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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query proposals. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query proposals. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Managed Print Services: The Case Against Auto-Generated Proposals


"The heaviest proposal wins..."

"We gotta have the company history in this proposal..."

"And don't forget the spec sheets..."

"This will be easy, I can just use the last proposal we did, and search and replace..."

Sound familiar?

Let me ask you something, do you read books?

What keeps you interested?

It's the story, isn't it?

Somehow, your favorite writer or a nice article you spend time with engages you and tells you something new, yet familiar.

Now, do you think that article or book was boiler-plated into existence?

Do you think Stephen King, goes out, asks a bunch of potential readers what they like and what scares them, imports all that "data" into a tool, clicks "go" and out pops the next best seller?

"No, Greg, I don't think Stephen King clicks on "go" and a best seller pops out." - good answer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Managed Services - Practice What You Preach

1/2011 -

It's all about the "M".

From the very beginning, I was uncomfortable with the "P" in Managed Print Services" - it is restrictive and a bit misleading.

But, in the beginning, the word "print" seemed a bit more familiar and approachable. Your prospect knows what you mean when you say "print".

The definition simply rolled off your tongue whenever asked, "What does MPS mean?"

"I manage all your print devices..." - You.

"Oh, okay, I understand..." - Prospect.

But much about Managed Print Services can you honestly identify with?

How familiar are you, personally, with the real-world benefits of MPS?

Sure, you can perform an assessment. And you put together quotes and proposals. Maybe you can even speak to a C-level, peer.

But do you know how it feels when a cartridge doesn't show up?

Do you experience the pain of attempting to de-code an invoice?


Have you witnessed the positive results of replacing personal, desktop printers with a second monitor?

Specifically, does your place of employment have your MPS Engagement in place?

Are you monitoring your, internal fleet?

What, you don't eat your own dog food?

The cobbler's kids have no shoes?

If so, scamper up to the owner's ivory tower and call Bullshit.

While at IKON, we sold all the best, top-drawer EDM solutions - all of them.

Yup - you guessed it. The order entry pack was a collection of spreadsheets. At times, we actually faxed out meter read sheets.

We printed 45-page proposals - 42 pages of marketing fluff, 1 cover, 1 letter, and a price list. (gasp!)

Now, I won't mention any names but there is an IT VAR, out on the Best Coast who has a small MPS practice.

In 2009, this 145-employee VAR spent $19,000.00 on toner and supplies for MFPs.

Before implementing their MPS, those who could guess estimated an internal fleet size of 19 printers/MFPs. In the end, it was discovered that 43 devices populated the organization.

Most of these, are locally connected.

At the close of 2010, invoice analysis revealed a yearly supply spend of $4,500.00.

Do the math.

Practice what you preach.

Click to email me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The New SalesPerson - Acumen


"New Selling" and its application to Copier Sales

I was reading a blog regarding selling and noticed some interesting information - from the post by Jonathan Farrington, The Sales Corporation:

"...various studies suggest that getting one salesperson in front of one customer now costs $1000 - this cost has trebled since 1983. As a consequence professional salespeople have to be more effective than ever to justify the investment in a face-to-face effort..."


"...Customer Focus Creates Competitive Advantage..."

  • The one-term that sets top performers apart - customer focus
  • Outstanding sales results depend on:
    - The ability to think from the customer’s point of view
    - Understanding the customer’s agenda, buying cycle, and best interests
  • Beyond a superficial reading of immediate customer needs, salespeople must gain a deeper understanding of both the buyer’s long-term goals and the overall business climate
  • At the heart of customer focus is the art of listening constructively - the best salespeople are masters at capturing information
  • Customer focus means taking the customer seriously - today the salesperson who clings to the product orientation of a decade ago is losing ground
  • As client companies branch into new markets and unfamiliar territories, they are demanding unique, flexible solutions from their vendors - customized to support specific goals
  • Another myth that can be exploded is that whilst customers value flexibility, being too flexible can undermine the sales relationship. On the whole, salespeople imagine that customers value a vendor’s responsiveness above all. However recent research shows that their primary concern is reliability.
In summary, in order to maintain customer focus, the best salespeople become facilitators, creating a partnership that extends the selling relationship within the customer’s company. The motivation to achieve this should be strong - it costs five times as much to attract and sell to a new customer as it does to an existing one!..."
I think of the changes happening right now in our industry, and how everyone has started to "talk the talk" about being a different type of technical, selling professional.

I have often mentioned the ability of successful salespeople to be Partners with clients, to constantly develop Business Acumen, and to learn to Empathize with customers.

So it is nice to read an affirmation of my thoughts - from somebody in sales, but completely outside of our industry:

  1. Partnership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Empathy and Disconnect
Partnership -

The "Partnership" mentality is a mature set of beliefs anchored in "...To Do No Harm...".

You're are in front of the prospect to Help them - you must find where they need you and if they are willing to accept your help.

And as an example, if you are in there to "..Do No Harm.." why would you "gouge them" on pricing, why would you make them sign into a 60-month, "captive", on-sided agreement? Why would you twist your client into a solution which only addresses the surface issue of "price"?

A real Partner is never an Enabler

We don't need to watch Dr. Phil - if you are in a position comfortable enough to tell your client they are wrong, then you have the beginning of a partnership. If after you tell the client he/she is wrong, they take your advice, your partnership is built on solid ground.

Don't Enable Your Prospect to Make the Same Mistakes, over and over...

Business Acumen -

This is not product knowledge. This is not a feature and benefit argument. This is not easy. This will take time.

Business Acumen is ALL of the above and oh so much more.

In a nutshell, business acumen can be obtained through the observation and study of everything "around" your solution - That is, the study of the cause and effect of your position, proposals, and projects - over time.

This knowledge is uniquely yours.

Yours to take with you into every appointment and in every conversation.

Think about this: your view and your opinions based on the history of your "installs" and implementations and proposals - are yours alone. Not your companies, your clients, your manager, or your peers - all you.

If you have installed just ONE idea - the outcomes and ramifications of this one project, seen through your eyes, are an example for you to use in every single 'new' opportunity. And each new opportunity, not just installation, is a chance to learn more about business than from any book ever written.

Empathy and Disconnect -

These two words diametrically oppose - but the tight rope must be walked.

Empathy - Good salespeople can put themselves into their client's "shoes"; see things the way their client does. In order to do this effectively, one needs to become "one" with the prospects' business, his world, from his angle - and not through the prism of product or service. One needs to see the prospect's world without "commission" or quota issues hanging over one's head. And to do this effectively, the Selling Professional needs to become disconnected from the outcome of the sale...

Disconnect - Difficult, but not impossible. First off, what do I mean by disconnect?

Disconnect, in this sense, is the ability to cut away from your emotional connection to the success of the "sale".

More specifically, disconnection from the success of the sale, from the selling professional's view, is what I am talking about. But this is NOT being uncaring or aloof or unconcerned - a tightrope.

Perhaps disconnect is a strong word, maybe "compartmentalization" would be better.

Once the emotional factor is put aside, we can deal with the client in terms of what "makes sense" for both him and me, instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole, at the end of the month.

In conclusion, common sense usually prevails and over-complication of simple rules typically dilutes the results. If you focus on these three issues:

  1. Partnership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Empathy & Disconnect
You will be well on your way to success.

Click to email me.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Past 48 months - "I never meant to break my own promises..."


Four years ago, if you told me I would be in Oconomowoc, Wi, helping a VAR go national and rediscovering the future of office print - I would have slugged you in the head.

Well, this is PRECISELY the situation I find myself in.  In a land of fried cheese, beer, and cities named after Indians.


Through the hoopla, laughter, and tears, when I look back to 2011, I can't help but shake my head, roll my eyes and ask,

"What in the Seven Hells just happened?"

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. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The New Salesperson: Essential Traits for Selling in the Modern Era

The world of sales is changing rapidly, and to keep up, sales professionals must continually adapt and improve their approach. In this article, we'll discuss three essential traits for success in modern sales: Partnership, Business Acumen, and Empathy & Disconnect.

Partnership: A Mature Set of Beliefs Anchored in "To Do No Harm"

To be successful in sales, you must first establish a partnership mentality with your prospects. This means that you are there to help them, not to take advantage of them. It's important to find out where they need help and determine if they are willing to accept your assistance.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Managed print Services Assessment Software: The 'Tinder' of Imaging

Do relationships ever start face-to-face?

Not such an odd question, considering the low barriers to entry provided by today's social networks.  

Indeed, relative to a decade past, the platforms available for connecting - Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Match, the scandalous Ashley Madison, and even LinkedIn - are ever-expanding. 

Barcode scanners made checkout faster, and today's 'dating' apps get more people hooked up, quicker.

These tools suck the 'art' out of the introduction, pairings are built on the assessment of a witty sentence and attractive photo. We've commoditized the foundational stages of relationship building.  I can't help but wonder if this results in hollow, unfulfilling, short-term espousals.

Similar to personal relationships, print services engagements begin with an introduction and assessment. The success of every managed print service agreement depends on correctly assessing the current state.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Achieve Managed Print Services Immortality "...Simply By Doing One...Great...Thing..." - Keep Walking


There is a great deal of "automation" in our little niche; auto - fulfillment, remote monitoring, M2M communication, auto-generated assessments, proposals, SOW's, Twitter-bots, RSS, on and on.

Hi-technology effects the basic tenants of human existence; both eroding basic, physical contact and expanding our "social network".

Doesn't leave all that much room for us humans, eh?

Fear not, take a walk.

Extend that Human Touch

No matter how fast data moves around the globe. From fax to pager to alphanumeric pagers, carphone, bag-phone, brick, mobile, laptop, tablet, to nano-implants, hopefully, it all boils down to two people sitting across a desk from each other engaged in a selling process.

It's only human.

Click to email me.


Friday, September 4, 2009

More Copier Leasing Crime: How Would You Like to Be Sued By SEVEN Leasing Companies?

There is plenty of blame to go around.

I am starting to get Deja Vu with all this.

Just for kicks, here is a list of some of the articles here on DOTC dealing with "wrong turn leasing":

Governor French Academy files another suit alleging fraud in copier lease: Marlin Leasing

Another "GACKED" Sales Forecast: Idaho School District Reneges on Xerox Deal

Why Your Customer Should Re-Write Your Lease Agreement: It's About Them, Not You.

Managed Print Services Appointment - Another Ticked Off Konica/Minolta Client:Leasing and "Integrity"

New York City Dept of ED. - Xerox Contract Starts at $36 million - ends up at more than $67 Million - UPDATED 4/6/09

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

Bad Experiences with Leasing - Toshiba, IKON, Canon, Saxon

WOW -!

The Governor French Academy is on the "list" of SEVEN leasing companies - and you think you have problems?

According to school founder, Phillip Paeltz, the school's next step is to reach out to the seven companies to settle the dispute.

"If they accept it, then I guess this is over," Paeltz said. "If they don't accept it, we will file for Chapter 11 protections."

OMG! You mean to tell me that a copier deal gone bad may bring down an educational institution?

Let's look at Governor French.

Mission Statement:

Governor French Academy's mission is quite simple. We provide:

1. The finest preparation for college-level educational work
2. Complete preparation for college testing procedures, including interviews
3. Thoughtful assistance in obtaining financial aid for college-level education

They bill themselves as a college preparatory school complete with a challenging curriculum, "...young men and women in their crested blazers..." and their site exudes a quiet professionalism.

So how could something like this happen? How could an organization charged with molding these young minds full of mush end up in such a predicament?

They just weren't paying attention - happens all the time.

Full, latest article, cut and pasted to follow.

BELLEVILLE -- Governor French Academy may have to file for bankruptcy to protect itself financially from a dispute involving copy machines, the school's headmaster said Thursday.

"We started to receive bills out of the blue for copiers we don't have," said Governor French founder Phillip Paeltz.

Paeltz said the school has done business with Kevin Welch, of Okawville, for nine years, leasing copying machines from various companies the school staff thought Welch represented. The school staff was under the impression the leases were terminated when they returned the copiers to Welch but discovered later that some of the machines were never returned to the companies, according to Paeltz.

Welch could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Now seven leasing companies are suing the private K-12 school, accusing it of being in possession of 14 copiers. Paeltz said the value of the leases and the machines comes to an estimated $500,000.

Paeltz said the school tried to work through the situation with Welch in April, when school officials first started getting erroneous bills from the copy machine companies, and Welch, according to Paeltz, told the school he would take out a loan to pay the money owed. When he failed to do so, the school filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Welch in July. The lawsuit is pending.

Paeltz said he knows of at least two similar incidents occurring in Illinois, one at a church in Madison County and one at a senior citizens center in Okawville.

Paeltz said the school's next step is to send proposals to the seven companies to settle the dispute.

"If they accept it, then I guess this is over," Paeltz said. "If they don't accept it, we will file for Chapter 11 protections."

Paeltz said a judge will determine the exact amount of the damages in court Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Toshiba- E-Bridge Fleet Management System

It's all about the M.I.B. No, not Men In Black

Toshiba announced the availability of their new fleet management tool, EBFMS, yesterday.

At first glance, the reports about the system are favorable, but it seems detailed information regarding toner, service etc. are currently reserved for Toshiba gear - with some limited visibility into non-Toshiba units.

I "lifted" this off the Office Product News site which is a post by Corey Smith, from a BLI report at the 2008 Toshiba dealer show, back in March-

"...for larger settings, Toshiba will soon offer its e-BRIDGE Fleet Management System (eFMS), giving administrators the power of centralized monitoring while users benefit from improved availability of devices.

Key operators receive automatic first-tier alerting, while second-tier alerting is available to service organizations. Anybody with administrative access to the utility can clone settings and view meter reads. Via eFMS, administrators can assign costs to specific departments, as well as review device usage and consumables status. Dealers can use the utility to create cost and device streamlining proposals. eFMS can manage other brands’ devices, but only in a limited fashion.

This solution is still under development but should be available in late summer..."

In the beginning there was only WebJet Admin, then a slew of "newcomers" - @Remote,PrintAudit, PrintSolv, PrinteRx, rXpress, etc. and now EBFMS.

In the end, all these tools are beneficial in promoting control of the fleet and transparency of the real costs of printing - knowing how bad it is more than half the battle.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Canon, IKON, Ricoh, Konica Minolta and All Selling Professionals: Leaving Your current Employer? Read This:

From the article by Morgan Bettex, of Law360:

Canon USA Inc. has sued William D. Crow, a former employee, as well as 10 other "John Does" for allegedly revealing trade secrets and other proprietary information to Ikon Office Solutions Inc. in violation of a confidentiality agreement.

In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Canon sued Crow, for allegedly disclosing Canon's confidential information to Ikon, as part of a scheme to switch Canon's customers from Canon to Ricoh.

In the complaint, it is explained that, Crow resigned Canon Jan. 5 to join Ikon's government marketing division. In his new position with IKON, according to the complaint, Crow is working Canon's customers in violation his contractual obligations to Canon.

As a condition of his employment, Crow signed a confidentiality agreement the complaint said.

"CUSA has been and will continue to be irreparably harmed by Crow's misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair misuse of CUSA's confidential information, and usurpation of CUSA customer opportunities and goodwill," the complaint said.

It is alleged that between approximately Nov. 17, 2008, and Jan. 6, Crow downloaded information such as pricing reports, customer contact information and monthly machine population reports, for use in his new position, the complaint said.

It is also alleged that Crow deleted quotes, proposals and pricing from his computer.

The case is Canon U.S.A. Inc. v. William D. Crow et aI., case number: 09-cv-OOllO, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

DOTC Analysis, thoughts -

The copier industry is a "revolving door" for sales people in "normal" times, with all the changes going on today, more good people are out of a job or looking for a better position with a more stable company.

The situation displayed above happens daily, but it is rare to have a company sue an ex-employee - but times are different and the battle is being waged on all fronts - something we should be aware of when attempting to better our position in the world.

In California, it is difficult to prosecute a "non-compete" so the angle used could be the confidentiality agreement.

You signed it.

Get a copy, keep it with you, review before jetting...

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Walt's Weekly Words - Week 15 - July 15

Walt's Spin

"What's old is new." A statement uttered by countless generations before and leagues to come. For me, and I am sure many timeline-compatriots, today's world seems eerily reminiscent. Certainly not identical, and more than nostalgic. 

More like a Renaissance.

Managed Print Services is still alive and experiencing a bump. Partly due to some pent-up demand and a reduction of IT resources.

The demand is provisional. I still believe pivoting into IT services is possible, not strictly because of an existing print-centric relationship as much as the supporting infrastructure of MPS practices is a solid foundation for the transition.

Sales and marketing will shift demographics and talk tracks, but needs assessments and proposals are parallel paths. But again, the demand for IT services has a shelf life.
Consolidation runs rampant, and the larger, establishments remain overconfident in their temporary position.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Xerox: It Was a Heck of a Ride...


NORWALK, Conn. and TOKYO — 
  • Xerox shareholders to receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend, or approximately $9.80 per share1, and 49.9% of the combined company; Fujifilm to own 50.1%
  • Combined company to deliver at least $1.7 billion in total cost savings, with $1.2 billion to be achieved by 2020
  • Accelerates path to revenue growth through global reach, industry-leading scale and enhanced innovation capabilities
  • Well-positioned to lead in growing business areas such as high-speed inkjet, industrial print and workplace solutions, while leveraging Fujifilm's extensive technologies
  • Combined company will have enhanced financial flexibility for future growth investments and capital returns
  • Combined company will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, CT, U.S. and Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and will maintain the iconic “Xerox” and “Fuji Xerox” brands within its respective operating regions
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (“Fujifilm”) (TSE: 4901) and Xerox Corporation (“Xerox”) (NYSE: XRX) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine Xerox and their longstanding Fuji Xerox joint venture.

The combined company will be a global leader in innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions with annual revenues of $18 billion and leadership positions in key geographic regions. This proposed combination provides Xerox shareholders with significant cash at closing, as well as a substantial interest in the significantly enhanced combined company. Under the terms of the agreement, Xerox shareholders will receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend, or approximately $9.80 per share1, funded from the combined company’s balance sheet, and own 49.9% of the combined company at closing.

The cash dividend represents more than 30% of Xerox’s unaffected share price of $30.35 based on closing share price as of January 10, 2018. Fujifilm will own 50.1% of the combined company and provide important operational support and transformational leadership. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Fujifilm and Xerox.

The combined company will be named “Fuji Xerox” and trade on the NYSE under the ticker XRX. The new Fuji Xerox will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, CT, U.S. and in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, with presence in over 180 countries.

The combined company will go to market and maintain the iconic “Xerox” and “Fuji Xerox” brands within its respective operating regions. Shigetaka Komori, chairman and chief executive officer of Fujifilm, said, “Fujifilm and Xerox have fostered an exceptional partnership through our existing Fuji Xerox joint venture, and this transaction is a strategic evolution of our alliance.

The Document Solutions business represents a significant part of Fujifilm’s portfolio, and the creation of the new Fuji Xerox allows us to more directly establish a leadership position in a fast-changing market. We believe Fujifilm’s track record of advancing technology in innovative imaging and information solutions – especially in inkjet, imaging, and AI areas – will be important components of the success of the new Fuji Xerox.” Mr. Komori added, “I am confident that Fujifilm’s ability to drive change as well as its experience of successful reinvention will give a competitive edge to the new Fuji Xerox, delivering significant value creation to shareholders of both the new Fuji Xerox and Fujifilm. We are delighted to welcome Xerox and its employees to the Fujifilm family and look forward to combining our strengths towards jointly shaping the future of our industry.”

Jeff Jacobson, chief executive officer of Xerox, said, “The proposed combination has compelling industrial logic and will unlock significant growth and productivity opportunities for the combined company, while delivering substantial value to Xerox shareholders. The new Fuji Xerox will be better positioned to compete in today’s environment with truly global scale, increased presence in fast-growing markets, and innovation capabilities to effectively meet our customers’ rapidly-evolving demands.

In addition, the combined company’s strong financial profile will enable investments that support continued market leadership, while also providing opportunities for increasing capital returns over time.”

Robert J. Keegan, chairman of Xerox’s Board of Directors, said, “Today’s announcement follows a comprehensive review of our strategic and financial alternatives led by Xerox’s independent directors that began after the separation of Conduent in 2016. Upon careful consideration of all alternatives available to the company, the Board of Directors concluded that this combination is clearly the best path to create value for our shareholders.

An attractive, certain cash dividend, together with participation in the future success of the combined company, presents a compelling value equation for Xerox shareholders. We are excited to strengthen our longstanding relationship with Fujifilm as we enter the next phase of Xerox’s transformation journey.”

Clear Leader in Innovative Print Technologies and Intelligent Work Solutions Xerox shareholders will have the opportunity to participate in the new Fuji Xerox’s accelerated revenue trajectory and long-term value creation potential. The transaction builds on the 56-year collaborative history between Fujifilm and Xerox to create a global leader in innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions with enhanced scale and innovation capabilities: Global leader with combined revenue of approximately $18 billion and nearly $120 billion total addressable opportunity. Enhanced scale with presence in over 180 countries and covering key geographies including North America, Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific and China.

Combined leadership with a strong track record of operational excellence, transformation experience, customer relationships and industry expertise. Improved revenue profile and growth trajectory by leveraging the combined expertise, competitive strengths and geographic reach of the two companies.  World-class innovation capabilities to define the future of innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions by bringing together two R&D and innovation leaders, along with Fujifilm’s extensive expertise.

The new Fuji Xerox will be well-positioned to lead in growing areas such as high-speed inkjet, packaging, industrial print and workplace automation, as well as future development opportunities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and augmented reality. Strengthened balance sheet and cash flow generation to provide flexibility to support strategic investments in growth and enable increasing capital returns.

Significant Value Creation Opportunity This highly synergistic combination is expected to deliver at least $1.7 billion in total annual cost savings by 2022, with approximately $1.2 billion of the total cost savings expected to be achieved by 2020. The targeted cost savings represent approximately 10% of the total cost base of the new Fuji Xerox and will drive significant margin expansion over the next four years.

Of the total $1.7 billion cost savings, $1.25 billion is related to the synergies that will be achieved through the transaction. In addition, the combined company will benefit from a cost reduction program commencing immediately at the existing Fuji Xerox joint venture, which is targeted to generate approximately $450 million of cost savings on an annualized basis. These amounts are incremental to Xerox’s ongoing Strategic Transformation initiatives. The new company expects to incur approximately $1.4 billion in one-time integration and restructuring costs, mainly in the first three years.

The new Fuji Xerox will also have significant revenue synergy opportunities over time as it capitalizes on its global reach, industry-leading scale and enhanced innovation capabilities. Importantly, the combined company will have an increased total addressable opportunity estimated at nearly $120 billion and a strong presence in attractive growth markets, allowing the new company to become more competitive and better able to serve customers and business partners globally. Balance Sheet and Capital Allocation The new Fuji Xerox expects to maintain investment grade credit ratings at closing.

The new company will maintain Xerox’s current $1.00 annual dividend per share and commitment to return at least 50 percent of free cash flow to shareholders. The enhanced financial flexibility of the combined company is expected to allow for greater capital deployment toward targeted growth initiatives, share repurchases and increased dividends over time. Leadership and Governance Upon close of the transaction, Jeff Jacobson will serve as chief executive officer of the new Fuji Xerox.

The combined company’s Board of Directors will include 12 members, seven of whom will be appointed by the Fujifilm Board. Five independent directors will be appointed from the Xerox Board. Shigetaka Komori will serve as chairman of the board. Financing Commitments Financing commitments of $2.5 billion have been provided by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. Path to Completion The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2018, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and approval by Xerox shareholders.

Advisors Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are serving as exclusive financial advisors to Fujifilm, and Morrison & Foerster LLP is acting as legal counsel. Centerview Partners LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Xerox and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal counsel. Xerox Conference Call Xerox will host a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss this transaction.

The webcast is available at or

A replay of the call will be available at

For More Information Additional information regarding the transaction can be found on About Fujifilm FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation with leading-edge, proprietary technologies by leveraging its photography expertise into a broad range of industries globally, including healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products.

These products are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. Fujifilm has operated in North America since 1965, with approximately 6,000 employees currently in the U.S. and Canada. For the year ended March 31, 2017, the company had global revenues of $20.7 billion, at an exchange rate of 112 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit:

About Xerox Xerox Corporation is a technology leader that innovates the way the world communicates, connects and works. We understand what’s at the heart of sharing information – and all of the forms it can take. We embrace the integration of paper and digital, the increasing requirement for mobility, and the need for seamless integration between work and personal worlds.

Every day, our innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions help people communicate and work better. Discover more at and follow us on Twitter at @Xerox. About Fuji Xerox Founded in 1962, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. is a leading company in the Document Services & Communications field, offering solutions and services to help customers resolve their business challenges. Underlying our solutions and services are our world-class office multifunction devices, printers and production printers that we develop and manufacture for worldwide distribution. Together with cloud and mobile solutions, Fuji Xerox builds a communications environment that enable our customers to access the right information, at the right time, and in the right form—thereby contributing to their valuable communications.

Fuji Xerox is a 75-25 joint venture between FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation and Xerox Corporation, and its direct sales force covers Japan and the Asia-Pacific region including China. As a $10 billion enterprise, we employ approximately 47,350 people globally, with more than 80 domestic and overseas affiliates / sales subsidiaries. For more information, please visit Additional Information and Where to Find It This release may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the transactions with FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (“Fujifilm") described herein (the “Transactions”) and/or the matters to be considered at the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In connection with the Transactions and the 2018 Annual Meeting, Xerox plans to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and furnish to Xerox’s shareholders one or more proxy statements and other relevant documents.


Xerox’s shareholders will be able to obtain a free copy of documents filed with the SEC at the SEC’s website at In addition, Xerox’s shareholders may obtain a free copy of Xerox’s filings with the SEC from Xerox’s website at under the heading “Investor Relations” and then under the heading “SEC Filings.” Participants in the Solicitation The directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees of Xerox may be deemed “participants” in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders of Xerox in favor of the Transactions or in connection with the matters to be considered at the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting.

Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be considered participants in the solicitation of the shareholders of Xerox in connection with the Transactions or the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting will be set forth in the applicable proxy statement and other relevant documents to be filed with the SEC. You can find information about Xerox’s executive officers and directors in Xerox’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, Xerox’s and such persons’ other filings with the SEC and in Xerox’s definitive proxy statement filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This release, and other written or oral statements made from time to time by management contain “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “will”, “should” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current beliefs, assumptions and expectations and are subject to a number of factors that may cause actual results to differ materially. Such factors include but are not limited to: our ability to address our business challenges in order to reverse revenue declines, reduce costs and increase productivity so that we can invest in and grow our business; changes in economic and political conditions, trade protection measures, licensing requirements and tax laws in the United States and in the foreign countries in which we do business; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; our ability to successfully develop new products, technologies and service offerings and to protect our intellectual property rights; the risk that multi-year contracts with governmental entities could be terminated prior to the end of the contract term and that civil or criminal penalties and administrative sanctions could be imposed on us if we fail to comply with the terms of such contracts and applicable law; the risk that partners, subcontractors and software vendors will not perform in a timely, quality manner; actions of competitors and our ability to promptly and effectively react to changing technologies and customer expectations; our ability to obtain adequate pricing for our products and services and to maintain and improve cost efficiency of operations, including savings from restructuring actions; the risk that individually identifiable information of customers, clients and employees could be inadvertently disclosed or disclosed as a result of a breach of our security systems; reliance on third parties, including subcontractors, for manufacturing of products and provision of services; our ability to manage changes in the printing environment and expand equipment placements; interest rates, cost of borrowing and access to credit markets; funding requirements associated with our employee pension and retiree health benefit plans; the risk that our operations and products may not comply with applicable worldwide regulatory requirements, particularly environmental regulations and directives and anti-corruption laws; the outcome of litigation and regulatory proceedings to which we may be a party; the risk that we do not realize all of the expected strategic and financial benefits from the separation and spin-off of our Business Process Outsourcing business; the effects on our business resulting from actions of activist shareholders; and other factors that are set forth in the “Risk Factors” section, the “Legal Proceedings” section, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section and other sections of our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2017, June 30, 2017 and September 30, 2017 and our 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC.

Furthermore, the actual results of the Transactions could vary materially as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) the risk that the transactions may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect Xerox’s business and the price of Xerox’s common stock, (ii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transactions, including the receipt of certain approvals from Xerox’s shareholders and certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iii) the parties may be unable to achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies in the transactions within the expected time frames or at all, (iv) the transactions may not result in the accretion to Xerox’s earnings or other benefits, (v) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the transaction agreements, (vi) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transactions on Xerox’s and/or Fujifilm business relationships, operating results, and business generally, risks related to the proposed transactions disrupting Xerox’s current plans and operations and potential difficulties in Xerox’s employee retention as a result of the transactions, (vii) risks related to diverting management's attention from Xerox’s ongoing business operations, (viii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Xerox, its officers or directors related to the transaction agreements or the transactions and (ix) the possibility that competing offers or acquisition proposals for Xerox will be made. Xerox assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments, except as required by law. Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. (“Fuji Xerox”) is a joint venture between Xerox Corporation and Fujifilm in which Xerox holds a noncontrolling 25% equity interest and Fujifilm holds the remaining equity interest.

In April 2017, Fujifilm formed an independent investigation committee (“IIC”) to primarily conduct a review of the appropriateness of the accounting practices at Fuji Xerox’s New Zealand subsidiary and at other subsidiaries. The IIC completed its review during the second quarter 2017 and identified aggregate adjustments to Fuji Xerox’s financial statements of approximately JPY 40 billion (approximately $360 million) primarily related to misstatements at Fuji Xerox’s New Zealand and Australian subsidiaries. We determined that our share of the total adjustments identified as part of the investigation was approximately $90 million and impacted our fiscal years 2009 through 2017. We concluded that we should revise our previously issued annual and interim consolidated financial statements for 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 the next time they are filed. Our review of this matter has been completed. However, Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox continue to review Fujifilm’s oversight and governance of Fuji Xerox as well as Fuji Xerox’s oversight and governance over its businesses in light of the findings of the IIC. At this time, we can provide no assurances relative to the outcome of any potential governmental investigations or any consequences thereof that may happen as a result of this matter. -XXX- 1 Based on diluted shares outstanding as of January 31, 2018, assuming no conversion of preferred shares.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#ManagedPrintServices: What if the OEM's Threw a Party, and Nobody Came?


I had, yet another, epiphany the other day while sitting in front of a prospect, reviewing his fleet over my 8-page "Approach Document", poking through the pain, and proposing an MPS S1 Engagement.

I realized that this and every, single, assessment have had one thing in common - overcapacity.

11x17 at 1% of volume; duplex at 4% of volume; fax machines physically next to MFPs with fax capability next to laser printers; 5-year leases; fuser assemblies and toner sitting next to oh so many client's Canon/Xerox/Ricoh/Konica/Copier-De-Jour.

I thought to myself,

"What's going to happen when everybody realizes they don't need a copier?"

Last week I sat in on a Lexmark MPS webinar - the OEM doesn't matter as much as the customer (always) - Columbia.

As a matter of fact, 60 seconds into the show, I felt I wasn't going to make it past five minutes. I mean, I expect to be "pitched" but a read speech? I swear it was pre-recorded. OMG.

Toughing it out, my staying power was rewarded.

Mike Leeper, Global IT, Columbia, presented a frank, honest, and downright refreshing story of his MPS implementation. Two years into a successful MPS Engagement breaking 10 years of status quo.

Now, I am familiar with the DOW Chemical MPS and Nationwide MPS Project, so I have a good framework for comparison. Both DOW and Nationwide are successful, cost-reducing examples.

I won't bore you with the many details except these:

1. Moved decision process out of Facilities
2. Past decision process was very hardware-centric
3. Print Vendors were just like "...used car salespeople..."
4. Printing was considered boring
5. Success hinged on selling internally and continually communicating
6. Network-only devices considered
7. Project reduced costs by 37%
8. Reduced printed output by 1 million images
9. Effectively "killed" all the previous copiers(DOTC) - zero remained

The last two should send chills up the spine of every OEM and induce the booted, incumbent to hurl - through his nose.

MPS engagements like these are the Pure MPS - how can you commoditize this?

But wait, commoditizing is exactly what the manufacturers want - get all this MPS stuff boiled down to the most basic, simplistic, lowest common denominator. Make it easy enough for a monkey or copier rep(jk!)to sell.

Create tools that kill the art of MPS, and stifle creativity and growth by automatically creating proposals and QBR marketing slicks. Just press F7.

Cram MPS into the old, "slay it and move on" sales model. As long as that MPS engagement includes 11x17, an unused duplex, and a fax machine with every copier.

Back to my prospect.

As happens with like-minded folks, conversations travel the spectrum of technical subjects, tangents really. Some would say, tangents get in the way of the close. Yeah, right.

So we talked about the Agile methodology, Google, SaaS, dual-monitors, MPS(reducing output),, and the new control end-users share via social networking.

How, today, the ultimate buyer has more choices and how everybody is collaborating. I told him MPS really expanded around the world because of the new social media - the buzz started online.

I expressed my belief that finally, in my little world of copiers/output devices, the shift from Supply (copier OEM) to Demand-driven(ultimate end-user)is taking place.

The party may not be over but fewer and fewer will be attending...

I think he was being polite when he agreed with me.

Either way, we decided to move forward with an MPS S1 Engagement.

So, now that I have a close, I guess I should strike out and "slay" another one, right?

Takes every kind of people...

Click to email me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Darkness Descends: AI Doom for Document Management SMEs

If "Where there is Mystery there is Margin" is your catchphrase, you deserve what's coming.

I just read a blood-curdling article that was not intended for our industry.  The story was not penned by one of our beloved industry writers or curators.  It wasn't birthed by any resident bloviator or hired shrill.

By all accounts, the tome is innocuous, if not boring.  There exists between the ink or pixels, an ominous report for those of us residing in the realm of fire and static, of paper and notions; "The End is Near."

Through the haze that is the fear of Covid, the desperation of supply chains, and the illumination of a purpose beyond the cubicle, copiers prevailed. Even with the fall of private equity, commercial real estate, and an unhealthy dose of self-loathing, dealers remained.  They stood.

That was then, this is now.

No degree of strategy, tactics, or blind luck will save us now.  Artificial intelligence will render the document's annihilation - and with it, an industry.  

The title of a recent article,

"Microsoft’s new Copilot will change Office documents forever"

should scare the shit out of every single person in the Office Technology Realm. OEMs from NJ to Japan are quaking or swimming the sweet River of Bliss.

The Event Horizon is passed, Gravity has us all now.  It's a matter of hours.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Recharger Show, Managed Print Services and One Miff'd CEO

A few weeks ago, I ran across a blog entry over at "Adventures in Office Imaging". I know Nathan, the guy who wrote an MPS song, and has sponsored the "Destroy your Printer" contest, these last two years.

What caught my eye was the title, "Skipping this year's Recharger World Expo"

In the second paragraph,

"...The "Summit" is really just a sales pitch camouflaged as an MPS-101 course. It encourages everyone-and-his-uncle to dive into the market, then tells them they need a toner vendor or a printer-copier manufacturer as their "MPS partner..."


I put a few questions together for the author, the CEO of Expert Laser Services, Luke Carpentier. He was very kind in answering

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The End Of MPS, The Beginning of MpS

Recent market data for the global hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market saw a 10.6 percent yearly decline, though MPS growth has continued across the world. HP shows an 18.6% decline in unit shipments, Y/Y. - IDC, 2016

It doesn't need to be said, does it? The office environment has been moving away from print for the past decade. I know it, the OEMs know it, and in your heart, you know it too.

Managed print services is a trailing indicator, 'growth' is a statistic anomaly - expanding in a shrinking pool - there are no new clicks.

You want to survive and thrive in the technology industry. It's easier to sell copiers and implement a managed print services practice than it is to bring a managed services practice but the IT world represents growth and opportunity.

What should you do?

"...Come With Me Now..."

Years ago, I preached the coming of managed print services as the wave of the future.

Then, I saw managed print services as an on-ramp to business process/workflow optimization, teaching simple, workflow analysis embedded in the standard assessment.

Next, evangelizing managed services as the new frontier for copier/printer providers, I recommended third-parties like Collabrance and Continuum.

Today, I've come full circle and looking at managed print services basics. The tools I've seen, and I've seen or worked with almost all of them - are impressive.

Here are some of my observations:
  1. Heavy - cumbersome to use, demand time from MpS practitioner
  2. Print-data, intense - print only, some end-user, but no outside asset data
  3. Sales static - the 'map' and client data remain in the sales silo, or not easily transportable into contracts or service
  4. The Tool 'does the thinking for you' - plug the data in and out comes a current and recommended state in a 300 page Word doc
I see lots of TCO tools, column reports, graphs, and dashboards and I think we can do better. I'm looking at how I conduct assessments and the tools I would use in the field. Additionally, I'm taking a holistic view - I'd like to know how the fleet is performing in terms of service calls and profitability. 

Finally, I'd like to be in a position to offer my clients an engagement that includes ANY asset type.

With this in mind, we've designed a tool that:
  1. Collects data from multiple databases: DCA, service desk, dispatch, accounting system
  2. Helps you easily conduct assessments and present mapped proposals
  3. Enables you to create, and doesn't do the thinking for you
Point #1
Real management software displays ANY asset; printers, copiers, desktops, laptops, phones, projectors, oxygen bottles. But more impactful, is our ability to draw together related, yet disconnected data. For instance, we show the number of service calls placed on an asset, the install date, the number of toners delivered, revenue and profit generated; for the universal MIF, client fleet, or individual asset.

The solution must work within your managed print services ecosystem - the 'map' not only supports new sales, but integrates through sales to service to management to ownership; salespeople engage and asses, service utilizes mapping, and management looks into real-time financial information with the tap of a screen.

Point #2
With or without a DCA/Thumb drive, a practitioner conducts interviews and records findings. Manual entry of device data(manufacturer, model, volumes, etc.) is achieved through the use of the onboard survey tool. Machine data files may be uploaded or directly integrated, but is not necessary.

Point #3
Some existing systems deliver everything from a prospect's total cost of operation to a final proposal in Word leaving the "specialist" with nothing more to do than email the proposal or deliver pie.

I cannot tell you how often I’m asked for an ‘assessment’ or ‘mps contract’ sample. I’ve conducted assessments on paper, laptops, and in my head but I still use a basic outline of questions. 
“We interviewed 25 employees and 62% of them responded that service calls are not being completed within 72 hours. 87% felt ordering toner required three to four hours to complete.” 

Atlas - MpS. Assessment Logic*
We’ve incorporated a survey function that can be administered for each asset. In the case of a non-integrated - no DCA software - simple machine data collected on one screen. This isn't a data dump, the questions included collect relevant information you need to create a compelling proposal. I’ve also included basic workflow questions and sales related queries.

Once the survey is completed, the data is attached to that specific asset - the answers can be used as analysis. For instance, “We interviewed 25 employees and 62% of them responded that service calls are not being completed within 72 hours. 87% felt ordering toner required three to four hours to complete.” could be one of your compelling arguments for change.

Atlas - MpS. Contract Completion*
The sales and service teams rarely communicate but an integral part of a great customer experience is the effortless transition from proposing to implementing. One important issue is to correctly communicate data proposed, like existing device serial numbers, location, point of contact, beginning meter reads, CPI, etc. The information is captured during the assessment and proposal stage - why not simply populate a .PDF of your engagement?

Why not have the digital version of your contract available for signature immediately after the presentation? Atlas - Mps has this capability to complete your contract. Print it if you like, or have your client digitally sign right then and there. Email the completed form to your contracts department and have the account set up before you get back to the office. Ring that bell.

Atlas - MpS. Print Policy Framework*
Ultimately, a fully engaged, high level managed print services engagement results in a Print Policy.
Atlas - MpS, will create the blank Print Policy template and present data to support the generation of content.

Once the print policy is in place, Atlas - MpS helps you managed the engagement against the goals set forth in the policy. The information is real time, specific data points are monitored and statused as either “in or out of policy”.

No more quarterly reviews - review the fleet and goals of the program at any time.

One More thing…

Atlas is adept at integrating disparate databases and managing IT assets. Once you begin to utilize Atlas - MpS, the door opens into the IT realm. We’re not suggesting you invest in a data center, or engage with a third party to provide help desk, end-point monitoring services. We suggest talking with your IT contacts about “Asset Lifecycle Management”. You help track their IT assets, manage technology upgrades and equipment refresh with Atlas all for a monthly subscription. We can help you.

Atlas - MpS is different, simple and dynamic, helping managed print practitioners solidify their position in imaging, while opening opportunities outside of print.

Find Your Way.

Reach out to me.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

HP Channel Execs: We'll Fund Small Solution Providers Too

Wow, I guess whining doesn't happen exclusively in the printer channel...

Looks like HP is opening the "wallet" for some HP partners as it has at CDW.

From an article at CRN - "Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) channel executives said Monday that they are willing to fund SMB initiatives for small solution providers, including co-funding employee salaries, in an effort to capture more market share..."

This announced after a little ruckus occurred following HP's announcement to work with CDW.

But as Adrian Jones, HP's vice president and general manager, Americas Solution Partners Organization said, "...give us your ideas. Give us your proposals about how we can work together to co-fund and co-invest in that [SMB] segment and we will gladly listen and gladly work with you. ... we've invested in large partners. We've invested in small partners. And we are going to continue to invest in the SMB market. If we've got partners that feel that they can help us reach the SMB space, please give us a call."


I know this to be true. I know partners who work with HP in this capacity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Managed print Services: Choking on Our Own Words...

Unknown source: "I'm glad this happened..."

January 2013, edited 2016

Think about it - in terms of the imaging, printing, and copying industry...and now throw in the Information Technology (IT) industry...

How many technology webinars...are you invited to?  Do 1900 dealers need 500 webinars?

How many managed print services training classes...even come close to connecting with your reality in the field?

How many managed print services programs...teach their views, contradicting or repeating what you already know and may even do already? 

How many conferences, shows...Blah, blah to the blah....does the industry need?  Check out the VAR Guys' top 100 shows for 2013:  Technology Event Calendar: Top 100 Channel Partner Conferences

Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.  - Plato

Leaders are able to discern what's sustainable and valuable from the past and what's not.  It is the will of leaders to align, focus, and build cadence while releasing expectations, and tendencies to copy, compare and compete with others.  Those behaviors are survival, reptilian and short-term ways of the past; weak and unsustainable in an increasingly innovative world.

True story.  There is a guy in the industry that serves as a leader by copying others.  He copies ideas, conversations, presentations, websites, and even locations for training with hopes of being more than he is.  We'd like to thank him for being so ostentatious in his copying.  He's helped us in some sort of backward way.

Have you ever seen a copy come out better than the original?  No.

It's time for the death of copiers all around.  Not just the machines, but how we behave, lead, act, and do.  We're tasting a bit of our own medicine, and becoming uncomfortable.  It's time to kill and experience the death of the...mundane.  No more webinars, training classes, programs, conferences, and shows pushed out to the masses.  We'll work one to one or one to a few.

Intimate.  Creative.  Productive.

Here's the rub -

If you are a company that hosts trade shows, your revenue streams may include charging attendees and presenters - all fine and dandy.  But how transparent, let alone honest, are you if you sell tickets to an 'educational' session, that ends up being nothing more than a paid 90-minute commercial?

 "That's the way it's always been done..." is not your core value, is it?

If you're a research company, one would think you would make a living conducting research and presenting findings.  Then why host trade shows and train salespeople?  Aren't you selling content and hosting symposiums?

Associations should derive revenue in an effort to support the improvement of their members, not chase big OEM "sponsorship".

If you're an industry publication, should you pay for content, charge for the opportunity to submit content, or take all the content you can, for free, and charge for advertising?

There's nothing unusual about any of these models, but they've become mundane; tedious, and fatiguing.

Think deeply -  trades shows,  white papers, copier training, MpS Seminars, and buzz are examples of us talking to ourselves.


I've been working with end-users, and IT departments in various industries, helping them reign in costs, evaluate vendors and enhance the productivity of their IT services.

This gives us a great view of ourselves through the eyes of your customers.  We've reviewed proposals from large MpS/MDS providers as well as some of the best-known IT/VARs.

We're not only listening to the presentations, but we're also hearing the "backstory".  And they're not pretty.  It's embarrassing.

Our industry is in a "turnaround" period, reversing, backpedaling, and on a downward turn - if anyone tells you differently, they're lying not only to you but to themselves as well.

People made this niche great.

You do know teaching people how to increase a 'share of wallet' is not sustainable, right?

Join us.

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.

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