Search This Blog

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query new to copier. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query new to copier. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2023

New to Copier Sales: The Three Levels Of Prospects, Part 3

Copier sales: Making existing customers feel paper-sonally cared for! 🖨️😉

Source: The Imaging Channel


In the third installment of "New to Copier Sales? The Three Levels of Prospects," the author delves into the final level of prospecting: existing customers who are already using copier services from a company. These customers are considered the lowest-hanging fruit when it comes to sales opportunities. The article provides advice on how to approach these clients to ensure a successful sales outcome.

Building relationships with existing customers is vital. By understanding their business, keeping them informed about new technologies and solutions, and providing value, salespeople can nurture a positive rapport that leads to long-term business. It's essential to review account history and any previous customer interactions to avoid repeating mistakes and to build on prior successes.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

New to Copier Sales: Another Lesson in Basic Selling

In the article "New to Copier Sales: Another Lesson in Basic Selling" by Greg Walters, the author provides insights and advice for new copier sales representatives. With the plethora of tools available today, it can be overwhelming for newcomers to determine the best approach. 

Walters emphasizes that while sales managers may advise traditional methods like phone calls and physical visits, the landscape of selling has evolved.

Executive Summary:
  1. Evolving Sales Landscape: New copier sales representatives face a steep learning curve, with a plethora of tools and methods available. While traditional methods like phone calls and physical visits are still recommended, the modern sales landscape requires a more multifaceted approach.
  2. Five Essential Sales Tools: Greg Walters highlights five key tools for sales success: the phone, instant messaging, LinkedIn, emails, and face-to-face chats. Among these, the phone remains crucial, especially in the post-pandemic era where a human voice offers a unique connection.
  3. Multifaceted Sales Strategy: A successful sales strategy should integrate various methods. Starting with a phone call, building an online presence, and turning cold leads into warm engagements are pivotal. The ultimate goal is to provide a seamless and engaging journey for prospects, ensuring their transition into loyal customers.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

AI and the Digital Transformation: Reshaping the Future of Copier Sales

Out with the old, in with the AI: Copier sales just got a techy upgrade

In the ever-evolving world of copier sales, the digital age and AI are reshaping how we approach our prospects. Dive into how these changes are impacting the industry and what it means for the future of sales.

Executive Bullet Points:
  • The digital age has transformed prospects from passive recipients to active participants, conducting their own product assessments.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing copier sales, offering real-time insights, and enhancing sales strategies.
  • Modern sales training must evolve, focusing on experiential selling and leveraging AI to meet the needs of informed customers

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins… The Qualifications of a Copier Salesman…

Never mind that he is hundreds of miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, he lives on a boat, sells "big-iron" copiers...and has a blog. Introducing Pirate Mike. I received a "hit" today from one of my internet-search-spiders-thingies, and read the resulting post while waiting for the Rover to be washed - it was 86 degrees and sunny - as I scrolled along the post I literally laughed out loud. Upon further research, all good bloggers do this, research that is, the story of Pirate Mike unfolds. I will not steal his thunder. Instead I recommend you read his post here, then go to his site - all of four posts - I am sure with the eyes of the world upon him, he will blog with the best of them... I have copied, edited slightly, and pasted his post here on my site. Enjoy: ------------- Wednesday, January 14, 2009 Seven Deadly Sins… The qualifications of a copier salesman…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I.T. and Facilities and Your Copier

Big companies are learning what the SMB market has known for a few years: the people who purchase the unit should be the ones to support the unit.


All copiers connect to the network "just like" printers. In the beginning, the decision criteria for copiers was the sole responsibility of either a facilities or purchasing department. That is to say, the people in charge of finding the cheapest roofing contractor at 9:00AM are the same people determining what device is going to hang off the corporate network, copy and print and scan at 1:00PM.

Purchasers have the company's best interest at heart; choosing a copier isn't Brain Surgery it's Rocket Science! But in some P.A.'s world, vendors fit in a cell on a great big spreadsheet and with copiers, one column on that spreadsheet is labeled, "first copy out speed". And the lowest bidder, the Winner, is highlighted in yellow.

Once the P.O. is issued, the agreement signed, and delivery scheduled - IT is notified. And then one day, "poof" and shiny, new Bland Brand copier shows up waiting to be connected, configured, end-users added, authentication, scanning installed and tested, user folders set up on the copier, user folders set up on the network somewhere, and drivers installed at each workstation. And then end-user and admin. training scheduled.

Who is in charge of ordering supplies? Who does the end-users call with print questions? Do we call the vendor directly or do service calls go through the corporate Helpdesk?

" better start swimmin', or you'll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin'"

So why are I.T. departments moving into the "copier" decision process? Basically,

- The units are Networked
- I.T. needs Central Control
- Network, Document Security
- Standardization - "one throat to choke"
- Compliance
- End-User support- "PC load letter...what the heck is that?"

What is new to I.T.?

Cost Per Copy programs.

- Most laser printers have a one-year on-site or can be upgraded to 3 or 4 years i.e., HP's Service Packs. What I.T. people are not familiar with is an agreement that includes all the supplies and the service calls and the maintenance parts for a monthly amount. Most information service departments are used to the "buy, connect, forget about it and let the departments order the supplies" model.


- Why lease an HP laser printer? And how does that leasing thing work? Check this post.

Output management, scan job management, Color management

- These new systems can do an awful lot of "stuff", is this good for the network?

Right-Sizing the print fleet

- Faster machines, volume changes, and machine refresh or retirement

Service Calls

- The concept of printer jam support calls has got to throw a chill down the spine of helpdesk operators everywhere.

End-user driver support

- A possible increase in ID 10T support calls

Last but not least:

- End User Culture Shock - Sales VP to IT tech, "no way are you taking my DeskJet 500 off my desk, no way."

Here's the challenge in a nutshell.

Purchasers know how to get the most out of vendors for the least amount of money.

I.T. folks have the depth of analysis and technical savvy to sort out the "riff-raff" and match first-level end-user requirements to technology but don't know that a "Dollar-Out" is going to cost more monthly than an FMV lease. And overages are routinely discussed in the Purchaser's world but are as strange to an I.T. person as a Tribble is to a BSG fan.

Fear Not

Just like everything else new, things have a way of sorting themselves out. This change in the business world is driving changes in the IT Services realm as well. Managed Print Services is the hot subject right now and lots of very good players are getting into it. And to fill this need, IT Firms are brushing up on the "copier" world dynamics - lookout. This is just a sample of what the copier salespeople's requirements might be.

Click to email me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 22 Year Old Grudge - Randall, Wisconsin Population 3,510 - Snubs Toshiba

“There are questions of security involving this organization,” Randal town supervisor Robert Gehring said, referring to Toshiba,

“This outfit should not have been allowed to continue to do business in this country.”

Oh boy.

Small town. One Copier. Evil doings and politics...

Published September 12, 2009 | 11:07 p.m.

Randall dumps Toshiba copier in lease


RANDALL — It’s not the fact the town will get a new copier that is newsworthy. It’s why the town is getting one that raises eyebrows.

The board voted unanimously Thursday to lease a new color copier for an amount of money not significantly different from what it had been paying. While it does have some added capabilities compared to the copier it had been leasing, a need for those new features is not what prompted the town to get six different copier bids.

The town needed a different copier, supervisor Robert Gehring contended when he offered to explore other options, because the one they have was manufactured by Toshiba. As a matter of principal, Gehring disagrees with the lease or purchase of any product of Toshiba.

“There are questions of security involving this organization,” Gehring said when the product’s lease agreement came up for discussion last month. “This outfit should not have been allowed to continue to do business in this country.”

Gehring’s opinion stems from an incident in 1987, when Toshiba Machine, a subsidiary of Toshiba, was accused of illegally selling machinery used to produce quiet submarine propellers to the Soviet Union, which was allegedly in violation of an international embargo.

The Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal also involved the Norwegian company Kongsberg Vaapenfabrik, strained relations with Japan, and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two senior executives.

Top government officials contended that providing technology to make the USSR’s submarines harder to detect created a significant threat to America’s security.

For Gehring, this is enough reason to boycott the use of any equipment made by Toshiba, which is also responsible for the invention of radar, microwave ovens and the technology used in MRI exams. It is why he voted against the copier lease under a different town administration and brought up the issue again.

This time he prevailed in his quest, though other officials cited the new copier’s functionality and price comparison as the reason behind their vote to lease a different copier.

Full article Here.


Indeed, Toshiba Machines and two executives were found guilty of selling technology to the Soviet Union - violating Japan's Foreign Trade Control Law

From the L.A. Times, March 23, 1988 -

"...The court fined Toshiba Machine 2 million yen--about $15,700.

Ryuzo Hayashi, 53, former director of Toshiba Machine's foundry department, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and Hiroaki Tanimura, 51, former deputy director of the company's first engineering department, received a one-year sentence. But both sentences were suspended.

A Foreign Ministry official said the sentences appeared to be light because the violation was a first offense for the defendants. He added that Hayashi and Tanimura did not act for personal gain but in the interests of the company..."

22 years is a long time when grinding axes...

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Copier Salespeople: The Undoing of Managed Print Services Opportunities - A Personal Account

Re-Mastered from the 2009 DOTC classic, "Copier Sales People Destroy Managed Print Services Opportunities: Daily"

Why Traditional Copier Sales Tactics Undermine the Potential of Managed Print Services

Executive Summary:

  1. The Problem with Legacy Sales Practices: Managed Print Services (MPS) is a rapidly evolving industry; however, its potential is being undermined by outdated sales tactics. This issue is deeply ingrained and can lead to unsatisfactory client experiences, as old-school copier salespeople resist change and cling to outdated dogmas.
  2. Case Studies of Poor Sales Tactics: The negative impacts of these traditional sales practices are highlighted through two real-life client experiences. Both cases involve manipulative, rushed, and misleading sales practices from competitors that lead to client distress and loss of trust. These sales tactics prioritize moving products over genuinely addressing client needs, causing significant frustration and disruption.
  3. The Future of Sales - AI & Core Sales Principles: Looking ahead to 2023, the timeless lessons from these experiences remain relevant. No matter the technological advances, core sales principles such as empathy, active listening, problem-solving, and relationship-building remain irreplaceable. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into sales, it presents opportunities for efficiency and insight while also challenging traditional face-to-face selling practices. While AI has the potential to redefine sales, the core ethos of understanding client needs and delivering effective solutions remains constant.

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, the managed print services (MPS) industry is no exception. Yet, the legacy sales practices of copier salespeople are undermining the potential of MPS. 

Despite the proliferation of MPS training programs and the influx of so-called "MPS Experts", I argue that these won't make a difference. Major manufacturers like Toshiba, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Samsung, Xerox, and Canon, who are launching such programs, are likely to experience frustration and lost potential. The reason? Resistance to change and clinging to outdated dogmas.

There is a saying in the industry that encapsulates this issue: at the beginning of the month, we all sell solutions, but in the last week of the month, we move a box. This mentality is deeply ingrained, often causing chaos and dissatisfaction for clients.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

How ChatGPT is Revolutionizing the Copier Sales Industry - Want Help? Email Me.

The office imaging industry is facing new challenges due to global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic. However, the return to office work and the hybrid work model has helped restore some of the lost page volumes and created new hardware placement opportunities. 

To remain successful, printing industry dealers must explore ways to offset declining print volume and look for new hardware placement opportunities. They should offer a broad portfolio of reliable, low-maintenance print solutions that cater to end users' needs, ranging from entry-level to light-production-level devices. End users value a good experience with their print and copy devices, as well as reliability and low maintenance requirements. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Copier Selling to Schools- Let's Get Down and Dirty in the Mud!!!!

This is almost too delicious.

A longtime Xerox partner has to take on a newbie Xerox dealer.

The Newbie looses the bid. The Newbie plays the "he didn't play fair" card. Ends up representing all that is wrong in copier sales.

This article from the Westport News, written by Frank Luongo, explains it all better than I could.
Rejected copier bidder protests contract choice
By Frank Luongo

In losing the bidding competition for the Westport school system's new contract for photocopier management services, CBS/Xerox (CBS) of Newington has described the outcome as fiscally flawed.

"It is without question that this is an irresponsible financial decision to the taxpayers of the Town of Westport, the Westport Board of Education (BOE), as well as the respective teachers, faculty and students," CBS President Wilson Vega expressed in a formal protest on Dec. 18 to Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris.

Vega said that the school system would be paying $137,168 more over the term of the contract than the CBS bid would have cost, based on what he said would be an annual higher cost of $34,292 in the ACT agreement.

ACT President Gregory Gondek said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the net cost of leasing replacement machines for a 60-month term, together with a run of 5,000,000 copies at a $.0090 cost-per-copy, would be $45,000 per quarter, after a credit to the school system of $3,208 each quarter for the machines replaced.

A review of the bid documents shows that CBS, which is owned by Xerox, had proposed quarterly payments over the course of a 48-month equipment lease, ranging from $39,074 to $39,873, depending on the option chosen, based on a quarterly volume of 5,008,251 copies at a $.0042 cost per copy.

In answering CBS's protest on Dec. 22, Harris did not respond to Vega's claim about the higher costs of ACT's services, but said that his letter "incorrectly" assumed that the "photocopy management services were awarded on the basis of which bidder bid the lowest price."

Rather, Harris said, the school system's request for proposals (RFP) for copier services had made it clear that the BOE at its "sole discretion" would make the award based on a range of considerations "in addition to price.

The BOE, in fact, did not "review or approve the bid responses," according to Marjorie Cion, the executive assistant to the superintendent, who confirmed by e-mail, after consultation with Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon, that the school board did not take up the copier contract matter at a meeting in public or in executive session.

In a "certificate of fact" for the law firm that represents the school system, Shipman and Goodwin, Landon said that the copier-contract agreement had been "duly authorized and approved" by the action of the school board, authorizing him and Harris "to sign contracts on behalf of the Board of Education."

The certificate notes that there is "no action or other proceeding pending" that could impede the enforcement of the agreement except the CBS protest.

On the basis of Landon's certification and a meeting with CBS on Jan. 6, Shipman and Goodwin said in letter to CBS on Jan. 8 that "the board's decision to award the contract to Advanced Copy Technologies is final. The board deems this matter to be closed."

Cion said in an e-mail message that, according to Landon, Shipman and Goodwin's description of the board's role uses legal "terms of art" to convey the point that Landon and Harris had acted under a BOE authorization for them to sign contracts, not that the board had "decided to award" the contract.

The signing authorization, which eliminates the need for a direct BOE review and approval of contracts, was contested several years ago in a copier-contract dispute over the transfer of the school system's copier services also from a Xerox company to ACT, which has now had its services extended.

In the new contract dispute, Harris maintains that CBS did not satisfy the RFP requirement that the vendor supply only newly manufactured, "latest model" equipment with no "recycled, reconditioned, remanufactured or used parts."

Harris said in the Jan. 8 letter that CBS's response to the RFP "discloses" that the company's proposed equipment "contains recycled components."

CBS had tried to counter that contention, according to a letter from Vega on Dec. 30, by saying that its Xerox machines are new, but "as with most manufactured products today, there are some elements of recycling in order to meet government standards as well as to be environmentally responsible."

"All office product manufacturers have adopted the policy of using recycled parts as a way of reducing their carbon footprint," Vega said, including Lanier/Ricoh, which manufactures ACT's copier machines.

Gondek denied that the machines his company uses have recycled components. He said that he has visited Lanier/Ricoh plants and has seen only totally new copiers, although he acknowledged that the manufacturer does recycle toner cartridges and printer drums.

Harris said that CBS had also failed to prove that it has been a "factory authorized dealer for the products being proposed for a minimum of three years," as she wrote to CBS, pointing out that CBS has been owned by Xerox only since May of 2007, which, she said, fails to meet the school system's service-experience test in its RFP.

In answering that objection, Vega relied on the good reputation of the Xerox product, its standing as a Fortune 500 company and the fact that CBS is currently servicing Xerox products in the public schools of Greenwich, Darien, East Windsor, Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook Ridgefield, Trumbull, Watertown, Weston and Wilton.

Click to email me.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Next Managed print Services Event

“Wrath”- One of my favorites

Another stage, power point, round table, expert panel and cast of hundreds looking to commune and see the “new MPS” …again. I've witnessed multiple iterations and others broken promises since 2007. I’ve attended many such gatherings and presentations: Lyra, Photizo, ITEX, ReCharger, MWAi Executive Summit. I’ve spoken with thousands of customers, hundreds of resellers all the OEMs and countless dealers about MpS, copiers, printers, toner, managed services and the like.

Now, a new effort is in town. The "Top 100 Summit" focusing on the future of managed print services; "MPS is Changing" is the tag-line.

In the beginning, managed print services was mocked for being nothing more than facilities management or copier-service on laser printers. Something the more “forward" thinking copier providers and OEMs had ‘been doing for decades’ - not really.

But even back then, in the frenzied years of possibilities, there were those who saw managed print services literally; a service that managed print. Some of us understood ‘print’ to be any media - from 8.5x11 to voice mail. Further, we recognized this managed service as a path to higher thought, more relevancy and a foundation for a sustainable business model not increased shelf space, capturing clicks, or trapping clients in 60 month contracts.

We knew the future of print had less to do with copiers, printers, ink or toner hitting paper. We eagerly embraced the talk tracks and value props around ‘more efficiency in the office’, reduction in costs and optimizing the print environment - and we meant it.

We attended new and interesting shows. In April of 2009, Photizo ushered in this bold new concept and talked about managed print services well before ANY other pundit, consultant, training house, OEM, toner remanufacturer or copier dealer - yes there were a few true managed print services providers but most of the traditional imaging industry either explained away the movement as ‘just another gimmick’ or claimed to have been in managed print services for “25 years”.

We believers "...gave the Future to the winds and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.” Designing a future of connected devices, less print and optimized business environments. Yet, like most promises, our dreams were burned away by the reality of equipment quotas and dogma; more specifically, in toner and ink.

Spin the dial six years into the future and it seems who can spell “MPS” can sell “MPS”. Bags of ink are the new MpS. Analytics are the new MpS. Copier service is the new MpS. Despite consistently declining equipment placements, shuttered paper plants and industry lay-offs, increasing print volumes are the new MpS. It is an upside-down world.

 The Universe according to Greg:

  • Print Analytics - Who Cares? We do, but do our clients?
  • Ink vs. Toner - Who Cares? We do, but do our clients?
  • Print is not dying - Ignorance is bliss.
  • Managed (IT/Network) services is the future - Oh, really? Even the IT guys understand MS is short term - look up Software Defined Workspace.
  • Print volumes have been going up - rearranging the deck chairs, nobody is creating new "clicks".
So what about all this?

Is it still the doom and gloom era? Not really. But no matter how many round tables, expert panels, sales classes, consulting services, or business transformations our industry attends or participates, we’re all simply talking to ourselves; alone in the dark. Until we stop looking at our prospects as ‘targets’ to be ‘trapped in an agreement’ or design ‘sticky’ marketing schemes and start ‘solving’ instead of ‘selling’ those who do survive, will wander the the abyss; shadows of the once might ‘copier industry’.

Which brings me to the Top 100 Summit. Will we usher in a new era? Will the sins of our past support positive change or drag us into the depths of irrelevance?

Big questions and unseen answers.

I suspect we’ll have a great time. I see us sharing new ideas and expressions of hope. Ultimately, what really matters, is how everyone feels 72 hours after the show; sinful and atoned or raptured ignorance.

Get more, here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Death of Edgeline

Feb, 2010

I was scrolling through some year-old posts and stumbled upon this one, from Art over at print4pay Hotel's, "MFP Solutions Blog". 

A year later, almost to the day. Has anyone heard anything, at all, about Edgeline? 


See my, historical journey through the odyssey that is Edeline, here


Wednesday, February 18, 2009,  HP Edgeline "What Went Wrong" Art Post 

 I had an email the other day from an analyst from a major printer vendor. In the email, I was asked "what went wrong with this program?" I thought, geez you're asking me?? 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Do You Keep Canon, Flip to Ricoh or is there somenthing more...?


IKON customers and independent dealers: what say you?

The Three Prospectives:

Customer: After exhaustive demo's, painful presentations of one copier rep after another, a dizzying amount of contract analysis, and final negotiations, you settle on a slightly more expensive, Canon copier fleet, provided by IKON.

Today you find yourself in the 2nd year of a three year agreement and your IKON rep wants to "move" you into a Ricoh.

Independent Dealer: You weren't around for the IKON/Alco Standard days, so you worked directly with Canon or Ricoh or maybe Sharp or Toshiba - over the years, you competed with Xerox, RBS, CBS, IKON and all the rest. You hesitantly moved from analog to digital, and heard all the "hoopla" around Electronic Document Management and "Solution Sales".

When Global came around you said, "no thanks...". You hired solid technicians who knew their way around belts and rollers and fusers and corona wires like nobody else. You delivered and set up copiers, and plugged them into the network - letting your client's "IT Guy" take care of the scanning and print drivers.

You remained true to the hardware.

As time moved forward, your collection of customers provided a steady stream of business - the owner often made sales calls.

RiKon Account Exec, Sales Person, et el: September of 2006 you closed and installed a small fleet of Canon copiers, 5020's and a 105.

Today, the agreement is within the 12 month renewal window, is part of your upgradable MIF and therefore used to calculate your yearly goal. You have always conducting your quarterly customer reviews, your service technicians have always been on time, and every service call has been a "one call, closed ticket" call.

Your customer's invoice has never been wrong, and overages have always been correct. Your customer and your crack Professional Services team toiled for months connecting the Canons to their legacy AS-400 system and getting the 105 to talk to the marketing department's Apple's.

Your customer loves Canon; but you don't sell Canon anymore, do you? And one more thing, nobody WANTS to buy a new copier but EVERYBODY wants to know more about this thing called Managed Print Services.

Also, this time around, your are setting down and talking with "the guy from IT"- not to discuss Documentum or KOFAX , you are talking about leasing, buyout amounts, and educating him on CPC and all of his overage charges.

This "IT guy" has five flat panel displays at his desk; one shows his network traffic, three are filled with custom built spreadsheets, he analyzes everything down to the granular level, the fourth screen is filled with WoW.

With a double click, he proudly shows you his "Copier Analysis Spreadsheet" - no less than 12 vendors names fill the first column, there are 23 columns of "decision criteria" - and this was one of your MIF accounts.


It hasn't even been a year since the announcement of the Ricoh/IKON deal but the merger looks like it is working without too many hitches. There may be some "internal" challenges, but the systems appear to be working as it was before the assimilation.

Today, Canon/Ikon customers are considering three alternatives: finding a good Canon service provider, sticking with IKON, or moving to another manufacturer - Konica/Minolta, Toshiba, Xerox, etc - all very good hardware choices.

There is more - the tumbling economy presents an opportunity for companies, with the help of Selling Professionals, to cut cost like never before.

The opportunity to redefine a costly, inefficient purchasing process by sweeping away the old and establishing a new more holistic approach to implementing print fleets and reducing the number of pages copied.

So while Canon/IKON customers evaluate their position and options, trying to figure out how to maintain their fleets, I suggest one more alternative - re-evaluate the Customer-Copier Dealer relationship in TOTAL.

Ask a simple question,

Who says companies EVEN NEED copiers today?

We know who: Ricoh, Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta, Sharp, Toshiba, Oce, Samsung and Kyocera that's who and for obvious reasons.

Sure, you may need a device or two that can copy documents coming from outside the organization - but how many of us, in the commercial world, still assemble anything more than a stapled document?

When speaking with current Canon customers, I suggest taking a deep breath and appraising the existing print fleet, print flows, printing structure, hard costs, soft costs AND the relationship with the current equipment supplier - are they a vendor or are they a Partner?

Additionally, observe the existing fleet through a prism of absolute need. Asking, " I need a copier here...? - back to basics.

This may seem foolish to some, bold to others, but at no other time in the last 20 years has a opportunity to change the model on such a fundamental level been presented: Back To The Beginning.

The New Born "Elephant in the Room" - Managed Print Services

The single goal of MPS engagements is to lower costs associate with printing - primarily achieved by reducing images printed and machines in field.

The days of an "assessment" leading to new hardware are fading fast, if not gone completely.

So one may ask, "...if a Managed Print Service engagement will reduce the number of copiers, how can a copier manufacturer approach Managed Print Services in an upfront manner...?"

The answer is complex. It starts with the definition of MPS or more specifically, who is defining MPS.

For now, the basic response is because copier companies are the only ones in a position to understand Managed Print Services - either as an ally or a foe.

Your Prospective:

Customer: Your choice is simple, the ramifications huge. Do you opt for more of the same, or get back to basics and boldly go forward in revolution?

Independent Dealers: Are you in or are you out?

Once again, your "days are numbered" - word of your demise is greatly exaggerated. As an independent, your are in the best position to profit from the turmoil. It takes commitment. It takes money. It takes vision, and you will need to burn your ships at the shore, again.
RiKon Account Exec, Sales Person: Do you stay with RiKON, jump over to Canon or join a smaller, more appreciative dealer? (Or do you go sell pharms.)

You have alternatives too - and there really aren't any "bad" choices.

Sales People in the Industry: The terrible economy will not last forever, and with all turmoil and upheaval, opportunity abounds on a personal level. Now is the time to evaluate your unique personal position in the world - to find who truly helps you for you, not for the corporate bottom line.

The Rikon deal, challenging economy, socialistic skewing of capitalism, all influence choices - "should I stay or should I go?" or maybe a more apropos statement is "...nobody moves, nobody gets hurt..."

Click to email me.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Copying Conundrum: Navigating the Intricacies of Copier and Managed Print Services - West McDonald, The Cannata Report

Greg's Words

Artificial intelligence is all the rage right now; bigger than the digital copier, the laser printer, Xerox's, Sharp's, and HP's dealer conferences and earnings calls.  It's bigger than the first calculator, the PC, Novel networks, the cellphone, and the smartphone.

AI, in 2023, is bigger than the discovery of fire or the invention of the wheel - this is not hyperbole and I know hyperbole.

West takes on the initial tremor of AI in our little niche.  Good stuff.

Here is a ChatGPT-generated summary of the great, human-created article over at the Cannata Report.

The prompt, 
"Write a concise summary of the article, covering the main points, context, and any relevant details in a business casual style, in 500 words with a 3-point highlight paragraph. Write a LinkedIn post of close to 1350 characters and pull one quote from the article, and write a tweet.

Write a title and a funny tagline, a search question, comma delimited keyword list, and an introduction paragraph based on SEO for the copier industry and copier and managed print services resellers.

Do not use the phrase, In conclusion.
Irony. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

- Edgeline -


No Drum
No Toner Emissions
Low Heat
Nearly Silent
No Fuser
No Fuser Oil
No Static Charge...

This is impossible...and yet after 1.4 billion dollars of R&D, that is exactly what we have today; the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology.

If your looking for a color system you most likely will not hear anything regarding HP from the traditional Copier Dealers – there are roughly only 30 or so Edgeline Authorized HP dealers in the country today – this will change. HP has added some 2,000 new sales rep’s in the field and HP is attempting to utilize their extensive channel of IT VAR’s in helping move product.

On that subject – if you know anything about HP you know that as an American engineering company they are second to non, yet as a marketing force, not so good. So now you have a machine that can revolutionize the way every single business prints, and only 30 RESELLERS to “get the word out” and start evangelizing the opportunities.

HP is not a dumb company – they are going to go at this market directly and with their most trusted and experienced resellers. (Danka excluded, for another post)

How about a little background on the HP/Edgeline/Copier vs. Laser/go to market strategy?

HP has their sights directly focused on a segment of the business world that traditionally is ruled by the big copier companies – Xerox, Canon and Ricoh. Nobody knows more about copying then the copy companies and nobody knows more about printing then HP. With the convergence of these two functions resulting in the volume of copies made falling behind the volume of prints, a new dynamic is coming to light. Copier machines are connected and working as printers and printers now are scanning and copying. This issue is worth it’s own post – “To Print on a copier or to copy on a printer?” (later)

Anyway, when looking back at the relationship with HP and IKON (yes, there once was a bright and shinny future in that relationship) – HP seemed to be “testing the waters” in the copier market. Looking at distribution channels and establishing partnerships with “leading edge, technology partners”. HP tried and IKON pretty much kicked them to the curb without a kiss or dinner or anything.

The idea was great on paper yet in practice at the field level, copier sales reps tend to take leads generated for HP and “switch” to a more profitable line (i.e. Ricoh, Canon). And even more egregious, some sales reps set-up managed print accounts with original HP supplies, only to switch them out after a period of time, increasing personal and corporate profit. (Please note here and now, profit is good) So as the years past, just about three years, the IKON/HP relationship cooled, and then froze.

Meanwhile, just over a year ago, HP was rumored to have been in negotiations with one of IKON’s smaller competitors, Global Imaging. HP and Global were negotiating a purchase or merger of some sort. HP had at the time, this new technology code named “Condor” and wanted a channel – Global seemed perfect, HP had the cash and Global had the dealer network. Just about the only other company with more cash and as big a reason to expand its channel was the big “X”. Lo and behold, at the 12th hour, Xerox came in and scooped Global right out from under HP.

Nearly overnight, HP had a significant and expensive product with no way to bring to market – after TWO attempts to work within the copier industry, HP was spurned. (Big-time)

When times call for action, look to what you know best – and HP looked at their existing channel of IT VARs. And that is where the channel resides right now. I am sure there will be changes and additions in the near future. (Danka and HP)

Click to email me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seven Deadly Sins...Copier Salesman

This post first appeared on DOTC, January 2009 and is the DOCT book.  This is a truncated version, get the rest, in the book.

Never mind that he is hundreds of miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, he lives on a boat, sells "big-iron" copiers...and has a blog. Introducing Pirate Mike.

I received a "hit" today from one of my internet-search-spiders-thingies, and read the resulting post while waiting for the Rover to be washed - it was 86 degrees and sunny - as I scrolled along the post I literally laughed out loud.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Death of The Copier Dealer


I was reading and responding to a post by Ed Crowley about Managed Print Services when it hit me ...wasn't there a time when computer dealerships were like Starbucks; on every corner of every city, town, and village? 

I'm not nuts, right? I do remember correctly, don't I? Of course I do because I worked at an Inacomp and competed with ComputerLands while working at MicroAge. My first computerized accounting system was installed on an IBM PS/2 Model 60 running Novell severing two workstations. 

So, yes, there was a time when you could open a phone book and the computer section would contain a dozen pages of dealers, software houses, VARs, and computer service locations. 

Check out a phone book now - that is if you can find one - and see how many computer dealers are out there; then go to "C" for "copier dealers". 

 Back to the Post - In one of the responses to Ed’s post, this caught my eye - 
 "...the Vendor is about making money and moving their products and services. ... a customer needs to look for a vendor that is well versed in both industries(Copier and Printer) and that is going to focus on a STRATEGIC partnership, not just focused on moving a “box” whether it be some sort of imaging device (Printer, Scanner, Fax, Copier, etc), a service contract, or supplies...
 Agreed - and based on this, I would suggest a RADICAL shift in Paradigm.

Vendors should become "Partners". Remember, vendors, push carts full of hotdogs down the street. I also recognize that pulling the "hardware" element out of the existing copier dealer model is impossible. Not because a new model can't make money, but rather, because the new model is too difficult for "old school" merchants to comprehend. 

I wrote a bit about Matt Espe's quarterly conference call last week. One, small, seemingly innocuous comment stuck with me, Espe said, "...the very low-end office black and white continues to go to the retail channel and continues to go from copier technology to printer technology… you're seeing actually some improvement in functionalities clearly at much lower price points by the tier two guys. 

And you are seeing that kind of shift from copier distribution to retail. We don't play there..." From “copier distribution to retail”. 

 It's deja-vu all over again. We use to joke, while at MicroAge, that Wal*Mart would someday sell High-End PCs; we laughed at the possibility.

We were wrong.

Additionally, "from copier to printer technology..." isn't that the HP model? And guess what, for me, on a daily basis, I see copiers in places where "printer-based MFPs" should be - about 90% of the time the copier that was sold to the customer has capabilities well above everyday usage and function requirements. 

For example, in the last two weeks, I have surveyed fleets totaling 107 copiers. All but seven are 55 pages per minute units, most with a 3-hole punch. The average monthly volume on each machine is no greater the 11,300. This average is by machine over the life of the 60-month lease. The manufacturer’s published volume per month is up to 200,000 images. Oh, and the punch unit is never used. As a matter of fact, in a department that did need a 3-hole punch, the copier DID NOT have a punch and they ran the pre-drilled paper through the machine. 
In the past 6 months(2008), in every single one of my surveys, 99% of the machine specifications are well over the real-world usage – as a matter of fact, I have found, when looking at all the surveys as one, the average volume per machine is 10,234 images each month. Isn’t that the number HP came up with when they did a study of all the printers in the world? (It was around 10k/unit, you can look it up) 

Consider this: If the aforementioned machines have the ability to process 200,000 images in a single month, their price has been set to reflect that capacity.  – you’re...paying...for... too... much.... capacity. 

 It’s kind of like that scene in Indiana Jones when Indy and his friend realize the Germans “are digging in the wrong place” isn’t it? This is just one facet of the Copier Model- interesting, no?

- perhaps, we are witnessing the beginning of The Death of The Copier Dealer...?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Death of A #CopierSale - Birth of a #ManagedServices Engagement


There we were, sitting shoulder to shoulder with a freshly minted copier rep talking to a prospect. The rep was leading the team in monthly revenue and looking to lock it all up with this opportunity.

 The five of us, three on the provider side, and two on the prospect were discussing the benefits of managed services. Our prospect was lamenting the many challenges with the current IT services provider:

- "Never hear from them"
- "Whenever they come out, they charge us. And they always come out."
- "I asked them if our backup was secure and found out it wasn't last week when we lost power"
- "He only does hardware and knows nothing about printers"
- "What are we paying for, again?"

The pain was there waiting for us to isolate and trial close. We knew how much they were paying and they wanted to work with one company, for all their technology needs.

Yes - we could have closed right then and there...

But we didn’t.

Out of my mouth came the following words,

"Well, we can certainly remove all your current issues. Our managed services program is designed to address everything you mentioned...but for now, let's concentrate on getting your copiers squared away, and then talk about managed services...don't let a managed services decision get in the way of new copiers..."

Wait...what did I just say?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Copier Model is Sinking: What's Next?

Rose, after 'A Night to Remember'.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” 
- Hunter S. Thompson

In 2009, we jumped on the MpS bandwagon, supporting Photizo, evangelizing Preo, Printelligent and the new opportunities MpS could provide...

In 2011, we consulted companies into the world of managed IT services recommending Collabrance and others...

In 2014, we suggested getting to know PrinterLogic and expanding into tele-medicine...

In 2015, confronted with the most turbulent run ever,  we heralded in the End the copier industry as we knew it...

Through every turn, zig and zag, one constant remained; there is ALWAYS a tomorrow. So it shall be with our niche.  Once everything settles, when leverage money guys leave, and a single OEM remains, when the channel is nothing but a memory, you can prevail.

You can sell this as a service.
As a copier sales professional, you know how to work with leasing companies and construct a complicated finance deal.

You know how to SPIN, how to uncover business challenges and discover new prospects.  More importantly, you know how to present a piece of hardware with services and derive revenue from your efforts.

These skills translate into the new, 'Everything as a Service', economy.

Ask yourself, "What's the difference between a copier and a commercial air conditioning unit or managing lighting usage/costs vs. managed print services?"

What's the difference? You are the difference.

You know how to assess, construct a proposal and present both complex sales as well as simple engagements.

Also, those industries are going through the same pressures we experienced,  almost a decade ago; shifting from equipment only sales to services-led engagements.  More than managed services or doubling down on MpS, shifting into adjacent industries represents the greenest of greenfields.

Trane is monitoring equipment.

To prove my point, consider this statement:

"...With industry-leading expertise, innovative equipment, and cutting-edge technology, we can help your business operate better than it ever has before. Our clients have found they have the capacity to run smarter and more efficiently. To operate more sustainably and cleaner. To realize better outcomes and provide more for those who live and work in your environments..."

If somebody gave you this value proposition to use in your copier/printer/MpS/MNS/toner sales efforts, you could, right?  It makes sense.

Which OEM made this statement?  Ricoh? Xerox? Konica Minolta? HP? Lexmark?  Did the copier dealer across town or a big MpS software company put forth this value proposition?


TRANE, the manufacturer of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and building management systems and controls said this, here.

TRANE has been this business since 1885.  They've experienced turbulence and transformation along the way and are currently trying to address the IoT, remote monitoring and service of their equipment.

This is ONE example.  There are many more and the number is growing every day.

After surviving the Titanic, Rose let go of her past, embracing all possibilities.  Exploring West, elephant riding, barnstorming, family - adventures once imagined, lived.

Our industry has deep damage along the starboard side - the ship will sink.

Darkness and gloom lurk. No one is to blame, it is the way of things.

Do not listen to the OEM's siren song of new partnerships and growing print business.  Do not believe pundits parroting, "Remain calm, everything is under control..."  You are in control, not them.

This night shall pass.

When it does, where will you be?

Thursday, October 1, 2020

I Have Seen The Future of the Copier Industry and It's Name is New York City

You know I've been saying it since 2008.

You may also know that I've been called everything from a 'traitor'  to 'firebrand' - nobody was predicting the ultimate demise of the copier back in 2009. Few were writing about copiers, printers, toner, sales, document management, the copier industry, or its culture.

Indeed, the industry survived the early shift from paper to digital and a global financial crisis - how could it not survive for another 20 years.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the office of 2019 WILL NEVER COME BACK.

Look to New York City.  

"...walk anywhere and you see local's almost impossible to survive..." 

- IAC's Barry Diller.

Barry Diller runs Vimeo, Expedia, Angie, HomeAdvisor & Match, so he knows a bit about technology.

His observations so far are sound, then he says this - 

"...long term from home is not have to be in an environment with other people to be productive...that is not going to change..."

He added, "...the concept of work from home does not work..."

Okay, then.  

What else would you expect to hear from someone investing $250 million in developing an off-shore park on the Hudson River?  He was scheduled to open it in 2021.  It's going to be difficult to recoup a $250 million investment when nobody works in the city.  

So he's encouraging everybody to the cubes.

Those workers are not coming back.  Companies are not going to pay for office space they do not need.  The age of the office is fading as employees stream to the countryside.

New York City wants to get Broadway back up and running.  But Broadway may follow the masses to the suburbs. Why? Because that's where the audience lives and works.

Museums?  To the countryside.  Great restaurants downtown?  Nope, not anymore. Moving to the 'Burbs.

How do I know this?  I am watching it happen right here in little old Wisconsin. It's in Boston, Philly, LA, and Detroit.

The Millennials, their predecessors, and contemporaries are moving away from their corner offices, cube farms, mid-morning Starbucks runs, thirty-minute smoke breaks, and smart-looking digs.
Remember Detroit?  Back in the '80s, the D was a "9 to 5" town; the Yuppies commuted (a forty-five-minute drive) to work each day.  They ate lunch at fancy restaurants and grabbed a coffee from the corner fu-fu place.

At 5:30, the mad rush out of the city was on - gotta leave before dark.  Sure, people went to nice restaurants downtown for special events, but their car was always at risk of being stolen. 
That was in the '80s - have you seen the crime rate in NYC, Boston, or Portland today?  

It is worse.

Add to this, health. Establishing good safety protocols may take years to form and implement.  When given a choice, few will want to work with a mask on, take the elevator with only 4 people on board, be scanned every day, and run the risk of getting sick. 

Cleaning up the crime is going to take a decade - Batman does not exist(yet).  

By the time these troubles are cleared up, nobody will want to go back and nobody will demand that we sit in the same room.

No more. 

And don't count on those gloves, thermometers, floor stickers, facemasks, and facemask detector sales lasting beyond 2021.  

Oh, and managed services? The shelf-life of the helpdesk and Anti-virus is about 5 years.

The new normal includes empty office buildings and no "pivoted" copier manufacturers.

Get out now. 

Jump to a different bell curve.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Who Helps You Reduce Costs? Copier sales people, managed IT folks, or Advisors?

Who will give you a leg up?

"You will never print another document ever again.”

I know you still have printers and copiers. But I know you’re not printing or copying like you had three years ago. If you’ve made business process optimization an initiative, then you know what I mean. I’ve also found that companies with no ‘green’ or digitization plan, have naturally reduced print. Some telling me, ‘we just don’t print anymore’. I also know players like Xerox, Ricoh, and Lexmark are experiencing great consolidation, and paper plants have shuttered across country. Indeed, from the WSJ, 1/2018-

"One of Xerox’s problems is that it has been broken into two pieces. A year ago, Conduent Inc. (NYSE: CNDT) was spun out. It describes itself as a “business process services” company, which makes it more of a consultancy than a seller of hardware. Xerox retained the hardware business, which sells products that may have been useful to businesses a decade ago but are no longer.”

Customers around the world, are organically reducing devices, copies and prints needed to conduct business- this has been going on for years. For companies like Xerox and Ricoh, whose primary revenue stream is generated with each sheet of marked paper, this is a formidable challenge. And like every shrinking industry before it, the copier niche is not going quietly into the night. For those of you left looking for a copier, it might the best time to work your provider for better pricing - just wait until the 25th of the month - everyone is scrambling and competing for a slice of a shrinking pie.

In the face of this turbulence, photocopier manufacturers and independent dealers are responding in one of three ways -

1. Selling themselves as a "document consultant” and trusted advisor, promising to help you manage your decreased reliance on print.
2. Selling to a larger dealer or manufacturer in an effort to cash out and retire.
3. Shifting away from copiers and printers to markets like IT services, water or energy management.

As you explore new ways to eliminate cost, you may fall within one of these stages:

1. You’ve implemented cost reduction program successfully and want to expand
2. You’ve implemented a failed program
3. You have no visibility into total costs

In each case, starting a study, correcting a misaligned program or continuing to reduce costs, you have three sources of partners:

1. IT providers(including your internal IT)- primarily supporting IT infrastructure
2. Copier/Print supplier & MpS Providers - hardware and software vendor within the copier/printer industry either through direct or indirect channels
3. Professional IT advisors - organizations who derive revenue through sharing subject matter expertise and managing change

No matter who you choose to partner, you should consider three important aspects of each:

* Agenda vs. intent
* Knowledge vs. Wisdom
* Neutrality vs. Bias

Let’s take a look at each:

IT Provider -

Agenda: To support organizational technology infrastructure
Intent: To transform with as little negative impact to end user environment

Knowledge: Deep ‘specification’ knowledge.
Wisdom: Experience and a varied history of supporting IT infrastructure in different types of organizations may give rise to wisdom or business acumen, but this is rare.

Neutrality: Not very. Comfortable with manufacturers they have a history with; CISCO, IBM, DELL and HP, etc.
Bias: To what’s been proven in the past or passes a proof-of-concept.

Copier/Printer supplier -

Agenda: to move opportunities to a close and their intent is to sell more devices/clicks.
Intent: Transform with as little negative impact to end user environment.

Knowledge: Deep ‘specification/machine’ knowledge. May posses basic scanning and onboard application knowledge.
Wisdom: Very little business acumen. Fresh sales professionals lack experience in varied customer, business models. Seasoned profess

Neutrality: Claimed yet impossible, therefore a lie.
Bias: Toward a solution that include's hardware sold.

Professional Advisor -

Agenda: Help client achieve business goals.
Intent: Establish an ongoing relationship.

Knowledge: Business acumen and technical prowess beyond the scope of the project.
Wisdom: Experience over time with many environments and business models.

Neutrality: Completely neutral and open to continuous evaluation of new solutions.
Bias: Toward a solution that supports the client business goals.

Conclusion -

Economic pressures on providers of equipment is severe. Machines are becoming more self-sufficient and easier to manage remotely, business requirements are changing from paper flow to digital flow. Even if your printing less than 500 images a week, you are a prime prospect for the remaining copier vendors - your company is guaranteed to be on some copier rep’s cold call list. There is no shortage of cost reducing value propositions, white papers and marketing material.

Continuously reducing costs associated with output is an internal function - asking teams of folks motivated to sell more devices to help you reduce the number of devices is counter intuitive - a provider with show rooms full of equipment pitching themselves as an “agnostic, trusted advisor” is disingenuous.

So who do you turn to? There are a thousand copier dealerships, hundreds of MSP’s and maybe a dozen proven, reliable and seasoned advisors. Of course, if you can find a good advisor, with an open calendar, I recommend engaging - but the odds are forever in the copier companies favor - it is simply math.

Here’s a quick recommendation:

If you currently support 1-20 devices, copier dealer and MSP
If you currently support 50-100 devices, MSP with Advisor
If you currently support over 100 devices, exclusively work with an Advisor who manages an optimized portfolio of suppliers and software providers.

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated