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"A" is For Asset Allocation

14 Apr, 2008 By: Rob Gilbert imageSource

"A" is For Asset Allocation

Consulting with a prospect involves many layers of fact finding and problem
solving. The laundry list of things to think about and accomplish seems endless:

  • Initial Appointment
  • Workflow Analysis
  • Network Audit
  • Floor Plan
  • Walkthroughs
  • Interviews
  • Analysis
  • Presentation
  • Recommendations

Each piece is essential to a thorough account assessment. Asset allocation is
where you set yourself apart from your competition.

Understanding what volumes exist and how they are being produced will
ultimately help you determine what your solution will be.  With the help of your
interviews of key personnel, floor plan of where devices are located, and
workflow analysis you can draw conclusions about where bottlenecks occur, how to
improve efficiencies, decrease costs, speed up workflow, and the like.

Most sales reps can throw an MFP at a problem, but taking the time to analyze
device volume and properly align it is true consultative work.  Asset allocation
is all about right sizing devices, replacing older technology, re-assigning
volumes to specific printers or MFPs, and creating an environment where the
technology in place is being used in the most effective manner it can be. 

The ability to take a solution to a prospect that maximizes efficiency while
decreasing costs and enhancing productivity will earn you the respect and the
buy-in that you need to secure the sale.  Here’s an example:

You perform an audit and find 12 aging HP printers.  One is a 40 PPM black
printer generating 2,000 prints per month.  Another is a 20 PPM black printer
generating 22,000 prints per month.  Several printers are more than 9 years
old.  Most have only simplex capability, and no finishing capability.  You
discover that the company outsources 5,000 color prints per month, and 8,000
black copies that are sorted and stapled. 

The lesser qualified salesperson might offer to have the prospect move the
volume of all of the printers to one or two MFPs and use those to print
everything because it’s cheaper to print to an MFP than a printer.  The problem,
of course, is that without taking the time to analyze traffic flow, document
workflow, and knowing what types of documents are being generated, there is no
way to understand if this strategy would work at all.  It is not always (or even
seldom) realistic to displace all printers in favor of one or more MFPs. 

There are too many inter-office politics and IT concerns to overcome.  Most
prospects are convinced that their printers are cheap to maintain and print to,
and having to walk more than five feet to get their work is too much strain for

Your workflow analysis should give you some tips on how to effectively
combine volumes and increase productivity at the same time. Fortunately, there
are tools available like Compass Opportunity Manager to help you map volumes and
assign assets properly.

In this case, the proper solution would be to:

1 - Remove the old printers

2 - Switch the low volume with the high volume printer to maximize life
expectancy of both

3 - Leave newer printers in place that your company has the ability to service

4 - Quote a color MFP with finishing capability that will capture outsourcing
dollars now spent, and re-assign

the volume of the removed printers to it as well

You will always win if you have the prospect’s best interest in mind when
creating your solution.  Utilizing their existing technology properly, providing
better service on existing equipment, selling new multi-functional devices,
decreasing out costs, creating greater throughput in their office environment,
and enhancing productivity are all ways to warm the heart of the president or
CFO of your prospective new customer.

Rob Gilbert, Sr. – DSM Fleet Management Services, came to Compass with 20
years experience in the office equipment industry, working as a sales rep,
senior rep and major account manager for an independent dealership in VA., Sales
Manager for Ikon for 5 years, and as Director of Sales for an independent dealer
acquired by Global Services.  Rob was Image Management Certified by the Ricoh
Corporation, and has a full understanding of CPP programs from consultation to

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