Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Copier Model is Sinking


Print volumes are down, businesses continue to shed devices, MpS providers are evolving from marks on paper to IT services and what do our OEMs do?

They release more than 20 'new' devices, each; fighting for every, last print, click, and cartridge.

To the end.

They're jostling for deckchairs nearest the pool - on the Titanic. What's worse, they expect you to fight with them - never mind that gushing sound.

"Better" toner, special ink, embedded keyboards, 'intuitive' user interfaces, digital on-ramps, document management software (tied to an equipment quota) will not save the vessel - 'rebates/kickbacks' and special hardware pricing is and always has been a 30 day approach.  Nothing can stop the water - people will not print as much as they once had.
There are no new "clicks."

It's refusing to believe in icebergs after being gouged from bow to stern.

But a few of us know. The Signs have been there, the writing was on the wall, and icebergs have been easy to spot.

We've paid attention to the quarterly earnings reports, understood the consolidation of our industry is now the disintegration of companies:
  • Paper plants have long shut down.
  • HP split in two; too big to fail?
  • Lexmark consolidated, then sold.
  • Xerox fading; too big to purchase?
  • Dealers coagulating then sell to investment groups.
  • Leveraged toner remanufactures closing all watertight doors, polishing the brass, then hoist the "For Sale" sign - as a whole or in pieces.
  • Who know's the truth with the offshore OEMs, they're steaming off into the fog, oblivious and happy.
Do not believe the tired old lines of "print is not dead".  It's the crew's way of not spreading panic.  Phrases like, "...its business as usual...", "...we see this merger as a way to better serve our customers...", "...we're excited about the opportunity to inject cash into new ideas..." are delivered to placate and numb you to the truth - "this ship will sink".

Recognize that your OEM wants more shelf-space and will wrap their machines in solutions, apps, rebates or warm, apple pie to get you to place units.

This Gregism is as true today as it was back in 2007,
"On the first of the month we sell solutions, after the 15th, we move machines."
This is a losing argument.  Today's technology prospect understands "the cheapest image is the one you never print".

We've got lifeboats, but you remember about the lifeboats, don't you? There are only so many.

Lifeboat One - Sell out. If you can, do it.

Lifeboat Two - Stay and swim. Good luck, Jack.  It took nearly a decade before Kodak went away, maybe you'll have the same luck.

Lifeboat Three - Find your way and survive to thrive. If you can sell copiers, you can sell anything. MpS practitioners can apply the same skills; assess, analyze, recommend and implement - to ANY 'As A Service' offering.

"As a service" offerings are materializing faster than print is dying.  Now is the time to look beyond the assessment, quota, clicks, billing scheme, and the old copier model.

But hurry, there's water over the bulkheads, its only a matter of time.



"The Ship Will Sink"

Click to email me. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Case Against TCO tools: They Don’t Work

Feathers, prepare to be ruffled.

I know people who know people who have created some of the best Total Cost of Operation/Ownership calculators in the business. Indeed, collecting historical cost figures for such a wide variety of output devices, then applying mathematical formula's to the data, is a daunting task - it can take years to build a good TCO tool.

I've seen the biggest and the 'best' tools available; each time I've walked away thinking,

"Am I the only person who sees how complex and burdensome these things are?"

In the past six months, I have heard folks express frustration over TCO tools -"...too complex, time consuming and unreliable..." No, I am not the only one feeling TCO tools are losing relevancy.

I see three reasons for this:

  1. TCO Tools are Wrong
  2. TCO Tools are designed for Us, Not Them
  3. TCO Tools focus on cost

The Tools are Wrong -

There once was a tool designed and utilized by the largest printer manufacturer in the world. Because the company had been around forever, they had a detailed and in-depth data set of real costs. The database was huge; including figures on just about every printer or copier in the market. It was an experience scrolling through the reams of data - impressive.

The tool was Excel workbook, required 3 days of training to understand and prove more effective if used daily and supported a specialist.

One day, I was putting together a TCO report for a prospective 50 devices. The fleet contained multiple printer and copier manufacturers.

The Tool was awesome.

 I was able to find every device and all related cost components - this was going to be great.

I had high hopes.

Determining TCO for single function printers was a snap and accurate. But when I was establishing cost figures for copiers, I ran into a peculiar issue; all the cost of supporting a copier were rolled into the TCO - rollers, springs, scanning units, ADF’s, paper-tray elements, toner, fuser oil and so on. The information was detailed, correct and to the copier user, irrelevant.

The majority of copier customers do not recognize ANY of these costs. Clients with an “all inclusive” service agreement, never see a charge for rollers or fuser oil - these are covered under the service agreement.

This was a major flaw. If I were to present this figure to a client as their total cost of ownership for copiers, he would have laughed me out the door.

In a second and more familiar scenario, I once presented what I believed to be a solid projection of another prospects TCO. I utilized a tool, found every device in question, applied the known data points and calculated a monthly cost. When first queried, the prospect had no idea how much he was paying for toner and service, but unbeknownst to me, he rustled up some invoices before my presentation.

My figures were grossly exaggerated when compared to his actual cost.  Has this ever happened to you?

I know, I know your TCO tool is easy to use and always accurate, so I must be referring to everyone else's TCO tool, not yours.

Designed for Us, Not Them -

As a practice manager, I've utilized TCO tools to tell me how much MY cost would be if I were to include an “off” brand device under my MpS engagement.

In this case, the TCO tool worked well.

And that’s my point, these tools are designed from the viewpoint of a provider, not the client.

When we suggest to a prospect, how much he's paying, it is us telling them.  Sure, they might agree with your methodology and even your derived cost figures.  But the days of clients believing any sales statement, unchallenged, are waning.  Fewer prospects are comfortable being told what they do not know.

Today, a business worth its salt, can easily determine how much they've spent on toner and paper and services calls - entry level accounting systems track and report this information with the click of a mouse.

Here's the real dirt - most of the designers, creators and providers of TCO tools have never sat across a prospect and proposed a sale.  They've never had a customer challenge the numbers and they've never depended on commissions to pay for food or diapers.

Focus on CPI-

We never leave a proposal at the front desk.
We never discuss cost, except in round numbers, over the phone.
We never make price the only factor.

Sales 101, right?

Then why, oh why, do we boil a sale down to cost per image/machine/unit lead with a TCO?

You see that, right?

When you install the DCA,  run the TCO calculating cost per image, and propose a solution that reduces your client' TCO you've accelerated the commoditization of our industry.


One more thing - It is Too Late

Not only are the tools inaccurate, anti-client and sales-stunting - everybody is or has a TCO tool in their sales-bag.  This has been going on for decades, we say and believe one thing at the beginning of the month and by the 15th, we're all back to selling as many boxes, images, seats, users, licenses as possible, at a "competitive" price.

It is the way of things.

The train is off the tracks, gravity has taken hold, the bottom is rushing up - margins tumble, OEM's disintegrate, clicks vanish.

Chang the way you sell? It just doesn't matter.

What to do -

I've been there, I've watched this shift occur over the years, not just in printing/copying but in technology, entertainment and the auto industry.  Things change.  Everything dies, baby, that's a fact.

Except and move forward:

  1. Solidify you existing business - use new, simple tools applicable to other niches
  2. Pivot into new areas - you know this
  3. Get rid of your OEM - don't be afraid, let them wear the albatross, not you

Just because something didn't last forever, doesn't mean it wasn't perfect.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Can You Simplify Your Managed Print Services Life?

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Your managed print services sales life is crowded. Cold calls, ridealongs, training, demos, deliveries, proposal generation, customer service, assessments, DCA installations, customer questions, follow up, complaints and emergency toner delivery. How many devices do you need to understand and articulate the benefits of? Do you own your elevator pitch, value prop and sales script?

Do you have a smartphone, tablet, and laptop? What, two phones? Busy, aren’t you?

I bet you use all the software they can throw at you — email, Excel, Word, PowerPoint. Don’t forget your CRM entries, funnel and forecast reports, account diagraming and those important meetings: Monday morning sales, Wednesday lunch and learns, Friday weekly recap, and on and on and on. Today, the skillset required to sell, manage or offer managed print services combines all of the above and then some. In addition to asking the standard copier questions about lease expiration dates, monthly equipment and service payments, duplex, color or mono, and why copy in the first place, you collect equipment, usage and the costs associated with printers.

All this before asking, “Why print?”

Read the rest, here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MWA Intelligence, Inc. Announces Winner of The Jillian Fund Motorcycle Raffle

Congratulations, Danny Terril, Owner of OES-Solutions

Scottsdale, AZ - June 22, 2016 - MWA Intelligence Inc. (MWAi), a master value-added reseller (MVAR) and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for SAP Business One and leader in enterprise resource planning software (ERP) concludes their motorcycle journey, traversing across the country in a teamed up effort with Clover Imaging Group and The Jillian Fund.

The Jillian Fund honors Jillian Gorman, a young woman diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer that tragically ended 4 years later. The Jillian Fund provides financial support to parents with children who are suffering life-threatening illnesses that require critical care. They also award academic scholarships to young women who portray extraordinary faith and leadership within their communities. With donations they receive, The Jillian Fund is able to provide families in need with monetary support covering: household and child care expenses, lodging, transportation and meals. As of to date, the charity has raised over $355,000 with more and more donations pouring in.

“You get a real sense of fulfillment when you decide to partake in something bigger than yourself. To have the opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause for Jillian, a brave young woman has been nothing short of an honor,” said Michael T. Stramaglio, President and CEO of MWA Intelligence, Inc. “The amount of support that families have received is tremendously incredible from The Jillian Fund and it has been amazing to have association with this charity. On behalf of all those involved, including the donors, it has been an extreme pleasure.”

In total, the motorcycle trek encompassed 10 stops starting with MWA Intelligence, Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ and ending at Des Plaines Office Equipment in Chicago, IL. The duration of the trip lasted 10 days, from May 23rd, 2016 to June 1st which included visits to the following dealerships and manufacturers: Muratec, Datamax, Memphis Communications Corporation, Advanced Office Systems, Cobb Technologies, Stones Office Equipment, Perry proTECH, and Des Plaines Office Equipment.

While in Washington, D.C., the riders participated with The Rolling Thunder, a nonprofit organization dedicated to publicizing positive causes and to educate the American people. Each year The Rolling Thunder organize an annual ride in Washington, D.C. where up to 1 million participants partake in such a cause.

Generously, Clover Imaging Group donated the customized 2011 Harley Davidson Fat Bob for a raffle. The proceeds from the ticket sales went directly toward The Jillian Fund.

A very appreciative and grateful thank you to all who were involved in the ride and to those who donated for such a worthy cause. The updated total raised from donations and from the ticket sales surmounted $120,000 and growing which would not have been made possible without the efforts from all those involved.

“As a pancreatic cancer survivor myself, OES-Solutions was beyond happy to support such a great cause. I could not fathom having to go through what I went through alone and I truly believe that no one person should ever have to endure that. Without organizations like The Jillian Fund, some families would not be able to spend the necessary time with their loved ones in their time of need. I thank all the people involved at the Jillian Fund, it’s an honor both personally and professionally to be a part of such a great cause. I have to admit that winning the Harley Davidson this year was extremely exciting but the real prize is the relationships that I have developed working with Mike Stramaglio and everyone involved so once again from everyone here at OES-Solutions we thank you and look forward to working with you in the future” said Danny Terril, Owner of OES-Solutions, cancer survivor, and supporter of The Jillian Fund.

MWAi FORZA with SAP Business One is a complete, integrated ERP that provides transparency and instant visibility into operations. The FORZA solution helps dealerships to better unify, manage, and control their entire business across financials, sales, customers, and operations. Together, MWA Intelligence and SAP will provide office technology and imaging channel businesses the ability to make smart IT decisions, improve future performance, and achieve long-term success.

About OES-Solutions:
Founded on the highest standards of integrity, reliability, and flexibility, OES-Solutions provides an array of OEM printers, multifunction copiers, fax machines and consumables from several of the industry’s top manufactures. With over 15 years and $150 million in sales and experience, OES - Solutions offers products, programs and support that cater to the needs of independent office equipment dealers throughout the United States.

For additional information, please visit OES-Solutions website:

About The Jillian Fund:

Jillian Lauren Gorman was the embodiment of strength and encouragement to others, and recognized the importance of a parent’s presence and support during difficult times. The Jillian Fund believes that children facing life-threatening illnesses should never face them alone. Each day, thousands of critically ill children face long hospital stays without a parent by their side because the parent is financially unable to leave work. The Jillian Fund is dedicated to uniting families in need during their most critical times and providing academic financial support to young women who demonstrate Jillian’s legacy of living by example and conquering fear with faith. The Jillian Fund is a 501(c)(3) Organization.

For additional information, please visit The Jillian Fund website:

About MWA Intelligence, Inc.:

MWA Intelligence Inc. (MWAi), an SAP Business One OEM partner, delivers enterprise-class and leading-edge Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Machine-to-People (M2P) solutions to better serve the imaging industry. MWAi’s intelligent service, workforce, assets and GPS solution suites deliver mission-critical information in real time to the hands of customer-facing employees and into companies’ back-end ERP systems including the powerful MWAi FORZA with SAP Business One. The MWAi solution automates all of the business intelligence management, meter collection, consumables and service alerts and also offers an integrated pre-sale MPS tool.

For additional information, please visit the MWA Intelligence corporate website:

# # #

For more information:

Jenna Stramaglio


MWA Intelligence, Inc.

(480) 538-5969

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why can't you see open and closed tickets, toner shipped, and revenue generated by client, contract, location and device? How about your clients' non-print assets?

Under your MpS engagements, which OEM is most profitable?  Sharp? HP? Kyocera?  What model?

Which client is costing you the most to support?

For your enterprise customer, can you determine the most active floor, which devices are generating a high number of help desk calls? Can you see lease payment and expiration date for those devices?


Displayed on your phone?

Atlas - MpS can help you.  Not just print, everything.

Join us for a simple discussion around this complex and cluttered issue:

ATLAS - MpS More than a Map


Thursday, June 30, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (CDT)

Eventbrite - ATLAS - MpS More than a Map

Find Your Way.