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e-automate: Helping dealers skate to where the PUC will be

19 Feb, 2010 By: Editorial Staff imageSource

e-automate: Helping dealers skate to where the PUC will be

Bill Gates said, “If you don’t recreate your business every 3 years, then
your competition will.” This statement was driven home over 3 years ago at ITEX
when industry leaders from Global & Toshiba USA warned that HP would be the
biggest threat to the copier dealer community.

During an economic high tide at the time, many dismissed the notion, but as
it turns out, Bill Gates, Global  & Toshiba USA were right. Hindsight is 20/20.
Dealers that have not yet adopted MPS strategies and technologies that put pages
under contract permanently remind us of the railroad companies that missed their
window of opportunity to secure their future because they opted to stay in the
railroad business instead of evolving with the transportation industry. Like the
copier dealers that still  ignore MPS,  they were  left scratching their heads &
empty wallets when they realized the competition had left them behind and the
train had left the station.  IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE TONER!

Remember The Bones Song—“The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone. The
ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone…” Here’s how it goes when applied to
copier dealers & MPS—“The revenue bone’s connected to the toner bone. The toner
bone’s connected to the printer bone. The printer bone better not be connected
to my competitors’ bones…”

Historically in our industry at least 60% of a dealer’s revenue came from
existing customers.  Economic woes  have  caused this trend to increase
dramatically. In 2009, some dealers experienced up  to 90% of their revenues
coming from existing customers due to the stall in new equipment purchases.

Innovative dealers reversed the trend by adding MPS to their offerings. For
years copier dealers walked by the printers of an existing customer to get to
the copiers. Now the savvy, non-railroad-like dealers are adding new revenue by
getting those printers & their pages under contract as a part of the fleet of
managed output devices. They are reaping the rewards of annuity-revenues from
the printers’ consumables.

A dealer's largest customers typically have two or three competitive copier
dealers managing portions of the copier fleet because of contracts for services
and leases. Some dealers have experienced the horrifying scenario of a
competitor already putting the printers under contract with their largest
accounts. Not only did  the competitor  gain the  new revenue from managing the
printers,  now  they have the upper  hand in becoming the sole-source provider
for  that large customer.

The moral of the story? The only way dealers can truly  protect  themselves 
is  to  keep their existing   customers   by   providing   outstanding service
and better savings at a more competitive price; block competitors by offering
the Managed Print Services their  largest customers will demand; increase
revenues with existing customers through MPS; acquire new customers through
clearly demonstrated MPS  savings verses the original copier-led methods of
selling the box.

Digital Gateway listened to Bill Gates four years  ago and took his warning
seriously. In response, we  expanded e-automate to help the over 1000 dealers
using it to evolve their business and dramatically enhance and simplify the
entire workflow of conducting MPS business, from the sales and commissions
processes to ongoing contract management/profitability & renewal processes.

Some notable enhancements include:

  • The release of a new version of Digital Quote Manager which automates
    proposal generation including TCO and makes it easy to analyze the long-term
    profitability of Cost Per Copy, Cost Per Page and Managed Print Services
  • Expanding the real-time pricing and automated invoice processing
    connections in Digital Quote Manager to key MPS vendors including: Synnex,
    Techdata, Supplies Network, LMI, Parts Now!, Printer Essentials, West Point
    Products, and more.
  • The release of the e-automate Commissions Module—a fully integrated tool
    that automates MPS commissions processing, history tracking of all
    commissionable items and new-models analysis.
  • Adding key automation tasks to e-automate for processing orders
    generated from sales-teams, service-calls, leasing companies, direct
    e-commerce request, and leading meter capture tools like PrintFleet, FMAudit,
    and PrintAudit.

These changes are significant because our customers are increasing  revenues
& profits by putting more pages-under-contract (PUC) as they add more MPS
contracts to their business. They’re  recognizing  more  hardware sales  as  a 
result  of  expanding  existing  MPS contracts from a service-centric model to a
fleet-optimization model. Whether you are talking cost per page, cost per copy,
or managed print, it really all boils down to how dealers can focus their
business on getting and keeping  profitable  pages  under  contract.

When asked his secret to being the world’s   greatest  hockey  player, Wayne
Gretzky said: “Most  people  skate  to  where  the  puck  is. I  skate  to where
it’s going to be.” Dealers using e-automate can be confident they are armed with
a solution that takes them to where the PUC is going to be, not where it has

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