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The Alternatives Are Awakening


The below statement must invoke The Imaging Channel to a new passion for change. 

"While The Document Imaging Channel's Dealers and Manufacturers are refunding unused contracted service agreements, Alternative providers are collecting many of those refunded dollars as they sell the Imaging Channel's at home customers both printers and supplies." 

Over the last half-decade, I have fought against the arguments screaming paperless office. I have and continue to describe those arguments as foolish distractions to the real crisis facing The Document Imaging Channel. A crisis now being exposed through this pandemic.

When the industry heard these arguments for the paperless world, the industry's actors focused on all the reasons that would be nearly impossible and continued as they were. However, this misguided threat created a blind-spot in visualizing the real threat facing the Channel.

"The greatest threat to a company's willingness to innovate is its perceived stability in the status quo."

As I have previously exclaimed

Again, it's not about paper-less; it's about Annuity-less. It's not the evaporation of paper!! It's about LESS PAPER; it's about a significant decline in supply needs and service annuities. It's also about the evolution of A4 Products. These are the things the Channel should have already been prepared for.

The document Imaging Channel's obsession with continuing over-selling A3 devices and pursuing MPS fantasies, instead of MPS realities, is seeing more and more of their customers going to alternative suppliers. The tipping point is fast approaching.

The Channel's DCA, tools reveal 5-7 A4 uncontracted print devices for every contracted one. Over the last twenty years, the Imaging channel lost billions to alternative providers by refusing to sell and supply print equipment outside an MPS contract.

Even though the industry boasts the best salespeople in the world, they failed in contracting all their customer's print equipment. This fact should enlighten them on what an overconfident strategy didn't accomplish, especially as the industry enters into IT services.

Two Immediate Actions Needed

  1. It's time for the Channel to pay attention to where their print customers are, going, instead of insisting that all customers buy in the same manner through a process contrary to an existing and changing marketplace. The Channel can no-longer, through their stubbornness, continue losing billions in transactional business.
  2. The Channel must diversify and now. SMB Service Providers with print only services will not continue as a sustainable business model. Dealers must explore Managed IT Services, Security Services, or even merging with Office Products Dealers who are deep into Janitorial services. Many of which are already selling A4 MFPs and their supplies successfully. The more sophisticated dealers who are already delivering Managed IT Services should re-evaluate acquisition strategies to include CPA financial services organizations. Buying more copier companies won't move the needle.

So, those who still believe that there is no need to redefine your 1980 print deliverable. I hope you are not basing that on the disbelieve of the paperless world. Remember it's not now and never was a Paper-less argument for change, It's about Less-Paper, and the massive populations of A3 MFPs vulnerable to being replaced by much less expensive A4 MFPs the industry must address.

"Status Quo Is The Killer Of All That Will Be Invented."

If not already Let's connect here on Linkedin and I welcome everyone to subscribe to my YouTube Channel

CEO/Founder TEASRA, The Innovation Channel, and Host of The End of The Day With Ray!

Ray Stasieczko  

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