It seems as more of the same is the mindset for many in the Imaging Channel. Over the last year, as print volumes continue declining, as dealers continue over-specking and over-selling, nothing seems to wake up the channel to the threat of consistently delivering out-side market realities. However, soon the end-users un-awareness will end.
"The channel's threat is a new competitor who takes advantage of where the customers are going while the legacy way attempts to keep customers where they were."
In mature markets, the suppliers of goods and services can become consumed in their history as they plan their future. In other words, they create visions from memories rather than imagination.
"Without the ability to look past what's in front of you, you will always follow. Unfortunately, in declining markets, following memories will lead to obsolescence."
The Imaging Channel dealers are taking their eyes off the customer as they instead focus on keeping the customer in what made the dealers comfortable. This blindness to market realities is creating an enormous opportunity for outsiders to disrupt the status quo of the channel.
It is easy to spot complacency in legacy players. The legacy way will always argue for their own comfort, not that of their changing customer. Listen to the arguments the channel will have to continue over-specking and over-selling as an example. Nearly all their arguments are related to the pain caused to the dealers or manufacturers processes in moving from the product-centric A3 to the customer-centric A4.
The market realities are now becoming very apparent. For the first time in the channel's history, it's end-users are beginning to recognize alternative solutions as they now are being presented alternative narratives. I believe these alternative narratives to the deliverable will increase and disrupt the legacy actors as more customers replace their un-awareness with awareness.
The status quo and the disruptor have a fundamental difference in how they argue. The status quo will argue for keeping things as they were; the disruptor will argue to create things the way they should be.
The Imaging Channel will be disrupted by a shift in the delivery and the equipment delivered as the buyers will migrate to A4-equipment. The better experience of A4 will capture the imaginations of those wishing to disrupt the channel. The market realities are too compelling for the legacy way to continue fighting for the more complicated A3 approach.
If the current actors do not face this reality, they may be left with just the A3 buyers; however, there won't be enough of them to keep the dealer in their current circumstances of revenue and profits.
The solution to selling based on the market realities is simple. Dealers must look at their deliverables through their customer's eyes and be honest with what they see. Data proves the reality of volumes, needs, and usage. The dealers must develop a strategy to sell the most significant part of their customer base, which is producing volumes on MFPs under 8k a month. A better alternative than constantly upgrading and buying out leases, overselling A3 to meet commission plans or manufacturer quotas.
It's time to provide buying options such as e-commerce and understanding the importance of supporting and accepting transactional business. Not all buyers are contract buyers, and the channel is losing hundreds of millions of dollars by not providing an on-line transactional solution.
The disruptors will focus on your largest customer base, those producing 8k or less the commodity mindset buyers. Dealers can't afford to lose this vast portfolio of business. So, the dealers must change the processes to deliver and service. Migrating from A3 Equipment to A4 Equipment is not something you have a choice in. It's where the market is going.
However, you do have a choice to allow a new competitor to beat you in providing the A4MFP solution which a majority of your customers will in-fact migrate to. Simply said-with you or without you, your customers will go to the future and will be quite comfortable leaving behind all vendors who refuse to modify as market realities changed.
Don't be the vendor with the greatest relationships and loose to the innovators who delivered a better experience. For more and more customers, A4 equipment is the better experience.
"Status quo is the killer of all that will be invented."
CEO/Founder TEASRA,The Innovation Channel and Host of The End of The Day With Ray! https://www.endofthedaywithray.com/
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