Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas from the Death Of The Copier


The other day I was at a local tavern and ordered up the "Christmas Special" - a martini.  She prepared the beverage and presented to my mother and me.

With a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face, she said, "Merry Christmas!" adding, "I'm so happy we can say Merry Christmas.  Last year we weren't allowed."

She scurried away with a spring in her step.

The gears in my head started turning.  

I have never, ever, felt the need to simply wish somebody, "Happy Holidays."  To me, it sounds like a cop-out.  When others wish me Happy Holidays,  I cringe a little inside, and return with, "Merry Christmas."

In the past, it felt like wishing people Merry Christmas was an act of bravery - it isn't.  I'm glad the pendulum has finally swung this way, at least on this subject.

From all of us here at DOTC to all of your, Merry Christmas!




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Scanning: Let's Widen The Scope Of Managed Print Services, Again.



I started my MpS journey back in 2007 - not as early as some, but before most.

Back then, I saw MpS as a bridge into managed services.  In 2008, I proposed my first end-user based billing program.(similar to the current SBB)  We estimated usage based on job description - front office folks printed more than shop floor, HR printed more that general office and Marketing utilized more color.  Pricing was based per job description.

Soon after, I suggested MpS was BPO because including document management software within an MpS agreement seemed a natural.

DOTC espoused end user data, behavior modification and workflow in the early days coining the word "BeMod".  The phrase did not take hold.

I introduced the idea of fully integrated management systems: we should combine device data like usage and supplies history(DCA) with the number of service calls (ServiceNow) for each device and all costs associated with operating each device(E*Automate) displaying these data points on floor plan and adhering to the ITAM model.

I pitched the benefits of 'server-less' printing before it became a thing in the MpS world, recommending partnerships with PrinterLogic.

I pondered the ability to sell everything as a service.  How about coffee and water, commercial HVAC equipment, energy systems or even tele-health? Who best to lead this transformation than those designing and selling managed print services?

We made the jump from equipment sales to services long ago...right?  Of course, few jumped on the above suggestions (until years later).

Most held on to old fashioned models - scratching out an existence, hoping for that magical merger.  Big dealers got bigger, tripling down on copier sales with outside investment;  they started silo'd, managed services practices.

Some OEMs surrendered.  Lexmark went to China, Xerox went to pieces, HP self-bifurcated.  Ricoh treads, Canon sells cameras, Konica Minolta is gaining, and MpS rolls the stone, resurrected.

Today, how can we widen our scope, yet stay within a safe, low risk zone? What action can we take, that recognizes the move away from paper, without inciting panic and denial?  Medical equipment and energy management were too much.

How about scanning?(Okay, not just scanning)

Studies show copies and prints per device have been falling for a decade or two, I wonder if scans have increased?  I mean in order to transform from paper to digital, there are plenty of paper documents in need of digitization.

Here's my latest recommendation: Embed digital capture into every managed print services engagement you write.(I know, not all THAT revolutionary.)

Today, every business can move into the digital realm at a fraction of the cost.  There are plenty of strong capture and document management programs in the ecosystem - Kofax, DocuWare & Nuance to name a few.  Not everyone needs these high-end systems, but most need something.  

The Benefits

Separate your MpS program from others. The 'down the street' deals address nothing more than cost per page and automatic toner replacement.

Discussing scanning/digitizing is a natural topic within the managed print services engagement, and can help you close more MpS deals.

But how do you get started?

What to look for in a simple solution for your clients:
  • Low cost of entry
  • No SME requirement
  • Basic workflow
  • Proven(globally)

I have the answer; an easy to propose, configure, support, and sell software system.

greg@grwalters.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Advice For New to Copier Sales Reps: Ask More From Your Prospects


In your new world of copiers, training is a big component of the ecosystem — so big it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant. By now you’ve probably come to understand that most of life’s challenges will not be solved with algebra or understanding inheritance and polymorphism — learning how to learn is the best lesson.

So it is now with your new copier position. You may be deft at taking notes, creating flashcards and memorizing basic facts, but I’ve got to tell you, not one prospect is going to establish a relationship if all you know are the paper weights and first-copy-out times for 100 different models.

Unfortunately, your dealer principal and sales manager will demand you know the specifications of every model on the show floor. It’s a tug of war between learning what the “industry” thinks is important and what your prospects see as relevant.

More important than specifications is learning everything possible from every business you visit — no matter the outcome. The first appointment is the time for introductions and getting to know one another; all it takes is 20 minutes to understand how your prospect runs the business and the challenges they face every day. Don’t waste time on your company introduction/value proposition slide deck — YOU are the company

Successful selling professionals utilize the “two ears, one mouth” strategy when getting to know the inner workings of a prospect’s organization. It may sound simple...Read the rest here.