transfer belt. The copier has 265K on it. Answer: The problem has to be in the fuser. Either the HR is shot or you have aftermarket toner.

Question: Thanks for the tip, but the heat roller looks good. I’m not sure about which toner they’re using. Answer: If the problem still remains, you may try cleaning the laser unit, particularly the LD unit. There are two white labels on the LD unit—remove it and blow air inside to clean any toner that goes in, then put back the labels. Good luck. Answer: Did you swap fusing units with another model (eg 1027)? Answer: Swap a 3045 fuser with a 1027? That isn’t gonna happen.

Answer: Sorry, my brain is not working correctly! I thought 3025; it’s been a heavy weekend, if you must know!

Answer: The drum might be out of position, check it out! Answer: There is a bulletin to upgrade firmware. It changes background and fuser cleaning.

Question: It was the UFR. Looks can be deceiving.

Subject: Ricoh MP1515 Half Page

Question: Customer called for printing only the top half of a page, (half of 8½ x 11). I checked cassette settings (set at 8½ x 11) and the transfer roller contact to drum. I also replaced drum unit because the replace message was on. It still only prints 5½ x 8 even in enlargement or reduction. The registration at the top is perfect. The scanner makes the entire sweep of 11”. It prints a blank counter page as well (with no print).

Answer: Is the laser blocked? It could be internal to the unit also.

Question: No, I checked the machine for something like that. Anybody, anybody? Answer: What about internal prints, are they the same?

Answer: Check if the development roller or/and toner agitator is turning. They might be blocked due to worn developer gears. Question: It’s a new image unit and copy quality is great (for a half image); no noises and NO INTERNAL PRINT (this version only prints out counter page and test pages are all half print).

Answer: Does the problem happen when it goes through the feeder also? Is the setting for paper size correct? You stated it is, but are you sure? I’ve seen this problem with multiple machines, with the setting set at 8½ x 11, not 11 x 8½. Just asking. Question: Yes it does the same thing through the feeder, and I changed the paper size and used legal too. But it only prints the first 5½”. Is there an all reset? Answer: If half blank copies and internals are completely blank try replacing the laser assembly.

Answer: Did you check the paper size actuator? Perhaps try a reset procedure? Can you copy with by pass? And do you have the same problem with duplex? Question: It says 8½ x 11 on display, and I’ve tried other sizes, including legal paper, but the image was 5½”. Answer: Yes, there is an all default to factory settings. You have to set many settings though. If you have a spare main pwb, replace it. If you need one, I have a couple of parts machines. Good Luck. This one intrigues.

Answer: When you interrupt the copy process, when the page is nearly not left the drum, is there image on the drum or not? Question: The image on the drum is only half of a letter size.

Answer: I would take it apart (in the shop) and blow it out. Glass, feeder, etc. out. Sounds like a short that interrupts the copy sequence.

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We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Answer: Take A4 paper from your office, go to the customer, put this machine on A4 and try. Do you still have the same problem?

Answer: I still think something is blocking the laser. Especially if the PCU has been changed. Changing the PCU should take care of any shorts that would prevent the image from forming on the drum. Plus if only half the image is on the drum of course it is not a transfer problem.

Answer: Can you print a smc data report (log in data)? It is SP5990-4. Answer: It has to be the laser unit.

Answer: We have seen this before. Ours was caused by the right side door. On the top of the door on the inside toward the front is a hook that attaches the latch to the door. The very top of it breaks off and prevents the door from being held tight and the transfer roller pulls away from the drum enough so the image does not transfer to the paper. We replaced the right door and the problem was solved. Good luck. Answer: He does not have a full image on the drum so the door has nothing to do with it.

Question: Yep, I held the door in with my hand and applied pressure to the door. I am picking it up by Friday; I have a feeling it’s a board problem. Answer: All aboard!

Answer: My vote, board problem.u Tips appearing in this section are reprinted courtesy of Smarka! The Copier Tech’s Info Source. Tips are randomly selected from submissions emailed to Smarka! Smarka! and ENX Magazine make no guarantees as to the accuracy of tips presented here. Email your tips to Tips@smarka.com. All tips become public domain.


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ENX Magazine May 2013 Issue