Equipping Your Company for the Future4 Oct, 2005 By: Sand Sinclair imageSource
Equipping Your Company for the Future
days, to compete successfully, copier/printer businesses must constantly provide
their workforce with information in order to keep up with the relentless changes
in the document technology industry.
This means going beyond the basics of providing the latest “box” with all the
extras, along with prompt, swift service to customers. Dealers must now meet the
more complicated, technological demands of today’s business world.
One of the best ways to keep up with the changing times is through continuing
education, which can be channeled from the proverbial tradeshow. These shows,
such as the upcoming 2006 ITEX national convention, being held March 14-17 in
Las Vegas, have evolved from mere events where attendees just viewed products,
to becoming a vital source for delivering hands-on, current information that is
essential to serving the needs of one’s business.
“In the past, it took 18-24 months for a products shelf life to alter with new
updated bells and whistles,” explained Greg Dennis, service manager for RK Dixon
in Bloomington, Illinois. “Now the rate of change is anywhere from three to six
months, so it’s hard to be as specialized as before. This has led to the
importance of clinics, classes and tradeshow forums.”
Ric Hope, vice president of business development for XSI in Rochester, New York,
pointed out that tradeshows take on even more importance for smaller
“OEMs provide mostly product information, but little in the way of core
information that is required to build an effective foundation,” he said.
“Smaller businesses, like ours, can have trouble coordinating the time and
information needed to prepare our employees to meet the rapid changes in
customer needs, advancing technology, and addressing the competition. That’s why
tradeshows such as ITEX are important. They’re affordable, time-effective, and
deliver the quality of information we’re looking for.”
Adding to that thinking is Dave Johnson, vice president of branch operations for
E.O. Johnson Company in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “We always try to send a group of
six people to a tradeshow like ITEX. We want to be aware of what the industry is
doing daily, as well as learn where it is headed. This is paramount if you are
going to remain a profitable company.”
Maintaining a high-level of technical competence is of the utmost importance to
Steve Raymer, service manager for Allen Business Machines in Fort Wayne,
“I use publications, tradeshows, educational classes and seminars to continually
educate myself on the processes that other dealers use for success,” he said.
“The more I know, the easier my job becomes because I believe training gives a
technician a confidence level that only comes with being informed of, or
certified in, the latest state-of-the-art equipment and services.”
Robert Sparks, branch sales manager for Hughes-Calihan in Las Vegas said the
knowledge his company has gained at tradeshows has boosted its bottom line.
“Education has helped our company increase hardware gross margins by bundling
them with solution driven software,” he said. “This has increased the average
dollar volume of our sales. Tradeshows have been important by presenting the
Mr. Dennis summed it up perfectly, stating, “Anything done to better understand
new products and customer needs, while enabling your business to forecast for
optimum growth, will positively affect your overall ability to gain new
customers—but more importantly, keep them.”
Yes, the evolution of the tradeshow has happened. Now it’s up to you to take
advantage of the lessons they provide.
For more information on the ITEX national convention, call 800.989.6077 or