Boost Profits with Document Assessments9 Jul, 2004 By: Lou Slawetsky imageSource
Boost Profits with Document Assessments
Although we are still in the process of tabulating our annual Dealer
Distribution Strategies Report, the latest review has already revealed potential
profit-producers that most dealers are missing— workflow or document
assessments. Preliminary research for our current Dealer Distribution Strategies
Report indicates that dealers in our interview sample use a document or workflow
assessment for only 33 percent of their sales. That seems strange, given the
fact that these same dealers close 60 percent of sales associated with those
there another part of your business that yields a close ratio as high as this
one? There probably isn’t. Then, it’s a mystery to me as to why these tools
aren’t used with greater frequency.
dealers indicate that the time required to conduct a complete document or
workflow analysis is simply too long. Note that we discarded those responses
where dealers state they can conduct a “complete” analysis in less than an hour.
You might get some rough page count information in that time, but certainly
nothing approaching the information you need to provide a relevant
is no doubt that a workflow analysis of any depth at all will increase the
length of your selling cycle. A typical analysis could take between 30-90 days.
Granted, not all of that time requires personal involvement. But, nonetheless,
you could be adding that much time to the sales process. Data analysis and
reporting can increase this time even more.
However, the rewards are significant, making the investment well worth the
• The average order size will increase
substantially, since you’ll include multiple users and departments in your
analysis. Each may require their own imaging system.
• Even if the number of units sold remains the
same, page counts will increase dramatically, since you’ll be controlling the
workflow from several departments or locations.
• A professional workflow analysis will help you
gain a foothold in new accounts and oust your competition. All of this revenue
will be incremental, with substantial impact on page volumes—the mainstay of
your profit center.
• While conducting the analysis, your sales
representatives will gain exposure and credibility at higher management levels.
• Assuming that the outcome of your workflow
analysis is one or more specific solutions (accounts receivable, print on
demand, variable data printing, etc.), you’ll lock out your competition. You’ll
be able to maintain that status as long as you are perceived as being the
“specialist” in that area of workflow toward which the solutions is targeted.
of these points are reason enough to make the investment in conducting a
workflow analysis. Should you do this for every prospect? At some level, the
answer is, “Yes.” However, you should prepare several levels of analysis, from
simple to complex, so that you can match your investment to the potential
Document Assessment Options
Perhaps the easiest way to reach the most companies is to mount an automated
analysis tool on your website. The focus here should be on the potential for
savings offered by consolidating hardware and offering a lower cost per page
than printers currently installed. Automated tools will focus more on the per
page savings. As these tools increase in complexity, you will be able to include
equipment consolidation in your recommendation.
are various assessment tools currently available and they all have something
different to offer. You can examine some OEM sites in order to see examples of
example, look at Hewlett-Packard’s assessment at
does an excellent job of responding to the information entered in the report
with emails detailing price promotions targeted specifically at equipment
relevant to each responding company. The cost for gathering this information
after the initial design of the assessment tool is practically nothing.
Toshiba offers its customers and prospects a different approach. While its
assessment tool, Encompas, is not on its website, Toshiba does offer a white
paper that does an excellent job of explaining what its analysis does, how it
works and how its customers can make best use of the results. Visitors can also
download a sample report.
approach goes a long way toward pre-selling the need for a workflow or document
analysis. The result, if you should chose this approach, is a shorter selling
cycle, since customers perform many of the initial steps
can view Toshiba’s approach by visiting
Another revenue/profit source for your dealership is depth workflow assessments,
typified by both HP (not the same as the web-based tool reviewed earlier) and
Xerox Corporation. These assessments are conducted by “specialists” from the
manufacturer who could, over the course of the analysis, spend weeks with the
Obviously, you would consider this approach for only your largest accounts,
where the potential exists for multiple unit sales across the entire enterprise.
The analysis is fairly complex and not without considerable cost. Then why
• If you don’t offer an alternative, you will lose
control of the account to your larger competitors.
• Offering an in-depth analysis increases your
credibility across the entire enterprise.
• The technique offers the best opportunity for
multiple unit placements.
• You will be seen as the “document resource” for
• It will be difficult for a competitor to
“unhook” the account.
analysis tool is not free—hence the revenue source. Billings for a complete
analysis in larger enterprises easily exceed five figures (without the decimal)!
It’s not unusual for a Xerox analysis to cost as much as $100,000.
offers its assessment tool, Office Document Assessment, through its Xerox Global
Services (XGS) division, which currently generates approximately 25 percent of
the company’s total revenue at higher than average margins. In addition to
assessments, the division offers:
Services offered to these markets through XGS
• Office Services
Imaging and Output
IT Managed Services
• Document Content and
Legal and Litigation
Safety and Regulatory
• Product Lifecycle
Just in Time Product
MRO Information Support
Product Information and
• Production Services
and Graphic Design Services
Imaging and Repository
Production Mail and
of these activities generates revenue streams over and above traditional
hardware, service and supplies. You can learn more about XGS and their office
document assessment by visiting
the picture? Document/workflow assessments, along with related services, offer
incremental revenue and profit streams. You will increase your average order
size, close a higher percentage of sales and capture more page volume. Begin
with some of the smaller and easier assessments, using our examples as a model.
Then grow your business using the services model currently offered by your