Page 1

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

engage ‘n exchange November 2012 Volume 19 No. 11 Business Profile

The Art of Change Management Is MPS Killing The Print Industry? Leasing Industry Roundtable: A Conversation with the Industry’s Leading Players Multifunction Devices – Bigger Isn’t Always Better OKI to Implement Plan to Prevent Future Accounting Abuses A Call For A Universal Mobile Print Solution Improving Field and Helpline Staff’s Questioning and Listening Skills The Margin Question Xerox 7328 Family: DV and Toner

Secrets To Penetrating The Production Print Marketplace

ENX Magazine PO Box 2240 Suite 729 Toluca Lake, CA 91610-0240 USA tel: 818-505-0022 fax: 818-505-9972 email: enx@pacbell.net website: 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.

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TOSHIBA E-STUDIO 12, 15, 120, 150 16,160, T1600 20, 25, T2500 28, 35, 45, T3500 55, 65, 80 161 163, 165, 203, 205 200L, 202L, 230, 232, 280, 282 202, 203, 203D MFP 205, 255, 305, 355, 455 (T4530) 242, 212, 182, 181 (T1810) 350, 352, 450, 452 600, 620, 720, 850 T120 T203L, 233, 283 T1340, 1350, 1370 T1550, 1560 T1650, 1710, 2050, 2500 T2060, 2860, 2870 T3560, 4560 T5560, 6560 XEROX 1012 5113, 5114, 5614 5318, 5320 XEROX WORKCENTRE 535, 545 4250, 4260

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West Coast (424) 675-3300 East Coast (631) 590-1040 sales@uninetimaging.com

www.uninetimaging.com © 2012 UniNet Imaging Inc. All trademark names and artworks are property of their respective owners. Brand names mentioned are intended to show compatibility only.


e n x

IN THIS ISSUE

ENX Staff

• Business Profile Katun

IN THIS ISSUE

Page 24

Contributors

• Secrets to Penetrating the Production Print Marketplace by Scott Cullen Page 18

Susan Neimes Publisher & Editor

• A Call for a Universal Mobile Print Solution by Keenan Thomson

Page 28

• The Margin Question by Gary Schwartz

Page 32

Scott Cullen

Contributing Editor

• OKI to Implement Plan to Prevent Future Accounting Abuses by Charles Brewer Page 34

Ronelle Ingram Contributing Editor

Julia Gonzales Graphic Designer

Christina Kim Associate Editor

• Leasing Industry Roundtable by Scott Cullen

Page 38

• The Art of Change Management by Frank Topinka & Amy Jaffe

Page 46

• Improving Field and Helpline Staff’s Questioning and Listening Skills by Ronelle Ingram

Page 50

• Multifunction Devices - Bigger Isn’t Always Better by Brian Henderson

Page 52

• Is MPS Killing the Print Industry? by Andy Slawetsky

Page 54

• Xerox 7328 Family: DV and Toner by Britt Horvat

Page 64

• Tech Tips by Smarka!

Page 68

• Printer Tech Tip by Laser Pros

Page 69

• Readers Response

Page 70

• Display Advertisers Index

Page 58

• Calendar of Industry Events

Page 62

Charles Brewer

Actionable Intelligence

Brian Henderson Lexmark

Gary Schwartz

Strategy Development

engage ‘n exchange

Britt Horvat The Parts Drop

10

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

www.enxmag.com

www.enxmag.com l November 2012

Frank Topinka NPRN

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Keenan Thomson Gap Intelligence

Andy Slawetsky Industry Analysts


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We Saw It In ENX Magazine 3ULFHDQGDYDLODELOLW\VXEMHFWWRFKDQJHZLWKRXWQRWLFH1XZRUOGLVQRWUHVSRQVLEOHIRUW\SRJUDSKLFDOHUURUVRULQDFFXUDWHVSHFLÀFDWLRQV Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

November 2012 l www.enxmag.com l 13 NBS 10.11.12 ENX Nov. 2012


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We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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e n x

By Scott Cullen

STATE OF BUSINESS

Secrets To Penetrating The Production Print Marketplace

W

ant to know the real secrets for penetrating the production print marketplace? Don’t ask a manufacturer or even a consultant. You might get some good advice but that’s not the same as asking a dealer who has been thrust into production print and is learning the hard way of what works and what doesn’t. To get a sense of how to make inroads with a product category that hasn’t necessarily been the domain of the average office technology dealer we spoke with four dealers who have been enjoying a measure of success with production print. Their comments should give you an idea of what to expect should you decide to take the higher volume road.

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Bastinelli received some support from his manufacturer in the form of showroom programs that enabled him to pay for inventory over a period of time as well as specialists to help with training and support of his team. Outside of that Centric was pretty much on its own.

Centric does employ specialists to sell production print. Those specialists have been recruited from outside and within the company and have been trained online at Ricoh University and at outside Ricoh training classes where they learned the skills necessary to sell production print. One of the challenges of selling production print is the attitude of the print-forpay customer. He cautions that they have the potential of abusing the equipment while their expectations of the equipment is sometimes unreasonable largely because their base of comparison is often an offset press as opposed to a digital device.

entric Business Systems in Owings Mills, MD is in its third year selling production print. As an authorized Ricoh dealer and with an array of Ricoh production print devices at their disposal, this was a natural transition, especially since Rick Bastinelli Centric President Rick Centric Business Systems “There could be a lot of lost Bastinelli saw the writing time and extra money spent on the wall. “Everything you read about to satisfy the needs of that document production in the office space environment,” laments is that it’s declining and the production Bastinelli. “It’s still a terprint space is an opportunity to offset rific business opportunity that decline.” if the pricing takes into consideration the expectaMaking the move into production print tions of the customer.” requires dollars and sense. “It’s a significant financial commitment just to equip your showroom, to hire the right staffing both on the sales, support and technical side, and to provide that staffing with the training and knowledge they need to have in order to compete successfully in that space,” acknowledges Bastinelli. Taking the plunge into production print, 18

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“Fortunately the Ricoh production print products have been well received in the marketplace, plus our service reputation is strong. That combination has given us the credibility to be successful in that space.”

Centric has seen its biggest successes in the market with Ricoh color products. “The introduction of the Ricoh 651 and 751 have opened up a lot of opportunities due to the capabilities of the unit, quality of the output and price point of the products,” says Bastinelli.” “Most of our success has been centered on those particular units and we’ve also had some nice success with the 901.”

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ystel, with locations throughout North Carolina and in Atlanta, GA, is still relatively new to production print even though they have a Printing Services Division in Greensboro. That division had a long history with Heidelberg offset presses but the addition of the Ricoh C900 and Konica Minolta C800’s around 2010 had an immediate impact on the profitability of the Printing Services Division. It also opened the eyes of the powers that be at Systel to the production print opportunity beyond their Printing Services Division.

Around the same time Systel’s relationship with Konica Minolta was developing. Even thought they’d been a Konica Minolta dealer since 2009, it wasn’t until the beginning of 2011 that they felt comfortable Establishing credibility is with their products. critical for successfully “They’d been pushing propenetrating the production duction print pretty hard to print marketplace. us and we dove in with their support,” recalls Ryan Aul “Like in any vertical Systel Business Equipment Ryan Aul, Systel’s major market it’s important to accounts VP. “Their suphave some early successes so you can port is what got our whole production establish credibility and then build upon print sales going. We went from negligithose successes,” states Bastinelli. continued on 20 We Saw It In ENX Magazine


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Secrets to Penetrating the Production Print Marketplace

ble to doing a million dollars [a year] in production print.”

Aul echoes Bastinelli’s comments about the investment required to do production print properly. “Konica Minolta said invest in machines for your demo room and invest in inventory, and we’ll help you move it. They followed through and once we did that in a couple of our locations, it got the ball rolling.”

At the same time Konica Minolta backed it up with presales and post sales with what Aul describes as phenomenal support. Not to leave Ricoh out of the equation, he adds that Ricoh offers excellent support as well.

Systel doesn’t play favorites with Ricoh or Konica Minolta. “For color production we’ve had success with Konica Minolta, but we also sell the Ricoh C651. For black & white we’ve had more success with Ricoh because we have those black & white production products on our North Carolina state contract. That’s been a huge vehicle for us to sell Ricoh black & white production.”

Establishing credibility in the production print space wasn’t as challenging for Systel as it may have been for other dealers who don’t have a Printing Services Division. Systel touted that experience and took customers to Greensboro where they could see the products in action. “The people in there didn’t care one thing about copiers, and they talked about how digital production devices increased their ability to make money,” notes Aul. “We used that for universities and all sorts of different prospects as a way to establish credibility.”

tion print although they are currently looking to bring in a dedicated support person for production print to keep the momentum gonggoing. “We’re going to do it but finding that expertise is a lot easier said than done,” notes Aul.

The biggest mistake Systel made at the beginning was the hesitation to place machines in their showrooms. “We fought it big time,” says Aul. “I wish we had done it a lot sooner. The other thing twe underestimated was Xerox. For a long time they had the production print market covered and I underestimated how good a hold they had on that market.”

www.enxmag.com l November 2012

One of the biggest struggles Perry had initially was changing the mindset of prospects in the production print market who were used to paying a lot of money for traditional Xerox production devices when they were coming in with a Konica Minolta system for a lot less money.

“Xerox owned that industry for so long there was a lot of stigma around not buying a Xerox box,” recalls Stirratt.

What Perry did was focus their attention on penetrating the in-plant world where companies have their own internal print shops. “We’ve actually helped companies set up their own in-plants where before

Virtually all Systel sales reps sell producl

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erry Corporation in Lima, Ohio has been selling Konica Minolta production print devices for as long as they were first introduced, beginning with the Konica Minolta 850, a color production device that targeted commercial printers at price points they could afford.

Systel’s sweet spot for production print is colleges, community colleges, universities and governmental entities. “Based on our experience in our Printing Services Division we have had some success selectively going after print operaThe attitude was how in the Randy Stirratt tors and converting them Perry Corporation world at this price could it be from offset to digital or supas good as the Xerox? “Over plementing their offset time, the proof is in the pudding,” says presses with digital equipment,” states Aul. “We’ve done that in a strategic way. Randy Stirratt, director for production print, Perry Corp. “[Konica’s production We don’t get too much of the print for pay folks. Surprisingly we’ve done pretty devices] have performed so well everybody else has been playing catch up for well with manufacturing facilities too.” the last eight years now.” If Systel could do it all over again, Beyond changing customer mindsets besides investing in the showrooms, they’d also do a better job of investing in about lower-priced production devices, the challenge Perry faced was gaining the expertise to sell production print and establishing name recognition within that market for their brand.

Referrals tend to be commonplace in the product print space. “Once you develop a good customer list it’s quicker and easier just to rely on referrals,” says Aul. “But the referrals wouldn’t work if you didn’t have the machines in your showroom.”

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their service personnel. “We dragged our feet on training them,” admits Aul. “We should have made the investment because it pays off—the service and supply revenue is amazing.”

continued on 22

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A

Secrets to Penetrating the Production Print Marketplace

they were outsourcing.”

One strategy that Perry sales reps took was visiting prospects, handing them samples and asking them if the material they were currently producing looked as good as the sample. “In many cases it didn’t, so we got a lot of attention doing that,” notes Stirratt.

He is also a big advocate of demo rooms. “I work for a company that was not afraid to make the financial investments to put this big production print gear in my showroom so I can bring people in to see it and not just make an assumption that somebody’s going to sign a deal for $100K or more without actually physically seeing the equipment.”

pplied Imaging was introduced to the world of production print with the introduction of the Canon imagePRESS C7000VP in 2007. Applied has a simple recipe for success. “One of our biggest strengths is being an independent dealer,” states Kyle Lowery, production print analyst with Applied Imaging. “A lot of these accounts have a history of doing business direct with the manufacturer and they knew us on the office products side of the world, but hadn’t thought of us for production print. Being independent is one of our biggest strengths because of the flexibility we offer.”

As far as gaining credibility with that market, Lowery says Perry also invested in training it’s a matter of being and figured out a way to cominvolved in enough pensate reps so that they were opportunities and serious about uncovering profocusing on Applied’s duction print opportunities. sales process. “We Kyle Lowery have a process we folApplied Imaging “We set up the program up in low through the sales such a way that our sales reps cycle and reengineered that for producare our up-and-down-the-street bird tion print. In this industry people focus dogs,” explains Stirratt. “They don’t nectoo much on what the equipment is and essarily have to know everything about not the benefits that it can deliver to the the equipment; they look for the opportucustomer so that process was big for us.” nities then bring me in. That’s been the key to our success. Sales reps have to Applied has a Pro Team, which is their know they’re going to be compensated production print and solutions group. and when they knock down a couple of “We work with our five sales groups and good size production print deals and find major accounts and they engage us in out they get credit for 100 percent of opportunities,” reports Lowery. those, they have a lot of motivation to go out and find more.” He’s been with the dealership for 10 years and has a technical background, As his knowledge has grown, Stirratt which has helped him as a production concedes he has a tendency to make print specialist. “I’m fielding a lot of more mistakes now than at the beginning questions about applications, Illustrator, because of all the additional training, and the graphics side, so it was a natural knowledge, and expertise he’s acquired. progression for me as we started taking That may sound strange, but he says he on other manufacturers and opportunihas to be careful how fast and how deep ties. It was a lot of training—thousands he goes with the customer. “I picked up of hours of training.” my G7 certification and a lot of people out there don’t know what that is.” Applied’s initial successes were mostly 22

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with their existing customer base. They started by building a prospect list using that existing base and continue to do so today. Those early successes have resulted in other opportunities because those satisfied customers are great references.

Canon was helpful early on in getting Applied up to speed in production printing. “The training aspect was huge,” states Lowery. “While they were helping us get up to speed, we were making sure we were getting our people trained and that we had the resources in place to handle these opportunities.” What does he know now about selling production print that he wished he knew at the beginning?

“Now I feel I have a pretty good read on the prospect’s willingness to move to a different partner,” responds Lowery. “That was one of the things we were blind to early on and understanding that loyalty to certain [product] lines. Another thing is the misconception of the service the independent dealer can provide compared to the manufacturer. At the end of the day there’s no question that we can offer the same level of service, if not greater.” I asked each dealer what they would tell another dealer if they called asking whether or not they should get into the production print space?

“You’re crazy not to get into this segment of the industry, but make sure you have the right resources in place,” opines Applied Imaging’s Lowery. “The volume is so much higher and you can make a huge impact with an organization with a couple of placements.” “Look at your marketplace, analyze the opportunity, and make sure the marketplace has the level of activity you need each year to justify the expense of taking on the product line,” says Bastinelli. “In our situation we felt if we couldn’t place over 15 products per year of a particular continued on 57


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BUSINESS PROFILE

atun Corporation is one of the world’s leading providers of compatible imaging supplies, photoreceptors and parts for office equipment. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Katun is developing the programs, products and solutions its partners need to increase profitability and meet tomorrow’s challenges today.

In addition to providing parts and supplies for legacy monochrome copiers, Katun helps dealers, distributors and other resellers discover new revenue streams and increase profits with new-build and remanufactured printer products, while also meeting the changing demands of existing customers with our large and growing selection of high-quality color parts and supplies.

History

As new CEO Todd Mavis takes over the helm, Katun builds on a proud history, filled with new ideas and outstanding achievements that truly changed the lives of Katun’s employees, customers, vendors, suppliers, and other partners.

More than three decades ago, the CEO Todd Mavis arrival of Katun altered the office equipment landscape and helped legitimize the aftermarket. Katun became a viable alternative to the OEM, a resource where a customer could find trusted, reliable products at a great value. Katun was founded in 1979, with a mission based on quality, service, and value. Among the customers served in 1979 were more than two dozen independent office equipment dealers who still remain loyal Katun customers today — and many individuals who have brought their trust in Katun with them into new and larger organizations.

ating companies in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. In the same time period, Katun launched its first public website, and later, the Katun Online Catalog, enabling customers to order Katun products 24/7 via the Internet. At the turn of the century, Katun again reaffirmed its leadership position and celebrated 30 years as the industry’s aftermarket leader by introducing the Katun® Performance™ brand and launching major initiatives in the color and printer markets.

The current decade started with Katun acquiring the Media Sciences® color laser toner business, effectively combining the fundamental strengths of two of the imaging industry’s aftermarket color leaders. In August 2012, Katun appointed Todd Mavis as its new President and CEO. Under Mavis’ leadership, Katun looks to expand its efforts in new channels, while offering an even broader range of high quality products to existing customers worldwide. Katun is poised for the future with an ever-growing line of product offerings and a commitment not only to the environment, but also to meeting the rapidly changing needs of customers by utilizing the newest technologies to deliver the best overall value.

Color Products

Billions of pages have been printed using Katun® color toners for copiers, printers and MFPs. Katun’s color success is based on a simple concept: provide the most reliable color products possible to earn their customers’ trust. As a result, over the past several years, Katun has become more than just a reliable source for compatible monochrome products. They’ve developed a reputation as a partner who can be trusted to provide OEM-equivalent color products that provide consistent quality and reliable performance, as well as substantial cost savings, increasing dealer profitability without increasing their risk.

In the 1980’s Katun saw rapid growth in North America and Europe. Doing business in over 100 countries, Katun was the first aftermarket company to introduce Organic Photoconductors (OPCs) and began manufacturing fuser rollers using genuine DuPont TEFLON brand coatings.

The first half of the 1990’s saw Katun introduce its first remanufactured drum unit/cartridge, debut its first “patch technology” OPC drum, open a new European Distribution Center in the Netherlands, and open its new North American Distribution Center in Davenport, Iowa.

During the last half of the 90’s, Katun completed its state-ofthe-art Research and Development Annex, greatly expanding Katun’s in-house product development and testing capabilities. Soon after opening a full-service distribution center in Singapore, company employees focused on the single largest expansion in Katun history: simultaneously opening new oper24

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continued on 26


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BUSINESS PROFILE

Printer Products

For over thirty-three years, office equipment dealers around the world have depended on Katun for high-quality, highvalue products for their analog copiers and digital copier/printers. As the copier and printer markets converge, Katun has responded by offering a comprehensive and growing selection of laser printer supplies – under the Katun Performance and Media Sciences brand names – that provide the optimal levels of quality and value that customers have come to expect from Katun.

For traditional copier dealers looking for new revenue streams, Katun’s robust printer product offering and programs represent an outstanding opportunity – Katun can help them capture clicks and navigate new territory on the printer side of the business. For those already in the printer business, Katun offers new choices in color and monochrome compatibles that offer cost savings and unsurpassed quality. Whether color or monochrome, new-build or remanufactured, Katun’s wide and growing range of Katun® Performance™ and Media Sciences® printer toner cartridges and other printer products will satisfy dealers and their customers.

high-quality compatibles across multiple machine platforms. Dealers won’t find a more comprehensive resource anywhere in the imaging industry!

Quality Driven By Research and Development

Katun’s research and development annex, located at their world headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, features over 550 different OEM printers, copiers, MFPs and other office equipment, as well as a comprehensive range of test and diagnostic equipment. In addition, dozens of Katun employees worldwide are directly engaged in Product Development, Technical Operations, Engineering Support and Quality Assurance. More than any other single factor, this separates Katun from other companies seeking to become a dealer’s alternative parts-and-supplies partner, and enables them to provide unsurpassed levels of quality and consistency. Katun backs their products with a no-risk warranty that offers the choice of credit or replacement.

Looking Ahead Supporting MPS Initiatives

Offering a wide selection of high-quality monochrome and color imaging supplies at competitive pricing is extremely important, especially for the many organizations worldwide that are implementing managed print services (MPS). While the upside of landing a new MPS contract is obvious, the challenge of finding reliable, quality suppliers for all the new office equipment inherited with each contract can be daunting.

Katun is the optimal solution for dealers with MPS initiatives – offering one-stop shopping, 24/7 online ordering, drop-shipping, personalization, cartridge recycling, integration with leading ERP providers, and the industry’s broadest selection of 26

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Katun remains committed to providing its customers with the best overall value in the imaging industry, by offering products that provide excellent image quality, dependable performance, and competitive pricing. For more information, visit Katun online at www.katun.com. u Katun Corp. World Headquarters 10951 Bush Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55438-2391 USA tel: 1-800-328-2965 • 1-952-941-9505 • Fax: 1-952-941-4307 E-mail: order@us.katun.com

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By Keenan Thomson

GAP INTELLIGENCE

A Call For A Universal Mobile Print Solution

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ne could say that the selection of mobile print apps on the market today is almost as diverse as the number of tablet and smartphone platforms they are made for. There is at least one mobile print app from just about every major printer maker, in addition to those offered by software companies. Each app covers a limited number of printers and offers its own level of print functionality. Despite nearly a decade of growth in the smartphone market and two years since the first iPad, there still isn’t a universal solution that allows users to print whatever they want, from any program, to any printer. This lack of a universal solution is preventing print vendors from connecting to the massive amount of content circulating on mobile devices.

of the Apple iPad in 2010. In contrast to notebook PCs that run Windows or OS X and therefore have the same familiar print functionality as desktops, smartphones and tablets use new mobile operating systems that often lack the familiar ‘print’ button that is common on traditional PCs.

To understand the importance of developing an easy-to-use and universally applicable mobile print solution it is important to understand the changing relationship between printers and the PCs that they connect to. The printer industry has and always will be dependent on the devices that create and distribute printable content, which for many years was the desktop PC. Around 2006, notebooks surpassed desktops in U.S. consumer PC shipments, and it was about that same time that U.S. inkjet sales began to stall.

This change in PC preference led to a change in the way users consumed content, and ultimately broke down the longstanding correlation between PC and printer purchases. Historically, retailers relied heavily on this relationship between PC and printer purchases, and frequently offered incentives encouraging customers to purchase the two together. Since mid-2010, gap intelligence has watched retailers all but abandon the idea that customers are going to buy a printer every time they purchase a PC. The notebook PC’s rise to prominence was followed soon after by an explosion in smartphone shipments and the introduction 28

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Some industry observers see the shift to mobile as a major headwind for printer makers – quite simply, these devices can serve as a substitute to the printed page, especially as users become accustomed to reading on smaller screens. However, there is a pile of evidence that suggests that the need to print exists, and that more devices in the channel means there is more printable content being distributed and consumed. In a testament to the growth of mobile device use, Facebook’s most recent quarterly filing indicated that the number of active mobile users (using a tablet or smartphone) visiting its site increased 67 percent over the past year to 543 million users (desktop/notebook user growth was flat). And the growth of printable content? Facebook’s IPO filing stated that its global user base was uploading over 250 million photos per day as of the end of 2011.

As I discussed in a blog in May, broad availability of mobile printing began with HP’s ePrint in mid-2010. ePrint was followed months later by Apple’s AirPrint, which Apple and HP jointly developed in response to the large number of complaints about the iPad’s lack of print functionality. Since then, printer makers and a few peripheral vendors (i.e. Cortado, EFI) have launched branded mobile apps that allow users to print either via email, a wireless network, or a direct connection to a wireless printer. Apple AirPrint is likely one of the most broadly supported platforms, however most mobile apps are typically

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GAP INTELLIGENCE

A Call For A Universal Mobile Print Solution is typically available on any program. Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print are perhaps the best examples of software makers attempting to provide universal printer access (despite complaints of their limited functionality). Now, Windows has revealed that it’s developing a new ‘version 4’ or ‘v4’ print architecture for its upcoming Windows 8/Windows RT operating system, which is designed to simplify mobile and traditional PC printing. Windows’ v4 architecture will hopefully reduce the headache of downloading drivers, cut down the size of driver files, and most importantly, provide a universal user interface (UI) that works with any printer (below).

exclusive to one brand’s devices. So while Apple users (˜33.2 percent smartphones, ˜55 percent tablets (both U.S.)) enjoy support across several printer brands, the mobile app landscape remains fragmented for many Android, Windows, and Blackberry users. As mentioned, advanced functionalities (i.e. paper size option, duplex, collate, etc.) only exist in a handful of apps.

The relationship between printers and mobile devices is still young, with less than two years since Apple AirPrint and HP ePrint were first introduced. Many have been quick to call mobile devices the printer killers, while many others believe that more devices and more content will ultimately lead to more prints. The truth is that the impact of mobile devices on the printer industry is still unclear, and there is very little primary research to show whether people are printing from their mobile devices or not. Many mobile print solutions tend to silo users, since they only allow printing while logged into their app and support only that brand’s printers. Adding to the frustration, some brands will have one app for their inkjet printers and another for business laser devices. There is a clear motivation for printer makers to push their own apps – it helps the brand build an exclusive ecosystem that fosters familiarity and brand loyalty. Unfortunately, by forcing customers to download multiple apps and offering limited support and functionality, printer makers have created obstacles that likely hinder mobile printing.

The reality is that many consumers (like me) would greatly prefer universal access to any printer from any app. This is what users have been conditioned to expect from traditional operating systems such as Windows and OS X, where a ‘print’ button 30

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What is clear is that there is a growing number of apps in the market that offer limited printer support and varying levels of functionality, when what every impatient mobile user wants is a single print solution that just works. Provide mobile users with a simple and well-integrated print solution and printer makers will have a better shot at connecting to the ocean of printable content on tablets and smartphones. In this vast and growing mobile marketplace, improved access to content would ultimately benefit all printer makers. u Keenan Thomson is the inkjet printer analyst for gap intelligence, a San Diego-based independent technology research firm with emphasis in helping product manufacturers and resellers understand current market trends in order to respond to customer demands as they occur. He can be reached at kthomson@gapintelligence.com.

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By Gary Schwartz

SALES STRATEGY

A

The Margin Question

s an industry consultant, I have had the opportunity to attend a fair amount of trade shows, seminars, and learning events both in the office equipment and IT spaces. I also spend the bulk of my time in the field with business owners and sales leaders. One theme is seemingly omnipresent wherever I go: maintaining margins. It seems that everyone is asking whether their particular segment of the business is becoming commoditized. I recently attended a Cloud focused MSP event and this topic rang through each breakout. When attending OEM meetings or speaking with business owners it is the same story.

It is no secret that the ‘marks on paper’ business isn’t exactly in its infancy. So, it begs the question: “Is it possible to realize healthy equipment margin in a mature industry?” My answer is yes. Despite the fact that competitors are fighting over every scrap of business like sharks in a feeding frenzy, a skilled rep can still maintain margin. The fact of the matter is the margin available in an opportunity is equivalent to the value created in the solution. The trick is creating value for the customer. Let’s look at the most common mistakes that result in margin pressure:

Late to the Party: If the sales rep

shows up towards the end of the sales cycle – even if they are the incumbent – the only leverage they have is “the relationship” and price. How good is the relationship if the rep was not there at the genesis of the sales cycle? While the #1 reason people win deals is relationship, reps that are late to the party always significantly overvalue their relationship. Let’s face facts, this customer is not going to be loyal to this rep. The result

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is a DEEP discount to maintain the account.

Bigger, Better, Faster - Same Price: Anyone familiar with the state

of the business will agree that features no longer are the driving factors in deals. You want to sell solutions? Get to know your customer’s business. Where are the gaps in their processes that are causing higher costs or inefficiencies? Your solution must be the resolution to your customer’s business process gap. If you are offering the same for less you are missing the point and missing out on margin. In other words, if you bring no value; you get no margin.

Me Too: In a mature market maintain-

ing current users is a must. Since the market is not expanding, gaining market share is a difficult proposition. Let’s say your rep gets in front of their top prospect account. Given the fact that they have no relationship or are simply working to establish one, it is paramount that they bring value in the offering. If you provide a commoditized product and ‘me too’ SLA’s and service, what is the only lever left to pull? Price. The likely result to this scenario is that your rep’s proposal becomes price leverage on the incumbent. You lose the deal and the incumbent loses margin. Furthermore, your rep who sells on price will have to beat the newly lowered price level again the next go around. It is a vicious cycle. If you sell on price, you cannot maintain margin.

In order to stop the negative margin cycle, sales professionals must become more proactive. Reps must increase their business acumen in order to be successful. This higher level of business knowledge allows reps to diagnose business issues and see the gaps in process that can be filled with technology. Use of probing questions provides the pain necessary to drive customer realization thereby creating a need – the birth of a We Saw It In ENX Magazine

sales opportunity. Who do you think is driving this opportunity? Not the purchasing department and certainly not the competition. By creating the need, our rep has effectively created a margin opportunity as well as a differentiator. The competition is effectively blocked and our rep has taken a step towards being viewed as a trusted partner by the customer.

Margins can be maintained on equipment today. The secret lies with the skill level of the sales rep and their willingness to hone their craft. Skilled reps create opportunities and ‘change the game’ for others. By helping their customers see gaps in business processes they provide value. In providing value, they effectively answer the Margin Question.u Gary Schwartz is a sales consultant with Strategy Development and has over 14 years of broad based experience in the business technology and outsourcing space. Gary was a senior manager with IKON Office Solutions, and later with RICOH in sales, finance, and operational roles. In his first year as Area Director of Sales, Gary led a sales force of 7 managers and 60 reps to 18% revenue growth with a focus on sales process and employee development. As a Strategic Account Sales Manager, Gary was charged with driving IKON’s MDS and Managed Services business. Gary began his tenure with IKON as an Area Director of Financial Operations. In addition to his expertise in sales process and leadership, Gary is well versed in the financial, leasing and marketing aspects of the business. Schwartz graduated with a BSBA from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

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By Charles Brewer

NEWS BRIEFING

OKI to Implement Plan to Prevent Future Accounting Abuses

O

n October 11, OKI Electric Industry Co. submitted a plan to the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange detailing a program that is currently being considered to eliminate the risk of its business units using wrongful or fraudulent accounting practices. The move comes in the wake of an accounting scandal involving OKI Systems Ibérica S.A.U. (OSIB), which caused share prices to tumble after OKI was forced to withhold the release of its first quarter financial results back in September. The company further reported the disciplinary measures it has meted out to the managers and staff responsible for the scandal.

OKI faced delisting from the Tokyo bourse when the company abruptly pushed back announcing its financial results from August 10 to September 14. OKI made the surprising move after it learned its Spanish subsidiary had been engaged in coOKIng its books for the past 25 quarters. Because OKI missed its filing deadline, Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act mandated that its stocks be placed on a delisting watch list. The stock exchange required OKI to submit an “improvement report,” to address some of the deficiencies that led to the ignominious OSIB affair. OKI will begin implementing its new plan “as soon as possible” and expects to have it fully in place before the end of the current fiscal year, which closes on March 31, 2013.

Pain In Spain

The troubles at OSIB, the Madrid-based subsidiary responsible for OKI printer sales in Spain and Portugal, came to light back in August. An internal investigation of OSIB conducted by OKI Data in July uncovered what the company called “suspicious” accounting practices. On August 8, the firm said the managing director at OSIB had used “improper accounting” to pad the unit’s sales and hide bad debts. OKI empanelled a committee of outside 34

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experts made up of two attorneys from the Kazuo Ishii law office and a certified public accountant from PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate.

On September 11, OKI released the findings of its external team. It discovered that OSIB was padding its books in an attempt to hit sales targets that were becoming increasingly unrealistic as the economy soured. OKI’s investigators found that the unit booked sales to distributors that were beyond the distributor’s sales capacity. Then when “payment from the distributors stagnated,” the initial sale would be cancelled and a new invoice with a more recent date would be issued for the original sale, effectively extending the payment terms. “In addition to this forgery,” OKI said, “inappropriate recording of fictitious sales and accounts receivables have been identified.”

OKI’s investigation also found that OSIB had established a program wherein distributors would repay rebates received from OSIB back to OSIB. The firm said, “OSIB’s long overdue accounts receivable could not be identified through such reciprocal funding.” According to the auditors, OSIB covered up rebate payments to distributors and was said to have been recording “advance payment from a business partner and applying it towards a different business partner’s accounts receivable as well as disguising borrowings as decrease in accounts receivable.” OSIB was also found to have engaged in a complex scheme that allowed it to duplicate payments of receivable funds. Bloomberg says that OKI president and chief CEO, Hideichi Kawasaki, declined to name the former head of the Spanish unit but indicated he had been terminated. On September 13, the Japanese news website Daily Yomiuri Online reported that OKI plans to file a criminal complaint with Spanish authorities against the disgraced executive. According to We Saw It In ENX Magazine

OKI’s October 11 announcement, Harushige Sugimoto, former head of OKI Data Corp., resigned on September 30. A number of executives also faced salary reductions and further disciplinary action is being considered for other unnamed individuals. According to OKI, various factors contributed to the years of fraudulent accounting, including a unique business structure at OSIB and lax oversight by other OKI organizations. The scope of the external investigation went well beyond OSIB. The external committee also evaluated certain domestic OKI sales organizations in Japan along with overseas sales units similar to the rogue Iberian subsidiary. The investigation included all sales companies in OKI’s printer business. The outcome of the effort concluded that the inappropriate accounting practices were isolated exclusively to OSIB. OKI’s other 24 overseas subsidiaries were operating in full accordance with acceptable accounting procedures.

Not Much Confidence

Investors were not kind when they learned of the scandal, which caused a major sell off of OKI Electric stocks. According to Bloomberg, when news of the scandal broke it triggered the biggest single-day decline in the OEM’s stock in “at least 37 years,” as share prices skidded from about ¥102 ($1.32) to ¥89 ($1.15). As a result of the accounting irregularities, net sales for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 took a ¥7.5 billion ($96.8 million) hit, while operating income was cut by ¥21.6 billion ($278.8 million) and net income was reduced ¥30.8 billion ($395 million). Some investor confidence was restored when OKI Electric released its financial results on September 14 for the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Share

continued on 36


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NEWS BRIEFING

continued from 34

OKI to Implement Plan to Prevent Future Accounting Abuses prices rebounded to ¥100 ($1.27). But the rebound was short lived and shares were trading at near their 52-week low as of this writing.

From the period between April 1 and June 30, 2012, OKI reported its net sales grew almost 9 percent to ¥91.1 billion ($1.2 billion) from ¥83.9 billion ($1.1 billion) during the same period in 2011. Despite the higher sales, the firm’s operating loss widened from ¥100 million ($1.3 million) during the first quarter of last year to ¥2.2 billion ($28.4 million) this year and the net loss grew ¥1.0 billion ($12.9 million), from ¥3.1 billion ($40.0 million) to ¥4.1 billion ($52.9 million).

The firm also revised its consolidated earnings guidance for the first half of the current fiscal year on September 14 along with guidance for the full year. The firm has lowered its flat operating 36

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profit of ¥0.0 to a loss of ¥500 million ($6.5 million) during the first half and says its net loss will widen from ¥2 billion ($25.8 million) to ¥3 billion ($38.7 million). Projected net sales have been raised from ¥188.0 billion ($2.4 billion) to ¥195.0 billion ($2.5 billion).

For the full year, OKI retained its earlier forecast of an operating income of ¥18.5 billion ($238.8 million) and net income of ¥11.0 billion ($142.0 million). It raised its projected full year net sales a modest 1.6 percent from ¥440.0 billion ($5.7 billion) to ¥447.0 billion ($5.8 billion). The revision indicates that the company remains bullish for the current year and maintains that net sales, operating income, and net income will improve this year compared to last year when the figures stood at ¥423.5 billion ($5.5 billion), ¥12.0 billion ($154.9 million), and ¥1.8 billion ($23.2 billion), respectively. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

OKI credits its improved performance in part to a growing installed base of printers and MFPs. The firm says that enhanced machines along with the “effects of proactive sales investments” have allowed its printer population in the field to grow. In addition to improving its printer business, OKI expects to see some gains in its info-telecom and radio sales. It remains to be seen if investors are willing to bet on OKI’s optimism. Share price had experienced modest increase in the days after the firm released the results of the external investigation. As of this post, however, OKI shares had given back the gains and were trading once again at ¥89 ($1.15). A post on the Wall Street Journal site quoted a Japanese brokerage as saying that with the investigation concluded, “It’s probably time to buy the [OKI] shares.” We will see if anyone heeds that advice.u


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By Scott Cullen

STATE OF INDUSTRY

Leasing Industry Roundtable:

I

A Conversation with the Industry’s Leading Players

f dealers have to consistently adapt to changing technology and marketplace trends, so do the leasing companies that so many of those dealers rely on to help them secure business. With that in mind we assembled a virtual roundtable of some of the leading players in the leasing industry, asking them to share their thoughts about how they’re helping dealers remain competitive and grow, the current rate environment, trends affecting the leasing industry, and the outlook for the future.

Panelists include Jennie Fisher, senior vice president and general manager of GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation’s Office Equipment Group; Dave Verkinderen, executive vice president, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance; Fred Carrollo, general manager, Office Products EverBank Commercial Finance, Inc.; Pat Neary, U.S. Region vice president, Office Technology GBU, De Lage Landen Financial Services; and Glen Clark, national sales director for Office Imaging, GE Capital, Americas. How does your finance company help dealers be competitive and grow?

Neary: In today’s competitive market, you need to provide more than a low rate or high approvals. One of our key differentiators that help our dealers grow is our capacity to finance the entire life cycle of a dealer’s assets. We work with almost every major copier manufacturer to offer inventory finance for their dealers, setting up lines of credit to Pat Neary meet the needs of dealers, both De Lage Landen large and small. De Lage Landen is Financial Services the only major lessor that offers this as a way for dealers to acquire the inventory they need when they need it. As more manufacturers are exiting this business and traditional bank lenders are still staying away from this type of financing, we have expanded the scope of our value proposition and truly met an important need expressed by our dealers and manufacturers.

Clark: At GE Capital, we’re not just bankers, we’re builders. Yes, we provide financing but we offer our customers a lot more through Access GE. As part of a global industrial company, we’ve tackled issues that affect our business productivity, competitiveness and profitability. With Access GE, we’re able to put the experience and know-how of experts from across our organization to work for our customers and address their most pressing business needs. We offer onsite workshops, best-prac38

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tice sharing sessions and Web-enabled applications to reach a broad group of customers.

In the OI space, we’re offering customers access to our proprietary Access GE Website with up-to-the-minute financial market information, business insights and research from worldclass sources in combination with GE’s proprietary content on topics such as interest rates, industry trends and business best practices. In addition to Access GE, one of the most popular tools we make available is the Prospect Researcher, which contains detailed profiles of more than 20 million companies, together with key contact information for executives to facilitate the prospecting process.

Finally, in the first quarter of 2012, we launched our Customer Advisory Board (CAB), which is Glen Clark helping us determine the services and GE Capital options that are most important to our dealers. The CAB is contributing to a new product we’ll be launching in the first quarter of 2013 that serves up really robust dealer analytics designed to provide critical insights into their portfolios.

Carollo: We have a complete implementation plan to assist dealers with entering the MPS market. We partner with consultants and training companies to assist them in all aspects of their business. Additionally, we create and sponsor sales incentive programs for dealers’ sales people.

Fisher: The flexibility and innovation demonstrated in everything we do bring customization to our dealers. This helps them differentiate themselves in the markets they serve. Our in-depth knowledge of the marketplace, Managed Print Services, Managed IT solutions, and our advanced integration and billing capabilities greatly contribute to our ability provide dealers with a competitive advantage. Verkinderen: We provide our dealers with a competitive advantage by offering a wide array of products and services based on their requests and feedback. Recently, we have expanded our product portfolio with additional manufacturer programs, managed services products, software and services financing, flexible invoicing capabilities and our production print program, amongst others.

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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Helping You get tHere. greatamerica.

Where do you Want to take your business?

“If we did not have the help of GreatAmerica, we could not have been successful in developing our MPS program particularly with our large deals. They are the reason we’ve been successful.”

GreatAmerica is committed to helping you get there. From Managed Print Services and HR support to Managed Network Services, we’ve developed a suite of offerings that go well beyond traditional financing solutions. Our goal is to help you achieve greater success.

Jerry Jones President & CEO Cannon IV, Inc. Indianapolis, IN

625 First St. SE, Suite 800 | Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 | 800.234.8787 We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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Leasing Industry Roundtable financing, flexible invoicing capabilities and our production print program, amongst others. With some of the worst years of the economic crisis seemingly behind us, how are your approval rates this year in comparison to pre-recession?

Verkinderen: We have arrived back at our pre-recession levels and it has been a steady climb over the last 18 months. We have been actively improving our scoring capabilities and also increasing our application-only thresholds to levels we have not previously realized. Based on what we learned through the downturn, we believe room still exists in this area.

Neary: Although we were not immune to the impact of the Jennie Fisher 2008-2009 recession, because of GreatAmerica Leasing Corp our commitment to our dealers and manufacturers, our business practices did not change as much as many other financial service companies in our markets. In fact, our portfolio of leases and loans grew in both recession years and every year since, while the portfolio of some others decreased. Today, our overall approval rate is slightly lower than its pre-recession levels.

Clark: We’ve seen a steady increase in the quality of applicants seeking credit in this market — and that applies to a range of companies, from small entrepreneurs to large businesses. The companies that came through the downturn are the survivors. They’ve improved their balance sheets, reduced expenses and paid down debt. Now they’re holding onto cash. Meanwhile, they’re continuing to improve their processes to be as lean as possible in this lowgrowth environment. All of these factors are leading to improved credit quality and, as a result, higher approval rates.

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What are your thoughts on the current rate environment?

Carollo: Rates are at a level not seen in 20 years, as cost of funds remain low (especially for bank-owned lessors), coupled with very strong portfolio performance. With volume levels essentially flat, rates have become an area of intense competition for lessors to maintain or get a larger piece of the pie.

Fisher: The low cost of funds has certainly allowed finance companies to provide their customers with lower lease rates. With that being said, I am somewhat amazed at how aggressive some companies have gotten in the rate arena. One has to question where profits are to be made when the rates get to zero interest or below. The math simply does not work. History has shown that these types of rates inevitably come with highly unpleasant surprises for dealers and their customers. Unfortunately, by the time the dealer finds these surprises, they often have dozens, if not hundreds, of customers with these same issues. My advice is to be extremely cautious when you see these situations. The most successful dealers tend to always avoid the “rate of the month” game – staying loyal to those that have served them very well over the long-term.

Fred Carollo EverBank Commercial Finance, Inc.

Carollo: Our approval rates have returned to pre-recession levels. Although there are still industries and segments about which we are cautious, the strong approval rates indicate a positive outlook on the future.

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Fisher: Approval rates are very close to pre-recession levels. There are some industries and geographic regions that are more challenging than others. GreatAmerica has always been one to closely evaluate every opportunity with the mindset of “let’s figure out how to approve” transactions.

Clark: From our perspective as a provider of capital, we see positive year-over-year growth in both lending and equipment leasing. The credit markets are very healthy, providing extremely attractive terms for borrowers. This perspective is supported by regular surveys we conduct of U.S. financial executives, where we ask them what factors will have the greatest potential impact on the growth and stability of the U.S. economy. Their top concerns are the U.S. budget deficit and European fiscal conditions. Only 2 percent of the respondents are concerned about rising interest rates — and that’s unchanged from the first quarter of 2012.

Neary: There is currently a lot of liquidity in our marketplace associated with an extraordinary low interest rate environment that is not sustainable in the long run. While we can’t predict when, the credit markets will get healthier, rates will normalize and we will have continued to provide the support to our ven-

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Equipmentise

TM

[ih-kwip-muhn-teez] Definition: Expertise employed by CIT to design tailored leasing and financing programs for small and middle market companies for office equipment. CIT Vendor Finance has a deep commitment to helping companies grow. We are a global leader in creating leasing and financing solutions that can drive incremental revenues for manufacturers, distributors and resellers. These solutions also help their small and middle market customers obtain the equipment they need while preserving cash flow for growth. Visit cit.com/vendorfinance or call 800-245-0506

HARDWARE FINANCING t SOFTWARE AND SERVICES FINANCING t COST PER/USAGE BILLING JOINT VENTURE PROGRAMS t PRIVATE LABEL PROGRAMS Š 2012 CIT Group Inc. CIT and the CIT logo are registered ser vice marks of CIT Group Inc.

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Leasing Industry Roundtable dors that they need. One of De Lage Landen’s major selling points to the dealer community is that we have always stayed in the marketplace with products that support our dealer.

Verkinderen: Competitive is the first word that comes to mind. This space appears to be healthy and many finance companies are trying to gain market share. We feel fortunate that our business model made it through this last down turn in good shape and that certainly plays a role in our overall pricing strategy. MPS is still a high-profile product in the industry, how does your finance company support the MPS solutions that dealers sell?

Dave Verkinderen U.S. Bank Equipment Finance

Fisher: Our industry-leading bundled billing capabilities contribute to a dealer’s strong closing ratios when proposing a MPS solution. Our flexible billing options combined with stateof-the-art integrations result in both a high amount of accuracy and efficiency that contribute to a dealer’s bottom line in meter billing solutions.

Clark: GE has been administering MPS types of transactions for many years. This expertise has allowed us to tailor our offering to individual dealers who approach this space in different ways. We’ve just further simplified the process of adding or deleting units for a customer by allowing a simple one-page amendment to accomplish the process.

In general, we know that MPS means different things to different dealers so we’ve added flexibility to our financing options to facilitate broader adoption. Part of this effort is to allow a single pool for copiers or to structure pools so dealers can allocate copies across different departments and even different locations. We realize those options are important as each MPS engagement is different.

Verkinderen: We continue to expand our bundling capabilities to enhance the managed print services customer experience. With more options for pass-through billing programs and detailed spreadsheet invoicing, our clients can better tailor a solution around their customers’ needs. Carollo: The implementation, training, and consultation programs we offer at EverBank Commercial Finance help dealers

westcoastplaten.com

Neary: The key to offering a good MPS product is the ability to integrate with the dealers system so that there is a proper exchange of information. Some of the billing/invoicing requirements for MPS transactions can be very complex. De Lage Landen has and will continue to invest in technology that provides seamless support so that dealers can effectively sell this solution.

What impact is trend toward mobile technology having on your business?

Clark: We launched the mobile version of Leasingsource, our comprehensive online credit tool, over the summer. OI dealers can submit credit applications and track deals using iPads and iPhones and receive credit approvals on qualified leases in minutes. The Leasingsource for OI app is free and available on iTunes. Dealers conduct so much of their business out of the office that using mobile technology is crucial to their day-today routines. Our new mobile app allows dealers to be more competitive and more productive. In most cases, they’ll be able to get a decision before leaving the customer’s office. Leasingsource for OI allows dealers to do three important things: First, submit credit applications for new and existing customers. Second, receive instant approvals on qualified deals. Third, check funding and take-down status.

Neary: De Lage Landen is constantly looking at ways to adapt to changing technology,whether it’s to provide a better experience for our customers or increase efficiency for the dealer. An example of this would be a product called “edocs.” Edocs is the vehicle whereby De Lage Landen deploys electronic documents and signatures to activate a lease contract or program agreement. It has reduced the time from credit approval to funding of the dealer by as much as half. The impact to the dealer is that they get their cash quicker and with less effort. Fisher: From a GreatAmerica perspective, we are excited to

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new to the MPS market make the strongest possible entrance, while also assisting current dealers in growing their business. In addition, we have invested heavily in our technology enhancements, allowing us to be a more efficient business partner and provide our dealers with a higher level of information to help them maintain and grow their business with their end users. We have enhanced our invoicing capabilities to meet a broad spectrum of end user requirements, which is essential with our vendors’ major account business.

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STATE OF INDUSTRY

Leasing Industry Roundtable roll out a newly introduced mobile app. This app will allow our dealers’ reps to submit credit applications on their smart device and enjoy an immediate response as to the status. It will also allow them to calculate lease payments and view additional information that they would normally be able to access from their dealer portal. We are also investigating additional value we can add to our Collabrance Managed IT offering by way of mobile device management and mobile device security.

Carollo: We understand the need for information to be delivered in new ways and are investing heavily to transition the delivery of information to our vendors in real time, whether to smartphones or tablets.

Verkinderen: Our credit application system is able to accept data imports from mobile applications, allowing field sales to submit applications remotely. We also accept electronic signatures from tablets on our lease agreements to expedite the funding process.

How do you view the current state of the finance industry and where do you think it will be next year?

Fisher: In general, financing sources have strengthened since immediately after the recession. I anticipate the continuation of a low interest rate environment, and portfolio performance should remain stable to strong. It will be interesting to see what happens through the end of this year, as there seems to be anxiety around the election. Regardless of the outcome, dealers can count on us to be there for continued support, as GreatAmerica has seen profitable, organic growth every year for the past 20 years. Carollo: The Office Products finance industry is as competitive as ever. The number of major players in the market 44

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has double since the recession, driven by strong yields (compared to other hard assets), strong portfolio performance and a stable end-user credit environment. I believe this trend will continue into 2013 as economic growth continues throughout the country.

From a product offering standpoint, I believe there will be a widening of the divide between “full service” and “traditional” leasing lessors. The cost of funds that bank-owned lessors have will continue to be a competitive advantage over non-bank lessors, and I believe we will continue to see non-bank lessors use endof-term practices and tactics in order to remain competitive on an upfront price perspective.

Neary: We see the finance industry continue to become even more competitive. The winners will not necessarily be the ones with the biggest balance sheet but those that can create a value proposition built around the dealer that is focused on technology, cost efficiency and understanding the changes in the dealer marketplace.

One of the other biggest challenges to the finance industry will be the proposed changes to lease accounting standards. It could have a significant impact in the role of finance companies in the office technology industry. A fresh draft of proposed changes to the lease-accounting standard is expected by year-end. Unless there is major protest, the proposal will become the global standard as soon as late 2013. Verkinderen: We think our clients will see a very competitive landscape that will present them with more options. We have experienced some very nice momentum in our business over the last quarter and expect that to continue as we move into 2013. We believe the industry is healthy; however, lack of discipline in the finance space has certainly caused some volatility. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Our goal has always been to give our clients the best product possible while making sure it is sustainable for the long haul. We share these customers with our dealers for many years so it is important that we treat them right and remain consistent.

Clark: It’s difficult to predict the future state of the finance industry, which is affected by a wide variety of factors, both domestic and international. Let me share a few more insights from our recent survey of U.S. companies. Sixtyfive percent of the CFOs we surveyed said that credit availability from their current lender has stayed the same, an increase of eight points from a year ago. Seventy-two percent believe the cost of capital will remain the same in the next 12 months, with only 18 percent predicting an increase. This shows that most CFOs are not particularly concerned about the availability of capital or about the cost of capital these days.

We listen carefully to what our customers tell us and we also pay attention to these kinds of insights. I can tell you that we’re going to continue to support the middle market with more than just financing, focusing on our deep domain expertise and our technological innovations. u

Scott Cullen is a regular contributing editor for ENX and has been covering the office technology industry since 1986.


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BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

By Frank Topinka & Amy Jaffe

The Art of Change Management “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

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— Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1532)

hange Management. Many of you reading this may cringe at the sight or sound of these two words. But the truth is, we live in a world where customers are increasingly demanding and technology is constantly evolving. As the speed of change continues to increase, it’s hard to keep your head above the water. To survive and thrive in this environment, it is imperative that business owners and managers understand what change management is and how to effectively bring about changes in their organizations.

Change management is the process of helping individuals and your organization transition from the current state to the desired state. The change may affect internal processes and systems or may alter the way in which you deliver services to your customers.

The office technology industry is certainly no stranger to change. Over the last decade, many of you have made drastic changes to your business model in order to transition your business from a copier sales organization to one that offers Managed Print Services. Some of you may still be in the midst of this changeover and others of you may have mastered MPS and are now looking to expand your business into the MS market. Why have some of you been more successful than others in transitioning your business to MPS? Do the more successful businesses understand MPS better? Not necessarily. My guess is that the more successful companies have managed to implement and maintain a 46

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change process allowing them to adapt to the new environmental landscape of MPS. These companies have been successful at selling the change process to their employees and getting their employees to buy into the transition.

The dynamics of change on people are numerous, and you can recognize resistance to change in many ways. It is important to note that: • People are uncomfortable with change

• People will resist

• People will feel stress

• People think change is a problem • People are at different levels in accepting change

• People will think “we can’t do that”

• People will revert back to the old way of doing things at every opportunity

The change process all of us go through when faced with a changing situation was identified by Dr. E. Kubler Ross years ago. The change process is as follows: • Denial – no it’s not happening • Anger – disgruntled employee

• Bargaining – trying to negotiate out of the change • Depression – sullen

• Acceptance – you’ve made it

Some of us go through the change process quickly, and some of us never get beyond anger. Change means life, no change means death, and slowing change is simply suicide. Change brings problems and solutions, but it also brings employee conflict and stress. So what way is there to mitigate the pain in change and get the results promised by changing the way things are done? First you need to understand that sucWe Saw It In ENX Magazine

cessful change management requires these five big elements:

• Effective Communication

• Full and Active Executive Support • Employee Involvement

• Organizational Planning and Analysis • A Widespread Perceived Need for Change

Change needs to be understood and managed in a way that people can cope with it. The people affected by the change must be involved in the change process. You must regularly engage with your employees and clearly explain why change is necessary; share your ultimate goals with them and outline the roadmap you plan to take to accomplish these goals. It’s important to have measurable goals so you can track and communicate your progress towards your goals. This communication needs to take place face to face; emails and memos are extremely weak at conveying and developing understanding. Be sure to deal with the people involved in the change process with patience, respect and support. And remember that there is no such thing as over communication when you are transitioning your business. You must also understand that employees do not have the responsibility to make change – that’s management’s job. Change, however, must involve those doing the work and must not be imposed on them. In my opinion, it is critical to your success to involve your employees in the change process. The more you encourage them to make suggestions and provide feedback, the more buy-in you will have which will lead to greater long-term success for your company. The most effective way to facilitate this is to use a workshop format to develop collective understanding, approach methods, policies, ideas and systems. continued on 48


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The Art of Change Management Empower your employees to find their own solutions and responses.

Successful change must involve top management as well. Either they must lead or step aside. It is management’s role to support the change efforts. Oftentimes there is a champion (change agent) who integrates the change by being visionary, persuasive and consistent. A change agent role is usually responsible for translating the vision to a plan and then implementing the plan. Below are some guidelines for change:

• Consider using a consultant possessing continuous improvement credentials.

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• Communicate the change process to everyone involved.

• Hold change workshop meetings where process and systems are mapped.

• Establish base line data and measurement. • Gain commitment through the mapping process.

• Implement the change. • Measure progress. • Celebrate success.

Change Management is not easy, but it’s a skill every successful business owner needs to master in order to stay ahead. Change is inevitable so why not embrace it? u Frank Topinka(Frank.topinka@nprn.net) has more than 20 years of hands-on We Saw It In ENX Magazine

experience in all phases of management, operations, production, sales, marketing, quality, profit and loss. Topinka also has 10 years experience in MPS. Currently, he serves as president of the National Printer Repair Network, a consortium of like businesses providing quality laser printer repairs across the country and Canada.

Amy Jaffe has over twelve years of indepth marketing and operations experience in the managed print services industry. She worked at IKON NYC for nine years in a variety of capacities, including marketing and sales operations and currently works independently to develop marketing strategies for managed print services providers. Contact Amy at (917) 693-8304 or ajaffe@jaffedesign.com.

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By Ronelle Ingram

SERVICE MANAGEMENT

Improving Field and Helpline Staff’s Questioning and Listening Skills

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here is more to trouble shooting than just figuring out what is wrong with the way a piece of equipment is functioning. In today’s world of MPS, document management, software integration, security, cloud and retrieve services; there is more to repair than just hardware.

Being able to figure out exactly what problem the end user is having can be a game of 20 questions. Learning to ask very specific questions that can quickly and accurately determine exactly what situation is causing which undesirable consequence can be time consuming and frustrating to both the tech and the client.

Just as most service managers provide ongoing technical training for their staff, great service managers take the time to train their technical staff to ask the appropriate questions in a non-threatening manner.

The task of asking non-accusatory, probing questions is an art. It must be practiced and perfected. Following are a few easy guidelines that will enable your field and hotline techs to question your clients in a friendly, professional and collaborative manner.

When a tech needs to acquire more specific information from an end user in order to better determine what needs to be repaired, modified or changed; non-accusatory, open-ended questions will improve the tech’s chance of success.

When asking probing questions, be aware of the level of interest and energy being generated by the person being asked the question. If the questioner receives little response or interest to the questions, try a different question asked from a different point of view. Do not keep repeating the same question.

Train your staff to use neutral words such as challenge, situation, occurrence, condition, or circumstance when they are discussing

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service call related issues with the end user. Words techs should avoid when asking about what specifically is happening include: problem, trouble, dilemma, recurrence, breakdown, or difficulty. Subconsciously both the tech and the customer will have a more negative view of the situation when harsh words are used. The use of situational terms establishes a professional, positive approach to the working atmosphere. Start by asking questions that will clarify the issues involved. Often the end user will provide a three minute dissertation on what business problem was caused by the malfunction. The tech’s responsibility is to sift through the rhetoric and rephrase the situation in a way that simplifies and clarifies the conditions involved. Depending on the how the end user reacts to your summation, the tech can ask for additional information or respond with ‘Did I understand your concerns accurately?’

When clarifying the situation, refrain from making inquirers to the customer as to why they did or did not do something. The use of the why can be perceived by the customer as accusatory. Direct eye contact or an overly accusing ‘Why did you do that?’ can cause the client to mentally withdraw from the discussion and stop sharing their view of the situation. Instead, the tech can comment with ‘I never thought of doing it that way’ or ‘I see how that could have happened’ in a straightforward, non-sarcastic voice.

The tech’s responsibility is to quickly and accurately identify and clarify the situation. When appropriate, ask the end user to elaborate on what happened just before the situation occurred. By building consensus with the user, the customer will feel involved with the solving of the situation. Once the customer is personally committed to helping the tech discover the key issues, they are able to work as a team to rectify the situation. Clients are less likely to feel animosity toward the equipment or software when they are included in the repair process. A tech that respectfully includes the user’s input into the repair enables the customer to become a useful partner in the overall success of the fix.

This team building technique also establishes an ongoing working relationship with the client for future interactions. A customer that is treated with respect and gratitude for helping create a quick and positive outcome to a service request becomes a valuable member of the repair team. It is the tech’s responsibility to create an atmosphere of positive collaboration between the client and the servicing company.

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The tech is also responsible to actively listen as the client answers their questions. If a user’s answers do not seem appropriate, re-ask the question in a different way. It is the questioner’s responsibility to ask the right questions to receive helpful answers.

Listening skills are equally important as questioning skills. Techs must be prepared to actively listen. This begins with eye contact. When talking with a female, their comfort level is to talk face to face, standing parallel to the other person about 3 to 7 feet apart. Males find it instinctively more comfortable to talk at a 10° - 20° angle about 8 to 12 inches apart in a shoulder-toshoulder position. When the option is appropriate, sit across from the woman or sit next to the man when you are asking questions or training. Teaching your techs to be aware of the subconscious comfort level of the client increases the overall rapport that can be built. Ultimately the emotionally comfortable client will be more inclined to build a successful working partnership.

Once the tech learns to stand or sit at the listener’s comfort position, establish non-threatening eye contact. Look at the person you are questioning. Not a heavy glare, but friendly direct eye contact. I teach my techs to be prepared with a small notebook and pen so they can take notes. This impresses the customer because taking notes reinforces the importance of what is being said. It also makes it easy for the tech to repeat back the important points that have been discussed. At the end of a helpline call or an in-person meeting, the tech can refer back to these notes and explain how each item has been accomplished. Taking notes also establishes a back and forth eye contact.

When asking questions to clarify the exact issue that is being addressed, nodding your head and a gentle smile of agreement also reassures the client that you are paying attention and placing value on what they are explaining. And of course, when working closely with a customer, make sure your cell phone ringer is muted and refrain from chewing gum or wearing sunglasses.

Improving your field and helpline staff’s questioning and listening ability will increase the overall effectiveness, professionalism and profitability of your service department. Take the time in an upcoming service meeting to talk with your staff about techniques that can help them ask appropriate questions with ease and proficiency. 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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By Brian Henderson

HARDWARE FOCUS

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Multifunction Devices – Bigger Isn’t Always Better

raditionally, businesses seeking copy functionality in the office had one choice – purchase or lease a bulky, expensive copier. As technology has evolved and businesses better understand the value of high-speed, fully featured multifunction printers (MFPs), they have choices. Unfortunately, requirements and procurement have not kept up with the changes in technology.

In the old days, bigger was better because copier-like devices were costly. Companies were limited in the number of devices they could purchase and thus needed to ensure that all of the features they may require were included in each machine. Those features included handling tabloid-sized paper (otherwise known as 11”x17” or A3) and finishing options, such as stapling and hole punching. As needs evolved and content became more accessible electronically versus on paper, the need for paper copies has diminished dramatically.

These changes result from businesses becoming accustomed to viewing presentations on projectors without paper hand-outs, information being moved via email instead of paper copies, and the acceptance of viewing information on tablets and laptops. The movement of information electronically — only reproduced on paper where and when needed — has led to a shift of paper needs from copiers to printers. Over the last decade, pages have progressed from the central production and reprographic centers to printers that are distributed around the office environment and meet employee needs.

During this paper transition, the traditional printer, which handles legal and letter-size paper, has evolved to provide businesses with speed and robustness in a less expensive, more compact and fully functional MFP. This type of printer is often referred to as a smart A4 MFP and often includes features such as traditional walk-up copy, scanning, faxing, and printing.

Smart A4 MFP Does It All

What differentiates these smart MFPs is their capacity to copy and scan in speeds up to 70 pages per minute and print the first page in as quickly as four seconds. If the speed isn’t impressive enough, the intelligence built into smart MFPs has advanced so tremendously in recent years that they now offer advanced productivity enhancements, such as scanning documents directly to email or starting a workflow right from the touch screen. It is the perfect enabler to business growth.

These smart MFPs have a platform built into their operation that can run applications and be configured to meet the needs of unique processes for the various workgroups within business organizations. These applications can work directly on the MFP, join the MFP to server applications, or link the MFP to a cloud52

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based application, giving IT organizations the flexibility to implement any way that they choose. The MFP process can be customized to a specific workflow — metadata is captured at the time of scanning in order for the document to be indexed and routed to the right place for easy management and retrieval.

Smart MFPs don’t just help employees become more effective and productive; they also assist the IT staff in saving money and implementing business process improvement more easily because the MFP applications are pre-integrated with most enterprise business systems (such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle) and content management systems (FileNet, Hyland, Hummingbird, etc). Having integration completed by the MFP manufacturer means that IT organizations do not have to accept the long amount of time and large expenses associated with writing point-to-point data interfaces.

The impact on business performance can be dramatic. In a national recruiting organization with over 1,500 locations, the implementation of reliable scanning capability with automatic indexing reduced the time to process recruits from 1 hour to 15 minutes, enabling an additional 65,000 hours of recruiting time back to the organization without having to add people. This organization moved from not meeting annual recruiting goals to being successful in meeting all goals. They also changed their infrastructure from having a combination of printers and large A3 copiers to a more efficient infrastructure of MFPs in each location. By making this change, they reduced their expenses by $10M over three years as a result of the improved infrastructure.

Getting the Requirements Right

Businesses ultimately need to be more productive and grow, and the intelligence of smart MFPs can play a pivotal role in enabling these goals. But, because the specifications of MFPs have not evolved with the technology, some businesses still focus only on the hardware itself. Simply optimizing devices for cost per page and speed does not address the fundamental shift in business needs.

When we focus on our business objectives and on maximizing the productivity of our largest investment – our people – we realize that the requirements for these devices need to be centered on the way they will be used to increase the productivity of the workforce. This means we need to focus on enabling workflow and processes more than the speed or costs. The smart MFP is built with an application platform that is designed solely for the purpose of enabling business processes and accomplishing our business objectives.

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HARDWARE FOCUS

Eliminate a Lot of Waste

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Several studies show that less than three percent of documents printed use tabloid-size paper. When more than 20 percent of the devices being purchased are built for this size of paper, businesses have a mismatch. This represents wasted money, wasted space and wasted opportunity. Consequently, smart A4 MFPs are replacing these devices because they are less expensive and have added functionality to automate workflows that drive business performance. This demonstrates an incongruity between what is purchased by companies versus what their true operational use demands.

Additional waste is incurred in the way that traditional, copier-like devices are procured. They are typically leased with maintenance contracts that are paid on a monthly basis with a promise of a very low cost per page. The catch with this approach is that these contracts require a minimum number of pages to be purchased in monthly payments, which means that most of the time companies are paying for more than what they actually use. Even though the promised cost per page is extremely low, the actual cost per page ends up being much higher than market price. With this type of contract, as employees use less paper, companies do not reduce their expenses, making this method of procurement wasteful.

Finally, many companies are trying to reduce the amount of space being used within their office environment. A3-size copiers are much larger than the smart A4 MFPs; therefore, businesses that adopt the smaller devices in lieu of larger copiers save space because they are able to fit the machine in smaller spaces.

The Right Balance and Function

With smart MFPs, implementations can be executed in a way that optimize the entire office environment and promote business growth. When implemented with network-based print release capabilities, offices have built in redundancy, which eliminates the need for expensive same day service requirements. When procured in a manner that allows companies to only pay for the pages they actually use, waste is eliminated.

Network print release allows a company’s users to send a document or presentation to a server instead of the printer. The user then can go to any printer or MFP on the network that is enabled with print release and use their ID badge or network login to view and print the document. This ensures that confidential information is always protected and confidential documents do not end up in the wrong hands. Additionally, network print release allows users to delete print jobs that are not necessary; therefore, when versions have been changed or when employees realize that they printed the wrong document, those print jobs can be deleted and paper is not wasted. Businesses that use network print release have seen their paper usage decrease as much as 50 percent. One Fortune 1000 company implemented print release and reduced their

print volumes by 48 percent on an annual basis.

Print release functionality also ensures that employees can obtain their documents from the printer even if their primary printer is down or busy. The prints can be claimed from a different device without the need for downloading drivers or trying to determine how to map to another device. This is not the case with large, A3-size copiers – if one is not working, it must be repaired, as it is usually the only option for a given employee. This is why expensive, same-day maintenance contracts have been put in place. With an optimized use of the machines, companies can eliminate these maintenance contracts and pay just for what they need.

While most businesses recognize there is not a particularly high demand for tabloid printing or copying, there are still times when users need this paper size. The focus, however, should be on the functionality of the devices enabling business growth rather than just purchasing a commodity item.

The new dynamic is to work smarter, enabled by a smarter device, which will save businesses more money while increasing employee productivity and effectiveness.u

Brian Henderson is Lexmark’s Director of Worldwide Product Marketing and is responsible for the strategy and roadmap for Lexmark’s hardware

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By Andy Slawetsky

FLASH REPORT

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Is MPS Killing the Print Industry?

anaged Print Services (MPS) is everywhere. Every print manufacturer has a program. Vendors, branches, dealers and VARs offer it and even big box retail stores like Staples now provide MPS. It’s spawned an entire industry of solutions and software companies, newsletters, blogs and more. But has MPS lived up to its hype? The short answer is “no.”

The notion of MPS on its own seems to make sense. Use your relationship with your MFP customers to put their printers under contract to increase your monthly clicks. Manage their print while educating them on costs, economical printing, etc. How can that be bad?

When MPS took off a few years ago and printer manufacturers began to develop programs to support their dealers, I couldn’t help but wonder how this concept would eventually impact them. While these programs may differ from one vendor to another, in a way, they’re all exactly the same; you basically put your customer’s MIF, including brands that you don’t sell, under one contract and support these competitive devices with non-OEM supplies. The idea was that eventually the competitive devices would consolidate or be replaced with your brand over the course of the contract. Brilliant! Except it wasn’t.

Manufacturers opened a virtual Pandora’s box of problems that are not going away anytime soon. Dealers quickly realized how much higher the margins were on non-OEM supplies. The other issue is that they found out that non-OEM supplies worked. How did this happen? First, the MPS programs that the printer manufacturers brought to the dealers included an introduction to non-OEM supplies manufacturers so that the dealer could support competitive devices. It almost seems ridiculous that a printer manufacturer would introduce their dealer to a non-OEM vendor, but that’s what happened. Assuming a positive experience with the non-OEM supplies in competitive equipment, dealers would naturally wonder how well these supplies worked in their own MFPs and printers.

And despite what we see in some of the skewed and flawed reports out there comparing the reliability of genuine vs. nonOEM cartridges, if these supplies didn’t work you wouldn’t be using them and your manufacturers wouldn’t be partnering with these non-OEM manufacturers. I’m not suggesting that all non-genuine supplies are of the same standard. There are some really bad ones out there. But let’s be real—non-OEM supplies offer considerably higher margins and greater profits than genuine OEM. Another thing that dealers did may have caught their printer vendors by surprise. Many of them started replacing existing printers not with their own brand, but with remanufactured 54

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printers and MFPs. Why did this occur? Because it was easier to sell a remanufactured HP and the margins are higher on both the hardware and the supplies than with a new product from their primary brand. So what did MPS accomplish for the manufacturers?

1. Exposed their dealer channel to the non-OEM industry 2. Provided credibility to the non-OEM industry

3. Exposed their dealer channel to the profitability of remanufactured equipment I’m sure some people reading at this point will point to the multimillion-dollar deals that manufacturers are signing. In fact, Lexmark just signed one for $20 million last week, Xerox has announced several this year including one with the U.K. government for over $10 million. There is no shortage of big deals. And dealers offering MPS have grabbed their fair share of MPS contracts at albeit lower price tags.

The very nature of MPS conditions customers to expect cost savings. While they may not expect 40% reductions each time they sign a contract, they will often go with what they feel is the most cost effective (cheapest) offer. In the past, contracts were often departmentalized and it wasn’t uncommon for a customer to have no clue what they were paying each month for all of their copiers and printers. MPS and site surveys have given them a bottom line to work with. In a typical MPS engagement, your team will use sophisticated software to analyze the customer’s print volume. This information will be used to determine a cost per page (CPP) that you will then offer that customer based on their actual monthly volume. The customer knows what they’re printing, they can reroute prints to more cost effective devices and can keep tabs on their TCO. But what really happens is customers now have a single number to shop around and while you won this deal with razor thin margins, three years down the road someone else is going to walk through that customer’s door and tell them, “What are you paying per page? I’ll beat it.” And just like that, you’re out.

OK, so maybe you survive that second contract negotiation after making some concessions and reducing your price, possibly by relying on non-OEM toner for your products, which you didn’t have to do under the first contract. Where do you go from here? You’re in trouble because the next time that contract comes up the same thing is going to happen. Not only is

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it likely someone will undercut you, but now your customer is expecting another reduction. You’re toast.

Another issue that we don’t necessarily consider is the effect all this has on the customer. They may be spending $50,000/month on printing, but since it’s done departmentally, it’s likely the customer has never seen all of their printing costs on one invoice. Once they do, they may become overly aggressive in cutting those costs, to the point where they’re actively trying to cut or limit printing. In the end, the easiest way for them to reduce their costs is to find a vendor that will provide a lower CPP, which means you either lose your margins or lose your customer altogether.

We’re already seeing this dynamic at work, as margins, while healthy during the initial contract, are lower on subsequent contracts with the same customer.

MPS gross margins are falling and we’ve clearly identified a few of the reasons why already. But how far will they go? They’re still better than gross margins for selling a copier or printer on its own. Incidentally, when we discuss gross margins we’re talking about profit as it relates to the selling price for all three components – hardware, service and supplies.

The chart above shows that MPS gross margins are still better than those found with traditional CPP contracts. However,

Source: Annual Dealer Strategies Report, Industry Analysts, Inc.

while traditional CPP gross margins have held steady over the last four years, MPS gross margins have been falling. The chart below illustrates projected MPS gross margins should the current rate of decline continue.

According to our research, if MPS margins continue to decline at their current rate, they will be even with gross margins found on traditional CPP contracts by 2016. By 2020, they will be about 33%, several points lower.

This may be why many dealers are giving up on MPS. Although the percentage of dealers offering MPS has

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Is MPS Killing the Print Industry? For example, maybe I have 20 MFPs at a customer location and I’m supporting 30 printers through T&M. My proposal will call out the monthly volume for those 20 MFPs but there will be no cost assigned to the printers even though there’s revenue coming in from the supplies and maintenance for those devices. On the other hand, my competitor’s proposal will include those devices so my price will be lower because I’m only supporting the 20 MFPs, not 50 devices as they’re recommending. I tell the customer I’m only servicing the devices and sending toner when they need service and toner.

Source: Annual Dealer Strategies Report, Industry Analysts, Inc.

increased steadily over the last four years (see chart below), we have been surprised by the number of large dealers that have told us they are giving it up.

At a meeting a while back, Jim D’Emidio, President of Muratec, suggested that dealers simply place stickers on competitive printers that said, “Call this number for service.” While it seemed like a joke at the time (it wasn’t), the more I think about it, the more brilliant I think this strategy is. Let’s play this through.

Instead of pushing a customer to sign a contract encompassing their entire fleet, what if you supported the printers on time and materials (T&M) and fulfilled their supplies requirements as needed (out of box) instead of through a CPP contract? This will resolve several issues inherent to MPS contracts. First, since the devices aren’t under a single contract, you’re protected from the competition walking into your account and undercutting you. In fact, you may find you’re the one doing the undercutting. When the competition puts all the devices in a single contract, they’ve put a number in front of that customer – one you can beat. 56

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www.enxmag.com l November 2012

One of the biggest issues with MPS is that true cost per page you’re providing. That magic number you’re giving your customer is what’s killing you. You’re giving them the ability to shop you and there is always someone who will offer your customer a better deal. Yes you provide better service. Yes they’ve been with you for years. But we have all lost deals on cost.

Under the sticker program, you’re still providing the fleet with service and supplies. And as those T&M printers need to be replaced, you can replace them with your brand and put them under your contract. It’s still MPS, but this way, you’re protected from being undercut. You’re also making it difficult for your customer to come back to you after three years, telling you they want it for less because your price has always gone down. Even though the new deal may have a few extra MFPs and printers added to it as you replace legacy T&M machines, they should expect to pay a little more since they’re adding more devices to the contract.

This sticker idea isn’t only for SMB customers. Even the likes of Xerox and HP could benefit from this approach, for all the reasons we discussed. At the end of the day, the worst thing you can do is to give that customer a flat quote with which to shop you. That’s why solutions and services have become so critical. It’s a way to bury the costs as part of a bigger contract. It’s too hard to create apples to apples comparisons when you include a solution in the deal. But when it’s just prints, finding someone to give you a lower price is easy.

MPS was supposed to be the saving grace for the print industry. Instead, it’s killing it. Vendors are losing millions to non-OEM manufacturers. MPS margins are steadily falling and within a few years, they may not provide you with enough to cover your costs, let alone earn a profit. We all wanted MPS to be the silver bullet. All I can say is, be careful what you wish for. u By Andy Slawetsky, President, Industry Analysts, Inc. Visit www.industryanalysts.com for more info on the company.

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


STATE OF BUSINESS

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continued from 22

Secrets To Penetrating The Production Print Marketplace

model that would in all probability prove to be a losing proposition. You need to make sure the marketplace offers the potential to justify the expense.”

“Make the investment,” adds Systel’s Aul. “It’s increased profitability, increased service contract sales, increased supply sales, and production print hardware sales. Given the advances in technology the sale isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be.”

Perry Corporation’s Stirratt agrees. “Respect and understand the people you’re talking to. I always tell our sales reps, if you’re walking into a print shop, understand that the production print equipment you’re trying to sell them is not like a copier. This is what puts food on their table, buys their house, buys their car; it’s their livelihood, and if you respect that fact and communicate that in such a way, you can bring down so many defenses about the product. They need to realize you’re interested in their well being and not just trying to sell them something.” u

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Jared Zander Alberto Herrera ~ Sales Dallas, Texas International 866-503-2679 Se Habla Espanol - Dallas, Texas 972-503-0100 866-503-2679 I 972-503-0100 jzander@copierpoint.com aherrera@copierpoint.com

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W EST C OAST P LATEN

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

November 2012 l www.enxmag.com l

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ENX Display Advertiser Index ACM 03 Authorized National Copystar, Konica Minolta & Toshiba Distributor for Copiers, Printers, Faxes, Supplies and Parts Phone: 800-722-7745 Fax: 800-767-9722 askacm@acmtech.com www.acmtech.com All Leasing Services 19 Repo/Offlease Copiers, Printers and Faxes Phone: 866-727-3750 Phone: 949-727-3750 Fax: 949-727-3850 bids@alscopiers.com www.alscopiers.com Asia Imaging Fair December 6-7, 2012 Pasadena Convention Center Pasadena, CA Phone: 626-213-2636 http://aiflosangeles2012.eventbrite.com

67

BEI Services Copier and Service Department Benchmarking, Technician Compensation and Territory Mapping Phone: 307-587-8446 sales@beiservices.com www.beiservices.com

05

Carolina Wholesale One of the largest office machine and supply distributors in the United States. Phone: 800-521-4600 Fax: 800-356-9169 sales@cwholesale.com www.cwholesale.com

53

CIT Phone: 800-245-0506 cit.com/vendorfinance

41

Copier Careers Copier Employment Placement Phone: 888-733-4868 Fax: 800-464-3434 mail@copiercareers.com www.CopierCareers.com

71

Copier Network Coast to Coast Service Extensive Canon and Ricoh Selection Phone: (510) 746-2080 www.copiernetwork.com sales@copiernetwork.com

27

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

50

Direct Precise Imaging Consistently Delivers 100% USA made Product Toner Compatibles Phone: 888-376-7311 www.directpreciseimaging.com

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DocuWare Corporation Build your solutions department & watch your profit grow Phone: 888-565-5907 dwsales@docuware.com www.docuware.com

36

ECi FMAudit 02 Remote meter reading and Managed Print Services Phone: 800-440-8664 ext. 89172 fmaudit@ECiSolutions.com www.fmaudit.com Electronic Business Machines Copiers/Printers Parts & Supplies Phone: 800-832-6522 Fax: 859-281-6328 www.ebmky.com

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Equipment Brokers Unlimited Phone: 800-711-2815 ext. 4017 Phone: 818-298-9304 dmarder@ebu-llc.com

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Escalera Copier Moving Devices Phone: 800-622-1359 Phone: 530-673-6318 Fax: 530-673-6376 www.escalera.com

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Esha Your Success Is Our Business Phone: 800-551-ESHA sales@eshacorp.com

73

ESP The Global Leader in Energy Intelligence Technology. Phone: 800-645-9721 www.espei.com

29

Express Sales 35 & 63 Samsung Authorized BTA Distributor Phone: 877-777-5001 www.escorp.biz

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

November 2012

Frontier Imaging 41 Distributor of Copier, Printer & Fax Supplies Phone: 888-530-8811 Fax: 310-898-2788 www.frontierimaging.com Fuchsbag Discover The Market Leader In Airbag Packaging Phone: 323-522-5625 sales@fuchsbag.com www.fuchsbag.com

33

Great America Leasing 39 Managed Print Services, Remote Monitoring Software or Managed IT Solutions Phone: 800-234-8787 Greater Philadelphia Equipment Co. Copiers, Accessories, Fax Options & Print Controllers Phone: 215-788-7111 Fax: 215-788-4445 gpec1@verizon.com

37

I.C.E. International Copier Exchange Wholesaler of Copiers Phone: 888-423-2679 www.copierpoint.com

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IDS-International Digital Solutions Authorized Toshiba Distributor for Copiers, Printers, Fax OEM Parts & Supplies Phone: 888-372-3700 Fax: 562-921-1167 suzannecarter@idswc.com sales@idswc.com

17

InkCycle Phone: 877-894-8387 www.inkcycle.com

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Impact Technology World Class Copier Remarketer Phone: 866-848-4900 www.offleasecopiers.com

43

Industry Analyst Want To Close More Deals? Phone: 585-232-5320 info@industryanalysts.com www.industryanalysts.com

67

Ink Direct Genuine OEM Supplies Phone: 714-775-8255 Fax: 714-775-5234 www.inkdirects.com

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Intercom Exporting Inc Minolta Copiers, Parts & Supplies Phone: 800-960-1119 Main: 954-978-2121 Miami: 305-757-7878 Fax: 954-978-2412 sales@intercomcopiers.com www.intercomcopiers.com

51

ISC When In Doubt, Check It Out! Phone: 941-961-7897 www.ISC-Inc.org

47

ITC Premium Quality/Competitive Pricing/Full Inventory Phone: 877-933-5558 Fax: 610-430-1300 itctoner@gmail.com www.itcsupplies.com

Jamex Copier/Printer/Fax Vending Applications Phone: 800-289-6550 Fax: 607-257-1139 www.jamexvending.com

49

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Katun 25 Your Trusted Source for Copier Supplies Is Also Your Best Option for HP Compatibles! www.katun.com Lasertone Phone: 800-700-0733 www.LasertoneUSA.com

04

Mambo Trading Phone: 877-Mambo76 (626-2676) Fax: 562-663-9037 ask@mambo-trading.com

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Mars International Wholesaler of Pre-Owned Copiers Phone: 866-866-MARS (6277) Phone: 973-777-5886 Fax: 973-777-5889 www.marsintl.com

11

Midwest Copier Exchange Used Copier Wholesaler Waukegan, IL: 800-863-3693 Chicago, IL : 847-249-7011 Orlando, FL: 407-856-5678 Baltimore, MD: 410-381-5990 Santiago, Chile: 562 48 153 77 www.midwestcopier.com

31

Managed Print Services Association Contact: Joe Barganier Phone: 614-882-4121 buckeyefenn@att.net www.yourMPSA.com

63

MWA Intelligence, Inc. Phone: 800-875-2371 sales@mwaintel.com www.mwaintelligence.com

07

Nation Wide Repair Service Complete Office Equipment Repair Service Phone: 866-655-8676 Tech Support: 800-798-1814 www.nwrsinc.com

Nectron Phone: 281-240-2222 Fax: 281-240-0468 info@nectron.com www.nectron.com

23

Niche Equipment Office Machines & Supplies Distributor Phone: 630-629-9220 Phone:877-446-4243 Fax: 630-629-6790 www.nichee.net

45

Ninestar Technology Co,. Ltd. Phone: 800-817-0688 Phone: 626-965-6662 Fax: 626-965-6667 Sales@ggimageusa.com

55

65

NuWorld Business Systems 12 - 16 Copier, Printer, Fax & Business Machine Supplies Phone: 800-729-8320 Fax: 800-829-0292 info@nuworldinc.com www.nuworldinc.com Office Land OEM Parts for Copiers and Printers Phone: 818-778-0100 Fax: 818-778-0101 www.officeland.ws

69

OKI Phone: 800-Okidata (654-3282) www.Okidata.com/TMP

08

Parrot Distributing Authorized Panasonic Panaboards and Printers Wholesale Distributor Phone: 800-451-3336 Phone: 423-855-1405 Fax: 423-855-1434 www.parrotdistributing.com

45

Parts Drop Copier Parts, Supplies, & Tech info. Phone: 201-387-7776 www.partsdrop.com

67

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Printer Essentials Industry Leading Direct Importer and Wholesaler of Compatible Imaging and Power Supply Products Phone: 800-965-1180 Fax: 775-850-2630 sales@PrinterEssentials.com www.PrinterEssentials.com

06

ReChina Asia Expo November 28-30, 2012 Shanghai, China Phone: +86-21-6289-5385 Fax: +86-21-6247-2950 info@rechinaexpo.com www.rechinaexpo.com

72

Ross International Buy and Sell Used Copiers Phone: 800-240-7677 Phone: 973-365-9900 Fax: 973-473-8800 purchase@ross-international.com www.ross-international.com

11

Seine Technology 57 The Worlds Leading Toner Remanufacturer Phone: 909-869-0730 Fax: 909-869-0736 sales@seinetecusa.com www.seinetecusa.com Supplies Network Phone: 800-729-9300 Fax: 800-729-9312 sales@suppliesnetwork.com www.suppliesnetwork.com

21

Supplies Wholesaler 74 & 75 The Cartridge Experts Phone: 866-817-8795 sales@SuppliesWholesalers.com www.SuppliesWholesalers.com Toshiba Copier / Print Manufacturer Phone: 800-GO TOSHIBA www.toshiba.com

76

Uninet West Coast: 424-675-3300 East Coast: 631-590-1040 sales@uninetimaging.com www.uninetimaging.com

09

World Of Fax 62 Fax, Copiers & Laser Printer Parts Specialist Phone: 1-800-634-9329 Fax: 1-866-FAX-PARTS WorldOfFax.com CopierPartsStore.com

November 2012 l www.enxmag.com

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ENX Business Card Directory

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November 2012 l www.enxmag.com l

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By Britt Horvat

TECHNICAL TIPS

Xerox 7328 Family: DV and Toner

A

Dealing with Developer and Toner dispense problems on Xerox models: WorkCentre 7328/7335/7345/7346 (also 7228/7235/7245)

few months back we took a good look at the WC-7328 family of full color copier / multifunction machines. That article went into the diagnostic mode and explored the rather full range of diagnostic functions available from the control panel. This month we’ll look at how to manage issues with the Toner Cartridges and developer units.

First let’s talk Toner Cartridges. The machines initially came with the original “Fuji” cartridge part numbers: 6R01280 (black), 6R01281 (yellow), 6R01282 (magenta), and 6R01283 (cyan). Then the cartridges folks buy here in the U.S. are 6R01175 (black), 6R01176 (yellow), 6R01177 (magenta), and 6R01178 (yellow). The two sets of cartridges are interchangeable with one another.

New Toner Cartridges do not have a CRUM chip nor a fuse on them as you might expect. Instead they signal to the machine that they’re new cartridges, using a physical actuator which pushes a switch. On the rear end of the cartridge, on top, you will see a metallic piece which changes positions whenever the toner dispense first kicks in. As the coupling at the rear of the cartridge begins to turn, the metallic piece gets pushed away from the center, towards the top edge of the cartridge. This metallic piece pushes the “new cartridge switch” in the machine.

If a new cartridge is installed and it fails to push the “new cartridge switch,” the machine goes into a fault code: 009-390 (for black), 009-391/392/393 (for Cyan/Magenta/Yellow) and must be reset manually from diagnostics. The Service Manual is a little vague and a tad bit confusing on which NVM (Non Volatile Memory) codes need to be reset to clear the fault codes. In the procedure for these fault codes, they tell you that if the metallic actuator did not move out to the top edge of the cartridge, you should move it up by hand and then go and reset what they call the “Accumulative Dispense Time” back to “0.”

Looking at the list of memory codes in the service manual (NVM Chain – Link codes), the ones mentioned in the procedure are not shown in the list. Instead there is another set of 4 codes which are named “Fail Dispense Unusual.” The description says the code means that when the toner dispense turned on with a new toner cartridge, it failed to shift from “new to old.” Try resetting both memory settings relating to

westcoastplaten.com

the color you’re dealing with. See the list of codes below:

To clear “New Toner Cartridge not Detected” fault codes: 009-390(K), 009-391(C), 009-392(M), 009-393(Y), reset the appropriate NVM (memory) location / locations back to “0”: Color

l

www.enxmag.com l November 2012

Description

Black

752-787

Fail Dispense Unusual (K)

Cyan

752-786

Fail Dispense Unusual (C)

Black

Cyan

752-686

752-685

Magenta 752-785 Magenta 752-684 Yellow Yellow

752-784 752-683

Accumulative Dispense Time (K)

Accumulative Dispense Time (C) Fail Dispense Unusual (M)

Accumulative Dispense Time (M) Fail Dispense Unusual (Y)

Accumulative Dispense Time (Y)

Toner Dispense problems have the potential to lead to deeper complications, especially if they were to go on unchecked. For this reason, the machine will “lock up” if it sees that the developer in the DV Unit is starving for toner. An ATC (Automatic Toner Concentration) sensing fault will be called depending on which color is having trouble. You’ll want to troubleshoot the problem. Check to be sure the Toner Dispense Motor (which drives the coupling at the rear end of the toner cartridge) is working and that nothing is clogged up preventing the toner from moving into the DV unit from the toner cartridge.

A loss of developer material in the DV Unit (or contamination of the developer) can also cause ATC Sensor Failures. If you remove the drum cartridge, you can check the mag roller to make sure it’s not getting bald from lack of developer material. Once you’ve repaired the cause of the failure, you will need to reset the Fault Code by changing a memory (NVM) setting back to ‘0’. Below are the Fault Codes and the corresponding NVM (memory) locations for each color.

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NVM chain-link Code

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Xerox 7328 Family: DV and Toner

ATC Sensor Failures – Fault Codes and Memory locations to reset: Color Black

NVM location NVM Fault Code (Reset to ‘0’ to description clear fault) 09-383

752-125

09-382

752-124

Magenta 09-381

752-123

Yellow

752-122

Cyan

09-380

ATC Sensor Failure [K] ATC Sensor Failure [C] ATC Sensor Failure [M] ATC Sensor Failure [Y]

This series uses a developer trickle system in which each new toner cartridge has a small bit of developer material mixed in with the toner. The older developer gets pushed out as the new material from the toner takes its place. The idea being that you’ll always have fresh developer in there. This makes it difficult to properly test any aftermarket toner refills or refilled cartridges because even if the compatible toner makes a glorious copy to begin with, if the developer which the manufacturer has mixed into the toner is not quite right, it’ll take 5-6 cartridges before the compatible developer replaces a majority of the original developer. If that new developer is off, the copy quality will gradually fail.

Now what happens if you have to replace a complete Developer Unit? DV units have a stated yield of approximately 650K. Be forewarned it’s a relatively big job to get one or more of the DV Units out of the machine. You have to get at them from the front end. This means removing panels, loosening up the metal front plate and removing the dispense assemblies. Once you grab a new Developer Unit, you’ll need to remove a reference tag from the label on the new unit’s ATC sensor. That tag has a 3 digit number on it. You’ll need the numbers off that tag in order to calibrate the new ATC Sensor. If you thought that the physical replacement procedure was complicated, you’ll really cringe at how complicated the ATC Sensor calibration is.

The 3 digit code can be found on the 3rd line of text on the label. The first digit will always be a “0.” To calibrate the new ATC Sensor, first enter the Diagnostic Mode (hold “0” for at least 10 seconds, then press “Start.”A password prompt will show up. Enter “6789” followed by “Confirm”. Then press the “Machine Status” button). Choose the “Tools” tab and then “System Settings” followed by “Common Service 66

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Settings” and then choose “Maintenance / Diagnostics” followed by “Max Setup.” Finally you will press the “ATC Sensor Setup” button.

Select the boxes in columns 1 and 2 of the ATC Sensor Setup screen that are for the color you are dealing with (C, M, Y, or K). Find your ATC Calibration Code (from the ATC Sensor’s tag mentioned earlier) on the chart below and enter the “Sensitivity Gradient Value” and the “Standard TC Output Default Value” in the empty fields. Press “Start” to run the routine. When it’s done, touch the “Close” button and go ahead and exit diagnostics. The machine will reboot and the new settings will be stored. ATC Sensor Calibration Chart: Sensitivity ATC Sensor Gradient Calibration Code Value

Standard TC Output Default Value

001

166

000

526

002

617

003 004 005 006 007 008 009 010 011

012 013 014 015

572 663 708 753 799 844 889 934 526 572 617 663 708 753

169 162 158 154 150 146 142 138 134 171 168 164 160 156 152

Hopefully the information here will prove helpful to you all. Have a great month and Happy Repairs everyone!u Britt works for The Parts Drop, a company which provides parts, supplies and information for Xerox brand copiers, printers and fax machines. Visit www.partsdrop.com for more info, including many of Britt’s past ENX articles.

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TECHNICAL TIPS

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TECH TIP SPECIAL EDITION: WHAT NOT TO DO

Subject: The Last Stupid Thing I Did Was…

I received a call from outside of my territory over 50 miles away (their tech was on vacation). History revealed several by-pass issues and this call was again for by-pass jamming. I decided to pull the by-pass/duplex unit off the showroom machine, which was ok’d by our salesman, with the condition if I needed parts I must replace. Not a problem, since I have done this many times before. Turns out I didn’t need any parts, because I found a sticking actuator and resolved their issue. Returning to the office, I walked around my car to remove the unit I placed on the passenger side floorboard and noticed something unsettling. The harness was hanging out of my door! The connection/harness was sheared from dragging on the ground for over 100 miles! I was wondering why everyone was honking at me! I just figured it was because I’m a Stud Muffin and everyone wanted to be me. Turns out, I’m just a Muffin Head! I tore down a finisher to replace a hard to get to solenoid and after putting the finisher back together I realized I put the original solenoid back in. The new one was still unopened. I had a squeak on a Konica B500, I sprayed all the gears, around the fuser drive, and the shaft with the rollers at the exit with oil. I found out about 2 days later, I sprayed contact cleaner and about melted everything plastic in the machine. I found out why copier guys tuck their ties into their shirts. I got sucked into a Xerox copier and pulled through the entire mechanism. I’m a bloodied, crumpled mess. It’s a wonder I can still type. I delivered a machine to a new customer and was annoyed that I had forgotten to bring extra toner, when I was sure that I had. As I drove away onto a hi-speed 68

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road, I heard this noise on my roof, only to look in the rearview mirror to see a toner cartridge bouncing along. It got hit by a car and exploded into a black cloud. He probably wonders to this day what it was and I wonder if he expected to shrink 1/7th of an inch a day (incredible shrinking man trivia).

I installed a drum blade in a Canon NP120 about 25 years ago. The blade had a metal rail to mount it. I installed it backwards and ground the surface of the drum off in one copy. I worked on a Minolta and left the front door open (cheated) while running it. I did not notice that the waste bottle system was disabled when you do that. The toner backed up and destroyed the cleaner unit and drum. A long while back when I was servicing a Sharp fax machine, I leaned a full waste toner bottle against the secretary’s desk. Then I stepped on it in such a way that it flipped with a spinning motion. This was a brand new upper crust lawyer office, you know, the kind with 8 foot high doors and everything’s gold plated. Well I tarnished it good. Toner on the girl’s desk, draperies and plush carpet. I thought I cleaned it up pretty good and then went on to finish the fax job. Fax must still be working fine....they haven’t called me back... Back in the liquid toner days, I was spraying fuser bearings with WD-40; when the quartz lamps came on, it sent a huge fireball across the ceiling of our shop....glad I wasn’t in the field. Air dusters used to be filled with an inert gas like freon, or nitrogen, but my secretary got a deal on stuff called Blow off., Turns out the stuff was Butane in a can! I was happily dusting out some coronas and optics and decided to make a test copy. The resulting EXPLOSION blew the platen glass right up in the air We Saw It In ENX Magazine

and out of the machine!

While explaining a problem to a very tall woman who ran the office, the toner waste receptacle somehow fell to the ground right in front of her and sent a shot of toner straight up the front of her. She was an executive and her pants were covered in toner. I told her not to move an inch... she didn’t. She stood there while I vacuumed her very “carefully” all up and down her pants. I cleaned the vacuum’s nozzle first and also continually after each stroke so as not to re-wipe toner back on to her legs. She was incredibly kind and cooperative throughout the procedure and her pants were perfect when I was done. And, yes, it was a bit of a bonding experience, not to mention utter humiliation on both parts. Well many moons ago in a fancy law building with very nice tile flooring, I was working on an old Canon NP50 liquid machine and needed to drain the tank. So I asked the secretary for a few empty bottles, which she didn’t have, but said I could use her metal trash can. Needless to say, I never inspected the trash can, but instead, just put the tank hose in, started emptying the tank, and started working on another part of machine, only to turn around 5 minutes later to see a river of fluid running down the hall. The trash can edge was rusted and was quite a mess to clean up... I guess it could have been worse if it was carpet... I renewed a service contract on a Sharp AR-507. Bad move! It has cost me dearly! Back in the day I was servicing a Minolta 4230 and being a nice guy, thought I would put a new bottle of toner in for them. While talking to the boss I opened the bottle, which is normally sealed, and shook it before installing. I should have left the cap on. It came out like a river of black water that splashed the entire room. It was in a hotel and they had a bunch of leftover food and desserts sitting on the table next to the copier that they had not put

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TECHNICAL TIPS

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If the flag operates correctly, you may want to try using compressed air on the sensor to clear any debris from it. If that does not work, the entire transfer guide assembly will need to be replaced. that the new firmware has been installed.u This Tech Tip is contributed by Laser Pros. Visit their website www.laserpros.com or email any question to marketing@laserpros.com.

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READERS RESPONSE

Editor’s Note: Below is a letter from a reader in response to "Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring Field Technicians" by Ronelle Ingram published in the August 2012 issue. You can read the full article at http://enxmag.com/ARCHIVES.htm and let us know whether or not you agree. Dear ENX Editor

I’m writing you this email in response to Ronelle Ingram’s article on questions to ask on job interviews.

A few of the questions and responses she wrote seem inappropriate. If you don’t mind, I will give you several examples:

Question #1: If your first assigned service call is 10 miles from the office and 20 miles from your home, what is an appropriate time to arrive at the customer’s office? Response: An applicant can give the simple answer of: “When they open; at my regular starting time; it depends on traffic; do I have to come into the office first; if my regular work day begins at 8am and the customer is open, I will be there at 8am.” Good answers will show you how the applicant will deal with a situation that requires more information and reveal their thought process. Her selection of answers suggests that she would want the tech to work for free. It is against the federal labor laws to require an employee to work off the clock. Ask Wal-Mart and Dollar General—they just lost multi-million dollar lawsuits covering this subject. If the customer is 20 miles away and the shop is 10, the tech should always come to the shop. The only time you can legally send the tech to a service call instead of the shop is if the travel time is close to identical. Question #3: Under the current (or last) dispatch system you used as a field tech, what changes could add value to the company?

Here she wants the tech to comment on proprietary information from their last or current company. The dispatch system used is or may be confidential.

Question #5: If our company offered you a pre-paid home study course to help you prepare for a CompTIA certification, how much additional compensation 70

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would you require for time spent outside of work for studying? Response: For me the appropriate answer is no additional compensation followed by, “I understand part of my job requirement is to be self-educated and keep current on technology.”

In her response she is stating outright that an employee should work for free. CompTIA or any other home study course that the service manager wants the tech to complete is work, and by law the employee must be compensated.

Question #6: Your CompTIA testing fees will only be reimbursed when you pass the certification test. Is this fair? Would you take advantage of this program? Here she is suggesting that not only should the employee do related work off the clock but pay for the course as well, which is outrageous.

There are several other problems with Ms. Ingram’s article, but you get the general gist. There is one more question and answer I would like to point out to you. There is nothing illegal in this question but it does show Ms. Ingram’s point of view as a service manager. Question #13: Have you ever recorded and been reimbursed for an inaccurate amount of miles driven and/or other travel expenses? Response: 90% of all techs have done this. A ‘yes’ answer to this question shows me they are honest.

Where did she get this information? Does she really think 90% of techs are dishonest and that answering that question “yes” makes that tech honest? An experienced service manager asking that question should want to hear a resounding, “No.” If a tech I was interviewing answered this question “yes,” they would be disqualified for employment, because I won’t hire a tech who would steal from his or her employer. I have worked in the service field since I was separated from the service in 1974. I have never lied about or rounded up my mileage reports. Not one time. I would suggest to Ms. Ingram that she surround herself with techs that display a more honest character than she is currently used to. Thanks for your time, John Costello

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TECH TIP: WHATNOT TO DO

away yet from a large meeting. It took well over an hour to vacuum the room and vicinity. The food was ruined!

The canned air post brought back memories. I left a can of compressed air on my dashboard in the summertime. You guessed it. The heat blew up the can and blew a hole through the company car’s windshield. Now I know why I started my own business. No other company would hire me. The canned air reminded me of one. WD40 or Teflon spray bottle, I forget which. I had used it and set it in my tool case on the table behind me. I’m on my knees working on the copier and start to sense a coolness on the back of my head and back. I reach back and discover my tool case top has closed somewhat and landed on the aerosol push button and the nozzle has sprayed my hair and back quite thoroughly. Nothing that a shower and new shirt didn’t fix. I worked on a Canon NP-6650II that had corona arc spots all over the drum, which was a $2000 drum back then. I replaced the drum, blade, and coronas. I went back three days later and the sales gal had sold them a new machine. The drum was supposed to stay in the copier! That was the last time my boss really chewed me out. u by Smarka!

Just for Laughs:

Dear ENX Readers: Send your most embarrassing, memorable, funniest stories and/or pictures in the Imaging World! We know you have many of them. Send them in and we'll print and post to share some laughs with ENX Readers! email: enx@pacbell.net


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