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ITEX 2008 - Keeping Your Dealership Healthy

8 May, 2008 By: Sand Sinclair imageSource

ITEX 2008 - Keeping Your Dealership Healthy

Having solutions that are unique and in demand is a problem most providers
would like to have today. As companies face the challenges of maintaining profit
levels, let alone remaining competitive, it means “upping” their portfolio with
savory a la carte offerings to complete a full menu of product and services to
distinguish themselves from other dealerships. For providers to offer customers
better solutions, it means finding and adopting better tools, implementing
value-add strategies, supporting innovative devices, and applying variations on
tools to enhance performance and services that most businesses demand today.

So what’s the best way to find these advantages quickly and in one forum?
ITEX. The expo event named the most focused and credible authority out there to
provide ramped up information to an assortment of sectors in the channel at one
single show. Each year, ITEX drives home new education and insights into the
transitioning channels that are useable, can be implemented immediately, and are
touted by industry experts that also moderate many of ITEX’s education tracks.

Full Course Menu

Creating a complete menu of opportunities to devour, ITEX explored new
product technology, value adds to portfolios to widen profit margins, advances
in integrated workflow and document management solutions, what the reasons are
behind growing your professional services, and the advancing opportunities for
providers such as automated programs/remote diagnostics.

In its eighth year, an extended show floor housed 250 vendors with the latest
product  technology plus two new pavilions to include the growing wide-format
and mailing systems areas. Thousands of Dealer, Reseller and VARs returned to
find the latest devices in hardware, parts and supplies, more innovative
solutions in software, and new business partners to help create wider offerings
for their customers, and to grow their respective businesses. Many vendors,
including ITEX Partner sponsor Oki, Diamond sponsor Xerox, Platinum sponsors:
Digital Gateway, HP, Katun, MWAi, Konica Minolta, Parts Now, Printfleet, ECi’s
La Crosse & OMD divisions, Panasonic, Ricoh, Samsung, Sharp, NER, Precision
Roller, Jamex, Structured Web, MKG, FMAudit and Synnex Corp, along with other
manufacturers in additional sponsorship roles.

Oki Printing Solutions brought a festive air to the show floor, parking a
bright pink Cadillac near the entrance door at a designated booth separate from
their “workstation booth” nearby, with an Elvis impersonator who “rocked the
show floor” hourly with nifty 50’s songs in tribute to Vegas’ true “King” of
rockabilly music. The pink theme was intended to highlight breast cancer
awareness, and Oki’s staff, all neatly dressed in pink, invited attendees to be
photographed at the Caddy with “Elvis” in honor of breast cancer research,
donating $5 towards a selected fund for every photograph taken at the show.

The Main Entree

As always, ITEX served up significant document solutions found in six
education tracks, through a series of Power Hour sessions. Dedicated tracks to
specifically teach dealers how to leverage document solutions are a main stay at
ITEX each year, from the core issues of filling the pipeline with new sales
leads to better opportunities for selling connectivity, reinventing an overall
business model to developing new partnerships. ITEX education is led by industry
experts who will empower dealers with the knowledge needed to advance their
business to profitable new levels.

ITEX attendees have many questions on how to grow their business. If you’re a
dealer, and want to re-evaluate your company’s entire document workflow in order
to improve productivity, you found the answers in multiple sessions listed under
the Doc Management/Capture & Workflow Track. If you strike a balance in your A3
& A4 product portfolio, then the Business Management Track was your focus. If
you needed a roadmap on Managed Print Services, ITEX had a Track for this and
other related resources to learn from. Various marketing and selling approaches
to transform you from equipment provider to solutions business partner were
found in a ramped up Sales & Marketing Track, as well as learning the benefits
of technician specialization or ROI on GPS from a Service Track, or leveraging
embedded technology from a Technology Track. Each track had five sessions each
to round out the educational offering per category, challenging the dealer on
what the future brings, while industry experts provided critical information on
what they need for the ongoing future of their businesses.

A la Carte Conference

In addition to a power packed schedule of classes, a new power conference
was held for the SSI-Service & Solutions Integrator event, an all day session
dedicated to the Service Management industry within the copier and imaging
distribution channel. This training program identified solutions to help remedy
the issues that Service Managers and Operations deal with on a daily basis. The
event was sponsored by MWAi, Katun, BEI Services & BEIPros., with a highly
actionable agenda to impact various core competencies with a fusion of solutions
for dealers to fit to their own, unique dealership infrastructure.

Awards for Dessert

A not to be missed event at ITEX is the industry award reception held after
hours at the host hotel, this year being the Hilton. Prior to the presentation,
Mike Stramaglio, CEO of MWAi, spoke from personal experience on a family member
and on behalf of Oki, on the important topic of breast cancer awareness (with
two survivors onstage), in a continuation of the “pink theme” found on the show
floor earlier. Pink roses and staff were dressed in pink, and the Caddy was
strategically in place to hit home the important topic.

After attendees dined and networked, ITEX founder Marc Spring, publisher of
imageSource magazine, then took the stage to honor selected dealerships that
reflected noted excellence within well-defined categories. The Perfect Image
Awards, impartially judged by a panel of industry experts and peers from the
magazine’s Advisory Council, herald a company’s commitment to success. A real
perk is that the achievement awards help to create media buzz and brand
recognition for each award winning dealer, singling them out as achievers to
their customers, manufacturers, and peers. This year’s Dealer of the Year
winner, Impact Networking, credits the company’s team effort to value their
customers’ needs first, balancing overall performance with extreme customer

Impact Networking additionally won two other awards: Best Implementation of
Technology Strategies & Most Innovative Customer Retention Program. See cover
story for details. 

Meetings Du Jour

In addition, companies use ITEX to stretch their travel dollars by
coordinating concurrent events, including holding annual meetings for user
groups, reseller events, owner or executive meetings, OEM meetings and/or board
meetings. These included DocuWare, who held their U.S. and Latin America annual
reseller event - “DocuWorld” for Authorized Partners, and which included keynote
speaker, John Mancini, President of AIIM.  Additionally, IBPI, the industry’s
largest buying group, held their select Dealer Meeting, and e-Automate held
their Users Group meeting to speak with the Digital Gateway management, while
Nextgen held a Dealer Meeting for Owners/CEOs, hosted by La Crosse. OMD held an
Executive Seminar as well, and Xerox brought a hand-selected group of dealers
for their Dealer Council Meeting.

Ultimate Bottomline? ITEX seeks to specialize as your best partner in helping
you get from “A to Z” with knowledge on the best use of strategies, new
innovation, and useable tools that you’ll need to get a clearer picture of the
emerging opportunities you can capitalize on. With name brand vendors as well as
the up and coming new innovators of hardware and software solutions to preview
and partner with, and top quality education to help you prosper, ITEX’08 offers
a feast of opportunities. Devour at will.


ITEX congratulates all winners of imageSource’s 2008 Perfect Image Awards
for outstanding performance by a dealership: Outstanding Sales Program, Digitex
Corp, TX; Outstanding Service Program, RJ Young Co., TN; Outstanding Community
Involvement, Cell Business Equipment, CA; Best Use of Website, NovaCopy, TN; and
Outstanding Marketing Campaign, Modern Office Methods, OH. ;Dealer of the Year
(+ 2 awards) Impact Networking.

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