The pull-economy is gaining momentum across many industries when will the Imaging Channel be impacted?
Let’s go back in time. Back when copying and print usage was growing. Everybody was printing everything. The information one read was read from paper, back then things just CLICKED away. Customers leased hardware and paid for service by the click. Print Manufactures sold their A-3 through distribution channels made up of independent dealers; some had direct operations as well. A-4, for the most part, didn’t exist except for segment one of course and segment one produced around ten pages a minute.
Back in this time, A-3 copier manufactures, for the most part, competed strictly against each other. All manufacturers had the same equipment, and most of its distribution partners sold, serviced, and supported it in the same manner.
Channel sales Push the equipment to the end-users. The push economy was good to the Imaging Channel. Local independent dealers competed for market share. Both dealers and direct operations set the stage for how their customers would both acquire the equipment and service it. For the most part, sellers decided the deal structure and pushed the process to the buyer.
When we look back, we would all conclude one important thing. The end-users hardly at all decided on the equipment the equipment was pushed to them. Equipment was sold to the end-users using an in-person salesforce. A sales force which pushed the most beneficial self-serving program to the end-user. We always sold the highest cost equipment and program we could that’s what we were compensated to do.
So how will the past carry to the future as print equipment moves more and more to A-4 and even the A-3 will reduce in cost and require nowhere near the service intensity of its past? Less service intensive, and lower cost, with lower demand or need for products equals an enormous shift from the way things are to the way things will be. Buyers will have more choices to acquire, and the equipment acquisition complexities of the past will disappear.
I recently heard someone say that the imaging channel would not be disrupted by the current players it would only be disrupted by others outside who eliminate the need for the equipment itself. Ok, that is one day. I don’t intend to begin a paperless argument those discussions are distractions to real threats. I will say this the Imaging Channel will be disrupted way before that. The service annuity will continue declining in value, and the end-users will gravitate to the pull-economy these two dynamics will cause pain for some in the channel and reward others who prepared. Leaders of the channel can be the disrupters or can be the disrupted. The challenge will be the time to decide to become the disruptor is running out.
Today more than ever the Imaging Channel must prepare and extract as much profit from the current circumstances as possible. Truly understanding your profit potential takes data, not hype or delusional accounting methods. To prosper in the future, we must capitalize on today’s circumstances and take nothing for granted.
For over 25 years BEI Services has been recognized as the world’s largest database of service metrics for the Imaging Channel. With hundreds of organizations, thousands of Technicians, millions of devices and billions of pages on the BEI Platform, the data and statistics we provide to our partners are unprecedented in helping them achieve best in class benchmarks along with increased profits. It is from the knowledge of facts in our Trademarked Worldstats Database which allows BEI partners to improve by accurate measurement eliminating the emotional noise of complacency. https://www.beiservices.com/