Provide Customers With a Complete Picture of Print Management4 Oct, 2005 By: Fred Shamlian imageSource
Provide Customers With a Complete Picture of Print Management
you know that there are eight digital printers for every copier in today’s
business office? That’s right, eight printers producing an average of 2,000
prints per month. In other words, for every copier in that office, there are
16,000 prints that copier dealers could profit from.
Every copier dealer in North America should be asking these questions:
• How can I capture all those page clicks?
• How do I calculate a cost per page for printers, which require 60 percent
fewer service calls than the average copier?
More and more, IT managers choose the office printing equipment, define
performance needs, and manage the network. They’re free to choose from a vast
line-up of vendors competing for a slice of this billion-dollar pie.
Copier dealers, computer dealers, systems integrators, office supply dealers,
Web retailers, maintenance organizations, and consultants offering outsourcing
solutions are all vying to deliver equipment, support services, consumables, and
increasingly, print management strategies.
The writing is on the wall for dealers: they need to change as their customers’
“We need to capitalize on our customer relationships now by being
first-to-market with print management solutions,” said Tiffany Iurilli, director
of major accounts for CB Document Solutions in Phoenix. “It’s critical that our
customers see us as print management specialists instead of just as copier
dealers. Becoming a single-source provider is the only way to keep our
customers, grow our business, and avoid becoming a low-margin commodity player.”
What is Print Management?
While print management covers a lot of ground, it basically refers to the
ability to track, manage, analyze, and optimize an entire imaging network.
Working with a new generation of print management software, dealers can finally
offer IT and purchasing managers, CFOs and business owners a complete view of
their imaging expenditures, and additionally, offer a valuable plan to lower
their cost per page and total cost of ownership.
The result: dealers enjoy dramatically increased print volumes, longer and
larger contracts, improved margins, and stronger customer relationships.
A number of software packages from independent developers address many facets of
print management. Dealers can choose from several good niche solutions,
including print tracking, auditing and management software. Below are five
offerings available on the market.
FMAudit (www.gttechonline.com) - FMAudit has developed two
products to capture meter readings, serial numbers and toner coverages while in
the client’s office. Installed on a laptop, the FMAudit Viewer connects the
laptop to the office network, and you can audit every printer on the local or
wide area networks—with no software pre-installed on the network. By comparing
device volumes with the model's known duty cycle, dealers can use the data to
identify over or under-utilized printers.
FMAudit Viewer, Viewer USB and OnSite offerings enable the data collection of
printers connected directly to a workstation, which typically, are the most
expensive printers to operate. This is accomplished through deploying the
FMAudit Agent module, which is a no-charge passive service to the workstations
that have a locally connected print asset.
“Over 90 percent of dealers are looking to do two fundamental things in print
management: identify the client’s current assets and identify its associated
monthly volumes,” said Rich Piper, business development manager at FMAudit. “By
providing cost per page solutions for the entire print fleet, they can penetrate
more and larger accounts, and sell more core product.”
Imaging Portals (www.imagingportals.com) - Imaging Portals’
ImageTrak System comes with remote data collection abilities, a data repository,
and applications to allow dealers, and their customers, the ability to view the
status of their entire fleet securely from a Web browser.
ImageTrak monitors networked copiers and printers with a secure network
appliance. In addition, to complete the fleet monitoring, ImageTrak also
monitors stand-alone copiers, reporting meter data through two-way paging
systems, or by telephony. To complete the process, ImageTrak can automatically
transfer the meter data into virtually every dealer CRM billing system to assure
accurate meter data for customer billings.
“I was a dealer owner, and I understand the challenges of new technology in a
dealership,” said Worth Probst, CEO of Imaging Portals. “That is why we designed
ImageTrak to deliver what the customer needs in functionality and security, but
also to be able to be installed and maintained by the existing dealership
service and support personnel.”
LaserMasters (www.lmisolutions.com) - LaserMasters (LMI), a
Phoenix-based manufacturer of toner cartridges, was facing the same challenges
as the copier and printer dealers, mainly, how to continue to prosper in a
highly competitive commodity industry.
“To break out of the pack, we needed to offer dealers a larger part of the
solution,” said LMI’s CEO Gary Willert.
So LMI created BluePrint, a turnkey print management solution with three
Print Tracker: This program identifies every networked and
locally-installed printing device at customer sites, and automatically collects
and delivers meter reads according to a set schedule. Print Tracker posts the
data to a secure Web server, from which the data is sent via email as a
Configurator: Print Tracker auto loads its data into Configurator, which
delivers cost per page and total cost of ownership analysis. Configurator auto
loads these figures into reports, proposals and contracts, which are customized
with the dealer’s information and graphics.
Data Processor: This application automatically extracts data into SQL
databases and billing software such as Great Plains, eAutomate and OMD.
“Our customers don't know what they spend on printing,” said Karl Bennion,
manager of print services for Boise Office Equipment in Idaho. “With Blueprint,
we can conduct an audit and solve the entire equation to close bigger deals
Software may drive the print management revolution, but it's only part of a
LMI includes sales training and support, service training, parts and tech
support, and financing with its solution. LMI also formed strategic partnerships
with PartsNow!, a wholesaler of new and refurbished printer parts, and US Bank,
an experienced lender serving the copier industry.
“US Bank can provide business owners with one monthly invoice for all their
print-related expenses, calculated on a cost-per-page basis,” said David Turner,
director of sales for US Bank. “That’s clearly where the industry is headed.”
Additionally, LMI’s executive team teaches print management courses; the company
provides software tutorials to show dealers how to make the most of BluePrint's
pricing tools; and it teaches dealers how to sell their print management
capabilities to both IT and purchasing managers.
Print Audit (www.printaudit.com) - Print Audit offers a range of
print management solutions, including a USB meter reading device and remote
In addition, the company’s flagship software, Print Audit 5, contains print job
redirection capabilities which allow copier dealers to drive volumes away from
expensive competing printers to their own more efficient devices.
dealers often have no idea of how much business they are losing to convenience
printers,” said John MacInnes, president and CEO of Print Audit. “Print Audit 5
allows dealers to significantly increase their revenue while dramatically
decreasing their customers’ expenses.”
Print Audit also offers tools to help office equipment dealers sell more
hardware. The company’s Reseller Assessment Program (RAP) is a special 30 or
60-day version of Print Audit 5. The RAP tracks 100 percent of the volumes to
all local, networked and direct-to-IP printing devices. Copier dealers can
generate reports with this data and use it to identify equipment inefficiencies
and to justify new equipment with a lower cost per page.
“It allows our resellers to incorporate software tools into all aspects of the
sales process,” MacInnes said. “This helps dealers in three ways. It allows them
to accurately assess the potential for business, and then develop a hard copy
strategy that meets their customers’ needs, as well as their own sales
initiatives. Finally, Print Audit allows them to enable/enforce that strategy
within their client's organization.”
PrintFleet, Inc. (www.printfleet.com) - Through a vendor-neutral
discovery and monitoring process, PrintFleet, Inc. delivers detailed information
from every printing device on a customer’s network.
From the automatic recovery and remote viewing of page counts, device
utilization, asset numbers, meter reads, toner levels and cost per copy
calculations, PrintFleet software offers a window to client printing
information. This can result in new revenue opportunities and competitive power
for copier dealers.
PrintFleet has three software tools designed to support the varying needs of
document technology providers:
PrintFleet Suite: This rapid assessment auditing software is contained on
a portable USB key. Designed to perform “quick audits” of a customer site,
PrintFleet Suite identifies all local and network printing devices in a printing
PrintFleet Optimizer: This application is a remote print management
software that allows a dealer to continually monitor, manage and service
multiple customer printing environments from any location.
PrintFleet Enterprise: PrintFleet’s latest release allows qualified
dealers to purchase a stand-alone print management software, which they host,
manage and resell independently.
dealers need a means to effectively build a value added program to help boost
their competitive advantage and overall profitability. Print management software
can help them achieve this on many different levels,” said Norman McConkey,
president of PrintFleet.
“From proactive service programs, supplies fulfillment, automatic meter read
billing, and simple cost per page programs, this type of technology will present
new revenue streams and build stronger customer relationships,” he added. “Print
management and assessment software is something that this industry cannot afford
The road ahead for dealers is clear. With the advent of effective print
management packages, you can no longer simply push product. Tomorrow’s success
stories will lead with system-wide print management solutions.
The advantages to your customers are simply too compelling: a single-source
provider, streamlined cost per page billing, lower cost of ownership, and a true
print partner who can analyze their costs and anticipate their needs.
Of course, the benefits to you are far greater—particularly for those who move
decisively to maximize their first-to-market advantage. When you can capture all
the clicks and reduce print fleet management to a simple cost-per-page
agreement, you’ll enjoy more business, stronger margins and increased profit.
What's the right choice for your dealership? For many, it means selecting a
turnkey program that can fully support their sales and service teams. Because
the company you choose for your print management program will be critical to
your success, choose one you can rely on as a trusted partner—with an impeccable
reputation for integrity, quality and service.
What makes a successful print management program?
LMI's Vice President Ray Loisel knows firsthand what copier dealers need from a
print management program to help them make the leap. The former general manager
of Uinta Business Systems has identified five mandates for a print management
program, which he considers vital to the success of every dealer:
Mandate 1: Capture every click accurately and automatically
• Eliminate inaccuracies and costly manual effort
• Identify every imaging device at remote sites—on and off the network
• Automatically collect and deliver meter reads
• Send the data securely through firewalls
• Auto-transfer the data to cost-per-page software
• Fast and easy to use install and update
Mandate 2: Quick cost per page for every imaging device
• Accurate cost per page based on timely meter reads
• Auto-load the figures into proposals, contracts and billing software
• Customizable templates, so documents are finished products
Mandate 3: A comprehensive solution
• Sales training and support materials
• Repair training for printers
• Expert tech support
• Well-priced, quality OEM and compatible parts
• Same-day blind drop shipping
• Custom label programs
• A dedicated service rep for your dealership
• Online purchasing and order tracking
• Flexible financing to fit fleet-wide, cost per page contracts
Mandate 4: Quality toner cartridges
The toner cartridge is where the rubber meets the road. To deliver a winning
cost per page and maximize your profit margin, choose cartridges that reliably
deliver superior page yields at the lowest possible cost.
Mandate 5: Choose a partner, not a vendor
When you contract to provide fleet-wide, cost per page solutions, you will
depend upon your print management program as completely as your clients will
depend on you. Clearly, you’re not just choosing a product, you’re choosing a
Fred Shamlian is the head of Shamlian Advertising in Pennsylvania. Fred’s
company is a marketing consultant for retailers, manufacturers and major
financial institutions. He can be contacted at 610.338.0570 or at email@example.com.