MOS Imaging Systems: Using Innovation and Imagination to Cut Loose from the Crowd20 Dec, 2005 By: Adam Kustin imageSource
MOS Imaging Systems: Using Innovation and Imagination to Cut Loose from the Crowd
Over the past few years, the
term “solutions” has been drilled into the minds of copier/printer dealers
throughout North America. It’s the idea of providing customers with more than
just a mere machine, but a complete solution that will automate and improve the
workflow for their businesses.
It’s a concept that MOS Imaging Systems, an independent dealership in Miami
Lakes, Florida, has taken seriously and to an entirely different level.
A couple of years ago, MOS President Luis Gonzalez decided that his company
should go beyond simply providing solutions. He decided his business should
actually develop them to integrate with his clients’ business applications.
“We have found that when you integrate with a client’s applications or find a
specific solution for their business process needs, the copier becomes the
smallest part of their final decision, making it easier to differentiate from
the competition,” Gonzalez explained.
Exploiting a niche
Two years ago, MOS began investigating the possibilities that existed in the
legal vertical market. They knew the competition was intense, but they also knew
the market was very lucrative.
The company started by running a series of focus groups with some of the top law
firms in South Florida. After numerous meetings and additional research, MOS
identified a specific product niche to exploit.
Today, numerous law firms transport files from firm to firm by imaging them on
to compact discs. They also use a process called Bates numbering to sequentially
number the pages of each document to ensure none are lost. Traditionally, Bates
numbering has been performed by hand with laser printed labels or outsourced to
a copy service for approximately 15 cents per page.
In some cases, a large document with thousands of pages needs Bates numbering
and is subsequently copied several times for court cases. The associated cost
and effort to manage such documents is significant.
“These specific needs were exactly what we hoped to discover,” Gonzalez said.
“Like all of our competitors, we offered the tools to scan and print, but did
not have a tool that created a more comprehensive and cost-effective solution.
Simply stated, our goal was to find a way to integrate what they wanted with our
If you want something done right…
After a few months of researching available software and hardware solutions, MOS
decided to develop the solution themselves.
“The solutions available at the time were distributed only by specific
manufacturers,” Gonzalez pointed out. “They were lacking simplicity, CD burning,
and integrated Bates numbering.”
As MOS worked to develop a device that would meet the fundamental needs of the
legal market, as well as help sell more copiers of course, they made sure three
fundamental goals were met:
Ease of use: The device and related software had to be easy to use with
minimal training required. Law firms primarily use mailroom clerks to perform
the various imaging activities. Many times their personnel do not have the
technical knowledge required to run complicated software programs.
2. Minimal set up time and support required: MOS established a
target installation and set up time of less than one hour. The new device could
not be a burden to the MOS service team, nor could it create additional work for
3. Open architecture and portable: Most importantly, the proposed
solution had to be customizable and mobile. As law firm technology continues to
evolve, MOS must be able to modify the solution to evolve with it. Therefore,
the system is not a “Windows Box”; rather it is a network appliance based on the
power and strength of BSD Unix. As importantly, MOS recognized the discovery
phase of a lawsuit could take place virtually anywhere, making portability
another key aspect of the proposed system.
With the help of high-level programmers, which MOS hired, a solution was created
within 18 months. The product, known as the ImageRouter (www.netcompass.us),
could be used with any MFP. Documents are scanned at an ImageRouter kiosk and
previewed with a large touch screen display.
“Creating the ImageRouter took people, time and money, and the ability to lay
out a good blueprint of what we wanted to build,” Gonzalez said.
With ImageRouter, a law firm can build up to 5,000 page documents, Bates number
the pages, burn the document to CD-ROM as a searchable PDF file, and then print
multiple sets from the MFP.
“ImageRouter has been a win-win for our clients and MOS,” Gonzalez said. “We
have been successful in numerous competitive situations by simply having the
ImageRouter available. In addition, our service clicks have increased over 30
percent in accounts that use the ImageRouter.”
Since its introduction into the legal market, ImageRouter has been successfully
implemented in a wide variety of market segments. For instance, the very active
mortgage and title services market has used ImageRouter to effectively manage
the mountains of paper they generate. They scan on the MFP, build and preview
the package, file it to their document management system, and then burn it to a
“ImageRouter is being used in many vertical markets from automotive to
pharmaceutical. Its vast customization options make the ImageRouter a key part
in developing new markets for our sales teams,” said Rick Bolanos, vice
president of sales for MOS. “Many office equipment dealers are already servicing
these markets, but they just do not have the tools or support to develop them
The Bottom Line
With copier dealerships often squaring off against each other with virtually the
same hardware and software solutions, how do dealerships like MOS find their way
in a fog of “me too” solutions?
“Through differentiation,” Bolanos said. “We utilize the ImageRouter and it’s
capabilities to highlight our strong technical prowess, as well as demonstrate
how copiers can become a key part of any business.
“As an independent dealer who competes regularly against the national companies,
we need clients to see that we are equally capable of providing and supporting
solutions,” he added. “We might not sell an ImageRouter solution with every new
contract, but it has made a positive impact to our revenue target.”
In order to ensure that increased revenue turns into increased profit, MOS
designed the ImageRouter to be installed by its system engineers. Like most
dealerships, MOS simply cannot afford to maintain dedicated solutions service
personnel. Therefore, in most cases, the technician that connects and configures
the MFP to the network will also set up ImageRouter.
“Any of our system engineers can install an ImageRouter in under an hour,” said
Nathaniel Horenstein, director of solutions sales and service for MOS. “In
addition, we designed a secure remote support feature that eliminates sending
system engineers out on service calls, in turn, reducing the need for us to have
additional technical staff.”
Increased sales success, increased revenue, and managed costs have all had a
positive impact on the company’s bottom line. In fact, as a direct result of the
initial success of ImageRouter, MOS has formed an application development
company called netCompass for the sole purpose of developing cutting-edge
solutions for MFP dealers.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to deliver a product that you know will help a
fellow copier dealer sell more products,” Gonzalez said. “We are unique because
we are a copier company building a product for copier companies, but nobody
understands our business better than us.”
Gonzalez has a few tips for other dealers who are contemplating developing their
“Developing a solution is possible for other small to mid-sized dealers, but
supporting and selling enough of them to make it worthwhile is a different
story,” he said. “Be careful, invest in good people, and make sure you have a
solid plan. We were just at the right place at the right time.”
Reeling in BIG Business
MOS was able to reel in a Top 25 South Florida law firm behind the strength of
its ImageRouter scanning station. With six locations, the firm was looking to
replace all of its copiers and facsimile systems. They had over 35 Segment 3, 4,
and 5 copiers, as well as 50 facsimile systems. The firm was also seeking to
fully connect and integrate all of its systems. Requirements included:
1. Full integration to Interwoven WorkSite
2. Full integration with Equitrac Cost Recovery
3. Electronic Bates numbering
4. Production-level searchable PDF output
5. Burn documents to CD
6. Easy to use
7. Minimal IT support requirements
Because of the size and scope of the project, MOS was competing against local
and national competitors. The company made it to the final round of
presentations, at which point it was able to differentiate itself with its
“Once they saw the demonstration of the system and what it could do for them, it
was ‘Game Over’ for the competition,” said Rick Bolanos, MOS’s vice president of
The final solution included a mix of digital MFPs set up to scan and print on
the network. In addition, nearly a dozen ImageRouters were strategically placed
throughout the firm in “copy center” environments to process the high volume
scanning, Bates numbering, and document archiving tasks.